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WARNING: Spain will not issue visas to Filipino wives of Brits

Discussion in 'Europe Wide Visa Discussions' started by CampelloChris, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    In 2 weeks time I fly to Manila where we will apply for a visa via Malta. Flights via Istanbul look interesting with me pondering whether I can meet Lilah in Istanbul for the final leg to Malta (and hence enter EU together). That would be so much easier than me flying all the way to Manila, stay 1 night and then fly all the way back again.
  2. CampelloChris
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    CampelloChris Well-Known Member

    As your application will be couriered to Beijing and come back a week later, wouldn't it be better to let Lilah submit it, and then fly later to stop for a week before coming back together?

    Are you aware of the CFO requirements?
    As Filipinos going abroad as fiancé(e)s, spouses or other partners of foreign nationals, you are required to attend the CFO's guidance and counselling session in order to secure the Guidance and Counselling Certificate (GCC) and the CFO sticker. You need this certificate to renew or apply for a new passport at the Department of Foreign Affairs (per Department of Foreign Affairs Order Nos. 11-97 Implementing Rules and Regulations for Republic Act 8239, "Philippine Passport Act" and 28-94). You will also need to present this certificate together with your spouse/partner visa, at the Immigration office at the international airport on your day of departure

    You might get away with it if you insist that your wife is only coming with you on holiday. Her return ticket should help in that respect.
  3. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    I already had this trip booked and it's too late to change plans now since it has to fit with my work. Plus she wants to spend some time with her family before she leaves (currently she's working away in Manila).
    We have already booked CFO counselling session and change of passport appointment slot. All should be done before I arrive so everything is ready to start the visa application.
    Not planning on booking a return flight - just one way.
    Thanks for thinking of us and I will keep you updated.
  4. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    Any opinions on what to put on the visa application form for:
    (a) single entry or mutiple entry?
    (b) duration of the intended stay.
    Once in Spain/Malta we will apply for residency and then stay but I still wonder what I should put for those 2 questions.
  5. CampelloChris
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    CampelloChris Well-Known Member

    Multiple entry visas are much more difficult to get. Keep it at single entry.
    Duration of the intended stay can be as long as you like, but perhaps two or three weeks will suffice. Her visa will generally be valid for 90 days, but even if they only granted a visa for the extent of her stay, she has the automatic right to remain because she is your family member. You may apply for residency at any time once she is here, whether or not the visa is still current. However, it would be advisable not to push your luck.
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  6. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    Thanks. It feels strange though to be applying to Malta for a visa on the basis that I am moving to Malta and then only say it's for a 2-3 week visit. My letter to the Maltese embassy explaining why I am applying via Malta (not UK nor Spain) is clear that I plan to move to Malta and live there with my wife. The 2 seem at odds with each other.
  7. CampelloChris
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    CampelloChris Well-Known Member

    Sorry Mike, you're right. You should say that you will be spending the majority of her stay in Malta.

    I said exactly the same, and made the suggestion that we would be touring the island looking at accommodation with a view to making the move permanent (without stating when that would be)

    My letter was as follows:

    Dear Sirs

    I am a British citizen, and currently resident in Spain. My wife is a Filipina, and living in the Philippines. We were married in the Philippines in December 2014. I have become gradually disillusioned with life in Spain, and am looking for pastures new in which to begin a new business venture, and of course, to begin my married life.

    I am considering moving to Malta as I believe that living in an English-speaking country will help my wife to settle into Europe more easily than living in a Spanish-speaking country. I am in the process of selling my business (I produce a monthly magazine aimed at ex-pats). Once the sale is finalised, I aim to spend two or three months living in Malta with my wife, to see if it is indeed the place for us.

    Although I would need to initially bring her to Spain for a week while the last few details are completed, the majority of the 90-day validity of the visa will be spent in Valetta, and as I understand it, it must be Malta, rather than Spain to which she would need to apply for her visa.

    Could you tell me what documentation we would need to submit please? My wife has attempted to contact the Honorary Consulate in Manila without success.

    Yours Faithfully
  8. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    Our visa application is delayed because there was a strike and now Lilah's new passport is delayed. We have visited the visa centre so Lilah is happy to do the application on her own and we have everything else all sorted (CFO etc). All is good ... except for the delay but, hey, that's also typical in Spain so I'm used to it, lol.
    We are practising filling in the visa form at the moment. A question has come up:
    For the visa form question 23 "Member state of first entry" - what should we put there? The first point of entry into Europe will depend on which flight we book. I have seen flights that stop in Italy, Turkey, Greece, and, of course, the UK so I'm not sure how important this question is. Must we pick a country now and ensure the flight we book definitely has that country as the first country in Europe? That does rather limit our flight options. Whilst thinking about this I am also considering flying in the UK (a lot cheaper) and then getting a connecting flight. That would mean getting a 3-day UK transit visa as well, lol. Gotta love, paperwork.
    Any thoughts?
  9. CampelloChris
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    CampelloChris Well-Known Member

    Melody entered the Schengen Zone in France. This was not according to the original booking as far as I can remember. I'm pretty sure I made a booking which brought her in via Turkish Airlines, which would mean she would then enter in Rome, Italy and then on to Malta. Nobody questioned it, and even if they did, as long as your wife has her wedding certificate with her, and you by her side, there's nothing they can do about it. You will almost certainly be granted a single-entry visa and as long as she hasn't already used the visa, she can enter wherever she likes. Plans change.

