Spain Residency Issues: My husband’s story …
My husband has lived in Spain for over twenty years. We were married in Spain. Our two children were born in Spain. We have a house in Spain. We have a libro de familia. We are fiscal residents in Spain as we declare all our taxes in Spain.
However, he is no longer a resident in Spain and needs to start his application procedure all over again! Why? (Read my previous rant here!)
Today, we went to the INSS (a branch of the social security office in Spain), to renew a simple printed piece of paper that proves that he is covered by my monthly social security payments. I already hold this piece of paper, but like any other piece of paper in Spain, it is only valid for three months (renewing all these bits of paper keeps a lot of people in work I suppose!), a more recent one is required to apply for his residency.
The appointment was booked via telephone and we were even attended to before our time slot. Good start …. But that was as good as it got!
I explained to the lady sat behind the desk that I needed a new print out of the piece of paper I had, to prove that my husband was covered by my social security contributions for his healthcare in Spain, in order for us to process his residency application.
And her reply was …..
“I´m afraid that I cannot do that.”
What ? My mouth drops open as I hear the very words that my mind had told me that I was going to hear but I had tried to convince myself that it wouldn’t really happen.
Oh but it did.
“To be named as a beneficiary on your social security, your husband requires a valid residency certificate.”
Now, I need to pause even as I write this. Shock. Horror. Disbelief … She did not really say that did she?
Yes she did. Even after I had thrown (according to hubby) the libro de familia, proof of last autonomo payment, passports, and whatever other excuse of a piece of paper I could find, across the desk at her … she patiently gave that look that said “I understand everything you are saying and yes it is ridiculous but that´s how it is now”!
As I sat there flabbergasted and asking if I should send my husband back to the UK and what about the children and whatever silly comment I could think of (all the time knowing that it was futile, she was only doing her job and actually, we were in the wrong), she went off to consult with a superior.
Not surprisingly, the reply was that there was nothing they could do. I could not have an updated piece of paper until my husband has a valid residency certificate.
At this point, have a read of my first post on this subject ¿Que pasa España?
What is the Spanish government playing at? Yes, this is a wonderful place to live for so many reasons, but if they continue to put up barriers to people who want to do things properly, the country will suffer in the long term.
So what´s the next step?
Well, in theory, we now have to take out a private medical insurance to enable my husband to apply for the new green residency certificate. Once he has the new certificate, we will make another appointment at the INSS to ensure he is registered as a dependent on my social security cover for healthcare. After that, well I cannot publish that information now can I?
All because he had the old style residency card that people still say is so much more useful than the current certificate. However, I much prefer a certificate that does not have an expiry date … or does it? We will see…