Partnership procedure

We receive numerous inquiries daily at our office, Extranjeristas, regarding the process of apply for a residency through a domestic partnership. In response, we would like to offer you further insight on the matter.

Partnership procedure

Firstly, it is important to clarify that there is no procedure or process specifically called “unmarried partner” for apply for a residency. Rather, there is a procedure for the EU citizen’s family Residence Permit, which considers both spouses and unmarried partners as family members. Therefore, if you have a registered partnership and you do not have legal documents, you may apply for this residence card.

The domestic partner status is considered a civil procedure, similar to marriage, and depending on specific requirements, it can provide benefits from immigration authorities. It should be noted that, unlike marriage, there is no uniform regulation for unmarried couples throughout the entire country. Each Autonomous Community has the authority to regulate the formalization of unmarried couples within its territory. 

As there are 17 Autonomous Communities in Spain, there are 17 different regulations for formalizing an unmarried couple, which can vary significantly depending on the location. In this article, we will only discuss the regulations in Catalonia, which we are most familiar with. However, if you have any questions regarding applying to another region, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information. 

It is important to note that the procedure for apply for a permit through the immigration office entails more than having a stable partner. A set of specific requirements must also be fulfilled, which are detailed below:


It is important to note that one of the partners must hold the nationality of an EU Member State, as well as nationals of Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein. This is a fundamental requirement, as even if the partner or spouse has a long-term residence, they are not eligible to process the EU family member card unless they hold one of the aforementioned nationalities.


In the case of marriage, the union can be easily proven with a marriage certificate. However, proving a common-law partnership can be more complicated. In Catalonia, there are three ways to prove a common-law partnership:

  1. Providing evidence of two years of cohabitation, which can be demonstrated with a historical census of the couple.
  2. Proving that the couple has a child together, regardless of the length of time they have been living together.
  3. Formalizing the partnership before a notary. However, there is some confusion concerning this option, as different notaries may require different documents or evidence. Some may require a birth certificate, a minimum period of cohabitation (such as 6 months or 1 year), or witnesses. 

However, our office works with notaries who only require proof of cohabitation and a simple statement from the couple expressing their desire to become a common-law partnership, without any specific time limit.


It is crucial to note that being the unmarried partner of a European citizen is not sufficient to manage residency in Spain. The citizen must also have adequate financial resources to support their partner, as specified in the annual state budgets for minimum non-contributory pensions. The EU citizen is required to demonstrate 100% of the minimum pension, while their partner must demonstrate 70%. For the year 2021, the minimum amount is 9,586.64 euros annually, which can be proven through a work contract, a pension, or a bank account balance equal to or greater than the specified amount. However, in the case of a bank account balance, a private health insurance policy that provides comprehensive coverage without any co-payments or deficiencies must also be secured to cover healthcare that the public health service would not cover.

To meet requirements of EU citizen’s family card for an registered partnership, the following procedure must be followed: 

  1. Register the unmarried couple in the “Registre de parallels stables de la Generalitat de Catalunya,” which can be done directly if the couple has been living together for two years or has a child in common. If the couple has first visited a notary, the notary is responsible for registering the couple in the public register after signing the public deed.
  2. Upon completion of the registration, a certificate of registration in the public register will be issued within approximately one month. The application file can then be submitted to the Foreigners’ Office, which will decide on the request within a period that will vary depending on the province of submission.

Nonetheless, should you require legal counsel concerning whether to apply your unmarried partner’s residency permit or other immigration concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Extranjeristas via telephone:

How to contact us? 

If you consider that this type of visa fits your situation, do not hesitate to contact our office.
We are specialists in immigration and we are ready to help you.
We will advise you and provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision.
We want you to obtain your permit. We are on your side.



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