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Once we made the decision to remain in Spain, beyond our planned 1 year, it was time to apply for a Resident Card Renewal. At the time of our decision, it was near the end of May and we knew we were going to be out of the country from the end of June through sometime in August on our Summer Road Trip. We did our research on the renewal process and it seemed to be very straight forward, but we knew better. Now that we have lived in Spain for a year, we know that Spain seems to love Red Tape!
Isn’t this image adorable? Alan made it!
With me as an over organized freak and my Six Sigma Process Improvement Training, having these inefficient processes in place just kills me. I am just dying to volunteer for Spain and streamline some of their processes, but for now I will bite my tongue and go with the flow. Though this one looks easy on the surface, we know we are in for a bit of a process ride.
We began to gather our documents in early June. This time it was really just a few documents (nothing like the initial application) and filled out a couple of forms.
Requirements for Resident Card Renewal Application
- Completed Request Forms EX-01 (2 copies)
- Photocopy of every page in your passport
- Photo copy of both sides of existing NIE Resident Card
- Passport sized photo
- Proof of Income or sufficient funds (translate)
- Proof of Medical Insurance (translate)
We were advised to apply as early as possible, as this process, like most in Spain, can be a bit of a wait. Love the red tape!
Spanish Resident Card Renewal Process
(aka “the waiting game”)
- ✔ Step 1 – Apply
- ✔ Step 2 – Wait for papers from Granada (approx 3 weeks)
- ✔ Step 3 – Form 52 (Tasa Codigo 052) Pay fee, sign papers and return them to Granada (same day ~16€ ea)
- Step 4 – Wait again for more papers from Granada
(approx 3 weeks) We are Here!
- Step 5 – Pay another fee and fingerprints at Extranjero office (~16€ each)
(next business day or when we can get kids out of school to go with us)
- Step 6 – Wait for cards to be produced and sent to Motril
(approx 3-4 weeks)
- Step 7 – Pick up cards, in person, in Motril
(as soon as we can get kids to go with us)
We gathered all that was required and around June 20th we headed to the Police Station in Motril to apply (location of the Costa Tropical Extranjero/Foreigner office).
They informed us that we couldn’t apply at that time, as it was more than 2 months from our expiration date of August 28th. We couldn’t officially apply until June 28th. This was a problem as we were leaving the country on a scheduled Ferry to Italy on June 24th. They gave us all of the required info and suggested we place it in the mail. We weren’t very comfortable with this option, as we want a “human” to double-check our work and tell us on the spot if something was wrong. We decided to make sure we returned to Spain in early August, so we could apply a few weeks in advance in person. So that is what we did.
August 8th we officially submitted our applications in person. About 4 weeks later, we still didn’t have the documents from Granada. Alan decided to go visit the Extranjero office in person and check on things. He first went to Motril and they were packed. It was going to be a multi-hour wait and Alan wanted to run up to Granada to look at a few things. Off he went to Granada and decided to stop by the Extranjero office there. Afterall, this is where our paperwork was sent for approval.
He found out that many staff members were on holiday in August/September, and they were behind in paperwork. They provided him with the required documents and he returned home (wouldn’t you know, the next day the documents finally arrived in the mail). We took these to the bank to pay the required fees. Now we are in waiting mode again. It has been about 2 weeks since we paid the fees and submitted that paperwork to the Extranjeros office. So we are currently at Step 4 of the process.
From what we are told, we shouldn’t worry, and in time it will all come through. YIKES!
In the meantime, we are just humming along with life as usual. The kids started back to school in September. Lars has started up with the school fútbol team again and life is good. I will admit, I am in a bit of a panic about us being able to return from our trip to England later this month, but I am sure it will all work out. Again, we have been informed that if we have the correct paperwork showing we are “in the process”, we should be allowed to re-enter the country. We will see if there is a story in that later.
UPDATE: We are legal for 2 more years!
Much more information on the Non Lucrative Residence Visa – Spain (Application, Getting Settled, Renewal)