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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
hello wonderful people!
here's my situation:
i'm an american, married to a brit living in the uk on a setllement visa (us passport). we've been here for nearly a year and have decided to move to granada spain sometime this summer (probably july). i speak a good bit of spanish (if that matters at this point).

i'm aware that i will probably have to start over to get leave to remain in the uk if we stay more than 90 days, but that's not my issue at the moment.
for now i have a few very basic questions about getting the right to live and work in spain:

1- what is the name of the permit/card i need? i have heard several different names including EU family member residence card, temporary NIE, and EEA family permit. What is it??

2- how do i apply for this permit? i have done some reading on this forum and found a few answers. one involved getting a lawyer and recent copies of our marriage certificate. another seemed much easier involving 10 euros and a few forms. there have also been mentions of visiting the spanish embassy in the uk and the spanish consulate in caracas.... long story short, there seem to be many ways to do this... what do i do??

If it will not be expensive and too complicated, i would like to do it myself without a lawyer. but if it's too much to sift through, maybe a lawyer is the right way to go.
thank you so much for reading... sorry for the long-winded questions.
i would appreciate any straightforward advice anyone can provide.
 

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I thought you had to leave the UK for more than 2 years before there was a problem returning ? Or do you have a date stamp in your passport ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
sorry, i wasnt clear. i meant that i would have to start again (to get indefinite leave to remain) if i don't spend a certain number of days a year in england.
i'm no expert, and i could be totally wrong. but i thought it was 90 days. maybe i wont have a problem returning... but that's not the issue for me at the moment anyway.
thanks for helping me clarify.
 

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hello wonderful people!
here's my situation:
i'm an american, married to a brit living in the uk on a setllement visa (us passport). we've been here for nearly a year and have decided to move to granada spain sometime this summer (probably july). i speak a good bit of spanish (if that matters at this point).

i'm aware that i will probably have to start over to get leave to remain in the uk if we stay more than 90 days, but that's not my issue at the moment.
for now i have a few very basic questions about getting the right to live and work in spain:

1- what is the name of the permit/card i need? i have heard several different names including EU family member residence card, temporary NIE, and EEA family permit. What is it??

2- how do i apply for this permit? i have done some reading on this forum and found a few answers. one involved getting a lawyer and recent copies of our marriage certificate. another seemed much easier involving 10 euros and a few forms. there have also been mentions of visiting the spanish embassy in the uk and the spanish consulate in caracas.... long story short, there seem to be many ways to do this... what do i do??

If it will not be expensive and too complicated, i would like to do it myself without a lawyer. but if it's too much to sift through, maybe a lawyer is the right way to go.
thank you so much for reading... sorry for the long-winded questions.
i would appreciate any straightforward advice anyone can provide.
have a look at this thread .... there is an explanation of the process & a discussion

http://www.expatforum.com/expats/spain-expat-forum-expats-living-spain/96925-non-eu-nationals-becoming-residents-spain.html

it's doable without a lawyer once you & your OH are here in Spain

your wife as a British citizen has the right to live & work here & by extension, as spouse, so do you - though you have to 'apply' for it

the only problem might be actually getting work.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah... i know it'll be hard. i'm a qualified and experienced english teacher, so i'm hoping i can ride that out...
thanks so much for the link. there's a lot of info out there to sift through. this makes it a bit easier.
:)
 

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yeah... i know it'll be hard. i'm a qualified and experienced english teacher, so i'm hoping i can ride that out...
thanks so much for the link. there's a lot of info out there to sift through. this makes it a bit easier.
:)
is that tefl or qualified teacher?

if the former............. it's hard to make a living wage outside of the big cities like Madrid

if the latter - have a look at the useful links sticky on the education post - there are links to associations of British & American Schools in Spain - you never know - someone might be looking for teachers for the next school year in September (or even sooner)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
is that tefl or qualified teacher?

