Following on from this post. Check this out to see what documents you need.
The day of the appointment with the Spanish consulate comes so we set off to Manchester on a bright and sunny morning with our huge wodge of documents. We had printed multiple copies of everything as somewhere we had read that was required. As it happens the extra copies just got in the way when trying to find documents.
A smiling lady at the door checked we had an appointment, xrayed our bags and let us in to the waiting area. We were only waiting a couple of minutes before it was our turn. The interview was across a counter with a COVID screen between us and the guy checking our documents. This meant it was difficult to hear what was being said, and I found myself asking for things to be repeated quite often.
Firstly, he asked for our National Visa form and passport. Then he attached the provided passport picture to the form. So far so good!
Next was the financial stuff. We had statements from our Spanish account, British accounts, mortgage details for the UK and Spain. Way more stuff than was needed. He looked at the Spanish statement and that was fine, the other stuff was just not needed.
Then he asked for the health certificates and insurance. Our insurance was not ready yet, but we were able to send this over a couple of days later with no problems. It is not the end of the world if this happens, you have plenty of time to get any extra bits sent over if there are problems.
Another problem was our criminal records check (the ACRO). It had a translation, but was not certified (or apostilled). Again, not a big problem. I was able to send the ACRO documents to an apostille service by Special Delivery. I had them back within three days with the all-important official seal on them. Forwarded them to the consulate and received an email to say they were received.
There were a couple of mistakes on the EX01 form and the 790-052 form. We had put our address in Spain, not the UK. Luckily, the guy behind the desk was incredibly adept at using TipEx and corrected everything there and then.
After half an hour the process was complete and he seemed happy enough. It was time to take some money off us for the visa fees. The cost was £525.30 per person. That is enough of an incentive to get it right first time!
We had some outstanding items to post to them, which they received within a week.
The visa process will take about six weeks, but in theory could take up to three months. You can email the consulate for an update but they are very slow to reply. The do eventually, but it is usually very curt and to the point. I suspect they are very busy! In our experience, they only contact you if they need anything. If everything is in order they will not contact you. This is a bit disconcerting when you are desperately waiting to see if your visa has been successful!
You can track the application process online using these two portals:
This portal only works if you have an NIE number. If you have a Spanish bank account or property you will already have this number as it is required to do anything financial or contractual in Spain.
Click on “Entrar Formulario”, enter your NIE, the date of your meeting at the consulate and your year of birth. Tick the box to say you are not a robot and it should bring up a page saying either “en tramite” (in progress) or, hopefully “resuelto – favorable” (yes!).
This portal does not need an NIE. Instead choose “Solucitud de visado”. The identificador is the unique number on the receipt the consulate gave you. It should start with the letters ESP and then a long block of numbers. Again put your year of birth, and then finally there is a captcha field where you enter the numbers displayed on the right to prove you are not a robot.
When the consulate has your visa, you will be asked to come in and collect them.
Our process was not quite finished yet! Please check out part three to see what was next.