It’s finally official!!!
On September 6th, 2011 – I was granted RESIDENCY in Spain (more or less comparable to the American Green Card). I now have the right to live and work here for the next 5 years!!
That might not sound like a big deal – but believe me – it is! When I first got to Spain this summer I was here on a tourist visa. That meant that I couldn’t:
- legally have a job
- earn social security
- use the public health system
- stay in the country for more than 3 months at a time
Now as a legal resident, I can do all of those things – plus my residency applies to all the countries in the European Union. Just in case we ever want to leave Spain, I can now legally live in work anywhere in Europe!!
Let’s just say I’m beyond thrilled 🙂
Here I am lovingly clutching all of the documents that make me a legit resident! You better believe I’m not letting those babies out of my sight!
Those few precious papers didn’t magically appear over night. Heck no! In fact, they caused me, Diego, and his family many many months of frustration. A few times I was so disheartened by the whole process that I almost convinced myself that this day would never come.
I won’t get into the boring specifics of how I went from tourist to resident – but just know that it involved a lot of: filling out paperwork, visiting various public government ministries, investigating online and asking around, waiting… and more waiting, running around town making photocopies and faxing documents, and ultimately having a lot of luck on my side!
Some of moments I’ll never forget my “journey to residency” include:
- Waiting in line at 5 am outside of the immigration office (which opened at 9 am!) to ensure that we got a number.
- Swearing under oath to a shady notary that I had never been married, divorced, or had children in the United States (one of the things I had to prove to get the residency?!).
- Asking two strangers on the street to serve as our witnesses when signing an official document.
- Driving (with the new puppy!) round-trip from Madrid to Gijón in order to finalize the process in less than 36 hours.
As you can see, it definitely was an adventure to say the least!
It would have been impossible to do this all without the help of Diego and his family.
I can’t begin to to thank them enough for helping me achieve what I originally thought was impossible. I can now confidently call Spain my new home – you don’t understand how wonderful it feels for me to be able to say that.
A special thank you to: Alvaro, Manuela, Belen (y su super amiga! ;-)), and of course Diego.
I feel blessed to have so many people looking out for me when I’m so far away from my US family!
It’s been an excited past few days for our Little Blondie as well. As I mentioned before, she had to ride with us in the car (her first time!) from Madrid to Gijón and back again (over 10 hours of driving!). I’ll thrilled to report that she did very very well!
Here’s a picture of the Little One meeting her paternal Grandpa for the first time 🙂
And here she is taking her first real bath!
Now with my work permit and residency taken care of Diego and I can start the fall on the right foot! 🙂
I begin working officially on the 15th (getting accepted as a resident couldn’t have come at a better time!) I’ll be sure to write about my first days at school with my new kiddos! 🙂