Stapled in my passport next to the visa…
So these were the instructions given to me at the Spanish Consulate in San Francisco. The first one says to make sure the Police Services stamp the passport on your entrance to Spain. So when I went through immigration on July 17th at the Barcelona El Prat airport, I pointed out to the policeman that I had a visado. He said that all he needed to do was stamp the adjoining page, which he did.
That was easy!
The second instruction says to contact immediately the Government Delegation in the province of my residence. In my case that is Barcelona. Actually you have to go to the Oficina de Extranjeros or Foreigner’s Office. It is located next to the Etasció de França or French (train) Station. Been there before.
Last weekend Ruben and I scoured the Net to see what other forms that I might need. We found one for the Solicitud de Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (EX-15) or Application for an Alien Identity Card. So I filled out the PDF form and printed several copies. There was also a list of necessary items and I noticed that I needed tres fotografías recientes, en color, en fondo blanco, tamaño carné. (Three recent photographs, in color, with white background, driver’s license size.)
Monday I trimmed my hair and beard and went to a place on Aribau to get my picture taken.
Early Tuesday morning I headed to the Oficina de Extranjeros.
I waited my turn at “Sala B” (Room B) line, only to be told by the security guard to talk to his compañero a few meters away. A few minutes later the other security guard shooed me away and handed me a guia de tramites or guide to necessary papers. I was furious. I had already done my homework. I got back home and tried calling the number in the guide at least 20 times without success. I also sent off an e-mail asking what I should do and included my N.I.E. and Número de Expediente for identification.
Ruben called and tried to help. He suggested that I go to the Comisaría de Policía (Police Station of the National Police) with my paperwork. He found one in Badalona and in Mataró. There is also an office close to where he lives in Sabadell, so he called them and they suggested going to the Badalona station.
Just before midnight I received an e-mail from the Foreigner’s Office with specific instructions. I could tell that they had looked me up in their database since not many people have a sin lucrativa visa, meaning non-lucrative, i.e. retirement visa.
It said to return to the Foreigner’s Office, planta vestíbulo, Sala E (lobby floor, Room E) on any (non-holiday) Wednesday from 12:00 to 14:00. I was ecstatic and printed a copy so I could show the nasty security man that turned me away.
I again arrived at the office a few minutes before noon, and all I had to say was ”Sala E” and I was permitted to enter and walked upstairs into the room so marked. Of course that wasn’t really the right room, it was off to the left as you entered the first room. Sala E was marked on the door, but when the door was open you couldn’t see the sign. D-oh!
Soon I got my turn with the single funcionaria who was working those special two hours this week. She was pleasant and all I had to do was show my passport and visa and give her a copy of each. She in turn gave me a new list of tramites and a tasa (bill) for the alien identity card.
I said that I lived in El Masnou and asked if I needed to go to la oficina del Cuerpo Nacional de Policia in Mataró or could I go to the one in Badalona. She said that I could only go to the office in Mataró. The letter she gave me suspiciously left the actual office site unfilled.
I was nearly ecstatic as I had accomplished the first real task and was given a specific set of instructions with my name, NIE and Expediente on it.
Next, heading to Mataró. (Hint, it ain’t over yet.)