Differences between community family card and family reunification
We explain which regime is applicable to each case
The community family card and family reunification have certain similarities, in the sense that they allow a resident in Spain to obtain residence for certain family members. However, there are fundamental differences that are worth clarifying.
Community family card and family reunification: nationality of the sponsor
The fundamental aspect has to do with what is the nationality of the sponsor, that is, of the citizen resident in Spain who requests permission for their relatives. A) Yes:
-If the applicant is a Spaniard or a citizen of a country of the European Union, the European Common Space or Switzerland, then it is appropriate to apply for the residence card of the relative of the community, which is regulated by Royal Decree 240/2007, of 16 February, on entry, free movement and residence in Spain of citizens of the Member States of the European Union and of other States parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area. This is what is commonly known as a community regime.
-If the sponsor is a foreigner with a residence permit in Spain (and does not have the nationality of a country of the European Union, the European Common Space or Switzerland), then the appropriate thing is to request a family reunification, in accordance with the Law Organic 4/2000, of January 11, on rights and freedoms of foreigners in Spain and their social integration, and its Regulation. This is what is known as the general immigration regime.
Community family card or family reunion: family regrouping
An aspect of equal practical relevance refers to the family members who can benefit from the residence permit. Indeed,
-In the case of the community regime, in principle are the following relatives of the Spanish or community citizen: the spouse or domestic partner, the children of the community citizen or their spouse or domestic partner who are under 21 years of age or are disabled or over 21 years of age living in their care, the parents of the community citizen or their spouse or domestic partner, who live in their charge.
In addition, other family members may also obtain residence, provided that in the country of origin, they are dependent on it or live with it, or that, for serious reasons of health or disability, it is strictly necessary for the citizen of the Union to be personal care charge of the family member.
-Under the general immigration regime, there are greater restrictions as to which family members are regrouped: the spouse (or common-law partner), the children under 18 years of the sponsor or their spouse (or domestic partner), or older of that age only if they are incapacitated, and the first-degree ascendants of the sponsor and their spouse (or domestic partner) when they are in their charge, are older than sixty-five and there are reasons that justify the need to authorize their residence in Spain.
Community family card and family reunification: formal requirements
-To regroup a relative according to the general immigration regime, the sponsor must have resided in Spain legally for at least one year (unless the relative is an ascendant, in which case it is 5 years), and the regrouping family member can not be living in Spain but in their country of origin.
-These two requirements are not required in the case of the community family card. In effect, it is enough that the community citizen has processed their registration as a citizen of the union so that the family member can request the card, and in fact must be in Spain (regardless of whether it is on a regular or irregular basis), as this is processed personally before the immigration office of the province where he is residing. The community family card can not be requested at a Spanish consulate, for example.
Community family card and family reunification: economic means
-In the case of the community scheme (residence card of a relative of the community), the proof that the sponsor has enough financial means to support him and his family is less strict. It suffices, for example, that you have a work contract (regardless of the amount of the salary) or show that you are a self-employed worker.
If you are not in these two cases, then you must show that you have sufficient annual income derived from income, payments, etc., or sufficient cash equity during the time of residence (bank deposits, for example).
The reference amount is set to receive a non-contributory pension, which is 5,160 euros per year. If the community will live only with your spouse or domestic partner, the amount is 8,756.02 euros. If you live with the couple and one child, 12,361.44 euros per year, with a partner and two children, 15,966.86 euros, and so on. Also in this case must have medical insurance .
– For family reunification by the general immigration regime, whatever the labor status of the applicant, must justify the following income:
a) In the case of family units that include, computing the regrouping and when the regrouped person arrives in Spain, two members: an amount that represents 150% of the IPREM monthly (799 euros per month) will be required.
b) In the case of family units that include, when arriving in Spain the person regrouped, more than two people: an amount representing monthly 50% of the IPREM for each additional member (267 euros per month). In addition, you must show that you have adequate housing.
Community family card and family reunification: duration
-The initial community family card has a validity of 5 years, and renewals (or permanent residence card), of 10.
-The duration of the residence permit of the family member regrouped according to the general immigration regime, have the same validity as that of the applicant (if the latter has obtained the first renewal of their residence permit, it would be valid for 2 years, for example).