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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

This forum has been so helpful! I have a complicated situation so if anyone can help, it would be greatly appreciated.

I am an American married to a Spaniard and we are both students. We married in the US (following the advice of a previous post) and got our Spanish marriage validation from the consulate in SF. Now we are living in Bilbao as my husband finishes his undergrad and then in the fall we plan on moving to Barcelona to study our masters.

I have already been accepted into a University but since I am married to a Spaniard, I expected to get residency instead of a Student Visa. I have recently been denied my NIE because my husband is a student also and they believe I am a burden to society, though I have proved financial means.

My questions are: Will my university even look at my Visa before allowing me to study? (I studied abroad here several years ago and no one even cared that I had a Student Visa)
Second: Is there any possible way that I could apply for a Student Visa within Spain?
Lastly: I have an employer that is trying to contract me. Would this employer be able to vouch for me so I can get my NIE?

Thank you very much for any and all your help!

Cheers,
Julia
 

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Hi and :welcome: to the forum.

In answer to your questions:

1. I don't know if the university would look at your visa or not. But if I had to venture a guess I'd say that they could care less what your legal status here is, as long as they get your money.

2. It's only possible to get a visa from outside of Spain, and it must be done at the consulate that's closest to your place of residence.

3. A Spanish employer could attempt to sponsor a visa application for you (which you would have to get outside of Spain at the consulate closest to your place of residence). But as part of the process the employer would have to prove that nobody within the EU could do the job being offered. For most jobs that's highly unlikely, so getting a visa that way is very difficult.

If you are convinced that you meet the requirements for residency through your husband's Spanish citizenship and have been turned down unfairly, you might consider consulting with an immigration lawyer. There was a long thread here by another American who had a terrible time getting his residency, and in the end he got it with the help of this lawyer. I wish I could find the thread so you could read the conversation, but I'm not coming up with it. However, I did save the webpage of the lawyer.

Whatever you do, don't overstay your tourist visa!! You are allowed 90 days here and then you must leave for a minimum of another 90 days. If you overstay then you endanger ever being granted a visa or residency.

Good luck!
 

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I found the thread I was talking about. Here it is.

It's totally different to your situation, but nevertheless you might pick up pointers. He mentions at the end that the immigration lawyer only cost about 300€.
 

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I have already been accepted into a University but since I am married to a Spaniard, I expected to get residency instead of a Student Visa. I have recently been denied my NIE because my husband is a student also and they believe I am a burden to society, though I have proved financial means.

My questions are: Will my university even look at my Visa before allowing me to study? (I studied abroad here several years ago and no one even cared that I had a Student Visa)
Second: Is there any possible way that I could apply for a Student Visa within Spain?
Lastly: I have an employer that is trying to contract me. Would this employer be able to vouch for me so I can get my NIE?

Thank you very much for any and all your help!

Cheers,
Julia
This simply can't be correct as ANYONE can get an NIE without having to prove income etc. I suspect you mean DNI or residencia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all of your responses!

3. A Spanish employer could attempt to sponsor a visa application for you (which you would have to get outside of Spain at the consulate closest to your place of residence).
I am 'empadronada' in Bilbao so my place of residence is here but of course I know you mean in the United States. I just thought this might be another crucial part of obtaining residency. I may have to go with a lawyer but I was hoping to avoid it if possible. It may be the only way to get through the red-tape though.

This simply can't be correct as ANYONE can get an NIE without having to prove income etc. I suspect you mean DNI or residencia
I did get the temporary NIE number but I was never granted a card. The residency (Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión) was denied because of insufficient funds (or maybe because my bank account is in a US bank a.k.a. in English and not translated into Spanish) but they never clarify how much they want. Does anyone know how much they require?

Also, my mother signed a template paper from the Spanish Government saying " ‘I hereby certify that I the (father, mother, other) of (...), will support her/him with a monthly allowance of $800 while she/he is in Spain and that I am financially responsible for any emergency that may arise."

Comes from:ww.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/SANFRANCISCO/en/ConsularServices/Documents/visas/StudentVisa.pdf

(Link is broken because I'm a newcomer and can't post the full link. Add a 'w' in the beginning)

I had heard how difficult it was to get a marriage certified in Spain so I figured I would have my Student Visa paperwork finished while I was still in the US but in the end the consulate said that I could apply later on in Spain for the residency, which wouldn't require me to have the Student Visa.

