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Discussion in 'Europe Wide Visa Discussions' started by CampelloChris, Jan 2, 2017.
By the way my wife Sher is the member and I have written this on behalf of both us. Pete.
Hi again Chris, one other thing stuck out. You say that because she is your family member she can stay beyond the date of expiry of the visa? Have i got that right and if so how does that work? We made sure that we left before the expiry of Sher's visa. But you say we could have stayed and applied for residency even if the visa is still not current. We thought we risked trouble in the future if we stayed beyond the expiry date of the Schengen visa. Can you clarify if we have understood properly. Thanks again, Pete and Sher.
Hi. The simple answer to all of your questions is to find out a little more about the law that you are using 2004/38/EC - the freedom of movement law.
Many of the requirements placed in your path by the Spanish have been done so in a deliberate attempt to delay and deter potential residents. However, you will find that many of their objections can be overcome in your case at least, by getting a Certificate of Foreign Marriage Recognition from your friendly British Consulate/Embassy. They will want to draw a pint of blood or two, and you will have to pay them a couple of hundred pounds. But you will, together with your certified, authenticated, translated wedding certificate be able to make an appointment with the Extranjeria, confident that you, as an EU citizen CANNOT be denied residency (at least until Brexit).
The registration process is an administrative smokescreen in that there, because of the principle of freedom of movement, cannot be any restriction on the freedom of a European citizen to go and seek employment in whichever part of the EU that they wish, in just the way that you couldn't be denied entry into Oxfordshire if you wanted to go and work there but currently lived in Northumberland. You will be granted your residency because it cannot be denied to you.
Furthermore, your family members cannot be denied residency either, but only if you are resident first.
The crux of it is that your application for a residency appointment has to be made asap, allowing enough time for her application for an appointment to be made before its expiry, so you can't submit at the same time.
However, it can hardly be considered to be your fault if the Spanish bureaucracy system doesn't allow you to make your case immediately, so you can make her appointment on the last day of her visa, and she will be allowed to stay on until they have seen her.
Even in the event of her application being rejected, she does not have to leave. She is the family member of an EU citizen and had acquired rights through that link. The Spanish will have to prove that she is; an active terrorist, harbouring a contagious disease or is a direct threat to the state, or that your marriage is false.
And that's why you will want to hold this ace up your sleeve...
The Certificate of Foreign Marriage Recognition serves two purposes. Firstly, the Spanish tend to get their panties bunched up because we in Britain don't register marriages conducted abroad. The CoFMR solves that problem. Secondly, because the Spanish also like to see a freshly produced Marriage Certificate (or at least the authentication/legalisation part of it), they are much more likely to ignore this if you have gone to the trouble of reporting your marriage to HM Government and have a certificate to prove it.
You need to get your skates on though. You should begin the process without delay for your own residency because your wife gains her right to remain in Spain because you are a registered resident in Spain. If you are not, then you will be deemed to be on holiday, however long. The thing is, the freedom of movement peg on which you will be hanging everything is ONLY for EU citizens who are resident in another country than that of their nationality. If you are still considered to be a UK resident, you will have to apply for UK residency for your wife, which as the others will explain, is more complex and much more expensive.
If I were you, I would find somewhere to live in Spain with a rental contract, and contact someone who can help to get you your residency asap, and only once you have got your certificate, and vitally, before the expiration of your wife's visa, at least have made the appointment for her application. Even if she is stopped and challenged afterwards, you will be able to show that your application has already been submitted.
Throughout my posts on here, I have provided links. Please read and feel free to continue to ask questions if you feel the need.
I thought you would like to know Lilah got her Spanish residency card - no problems obtaining it but the process was drawn out by a couple of months, I assume deliberately to ensure we really do live together.
Hi Chris, really appreciate the reply. Just one point of clarification, you mention the Certificate of Foreign Marriage Recognition, but we were married in London. So that doesn't apply right? I presume you were thinking we were married abroad.
We want to do things as quickly as possible and of course I am not registered as resident in Spain as I do currently live in London. But we thought we could just go to Spain together to live and do the process there. If we go together, lets say in June, and I get my NIE/Registration then I am resident there right?
