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de facto relationship

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Marriage or registration as a registered partner with an EU citizen is the most frequent means of proving the existence of a link with the EU citizen that allows the foreign citizen to apply for the Residence Card for Family Members of EU Citizens. De facto relationship in another way.

Both possibilities would give us access to obtaining a residence and work permit in Spain. Initially issued for 5 years, but these figures can present several differences, not only in the field of immigration law.


A law that applies at the state level regulates the marriage in Spain. Thus, the requirements, procedure, and effects will be the same throughout the national territory. The particularity in the case of mixed marriages lies in the need to process a previous file before the wedding.


On the contrary, the registration as a stable couple is completely different, since the Law contains different specifications in each autonomous community. In other words, each autonomous community establishes its own specific rules regarding the registration process and its consequences.


With respect to the rights deriving from both, let’s look at the different assumptions:

  1. Labour rights: Stable Couples already have the same rights as married couples and can take work leave due to serious illness or death of the couple, just as they both have the right to paternity or maternity leave.
  2. Children: If there are children in common, there is no distinction in terms of rights and obligations, whether they are married, registered as a stable couple, whether they live together or have never lived together.
  3. Fiscal: In this matter, the stable couple is not contemplated. That is, if you are not married, you cannot file a joint income statement.
  • Stable couples are also not entitled to tax exemptions like spouses as for donations. What they do have in common is the possibility of access to aid, subsidies, public housing, grants, etc.
  1. Widow’s pension: Domestic partners do not have a direct right as in the case of spouses. To qualify for the pension, you must prove that you have been registered for two years or more. You must show that you have lived together for at least 5 years if you are not registered.
  2. In the event of a break-up: In the event of the stable couple’s cancellation, the differences between the autonomous communities are also significant: in some communities, the consequences are the same as if they had been married. In others, they have fewer or limited rights.
  3. Succession right: There is no unification of criteria in this area either. Not all communities grant automatic inheritance rights, so unmarried couples are advised to make a will if they want something legal in the event of death.
  4. Rentals: In the event of the death of the contract holder, the Urban Rental Law provides for the right of subrogation of the couple, provided that two years of cohabitation are accredited by registration.

How does it work?

Both marriage and the registration of stable couples (between a non-EU citizen and an EU citizen), would allow for the obtaining of a Residence Card for Family Members of EU citizens for the foreign couple/spouse. The mere existence of a bond would entitle the latter to reside and work in Spain.

The foreign couple or spouse may apply for the aforementioned residence card once the relationship has been established. As well as to carry out any lucrative activity, either as an employed or self-employed person.

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