PS: I have an appointment with La Oficina de Extranjería this Friday and I would like to have an arsenal of paperwork so that I can find a solution with them.
 

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Thanks for all of your responses!



I am 'empadronada' in Bilbao so my place of residence is here but of course I know you mean in the United States. I just thought this might be another crucial part of obtaining residency. I may have to go with a lawyer but I was hoping to avoid it if possible. It may be the only way to get through the red-tape though.



I did get the temporary NIE number but I was never granted a card. The residency (Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión) was denied because of insufficient funds (or maybe because my bank account is in a US bank a.k.a. in English and not translated into Spanish) but they never clarify how much they want. Does anyone know how much they require?

Also, my mother signed a template paper from the Spanish Government saying " ‘I hereby certify that I the (father, mother, other) of (...), will support her/him with a monthly allowance of $800 while she/he is in Spain and that I am financially responsible for any emergency that may arise."

Comes from:ww.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/SANFRANCISCO/en/ConsularServices/Documents/visas/StudentVisa.pdf

(Link is broken because I'm a newcomer and can't post the full link. Add a 'w' in the beginning)

I had heard how difficult it was to get a marriage certified in Spain so I figured I would have my Student Visa paperwork finished while I was still in the US but in the end the consulate said that I could apply later on in Spain for the residency, which wouldn't require me to have the Student Visa.

PS: I have an appointment with La Oficina de Extranjería this Friday and I would like to have an arsenal of paperwork so that I can find a solution with them.
Hello! I'm surprised Bilbao is giving you so many problems. I've found them to be quite kind in the past.

I have a number of questions:

1. Where were you married?
2. If you were married in the US, did you legalize the marriage through your local Spanish consulate and get your Libro de Familia?
3. Do you have a Spanish bank account? I'm fairly sure one of the requirements is that you must have x-amount of money in a Spanish account.
4. How long are you guys planning to live here?
5. Can your suegros vouch for you guys too?

You won't be able to do your student visa paperwork here but you shouldn't be having problems with your residency based on the fact your husband is a citizen.

Based on your answers to these questions, I'll formulate an answer. I'm also an American married to a Bilbao-area local. My residency went through Bilbao extranjería three years ago.
 

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Also, post a bit more. I have a PM to send you with some resources. After 5 messages here, you can send and receive PMs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Hello! I'm surprised Bilbao is giving you so many problems. I've found them to be quite kind in the past.

I have a number of questions:

1. Where were you married?
2. If you were married in the US, did you legalize the marriage through your local Spanish consulate and get your Libro de Familia?
3. Do you have a Spanish bank account? I'm fairly sure one of the requirements is that you must have x-amount of money in a Spanish account.
4. How long are you guys planning to live here?
5. Can your suegros vouch for you guys too?
Definitely, they seem to be kinder than other parts. Sestao has been by far the easiest office to work with when I had to go there for my Social Security number. No questions asked :D

1. We were married in the United States.
2. We did legalize the marriage at the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco and they transcribed it to Registro Civil and sent us both the certificate and a Libro de Familia.
3. I do not have a Spanish bank account under my name. My husband does but it's been to my knowledge that I cannot get a bank account without having this paperwork finalized.
4. We plan on living here for another two years. One year for my masters degree and another for my husband to finish his. Meanwhile, I would really like to work that last year.
5. Yes, both of our in-laws can vouch for us. My mother has done so in the States and we could get my husband's parents to do so here.
 

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Thanks for all of your responses!

I am 'empadronada' in Bilbao so my place of residence is here but of course I know you mean in the United States. I just thought this might be another crucial part of obtaining residency. I may have to go with a lawyer but I was hoping to avoid it if possible. It may be the only way to get through the red-tape though.
It doesn't matter if you're empadronada or not, you have to understand that you are not a resident of Spain. You are a visitor, here as a tourist on the visa waiver program. Until you get that tarjeta de residencia approved your status won't change to resident. Don't try to tell anyone official that you're a resident until you have that card!

I did get the temporary NIE number but I was never granted a card. The residency (Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión) was denied because of insufficient funds (or maybe because my bank account is in a US bank a.k.a. in English and not translated into Spanish) but they never clarify how much they want. Does anyone know how much they require?
I imagine that part of the problem is that your money has to be here in a Spanish bank. Even EU members who move to Spain and register on the foreigner's list have to have their funds in a Spanish bank. Most extranjerias are asking for about 600€/month of income coming into that account per member of the household and/or 6000€ per person in savings. So in your case that would be 1200€/month of income and/or 12,000€ in savings. Every extranjería is different, though, so you'd need to find out what yours is asking for.

