Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Since the amendment of the corresponding regulations in the year 2022, many doubts have arisen regarding the coexistence regime between the Community Family Card and the Arraigo Familiar. This is due to the fact that both are permits obtained as a consequence of the accreditation of a family relationship with a person who holds a certain nationality and the similarity in terms of their effects.

Both permits stand out for the excellent effects that they provide to their holder, but… what are the differences between both residence permits? In this article we will try to answer this question.

Arraigo Familiar or EU-Family Card

2. When to apply for the Arraigo Familiar and when to apply for the Community Family Card?

Until August 2022, residence authorizations requested as a consequence of being a relative of a citizen of a EU member state (including Spain) were processed as EU Family Cards. From that date onwards, as a result of recent amendments to the Immigration Regulations this has changed to the following extent:

  • If the family member who gives the right of residence is a Spanish citizen, arraigo familiar will be requested.
  • On the other hand, if the relative is a citizen of another member country of the European Union, an EU-Family Card must be requested.


Beware, because not all family members can apply for these permits. Sometimes additional requirements must be met.

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3. What are the differences in the application process?

The most notable differences in the application process for both authorizations are the following:

4. What are the similarities?

As we have stated in the introduction to this article, the arraigo familiar authorization and the EU Family Card are very similar in certain aspects. Specifically, it is worth mentioning that the initial authorization issued in both cases has a duration of 5 years and entitles the holder to work both as an employee and as a self-employed person. In addition, in both cases the deadline for resolving the file is 3 months and the associated administrative silence is negative. In case you require more information regarding these popular residence authorizations, please do not hesitate to contact us.