Well, as I last wrote, I was very discouraged with finalizing my visa paperwork. I had scheduled yet another appointment with another office and they weren’t able to help much, other than to say they weren’t the right office, I needed to make an appointment with another office, oh, and don’t forget to pay a couple of other places for who knows what before you get there.
Between that and not getting my latest first, second and third choice of apartment that I had last seen, I was pretty upset. So I allowed myself a 1/2 to pout, cry and eat poorly to feel better. That always works for me. Then I got some encouragement from friends and newly determined, set about working on one task each day to get me closer to my goals.
So a week ago, guess what? After paying some kind of bill at the bank (two visits), then getting more paperwork done at another office (plus make a payment at 9:00am), finding a cheesy photo booth for some headshots (apparently these type photos are needed for lots of things as these booths are easier to find than I expected) and rounding up lots of copies of other papers, I went with a friend to get my resident card. Thank goodness he was there, as we waited in line with everyone else, even with an appointment, and waited our turn. And as the clerk was getting ready to fingerprint me as a last step, (after my friend running outside to make a copy of something else while I held our place at her desk) she decides I need another type of record. It threw me because nothing anywhere mentioned the type of proof she wanted. I didn’t even think about the information I was told at the Spanish Consulate was essential that she never asked for. I was shaken for a few moments while my friend had to almost drag me away, because I dreaded making another visit anywhere. We huddled up outside the building, assured by her that I could be helped later and she would hold my paperwork all day. But we forged a plan and went back, waiting politely but obviously, to speak to her again after the next customer. And much to my surprise, she used my proof! I was on my way to my little green card. Oh, happy day!!
Of course, when she made me get out the extra photo I almost threw away as we left the building the first time, I tried not to show my anger, as she must have thrown the first one away as we walked off. So much for holding onto my information! But she continued to take my fingerprints electronically (a couple of times for each hand…?) and a wave of relief washed over me. Yay!! I successfully made it through the maze reserved only for non-EU residents! I truly marvelled at the others in line obviously from other countries. I didn’t understand how they could complete the process without speaking Spanish or having someone with them that did.
Anyway, now I am less than 30 days away from this valuable little piece of paper. (Surely you didn’t think I would get the card at that point, did you?) Have you not followed this story all the way through?
Although I have the “temporary” paperwork that she assured me would suffice for any purpose that I needed the resident card, both the bank I checked with for the third time and all the apartment agents and private landlords I’ve spoken to, won’t recognize it. I hope to make my last visa trip in three weeks so that I can continue this game called Set Up Your LIfe In Spain.
Your Takeaway – Perhaps I didn’t understand the importance of doing this first thing, as I listened to too many people from the EU tell me it was no big deal. Now I’m busy with other things and it affected both the ease of finishing the paperwork and my mental state. Try to make this a priority… While it doesn’t seem that big a deal not to do it, it is necessary and if you do a lot of deep breathing, you will survive. It IS worth the hassle, and hopefully, you will learn from my experience and do a better job than I.