if the former............. it's hard to make a living wage outside of the big cities like Madrid

if the latter - have a look at the useful links sticky on the education post - there are links to associations of British & American Schools in Spain - you never know - someone might be looking for teachers for the next school year in September (or even sooner)
i have an EFL teaching license and master's degree from virginia, usa. i'll be doing research on both schools and adult ed once i figure out how to work.. thanks for the heads up! :)
 

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is that tefl or qualified teacher?

if the former............. it's hard to make a living wage outside of the big cities like Madrid

if the latter - have a look at the useful links sticky on the education post - there are links to associations of British & American Schools in Spain - you never know - someone might be looking for teachers for the next school year in September (or even sooner)
This is good advice; please take it!:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
update. spanish residency for UK and USA married couple

hi everybody! as always, thanks for your help. my wife and i are still struggling to get our residency in granada, spain... it's not a happy story at the moment... but it's also not over.
here's just a quick update as to what we've had to do (and are still trying to do) to get residency:

first thing, my wife had to get residency. i'm not an EU citizen, but she is, so we figured it would be easy enough.
for this, we needed empadronamiento from the ayuntamiento. (basically a document stating that we are living in the city) to get this, we needed to live in a flat that was recorded. ours wasnt. a bit of a nightmare to get it. several trips to the ayuntamiento.
next, we needed 5000 euros in our bank account. luckily, my parents lent us the money.
we were told conflicting stories from people in the same office about private health insurance. in the end, it turns out her EHIC card was sufficient.
after 16 visits to the oficina de extranjeros, sifting though the massive amounts of (often conflicting) information we were given, my wife got her residency.

originially, i was told (at the office) that my wife needed her residency, then with my work pre-contract, i could get mine. this is not true.
i went back with all my documents, including marriage cert and translation, EHIC card, EX# document (application form) passports, bank account info, job contract and copies of everything... but they told me this last time that together we either needed to have 8000 euros in the bank or my wife needed a job contract.
ridiculous.
at the moment, we've been to the oficina de extranjeros 19 times... thinking about just not going back at all. is it time to give up? work illegally? keep trying, only to be met with lots of emphatic "NO!"?
we've done everything we've been told to do. i'm completely above board at the moment. the office doesnt seem to offer important information unless it's paired with rejection. sorry for the short rant, but can you tell i'm frustrated?

meanwhile, if we give up, we've already signed a rental contract because e were sure we could get it all squared away... what do we do about that?

so that's where we stand. married. all documents in. i have a job contract. thousands of (borrowed) euros in the bank. 19 trips to the oficina de extranjeros...
and NO RESIDENCY.
 

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hi everybody! as always, thanks for your help. my wife and i are still struggling to get our residency in granada, spain... it's not a happy story at the moment... but it's also not over.
here's just a quick update as to what we've had to do (and are still trying to do) to get residency:

first thing, my wife had to get residency. i'm not an EU citizen, but she is, so we figured it would be easy enough.
for this, we needed empadronamiento from the ayuntamiento. (basically a document stating that we are living in the city) to get this, we needed to live in a flat that was recorded. ours wasnt. a bit of a nightmare to get it. several trips to the ayuntamiento.
next, we needed 5000 euros in our bank account. luckily, my parents lent us the money.
we were told conflicting stories from people in the same office about private health insurance. in the end, it turns out her EHIC card was sufficient.
after 16 visits to the oficina de extranjeros, sifting though the massive amounts of (often conflicting) information we were given, my wife got her residency.

originially, i was told (at the office) that my wife needed her residency, then with my work pre-contract, i could get mine. this is not true.
i went back with all my documents, including marriage cert and translation, EHIC card, EX# document (application form) passports, bank account info, job contract and copies of everything... but they told me this last time that together we either needed to have 8000 euros in the bank or my wife needed a job contract.
ridiculous.
at the moment, we've been to the oficina de extranjeros 19 times... thinking about just not going back at all. is it time to give up? work illegally? keep trying, only to be met with lots of emphatic "NO!"?
we've done everything we've been told to do. i'm completely above board at the moment. the office doesnt seem to offer important information unless it's paired with rejection. sorry for the short rant, but can you tell i'm frustrated?

