What is the change? Spain has expanded the definition of common law partners and family members of EU nationals for purposes of eligibility for dependent status.

What does the change mean? Those who will now be eligible for dependent status in Spain include common law partners of EU nationals where a long-standing relationship can be established, family members who are financially dependent on the EU national or live together in the country of origin, and family members who depend on the EU national for personal care due to a serious illness or disability. Dependent status is determined regardless of nationality.

  • Implementation time frame: Dec. 9.
  • Visas/permits affected: EU Family-Member Residence Cards.
  • Who is affected: Non-EU/EEA family members and common law partners.
  • Business impact: The changes may make it more desirable for EU nationals to relocate to Spain, especially if they have a common law spouse or have non-EU family members who are dependent on them.

Background: The new regulation amends Royal Decree 240/2007, which defined dependents as spouses, legally registered partners in an EU registry, children under 21, and financially dependent parents or ascendants.

The change broadens the definition of dependents to cover common law partners in steady, long-standing relationships (opposite-sex or same-sex). A long-standing relationship will be found to exist when partners have been living in “marital cohabitation” for at least one continuous year or have children together. The change also covers family members who live with or who are financially or medically dependent on the EU national at the time of application.

BAL Analysis: Non-EU family members and partners of the type described above will now be eligible for dependent status in Spain, which affords them greater rights to enter, leave and reside there. The change provides an incentive for some EU nationals with dependents covered by the new regulation to relocate to and reside in Spain.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Spain. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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