Applying for Residency in Spain as a non-EU Spouse

27 February 2021

(specific for Americans, but maybe useful for others)

Information which would be helpful to you if you are planning on applying for residency in Spain as a non-EU Spouse

You did it, you and your spouse moved to Spain. Now what? Well you are in luck if you have a residency card someplace else in the EU, I have no clue what that process is, but I have heard it is easier. However, if you are like me, and were married in the states then brace yourself for a paperwork roller coaster. I had a lot of help from other people I know who are married to EU citizens. Here are some tips to help you along. Oh it is also worth mentioning that I read that they no longer issue visas for spouses in Spain you have to go through the residency process. This information is recent as of January 2011.

The absolute first thing you have to do is register your marriage with the EU country where your spouse is from. Where you do this (and how long it takes) varies per country and it cannot be done at an embassy it has to be sent to the actual county. This will require your spouse’s birth certificate, your birth certificate with and Apostil stamp, and copies of both your passports. You also have to fill out an official request of course. If you are American like I am, the Apostil stamp can only be issued by the state that created the document. So if you live in Ohio but were born in Florida, it has to come from Florida, wherever the Secretary of State is located in that state. In the case of the Netherlands, the copies of the birth certificates cannot be older than 6 months. Most EU countries issue marriage certificated that are already in multiple languages, if yours is not, you have to have it translated.

Also at the top of the list is registering you and your spouse with City Hall (Empadronamiento). Where you need to go depends on the district you live in. For this you have to have:

  1. Your lease (in Spanish)
  2. If you have children you need an Apostilled copy of their birth certificate (and pray that they don’t ask that it is translated, they just need something saying you are the child’s parents).
  3. Your passports
  4. Spouse’s NIE

They should be able to print the document for you right then and there. Once you have the registrations, make several copies of this you need at least 3, 2 for the government and 1 for yourself.

Around the same time go onto [url=][/url] and make an appointment with “Servicio de Cita Previa” you will need to select “RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR RELATIVES OF EU NATIONALS” (tarjeta de residencia de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión)
You will go to the Oficina de Extranjeros located at: MURCIA 42 BARCELONA 08027
The appointment is usually made 3-4 weeks out, you probably won’t have your marriage certificate but you can take all of your other documents with you and get the application process rolling. Be prepared to wait for an hour and for the place to be swamped.

The documents you should have are:

  1. Both passports (obviously)
  2. Your spouse’s NIE document (no longer a card), plus copy
  3. Work contract if you have it (just in case)
  4. A completed EX16 form, Download form EX 16
  5. 2 copies of both you and your spouse’s passports
  6. The marriage certificate from your EU spouse’s country (apparently this cannot be older than 3 months)
  7. A copy of both of your registrations with city hall (Empadronamientos)
  8. Three passport-sized photographs in color.

You will leave with a paper listing the missing documents needed for your application (hopefully none). If you are missing some of the documents you can return to the Oficina de Extranjeros any time once you have them in order. You don’t need an appointment but be prepared to wait at least a half hour. The office is open 9-5.

After this visit, they will issue you a letter saying your application is complete and you will have to go to the next step (no it isn’t picking up your residency card, that would make too much sense), which is going to the Police Station 2 weeks after all your documents are in. It is called the Comisaria de Barcelona-Balmes, located on the corner of Calle Guadalajara and Calle Bosch.  You will know you are there because there will be a bunch of other immigrants wondering around looking confused. It is located on a really small insignificant side street, but don’t fear you are in the right place!

You will need:

  1. The letter from the Oficina de Extranjeros
  2. 3 recent passport sized pictures
  3. Your registration with City Hall

As always be prepared to wait, the police at the guard post will direct you where to go. Don’t let them send you around the corner, you have to be there. Once you get a live person, it goes quickly. They give you a slip to take to a different office where you will pick up your actual card. I was confused, and went there right away, but you can’t pick up the actual card until one month after the Comisaria grants it. They also give you a form to take to your bank where you need to transfer 10 Euro to the Police. This is called a Modelo 790, and I have seen it mentioned elsewhere saying you should complete it before going. Unfortunately there is no way for you to get this form in advance because it is a carbon copy. Oh and another joyous tidbit about this form, all of the banks within blocks of the Comisaria only process these forms between 9 and 10:30, which is next to impossible to get done due to the long wait at the station. The good news is that you have a month to make the transfer before you have to go pick up your card. The office where your card is located is:

Calle Mallorca 213.

The wait is short once you get there…

Finally, hop on one foot, pat your tummy clockwise, while holding your nose, and counting backwards from 100…..

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