This post is long-overdue and the second part of rounding out the non-lucrative visa process for Spain while still in your home country of the U.S.
In my mind, there are four (4) main steps to obtaining a Residence Permit for Spain via a non-lucrative visa. They are:
Step 1. The Application (from the U.S.)
Step 2. The Approval and Visa pickup (from the U.S.)
Step 3. The Arrival (to Spain)
Step 4. The Residence Card Pickup (in Spain)
Step 2 – Approval and Visa Pickup
Exactly 8 weeks from submitting our visa application to the Spanish consulate in Chicago, I received an email notifying us that we had been approved and that we had 30 days to pick up our residence visas.
No appointment was necessary and my wife dropped me off at the downtown office. We planned our visa pickup on a family road trip through Chicago. I know they advised me that not everyone needed to be in attendance for pickup, but I didn’t want to risk it. They were ‘on-call’ in case I needed them. Turns out, I was in and out of the office before my wife could even find parking.
After showing my driver’s license for identification purposes, the attendant handed over our 4 passports, each with its own Spanish visa stamped inside (as shown above). Curiously, the visa was valid for only 90 days but did span the date we requested we’d arrive (July 1). The attendant assured me that was fine and that I needed to follow-up once in Spain to get my proper residence card (valid for one year). He reiterated that I should bring all the documentation used for applying with us to Spain.
In addition to our passports, he included a one-page sheet for each person in our family. Turns out, this is also a critical piece of paper and included our NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) – a foreigner identification number.
A Few Considerations
- This information is valid as of the spring of 2014 (April timeframe).
- The papers with our newly assigned NIEs were copies of a fax from Spain. Hence, we didn’t need to worry about keeping an “original” copy. I promptly made electronic copies that looked no different than the version given to me at the consulate and I would suggest you do the same. My first copy got quite beat up during our move and I was grateful I could simply print out and submit another relatively pristine copy once we were in Spain.
- There were no additional costs or fees associated with this step.
- More on Steps 3 and 4 in this post.