meanwhile, if we give up, we've already signed a rental contract because e were sure we could get it all squared away... what do we do about that?

so that's where we stand. married. all documents in. i have a job contract. thousands of (borrowed) euros in the bank. 19 trips to the oficina de extranjeros...
and NO RESIDENCY.
Welcome to the world of Spanish bureaucracy!!!! I'm not sure of the answer, but I'm surprised they let you use the EHIC as proof of healthcare - that seems to be a most peoples stumbling block. Usually tho, you cant be put on the padron if you dont have residencia, the rental contract would also need to be seen. What the authorities want to see is that you can support yourselves. You have the job and your wife has the EU status. Have you thought5 of going to a gestor who could maybe write something for you that would satisfy the foreigners office and give you residencia???

Jo xxx
 

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hi everybody! as always, thanks for your help. my wife and i are still struggling to get our residency in granada, spain... it's not a happy story at the moment... but it's also not over.
here's just a quick update as to what we've had to do (and are still trying to do) to get residency:

first thing, my wife had to get residency. i'm not an EU citizen, but she is, so we figured it would be easy enough.
for this, we needed empadronamiento from the ayuntamiento. (basically a document stating that we are living in the city) to get this, we needed to live in a flat that was recorded. ours wasnt. a bit of a nightmare to get it. several trips to the ayuntamiento.
next, we needed 5000 euros in our bank account. luckily, my parents lent us the money.
we were told conflicting stories from people in the same office about private health insurance. in the end, it turns out her EHIC card was sufficient.
after 16 visits to the oficina de extranjeros, sifting though the massive amounts of (often conflicting) information we were given, my wife got her residency.

originially, i was told (at the office) that my wife needed her residency, then with my work pre-contract, i could get mine. this is not true.
i went back with all my documents, including marriage cert and translation, EHIC card, EX# document (application form) passports, bank account info, job contract and copies of everything... but they told me this last time that together we either needed to have 8000 euros in the bank or my wife needed a job contract.
ridiculous.
at the moment, we've been to the oficina de extranjeros 19 times... thinking about just not going back at all. is it time to give up? work illegally? keep trying, only to be met with lots of emphatic "NO!"?
we've done everything we've been told to do. i'm completely above board at the moment. the office doesnt seem to offer important information unless it's paired with rejection. sorry for the short rant, but can you tell i'm frustrated?

meanwhile, if we give up, we've already signed a rental contract because e were sure we could get it all squared away... what do we do about that?

so that's where we stand. married. all documents in. i have a job contract. thousands of (borrowed) euros in the bank. 19 trips to the oficina de extranjeros...
and NO RESIDENCY.
nightmare - you've certainly fallen foul of the rule changes since you originally posted this thread :( - but we always knew it wouldn't be easy

you'd think they would accept your work contract though - although perhaps they would expect the company to have sponsored you??

if the worst comes to the worst & you have to leave, don't worry about the rental contract - all you have to do is give a month notice & you can leave - that's the law (assuming you pay rent monthly )
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks jojo and xabiachica
we're going to weigh all the options... lots to think about.
we've definitely complicated things by throwing a third country into the mix... we've definitely got enough bureaucracy to keep ourselves occupied between our two home countries!

it's a relief to hear about the rental contract.
only problem is when we signed, they were very clear that they needed us to stay a full year.
do you think we could run into a problem if we broke it?

i guess my advice for anyone thinking about moving to spain would be to consider your current situation and really weigh it against dealing with wildly confusing, changing, and contradictory bureaucracy in a second language... it aint easy. especially at the oficina de extranjeros in granada.
but the funny thing is, as an english teacher, it's been super easy to find a job. it's just the "right to work" that's the hard part at the moment.
 

