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Non-EU citizen moving to Barcelona

Hi everyone,

Australian here. Following a two year long-distance relationship with my Spanish partner while I lived in the UK, we have decided to make the leap and live together in the same country. Unconventional, I know.

I have received a high amount of confusing information in regards to moving to Barcelona. Our current plan is that I can go over on a 90 day tourist visa, rent an apartment in a town outside Barcelona, register as a resident of the town and then register on a couples registry, which will then allow me to get a residency card.

Has anyone, Australian or other, done this? Is there a less ludicrous scheme that allows me to live and work in Barcelona for a year or so without needing prior sponsorship? I've been a physiotherapist for six years, but registering as one in Spain when I don't speak the language is another issue which we can deal with later.

Any guidance greatly appreciated.