It might be easy to assume that life in Spain is all tapas and tinto de verano, and if you’re only here as a tourist for a short visit, it may very well be.
For the rest of us, though—those of us who came from abroad and made Spain our permanent home—it gets a little complicated. Namely, the bureaucracy involved in doing so can be enough to drive anyone crazy.
Anyone who’s done a quick search about how to legally live in Spain has likely come across the term pareja de hecho, and this civil-union-like process has become one of the most popular ways for non-EU nationals to obtain residency and work permission here in España. If you have a Spanish (or EU) partner, you can formalize your relationship with the government (no, it’s not marriage) and be well on your way to establishing a long and happy life here in Spain.
Like all things related to Spanish government red tape, though, demystifying the process can be enough to drive anyone to drink multiple glasses of a nice, strong fino. As an added complication, pareja de hecho is regulated on a more local level depending on your region, so requirements can change from one place to the next.
And then there’s the fact that trying to get a straight answer from government officials can depend on the day of the week, the alignment of the planets, and whether or not said civil servant has already had their midmorning coffee break. All things considered, it can be tempting to tirar la toalla before you even begin the process.
Don’t do that—and don’t shell out for a pricey lawyer, either. All the information you could possibly need about doing pareja de hecho in Spain can be found in one handy eBook, courtesy of Cat and Hayley from COMO Consulting.
If those names sound familiar, you might remember them from their first digital publishing endeavor, a comprehensive eBook about moving to Spain to teach English. Their newest project, Pareja de Hecho: A Step-by-Step Guide to Legalizing Your Love, debunks this at-times confusing process and lays out everything you need to know about making your relationship Spain official.
Required reading for pareja de hecho in Spain
One of my favorite things about the book is the fact that it lays out exactly how to do pareja de hecho in whatever part of Spain you call home, detailing the exact requirements of each of the country’s 17 autonomous communities. As you may realize upon reading, nothing about the process is consistent on a national level, so it’s extremely helpful to have everything laid out region-by-region, allowing you to see at a glance what your area’s requirements are.
The book also gives an overview of what, exactly, doing pareja de hecho in Spain means for you and your partner in terms of finances, work permission, and residency for the non-EU half of the pair. There’s even a handy vocabulary list of commons terms you’ll come across throughout the process, and a lengthy FAQ section that answers any question you could possibly still have after reading the in-depth, informative book.
How did Cat and Hayley manage to get all this information when, as we’ve discussed, trying to navigate Spanish bureaucracy can be a headache and a half? In addition to being longtime Spain expats themselves who are familiar with the red tape, they took the time to personally speak with civil servants in all 17 autonomous communities and get straight answers about all aspects of the pareja de hecho process in each place, so the information you’re reading is straight from the source. They also took the time to verify the information they were given with real couples who have completed the process all over the country.
It might all sound like a bunch of dense bureaucratic information that can be hard to muddle through, but that couldn’t be further from the truth in the case of the pareja de hecho eBook. Cat and Hayley are like your two in-the-know expat friends, and their engaging, easy-to-follow writing style makes the book enjoyable to read.
Ready to live felices para siempre?
Since its publication in April 2016, Pareja de Hecho in Spain: A Step-by-Step Guide to Legalizing Your Love has been the go-to guide to navigating what’s often thought of as an overwhelming and confusing tangle of red tape. I cannot recommend this eBook highly enough to anyone looking for a way to stay in Spain legally and live happily ever after with their Spanish/European media naranja.
Ready to make your love official? Use the button below to buy the book, and use the discount code LEGALLOVE5 for a 5 euro discount at checkout!
Wishing you and your special someone many years of love and happiness (and smooth sailing throughout the PDH process)!
Thanks to Cat and Hayley from COMO Consulting for providing me with a copy of Pareja de Hecho in Spain: A Step-By-Step Guide to Legalizing Your Love. All opinions expressed are my own.
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