Here is my situation in bullet points:-

  1. I'm British, living in the Philippines.
  2. My gf of 4 years is a Filipina (pause for inevitable joke ... ).
  3. We wish to permanently relocate to Spain.
  4. We asked the Spanish consulate in Manila for the procedure to apply for permanent residence, and they asked us to submit a standard Schengen visa application form.
  5. We did this with all of the usual proof of relationship, finance, health, etc.
  6. She has now been issued a 90-day Schengen visa, marked 'vis estancia'.
  7. Not knowing what to do next, we asked the consulate again and their reply was "she needs to apply to the local authorities in Spain for a residence permit".

So my question is, what do we do now?

It seems wrong to enter Spain on a visitors visa when it is our stated intention to remain there permanently, however that appears to be the advice we're being given. Does anybody know what/where/to whom we should apply once in Spain, and what exactly are we applying for? I'm confident that we meet the relationship criteria as specified in 2004/38/EU and also the Spanish equivalent (Royal Decree 240/2007). However are we likely to hit any bureaucratic issues because local officials only understand certified marriage/partnerships?

  • 1
    Did you pay for the visa application?
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 12:41
  • 1
  • @phoog No. They didn't charge us anything for the application.
    – pinoyyid
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 9:23
  • 1
    That means they've accepted your relationship as qualifying under the freedom of movement directive. Your partner therefore has a legal right to freedom of movement in the EU as long as she is traveling with you or joining you. You have absolutely no need to be concerned about any intent to visit temporarily or to immigrate permanently that may or may not be implied by any given document.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 11:06
  • @phoog many thanks for confirming that. I suspected that was the case, but was concerned that there is nothing in the visa which indicates that acceptance. I have read elsewhere that the visa should have been annotated "familiar de EU" instead of "vis estancia".
    – pinoyyid
    Commented Jul 22, 2016 at 12:53

1 Answer 1


Thanks to those who commented.

The answer is:

  1. EU applies for residencia using form EX-18 at the local policia.
  2. Non-EU applies for Article 10 Resident Card using form EX-19 at Oficina de Extranjeria. This art. 10 RC is valid for 5 years and permits working.

There is a lot more detail between the lines, but these are the main items

  • 1
    +1 and thanks for coming back to post about your experience!
    – Gala
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 14:10

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