Pareja de hecho outside Spain

QuestionsCategory: Civil UnionsPareja de hecho outside Spain
Sarah Leonard asked 2 years ago

 I am from the States and my partner is Spanish but he lives in the UK. I am currently on a student visa (4th year auxiliar) in Spain. If we were to do pareja de hecho, would that work/residence permit allow me to live and/or work in the UK? Most of my income comes from freelance work in the states, so working is the least important aspect, mostly just the residence. Thanks for any relevant info!

1 Answers
Shaheen S.Shaheen S. Staff answered 2 years ago

Hi Sarah, 
Generally, “pareja de hecho” is only recognized in Spain. It’s the Spanish version of a “civil union”, which is a step below marriage. It would allow you to get 5 year residency in Spain, during which time you could only work in Spain. After that, you could apply for permanent residency in Spain, and once you have it, you could work anywhere in Europe. But, it sounds like you are not planning to stick around Spain that long! 
If you want your relationship recognized in other countries you’d most likely need to get married.  I’m not an expert on UK law, though, so you might want to check with a lawyer in that country. 
Good luck! 

Sarah Leonard replied 2 years ago

Shaheen, thank you for your reply. My partner is Spanish, and we eventually would like to come back to live in Spain, but at the moment he is working in the UK, so we could be there a year, or two, who knows. I guess my question is, working aside, if I have a 5-year residence permit, would that allow me to simply reside in the UK? If this is the wrong forum to ask, sorry! I realize this is more about the UK…

Shaheen S.Shaheen S. Staff replied 2 years ago

Hi Sara, Well, it would allow you to travel freely within the EU. So you might be able to hang out in the UK for an extended period, but it wouldn't allow you to work there!