Also, my mother signed a template paper from the Spanish Government saying " ‘I hereby certify that I the (father, mother, other) of (...), will support her/him with a monthly allowance of $800 while she/he is in Spain and that I am financially responsible for any emergency that may arise."

Comes from:ww.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/SANFRANCISCO/en/ConsularServices/Documents/visas/StudentVisa.pdf

(Link is broken because I'm a newcomer and can't post the full link. Add a 'w' in the beginning)
But that is for a student visa. It would have no bearing on what you're applying for.

I had heard how difficult it was to get a marriage certified in Spain so I figured I would have my Student Visa paperwork finished while I was still in the US but in the end the consulate said that I could apply later on in Spain for the residency, which wouldn't require me to have the Student Visa.

PS: I have an appointment with La Oficina de Extranjería this Friday and I would like to have an arsenal of paperwork so that I can find a solution with them.
I think it's clear that you need to find out exactly how much money they want to see in the bank, and verify that it has to be a Spanish bank. More paperwork won't change the fact that you don't need the financial requirement at the moment. You should also find out what recourse you have, and what the time frame is. I hope they're somewhat helpful!
 

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Hello! I'm surprised Bilbao is giving you so many problems. I've found them to be quite kind in the past.

I have a number of questions:

1. Where were you married?
2. If you were married in the US, did you legalize the marriage through your local Spanish consulate and get your Libro de Familia?
3. Do you have a Spanish bank account? I'm fairly sure one of the requirements is that you must have x-amount of money in a Spanish account.
4. How long are you guys planning to live here?
5. Can your suegros vouch for you guys too?

You won't be able to do your student visa paperwork here but you shouldn't be having problems with your residency based on the fact your husband is a citizen.

Based on your answers to these questions, I'll formulate an answer. I'm also an American married to a Bilbao-area local. My residency went through Bilbao extranjería three years ago.
But everything changed with the new ley de extranjería. Even those of us married to Spanish citizens now have to prove financial solvency, similar to EU members who move here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Based on your answers to these questions, I'll formulate an answer. I'm also an American married to a Bilbao-area local. My residency went through Bilbao extranjería three years ago.
Great! It's nice to know someone has been through it here too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I imagine that part of the problem is that your money has to be here in a Spanish bank. Even EU members who move to Spain and register on the foreigner's list have to have their funds in a Spanish bank. Most extranjerias are asking for about 600€/month of income coming into that account per member of the household and/or 6000€ per person in savings. So in your case that would be 1200€/month of income and/or 12,000€ in savings. Every extranjería is different, though, so you'd need to find out what yours is asking for.
So how do I show income if I can't become contacted without this residency? It's a vicious circle. This is why both my potential boss and my husband will be coming with me to the appointment on Friday. I guess I will try and get onto my husband's bank account this week and see if I can get some money from the US into it asap to prove savings.
I only wish they had made that clear that they needed it in a Spanish account because they said they would analyze it on a case-by-case basis and we had mentioned the funds were both part in Spain and part in the US.
 

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Definitely, they seem to be kinder than other parts. Sestao has been by far the easiest office to work with when I had to go there for my Social Security number. No questions asked :D
The Social Security office on the hill? They've been good to me there too. I'm surprised you had to go to Sestao. Are you in Bilbao proper or a "suburb" city?

1. We were married in the United States.
2. We did legalize the marriage at the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco and they transcribed it to Registro Civil and sent us both the certificate and a Libro de Familia.
Well, you've jumped through a MAJOR hoop there. Hurrah! Now, forget about the student visa bit. If you're here on a student visa, your privileges as a resident will be limited. What you need is residency as the spouse of an EU citizen. Keep fighting for it even though they turned you down the first time.

3. I do not have a Spanish bank account under my name. My husband does but it's been to my knowledge that I cannot get a bank account without having this paperwork finalized.
That's not true. You can get a bank account but, please, make sure to tell the bank that as soon as you get residency, you will be switching from a non-resident's account to a resident's account.