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thanks jojo and xabiachica
we're going to weigh all the options... lots to think about.
we've definitely complicated things by throwing a third country into the mix... we've definitely got enough bureaucracy to keep ourselves occupied between our two home countries!

it's a relief to hear about the rental contract.
only problem is when we signed, they were very clear that they needed us to stay a full year.
do you think we could run into a problem if we broke it?

i guess my advice for anyone thinking about moving to spain would be to consider your current situation and really weigh it against dealing with wildly confusing, changing, and contradictory bureaucracy in a second language... it aint easy. especially at the oficina de extranjeros in granada.
but the funny thing is, as an english teacher, it's been super easy to find a job. it's just the "right to work" that's the hard part at the moment.
as far as the contract is concerned - they'll kick & scream a bit & you won't get your deposit back - but rarely in my experience does anyone get their deposit back anyway - most landlords seem to find a way of using it up on 'damage' :rolleyes:

but they won't do any more than that - you have the law on your side that if it's your home & you pay monthly you only have to give a month notice
 

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I would definitely go to a gestor, it may cost a few Euros but they can often pull a few strings and knock on doors that may well be personally barred to you.

It is a very much nothing tried is nothing gained situation and the gestor may well turn the tide for you.
 

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I would definitely go to a gestor, it may cost a few Euros but they can often pull a few strings and knock on doors that may well be personally barred to you.

It is a very much nothing tried is nothing gained situation and the gestor may well turn the tide for you.
One of the first things we intend doing, is to employ the services of a gestor once we arrive. From what I have read, I find the fact of using someone local reassuring, however how do you choose your gestor if you are new to the country is it pot luck?

Is the OP having problems mainly due to the 2 nationalities............I would hate to arrive and then not get residency...how will I buy my home!!!!
 

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One of the first things we intend doing, is to employ the services of a gestor once we arrive. From what I have read, I find the fact of using someone local reassuring, however how do you choose your gestor if you are new to the country is it pot luck?

Is the OP having problems mainly due to the 2 nationalities............I would hate to arrive and then not get residency...how will I buy my home!!!!
the problem the OP is having is because he is a US citizen - so his 'right to residency' rests upon his wife & her ability to prove that she can support him

without her, he wouldn't have any chance at all - unless he had an employer sponsor him or something like 60,000€ in the bank/annual income (not sure which :confused2:)

which makes the 8000€ they are asking for seem not so bad.......

for a gestor - ask around locally when you get here - if you don't get on with one just move down the street to the next one!
 

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Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I think if we do continue then a gestor will be our next option. I'm just worried that we will spend money on a gestor and it will end up not helping. If this had happened a few months ago, I would have been all for it, but now we are both so jaded by the whole experience that we are just tying to muster the energy to continue.
It's such a shame. We love Spain, we love Granada even more, but the reality of living here right now is harder than we thought. Oddly enough, it's not about finding work, we've got plenty of opportunities as we teach English and Granada has enough work to keep us going. It's just getting legal that is the confusing part.

We are also feeling a bit lonely and finding it hard to settle in. The language barrier is hard, we have met some lovely people but it's still not the same as conversing in your native language...having to have a joke explained 5 times before you get it i annoying for everyone! I know that this feeling will fade though if we stick it out, we've both moved to new countries before and the first few months are always the hardest.

Our last visit to the oficina de extranjeros was ridiculous. We were told by my husbands advisor that he could now begin work. "uhh, ok, are you sure?" we asked, and he said yes, you are fine to start work. You have an NIE number. We knew there was something wrong, so we asked to speak to someone else who told us what we already knew... of course he can't work until the whole application is complete, fingerprints are in and he has the piece of paper saying he can.

It really is a different story EVERY time and we are left drained and exhausted. Right now, my grim little island and it's straightforward bureaucracy is looking very appealing. :(
 

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Oy vey! Wow. I feel for you.

And, now, there is no way we are moving to Spain without my *actual British passport* in my hand...

What a nightmare! I really do hope you get it sorted.

xoxoxoxo
 

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This post is depressing! I'm in the same situation - UK citizen married to non-EU national. I have funds and income outside of Spain to support ourselves but I don't like the sound of 19 trips to the Junta. How did it all work out?
 
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