Residency in Spain for Neem
There are several things that you need for residency in Spain, or indeed, in any other Schengen EU country. Most of the EU countries have their own interpretation of the EU directives which are meant to homogenise the rules for living in Europe. However, it seems that they are treated as just guidelines in Spain.
There are basically two types of requirements, especially if you are not a European, which my wife Neem is not. We collected the various pieces of paperwork necessary for residency while we were in Thailand, had them authenticated by the Thai government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), and then had then translated into Spanish and validated by the Spanish Embassy in Bangkok. We were assured by the embassy staff that we were in possession of all the paperwork we would be asked for to obtain Neem’s residency permit.
Then there are the other, local requirements. This section includes having somewhere to live with a tenancy agreement – a contract; a health insurance policy; and proof of resources (money in the bank or a job). In Neem’s case, I am acting as her guarantor, but it is not absolutely clear how that will be received by the immigration officer one meets.
In order to get these things, you need other things, in particular a bank account and a phone, which no-one really wants to give you until you have residency, despite the fact that you can’t get residency without them.
This is one of the most frustrating aspects of obtaining a residency permit for non-EU personnel in Spain.
We have all those things for my wife now, so for the last three days, we have been trudging the streets looking for a solicitor to help us. Three have been recommended to us by business people we are already dealing with, but none of them have returned my calls or emails. That is a very bad sign, because if they let you down at the wrong moment, Neem could be deported!
So, with that in mind, we walked down to the police station today in order to start the process ourselves.
“No English!” the man behind the desk shouted at me.
I don’t know whether it is just me, but wouldn’t it be sensible to man the desk where foreigners come for help with someone who speaks some English? Or at least have instructions in a few other languages pinned to the walls?
At the least, it would save the man’s obvious embarrassment and frustration, and help the foreigners the office is there to assist.
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All the best,
Podcast: Residency in Spain for Neem