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Spain residency for Filipina and British husband

Discussion in 'Europe Wide Visa Discussions' started by Sher, May 2, 2018.

  1. Sher
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    Sher New Member

    We were married in London in September last year and want to move to Spain. We visited Spain last month intending firstly to register my presence and get my NIE and then apply for residency for both of us. However, when we got there we found that we needed an appointment to submit our residency application, and depending upon the area that we apply the length of time we wait for the appointment varies greatly.
    So now we are back in London and Sher is here on a UK visitor visa. We are going to apply for a new Schengen visa for her via VFS London to go to Portugal, as they will accept applications from people in the UK on C visitor visa's. Then we want to go to Spain to apply for residency. But this time we want to be prepared and understand the process properly. At this stage we are not sure where exactly in Spain we want to live and so our thoughts are to apply to a local office where we can get an appointment quickly. Can anyone tell us how the process works exactly and how we should go about it. I understand that firstly I need an NIE. Also I will have to have a Spanish bank account and then we also get health insurance. We need an accommodation address for our application which of course we can change later.
    Also I know that once the application is in then Sher is entitled to stay at least until a decision is made. Would she be allowed to leave Spain and return while we are awaiting the decision? Also, once we are there in any case is she allowed to stay beyond the expiry of the Schengen visa being the wife of an EU national?
    Hope someone can help. Pete and Sher.
  2. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    Hi Pete and Sher,
    To get your NIE/residency you will need an address. I got my NIE 13 years ago so I can't really comment on the process nowadays but I am told it is easy. I'm a UK citizen and I changed my residency to Spain last year. I attended my local police station with proof of my address, my passport, my income (to show I'm not a burden on the state), my Spanish bank account and my Spanish health insurance (which I got from my bank). Maybe some photos (can't remember). They told me what requirements I needed and I obtained them all and made photocopies of everything (2 copies). They processed the paperwork and gave me a printed bill to take to my bank for about 10 euros. I paid, returned to the police station and they took my fingerprints and issued me my residency card. I think it took me about 1 hour.
    This year my wife joined me. We had to attend the office in Granada as the local police station cannot deal with her. We attended with the requested list of requirements which included proof of a strong relationship:
    1. Marriage certificate with DFA authentication (red ribbon) plus legalised (stamped) by the Spanish embassy in Manilla (I assume you can do this at the Spanish embassy in London) and finally had it translated by a court approved translator into Spanish.
    2. Joint bank account
    3. Empadronmiento from the town hall listing both of us at the same address.
    4. My income to prove she will not be a burden on the state
    5. Spanish health insurance for her
    6. My residency & passport
    7. Her passport, copies of every single page (including blanks)
    8. maybe 2 passport size photos (can't remember)
    9. Completed application form
    Take copies of everything.
    This is all from memory - I could not add her to my bank account until she had an NIE number so we had to attend to start the application with what we had. At the end of the appointment we were given a paper which had her application information and a Spanish NIE for her. We then went to the bank to add her to my account and then returned to the office with the bank info as proof of a strong relationship. I think we were asked this because our Marriage Certificate was more than 3 months old - it sounds like you will be in the same situation. Anyway, no bother, we started the application, went off to the bank, returned to the office (2 weeks later) to complete the application requirements and was then issued a piece of paper with the application reference number on it. From that point on she was allowed to stay in Spain beyond any visa until a decision was made to approve/reject the application.
    One month later she was asked to return to the office to submit her fingerprints and passport photos.
    Once month later she was asked to return to collect her residency card.
    So, whilst my application took 1 hour, hers has taken a couple of months. I speculate this is deliberate to ensure you really do want to live there.
    You must be a resident to apply for your wife to join you in Spain.
    If you are a UK resident they will ask why don't you take her to the UK (you could, of course, apply for her to stay with you in the UK)
    I do not think she can leave Spain during the application. Hmm, perhaps she could leave but will she be able to get back in again?
    You need an address you intend to live in. It will be for at least 3 months given you need to sort your stuff before you start hers and absolutely do not move during the residency application.
    This is the website I used to get the residency appointment for my wife:
    https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/icpplus/index.html
    In Granada I have been able to get an appointment within 1 week every time I have tried - I suppose you could test each potential region you are considering to see what dates are available to get an idea of what delays are like in different regions. I don't know where you tried nor how good is your Spanish. If your Spanish is poor then go for a big tourist area or employ a local translator to assist you.
    Best wishes,
    Mike
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  3. Sher
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    Sher New Member

