Good Evening,

I'm a Turkish citizen, recently married to an Italian. I'm holding an Italian residence permit and I have moved my residency to my wife's address in Italy. Therefore I will be able to apply for italian citizenship after two years of marriage.

With my wife we would like to live and work in Spain for a while (let's say one year), without her moving her residency. Would I be able to work in Spain without losing my already existing permit in Italy?

Here we have some information but I couldn't find an answer to this specific question.

If I have to move my residency to another Eu country the procedure of getting Italian citizenship would require more time...

2 Answers 2


You cannot enjoy freedom of movement unless you are accomoanying or joining your EU family member. You therefore cannot get a Spanish residence permit under the freedom of movement regime unless your spouse establishes residence in Spain. You will not be able to work unless you have a Spanish residence permit.

It is unlikely that the two of you will be able to retain your Italian residency while you are not actually residing in Italy, and, in particular, it seems unlikely that you would be able to benefit from the accelerated citizenship procedure afforded to the spouses of Italian citizens who are living in Italy if you don't actually live in Italy.

To get a more authoritative answer, you may want to speak with an Italian or Spanish immigration lawyer.


I had a somewhat similar case; but I have a distinct advantage since my wife and I have a child.
I'm Italian and my wife's Brazilian, we lived in Brazil and my son was born in Brazil but I registered his citizenship in the consulate, so he's Italian.

Years ago, we moved to Italy and she had to get a visa residency permit (which we only requested once we were already there) - when my wife asked how long it would take and if there was a change that it would be rejected, the man at the foreigner's office actually said something like "doesn't take too long but don't worry, it will be approved and even if it's rejected, we couldn't really do anything about it as you're the mother of an Italian citizen".

We later (2016) moved to Germany and the same was NOT said there; she had to apply for the German residency visa residency permit (new one, as if the Italian visa residency permit didn't exist) and even though they were very friendly and mentioned there would not be a problem, the process was not guaranteed like it was in Italy and they asked for a bunch more information like things from my job, etc...

That's just my story, now to more directly answer your question:
1. Both of you must register residency in Spain
2. Your Italian Spouse must register in the Italian consulate of the Spanish region - this will automatically un-register their residency in Italy (will be registered in the AIRE)
3. You need to apply for a new visa in Spain
If your Italian spouse is working in Spain, your Visa application should go smoothly; otherwise it may still be approved but I guess it'd be less likely.

  • 1
    Did you move to Germany before or after 2004? If after, then even though the process is not guaranteed, the possible grounds for refusal were very limited. Also, strictly speaking, you cannot apply for a visa in country; instead, you are applying for a residence card.
    – phoog
    Dec 16, 2019 at 15:07
  • You're totally right about the residency card (although I phrased it as permit since it's not always a card :)); I fixed it now and added that my move to Germany was in 2016 so my process was already the easier one. Thanks!
    – LFLFM
    Dec 17, 2019 at 16:20
  • 1
    Yes, "residence permit" is perhaps more general, since (in some senses at least) the term includes residence cards. The main point was that "visa" is, strictly speaking, wrong. The problem, of course, is that people (even including governments) use "visa" loosely to mean "permission to be in the country," and that it's sometimes difficult to distinguish between the looser sense and the stricter sense, which can cause confusion, especially among those who can least deal with such confusion: those having difficulty navigating some country's immigration bureaucracy.
    – phoog
    Dec 17, 2019 at 16:53

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