Maybe we can then get an appointment within a few days and submit Sher's residency application. I have checked and it seems possible to get next day appointments in, for example, Malaga. That being the case presumably we could go there, I open my bank account and get my NIE and then make the appointment for residency for her, hopefully within a few days. Does that work?
Also I am confused about the NIE situation. When we were in Spain recently, we went to the local police station in Valencia as the EU website advises, and we were just sent away with a generic phone number to call which proved useless. Could you tell us the process for the NIE to save the same thing happening again?
Sorry to ask all these questions as I know you have been involved with all of this for some time. But we, like you I guess, are infuriated by the attitude of the Spanish and are determined not to allow them to get away with rule breaking and bending. They were also horrible and humiliated Sher at a Schengen visa appointment a couple of years ago which really upset her. As you know they just want to deter immigration especially for people from specific countries. Look forward to hearing.
Hi again Chris, just thought of one other thing in your response. We are also considering UK residency for Sher. You mention that it is more complex and expensive. I am aware of the money side but was not particularly anticipating major problems with her getting the necessary visa as I am a UK citizen with the required amount of income, etc. I know she would have to do the English language test but that shouldn't be a problem either. Are you aware of further complications or difficulties that people experience (just in case we do go down this route)?
You're right. Your marriage is registered already and you do not need the CofFMR.
Your wife will need a Schengen visa to enter Spain or any of the other countries which make up the Schengen zone. You can say that you are going for a long holiday. She should get a 90-day visa. You should ask for a multiple entry visa if possible, but this is more unusual. If you are only going to go to Spain and stay there until you have your residency, a single entry visa will suffice.
I would not do this alone. For a couple of hundred euros, a specialist will take you through the processes required. Don't take offence, but you are quite ignorant of the requirements (why would you not be?) and it will help you greatly if you appoint an agent to do this for you. An NIE is simply an identification number and needs to be renewed every three months. Residency is registration with the Spanish authorities that you live here, and therefore become a fully integrated member of Spanish society (i.e taxpayer).
Hi Chris ,
Could you refer me to the specialist that help you go through this process? and Contact details that we can talk through and help us with this process? Thanks
Can we have a roll on the drums please?
Congratulations, Chris - a result!
That's great, well done Chris
Great result, now who wants to test it ...
Well done that man!
If you want sound click play on this one
edit: it is quite apt
Well well well. A determined and deserved result. Well done Chris!
Fantastic effort and result
Fantastic news Chris.. You deserve it,
Thanks Chris, I hoped you would find that funny
The letter might prove to be of some benefit to us after all as we have moved back to England a week ago. (well, I'm here Melody is ironically still in Spain due to UK I not having yet returned her passport after her family permit application, but will receive it - the passport at least - in the next few days and fly here)
One of the questions in the FP application was ; Have you ever been refused a visa by the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the Schengen countries?
Clearly, with our three visa refusal stamps, red flags would fly and alarm bells sound. The letter backs up our stance that the refusals were based on the Spanish consulate's mistaken understanding of the directive and their incorrect requirement for recognition/registration of the marriage by the UK HO.
I'm with you Chris, words like mistaken and incorrect are simply not adequate for what you both went through, stick it too them with that letter!
Sad that you had to return, is that really what you wanted after all these years or is it just what you have been forced into by circumstance, I mean I know it is forced but how do you feel about that right now?
The crazy thing is, Melody just got refused a Family Permit, because I hadn't shown proof that I was working - for the past 13 years. (Obviously, I was living it large on my trust fund)
We did attempt to cancel the application as it was becoming clear that they weren't going to return the passport in time for us to fly otherwise. It clearly said that intended day of travel was 2nd of August, and we did the biometrics on the 12th of July.
Melody has just got back from Madrid. Today is the 14th. I will now need to fly back to Spain tomorrow and collect her, and then fly back to the UK tomorrow night. I know she could do it with a covering letter, but I'm sure you'll forgive me for not trusting them further than I could spit them. It's the default position for them to imagine you as being an illegal immigrant, up to no good, rather than an ordinary couple who just want to go to work, pay taxes and live quietly.