    Thanks Mike, that was really useful. In 2 minutes I got more useful information than from any public organisation in Spain or the numerous Spanish immigration lawyers we have spoken to.
  4. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    You're welcome, I didn't write down all the steps we took so this is all from memory. I'm not worried if I've missed anything because they tell you what you failed to bring to the appointment and they were quite happy for us to return within 21 days with the rest of the stuff. When I first approached my local police station they told me the only thing I needed was the marriage certificate - clearly they were wrong, lol. There was also a bill to pay for my wife's application - another 10 euros (ish) which I had to take to the bank to pay, and then give the application centre the paperwork with the bank stamp. The website I listed also has the link to the website with the application form you need to download and complete (and copy).
    People on here helped me with my application for my wife so I'm glad I'm able to help you.
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  5. Sher
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    Sher New Member

    Hi Mike
    Sorry to bother you again. Our situation has complicated itself again. Right now we can only get a Schengen visa for a short time because we are applying while we are here in the UK and as you probably know there are restrictions on applying for a Schengen visa when you are in the UK on a C visitor visa, which Sherie is. Therefore we want to be able to set everything up before we go to Spain. That is book Sherie's residency appointment in advance so that we can arrive shortly before. Then when we get there I can do my residency and get my NIE and then we are ready for her appointment. So we won't have a settled and totally permanent address to give on the application. Do you know how we can get round this or does it matter, maybe we can give the address of an Airbnb we may be staying at for example. So we really want to try and do all of this within a few weeks. And the we go back to the UK and wait for the decision. Would returning to the UK cause a problem (I am not aware that they would restrict our movement while the decision is being made)?
    Also do you know, presuming we get the residency, how strict the Spanish are on number of days you spend in the country once you are resident? I heard you should be resident for 6 months of the year to retain the Residency Card. We travel a lot and might want a bit more time away.
    Finally, if Sher wanted to go for Spanish citizenship is it realistically doable quite quickly, as I understand as a Philippine citizen she could apply after 2 years?
    Thanks mate and look forward to hearing. Pete and Sher.
  6. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    You can travel freely so you can fly to Spain asap and get your apartment rented, open a bank account, get your Empadronamiento from the town hall, NIE and residency all sorted for yourself without your wife.
    You MUST be Spanish resident before you can apply to bring your wife to Spain.
    My information was mostly about what to do for your wife. My residency was simple because I already had an address, empadronamiento, bank accout, NIE.
    You never know with Spain what might change so I suggest you get all of your stuff done before you apply for a visa for your wife. That way you know at least you are ready for the application process.
    Given you are registering with the bank and the town hall what you claim is your permanent address in Spain I do not think AirBnB is going to work and what's the point? You intend to live in Spain ... so live in Spain. Get an apartment on long term rental that probably won't be much more expensive for 3 months than you would pay AirBnB for 3 weeks. I don't see how you can get round this. To open a bank account you need proof of where you live and a hotel bill won't be accepted.
    Once you have all your stuff sorted then get her visa and fly to Spain and stay at your rented apartment.
    Stay in Spain during her residency application. Why would you want to return to the UK while you wait for the decision? Once the residency application has started there is no need to leave Spain even if her visa expires. She is allowed to stay until the decision is made. If she is refused you can appeal - and she is allowed to stay until the appeal is heard, again regardless of any visa expiry.
    If you spend so much time of the year travelling I suggest you put the holidays on hold and think about the next 3 months in Spain to secure your future together. If you spend more than 6 months in any country you are supposed to register to be resident in that country. I have not heard of people losing their residency but I have no experience of non-EU citizens coming to Spain and then not staying - when she renews her residency 1 year later I do not know what checks they make.
    Every time you go on holiday (assuming it's outside of Europe) she will probably need to apply for a visa from your address in Spain. This means you need a permanent address all year - which you should be doing anyway since you want to reside in Spain. Remember that she's not British and getting a visa for her to visit exotic locations may not be as easy as it is for you.
    After 2 years she's allowed to apply for Spanish citizenship (dual nationality) but to be approved you must speak good Spanish, know the history & culture and prove you have integrated into the Spanish society. You will fail if you are always abroad.
    You said you want to move to Spain. Go ahead and do it. Her residency will be approved as long as you do all the requirements - it's not a process that ends with a human making a judgement call. She is entitles by law to be a resident as long as you live in Spain and she is joining you.

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