Residency in Spain Part 547
For those of you who have been following the eighteen-month epic story of our, and in particular, my Thai wife’s, quest for residency in Spain, we had to go to the police station again today for what I thought was the final time. Just to fill in quickly for those of you with a bad memory or those who just came in on this saga:
We have already:
1) satisfied the Spanish Embassy in Bangkok with all the proof that ‘anyone in Europe could ever expect’ (their words)
2) satisfied the police in Malaga with a load more papers and
3) satisfied the local ‘National Police’ in Fuengirola, where we live with seven more sets of papers including photos and proof of payment of the fee of €10.30. At least, the delivery of these last papers and the donation of fingerprints, were the point of today’s visit.
Monday is the worst day to visit official places, but we had been told to be there on Monday, for an appointment between ten thirty and noon. We arrived at ten thirty-three and there were a hundred people in a queue, which I knew from previous visits was unlikely to be hours – we had been where those poor sods were several times over the past year, but we had progressed to a different level.
So, I tried to ask what I had to do. After all, I knew that I had an appointment.
The first guard pointed at a counter on the wall and told me to take a ticket, but when I asked him where from, he didn’t know. I asked two more, but they didn’t speak English. I could see people being fingerprinted in a room, so guessed that we had to be in there, but when I entered, I was told to get out.
After thirty minutes, someone took pity on me, and said that if I had an appointment, then I already had a number. I found it, but it was 29 and they were dealing with number 33.
I entered the fingerprinting room again with my number, but was told to get out again. The helpful desk sergeant from before told me that I was now number 40, so, happy at last, we sat down and awaited our new turn.
It came forty-five minutes later and we entered the fingerprinting room again, but legitimately this time. Everything was going well as he checked our papers, and then he said something I didn’t understand, but he bundled us our papers and led us out of the door to a woman who spoke English.
‘The price of the Spanish Residency card has gone up’, she said.
‘Ok,’ I asked bewildered, ‘by how much? I’ll pay it now’.
“Eleven cents,” she replied smiling, “but we do not take money here you have to go to a bank’. She scribbled something in Spanish on a piece of paper, saying, ‘Give this to the printers a few doors down, they will know what to do. Take the paper from them to the bank, pay it and report back here to your happy policemen before twelve. Next!’
I looked at my phone, it was eleven twenty, and the nearest bank was ten minutes walk. We hurried to the printers, but it was ‘closed for holidays’. We went to my friendly estate agent, George, but he couldn’t seem to get it printed. We went as fast as I can to our solicitor’s, and she printed out the form for us. Then it was off to the bank which was now between us and the police station. They charged us €10.30 to pay the eleven cents, and Neem, my wife, had to run to the police station leaving me to catch her up.
When I arrived, they were almost done. ‘It’s funny,’ laughed the woman from before… it happens every year!’ I didn’t think it was funny at all. ‘Still, it’s all over now. Your wife can pick up her card some time after 45 days… between one and two pm. Bye-bye’.
This might not sound like a big deal to you, but if we had missed today’s appointment, we wouldn’t have got another appointment for at least three weeks and probably six, by which time some of our papers might have expired.
Neem is now in the clear and we are so grateful for that.
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All the best,
Podcast: Residency in Spain Part 547