Noticias

Pareja de hecho: making residency easier one couple at a time

For many non-EU foreigners, living in Spain legally is debacle numero uno. No easy solution exists, whether it’s finding a company to sponsor you, or a significant other willing to fully commit to ma-ma-ma-marriage. Locating a street in Madrid without obras would be easier.

But recently, something very unexpected changed. As rare as the Spanish waiter that happily and eagerly takes your dinner order, a process here just got easier and tremendously more helpful. I’ll let you digest that for a moment, because I know it’s hard to believe.

Have you recovered? OK, good. Back to business.

The process I’m referring to is that of pareja de hecho. Roughly translated as domestic partnership/civil union, acquiring the status originally just meant you got a piece of paper saying “these folks are officially an item” (not terribly unlike that note you wrote your classmate in junior high school). Now, becoming pareja de hecho can actually grant foreigners residency. Crazy, right? And it’s not too good to be true!

Here’s a brief rundown of the requirements and steps:

Requirements:

  • Civil status certificate stating you’re single (must be validated for non-EU foreigners)
  • Empadronado(a) with your Spanish significant other for at least one year
  • Two witnesses
  • Three photos (for Comisaría when applying for card)
  • Copy of entire passport

Steps:

  • Empadronamiento with significant other at the Ayuntamiento
  • Obtain civil status certificate (foreigners go to their embassy/small fee required)
  • Non-EU residents must validate civil status certificate at the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores
  • Become pareja de hecho at the Registro de Comunidad Autónoma de Madrid
  • Pick up certificado de pareja de hecho at the Registro de CAM
  • Apply for residency card at the Comisaría
  • Pick up card at the Comisaría (small fee required)

As with most things in Spain, there’s a good chance that funcionario 1 will say something entirely different than funcionario 2, so expect rules and processes to vary.

Now that pigs are flying, maybe the obras will stop and more waiters will become friendly. One can dream.