    Travelling with you will in any case, certainly be easier than it was for Melody, who travelled alone, and was supposed to meet me in Paris. You must remember that she had three visa refused stickers in her passport, no money, a ticket to Spain, a visa issued by Malta, and no onward travel ticket. She carried a letter from me, explaining that I was meeting her, but my flight was delayed and she travelled on to Madrid and waited for me to return from my French wild goose (Oie Savage?) chase. She was pulled to one side in Paris, but everything checked out with what she was saying. (I told her to tell them that she had to come to Spain first while I finished selling my business, and then we were travelling together to Malta. - we still haven't been!)

    Like I said before, it seems to be only the granting of the visa which is subject to such draconian scrutiny. Once she has it, everyone will greet her with a shrug and stamp the thing with her entry date. I think they make the assumption that all the necessary vetting procedures will already have been carried out.
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  10. CampelloChris
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    CampelloChris Well-Known Member

    Any Updates Mike?
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  11. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    We encountered unexpected delays (due to jeepney strike closing gov offices, lol) in the passport application. The visa application only went in on Dec 4th and we are currently waiting for the reply - hopefully we will hear very soon. I will let you know, thanks for thinking of us.
    Mike
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  12. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    Lilah got her passport back today complete with a lovely visa in it. It's a type C visa that says "Family Visit". So not the type D Family reunification visa I was expecting but a visa's a visa, lol, and once she's in Europe I will get her residency sorted.
  13. CampelloChris
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    CampelloChris Well-Known Member

    Fantastic. So happy for you. Congratulations. When does she arrive?
  14. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    Now she has her visa I am looking at flights so no date yet. Do I need to buy a return ticket to keep immigration people happy? even though there is no plan for her to go back.
  15. Markham
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    Markham . Lifetime Member

    I wish you well with that as I know the Maltese authorities will not issue residency documentation against a type C Visa; maybe Spain places a different interpretation on the rules.
    My understanding is that she will require either a roundtrip ticket or, at the very least, a ticket out of the Schengen Area. That is certainly true for Malta but your mileage may vary.

    As for flights, Turkish Airlines is worth considering. It's currently the cheapest between Manila and Europe, has a decent baggage allowance and good inflight service.
  16. CampelloChris
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    CampelloChris Well-Known Member

    Spain places a different interpretation on the rules. o_O

    You can bet your bottom dollar on it! :frust::frust::frust:

    Melody had a type C visa and had no problem at all. The wedding certificate was accepted without question, and that trumps everything. Don't get suckered in to paying 300 euros for a Certificate of Foreign Marriage Recognition. Bear in mind that you have a legal wedding certificate already. If you have it translated, legalised, authenticated etc, it's going to be accepted. Even in the one in a million chance that it isn't, the C of FMR is still an option, but I doubt whether the Spanish have ever seen one before and would just stare at it for a moment or two, shrug, and put it on the pile.

    Getting her residency was a doddle compared to getting her visa. In fact, I'd say it was probably the most straightforward piece of bureaucracy I've ever completed.
  17. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    I contacted the Maltese embassy in Beijing (who issued the visa) and told them we will be applying for residency. They confirmed it is the correct visa. I have booked a flight with Norwegian (via Singapore & Gatwick, stay in departures so no visa required) for half the price of Turkish airlines so anyone reading this should check them out. I'm working in the UK up until the day she flies so I will join her at Gatwick and then we fly together for the final leg. I considered flying to meet her in Turkey or Greece or wherever she landed but coming to Gatwick is even better for me and cheaper. I even considered getting a UK transit visa (no problem) but eventually didn't need one.
    We have a marriage certificate DFA authenticated and then legalised by the Spanish Embassy in Manila. Once in Spain (if really necessary) we can also get the C of FMR by the British Embassy but first we will try just getting residency and wait to see if anyone complains. I'm not expecting any problems.
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  18. CampelloChris
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    CampelloChris Well-Known Member

    Where in Spain will you be living?
  19. Mike Parr
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    Mike Parr New Member

    In South Spain, near Malaga
  20. Sher
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    Sher New Member

    Hi Chris, just picked this up. My wife is a Filipina and we also had terrible problems with the Spanish in Manila. We found out that it would be easier to get a Schengen Visa from the Czech Embassy which we did. We then flew recently to Prague and worked our way across Europe to Spain. The plan was to then apply for residency. However, at that point we encountered further problems. We were interested in living in Valencia and so went there and reported to the local police station so that I could register myself initially. They just gave us a phone number to call and although my Spanish is not bad there was no useful information from there. We then became aware that we needed to make an appointment to submit the application for both of us. It seems you can make the appointment online, but there can be a long wait depending on which part of the country you are applying to. So in the end we had to leave because we ran out of time. It seems however that you can get an appointment very quickly in Malaga for example. So now my wife has a new C Visitor Visa and we intend to go to Spain with a Schengen Visa (from Portugal via VFS in London) and try to do the residency process for both of us. By the way currently I am UK resident. Can you tell us the quickest way we can get this sorted out as we just want to go there and get the application in? We are not sure exactly where we want to live in Spain so what would we do about providing an address for the application? Really appreciate any advice you can offer us on this, as we like you are outraged by the way the Spanish operate. Looking forward to hearing.

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