How to marry a Spaniard

We explain how to organize a marriage between a Spaniard and a non-EU citizen. 

Procedure of marriage between a Spaniard and a non-European citizen, and all the advantages of becoming a family member of a European Union citizen.

Our team of professionals specialized in residency in Spain solves the question of how to arrange a legal marriage between a Spaniard and a person outside the European Union so that the latter can obtain all the benefits of being a family member of a European Union citizen.

1. Procedure for legally marrying a Spaniard

The first requirement for marrying a Spanish citizen is the matrimonial commitment, which must be carried out before the marriage. 

The marriage procedure must be carried out in the place where the Spanish citizen resides at the time, or at the registry office where he or she is registered.

2. Required documents

  • The couple must submit a joint application with the following documents, among others: certificate of celibacy, divorce or widowhood, both of the Spanish national and the future spouse who is not an EU citizen.
  • A criminal record, if applicable, must also be presented. 
  • It is also necessary to present the census certificate of the place of residence of each one. With this certificate, it is necessary to process certain documents at the Spanish Consulate that correspond to the territorial delimitation.

It is important to remember that Spanish citizens must initiate this procedure in the civil registry that corresponds to their place of registration.

3. Once the documents are provided, what happens next?

Once the papers have been submitted to the registry office, the couple who wish to get married is given an appointment for an interview. 

The interview is conducted by the public prosecutor, but in small towns, it can be conducted by the civil status judge. 

The purpose of the interview is to try to establish that it is a real marriage and not a cohabitation. 

How to marry a Spaniard

4. What questions are asked at the interview?

The most common questions are about your partner: if he/she knows your mother, your father, how many brothers and sisters you have, the first time you met, where, what the other partner likes, etc. 

Once the interview is over, the Spanish administration sends the documentation to the Spanish consulate where you reside and by territorial delimitation, it is sent to the other partner, your future spouse. 

The Consulate will also call the other partner for a similar interview. 

If both interviews are successful, the marriage application is considered valid.

5. Benefits of marrying a Spanish national

Although it is a process that may take longer than desired, it is essential for non-EU citizens who marry a Spanish national to obtain all the rights of any European citizen. 

Among these rights, of course, the five-year residence that becomes a permanent residence. 

A residence that after three years, due to separation or divorce, can be maintained or can be changed at any time and become its own residence. 

We emphasize that the matrimonial commitment is mandatory, even if you married without knowing each other. It is advisable to divorce and remarry after this commitment, because it is difficult to do otherwise in this kind of case. 

What happens in some cases, for example in a marriage where the citizen is not a native Spaniard, but acquires Spanish nationality, and was already married in his country of origin to a citizen of his own nationality? 

This is a very common case. For example, a Moroccan or an Algerian who marries and has children and ends up acquiring Spanish nationality.

6. What about your spouse?

In the case of the spouse, the relationship can be carried out as a consummated partnership, as it is understood that the person who has become a Spanish national was previously married to another person of another nationality. This formula is valid, just like the marriage formula.

Another option is that if you have minor children, they can automatically become Spanish nationals, the mother or father of the children will also have the right to obtain community residence as the mother of Spanish citizens.

We hope that this brief explanation has answered your questions and do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other doubts or if you need advice on how to process a residence permit application.

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How to marry a Spaniard