4. We plan on living here for another two years. One year for my masters degree and another for my husband to finish his. Meanwhile, I would really like to work that last year.
Then don't even bother with a student visa! :) Your residency based on the fact that you are married automatically gives you work permission and - based on certain conditions - access to Osakidetza. If you're looking for English teaching work and have experience, I know a company in Cantabria looking for people.
 

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But everything changed with the new ley de extranjería. Even those of us married to Spanish citizens now have to prove financial solvency, similar to EU members who move here.
This is such torocaca.

Haven't you been here for a long time? Have you been asked to prove financial solvency when you renewed? I'm just trying to think ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The Social Security office on the hill? They've been good to me there too. I'm surprised you had to go to Sestao. Are you in Bilbao proper or a "suburb" city?
I live in Portugalete so I headed there and I'm so happy that I did!

Well, you've jumped through a MAJOR hoop there. Hurrah! Now, forget about the student visa bit. If you're here on a student visa, your privileges as a resident will be limited. What you need is residency as the spouse of an EU citizen. Keep fighting for it even though they turned you down the first time.
Haha! I know! I learned all about the marriage process through another thread on here and it was just one comment one person made that made all the difference. I'll post a serious success story for others later on ;) first, I have to make sure it's a success.

Yes, I wanted to focus on the residency all along but after I got the denial I started thinking of all other possible options but really there are none. Plus, I'm married! I want to live with my husband, of course.

That's not true. You can get a bank account but, please, make sure to tell the bank that as soon as you get residency, you will be switching from a non-resident's account to a resident's account.
Great! I know what I'm doing tomorrow.

Then don't even bother with a student visa! Your residency based on the fact that you are married automatically gives you work permission and - based on certain conditions - access to Osakidetza. If you're looking for English teaching work and have experience, I know a company in Cantabria looking for people.
Thanks! Unfortunately Barcelona is quite far from Cantabria but I really appreciate it! We're only in Bilbao for another couple of months which is probably what stresses us most considering it takes a lot of time to get through the red-tape.
 

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So how do I show income if I can't become contacted without this residency? It's a vicious circle. This is why both my potential boss and my husband will be coming with me to the appointment on Friday. I guess I will try and get onto my husband's bank account this week and see if I can get some money from the US into it asap to prove savings.
I only wish they had made that clear that they needed it in a Spanish account because they said they would analyze it on a case-by-case basis and we had mentioned the funds were both part in Spain and part in the US.
Because it doesn't have to be work income. Some people get a pension, or receive payment from an ex, or have money transfered in every month from a foreign account, etc.
 

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This is such torocaca.

Haven't you been here for a long time? Have you been asked to prove financial solvency when you renewed? I'm just trying to think ahead.
Yes, I've been here a long time (29 years!). The last time I renewed was 5 years ago, so the new ley de extranjeria wasn't in effect yet. But I do know someone who's been affected. My husband plays padel with a Spanish guy whose wife is from Taiwan, and they've been married and living here for 10 years. When she went to renew her residency this spring she was rejected on the basis of insufficient funds. They both work and she is the major breadwinner in their house - but extranjería said that he had to earn enough money to cover them both, not her, and his income wasn't high enough. They appealed and have been fighting it out, and it's still not resolved. It's just ridiculous - this is a normal middle class family with a child, a house, and two incomes, and they're saying she has to leave!

At least in my case my husband is the major breadwinner, and we also have savings. So I should be ok. But I think it's time I start the process of getting Spanish citizenship. I have no plans of ever living in the States again, so I may as well just go ahead and do it.
 

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Yes, I've been here a long time (29 years!). The last time I renewed was 5 years ago, so the new ley de extranjeria wasn't in effect yet. But I do know someone who's been affected. My husband plays padel with a Spanish guy whose wife is from Taiwan, and they've been married and living here for 10 years. When she went to renew her residency this spring she was rejected on the basis of insufficient funds. They both work and she is the major breadwinner in their house - but extranjería said that he had to earn enough money to cover them both, not her, and his income wasn't high enough. They appealed and have been fighting it out, and it's still not resolved. It's just ridiculous - this is a normal middle class family with a child, a house, and two incomes, and they're saying she has to leave!

At least in my case my husband is the major breadwinner, and we also have savings. So I should be ok. But I think it's time I start the process of getting Spanish citizenship. I have no plans of ever living in the States again, so I may as well just go ahead and do it.
Oh my God. DH is a substitute teacher working part time. There's no way I would pass either.
 
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