(Before I start I have to say this is from my own personal experience, others may find things differently depending

on region or offices they go to) *tips and notes at bottom*

Okay So your thinking of Spain as a place for doing S.S?! I a Scotsman and my wife a Russian (7 month pregnant that is---> arrived here just over 3 weeks ago, Prior we were going through probably all the dilemmas that your going through at this moment... Well I’m here to tell you don’t panic! especially after you have been strolling through the internet and maybe came across websites telling you "Its all changed in Spain" "its more difficult to get your residency than last year" "you shall need to use a gestor * "there is no work" ... Wrong Wrong Wrong.

Welcome to a laid back atmosphere where the sunshine’s almost everyday of the year. Forgive me for making it sound too easy as any bureaucracy is never too easy. But if you have common sense then certain aspects are pretty easy.

Lets start---> You the Brit obv have the right to come to Spain for up to 3 months thereafter your expected to either have a job, be a pensioner or be self sufficient. Your partner the NON EU, is going to have to get a visa to for Spain.. Tip any schengen zone visa entitles you to enter Spain! So if your spouse goes to lets say the French embassy where they might well as you for less documents "as in our case" He/she Can use this visa to get into Spain, usually it would be a visa for up to 3 months. Each case could be different depending on which country the NON EU spouse is from. I’m not going to elaborate on what documents the non EU spouse shall need for visa as I think for Russians may well be asked for different document than lets say Turkish and so forth. We however only needed Marriage certificate , photo copy of Passport and 2 passport pics.

So you got the visa, booked your flight and are ready to jet of to sunny Spain, singing ehh viva espania. Once you arrive in Spain your obv going to want to rent a place to live, the good news! its cheap and easy to find somewhere to live...There are many agency’s and pretty much every place I looked at only had 1 months deposit and 1 months rent upfront.. Although you may well pay 100 to 200 Euro for admin costs for the agency. Still cheap considering you can rent

a 2 bedroom apartment for as little as 200 Euros in the alicante region.. I would budget for 300 Euro though and get yourself somewhere decent. "now im not going to suggest or tell you where to live coz everyone is different," However for S.S your going to be wanting a job! so in the summer I would think that the holiday regions are your best bet. costa del sol is more pricey to rent but probably more chance of work. otherwise alicate region is also full of tourists and cheaper to rent.. There is a saying here that andalucia is like Londoners and alicatle scousers hahaha... Shall let you decide.

Once you have arrived and got your apartment Your going to want to head to your local townhall and get a padron. You as a brit shall get straight away and your partner shall wait a week, as the police shall come to your apartment check your non EU spouses passport, "its a very friendly affair" nothing to worry about.. Your padron is just showing that you have registered that you now rent at that address, totally free of charge and the document shall come in handy for your residency and NIE.

Next step is your NIE number.. So what is this NIE number you might ask? well this is your ticket to opening a bank account and getting a job. NIE basically is a foreigners number, Spaniards get a DNI, You get a NIE. To get your NIE You and your spouse just have to look up where your nearest OFICINA DE EXTRANJEROS translated Foreigners office. You might not have such a office depending on where you live and so this would be done at a designated police station.. You and your non EU spouse can both get NIE with just- Passport, Photocopy of Passports and 1 Passport Photograph It currently costs 9.60 Euro each. The NON EU spouse may be asked to photocopy every page of their passport too... The Staff at the office shall fill in the forms for you.. Once again no need for Gestors* the staff shall check your passport etc give you a receipt you take to any bank pay the fees return and they should issue your NIE that day or tell you to come back and collect next week.

So you have Your NIE you have your Apartment--> With your NIE you and your spouse can then go and open a bank account.. Tip if you want internet installed in your house?! they shall need NIE and bank account but should still install until you have these.. Unlike the UK, If you order the internet from lestssay moviestar*, they shall install it into your house within 3 hours, including engineer .

Whats next--> So your going to want residency, Now you the brit qualify as I was saying at the top in different ways.. If you have a job you shall get residency showing your employment contract and your NIE ---> and you need a job for S.S... Therefore when you get

residency, your non EU spouse shall get residency too. All this is done at the same office you got your NIE..

Self Employment , Now to be self employed in Spain your most likley going to have to pay 250 plus euros per month, no matter how much you earn! its called Autonomo! That covers your state medical and pension, PLUS TAX So unless you think is a viable business "buying or renting a bar isnt btw" unless you have experience. Then i Suppose pay the Autonomo for 3 months and begin your business. link for more adv on bottom*

If you want to do as I have done, Which is haven’t bothered with a job just yet (looking after my pregnant wife) but for whatever reason you haven’t found a job- you have fell in love with Spain and decided the UK ain’t worth it and your doing some black work.. WELL!!!

What you need to prove is you aren’t going to be a liability to the social system in Spain. Therefore when you have got your Spanish bank account, Transfer over 619 Euros into it and ask the bank for a certificate saying you are receiving transfers over 6.19 Euros per month . Get Private medical" only Spanish company shall do! therefore I would suggest Santinas* Classic plan that covers residency.. Note the basic plan shall not! if you don’t have any medical problems shouldn’t cost more than 40 Euros per month.. Hey presto you also get residency and your non EU spouse shall get too.., I would suggest transferring 1400 Euro that way your covering you and your spouse. They say you should do this for 3 months but I did it once and asked the bank manager for certificate - told him what it was for and he was happy to oblige as he obv don’t want you leaving the country when you bank with him.

After 3 months and 1 day of you working more than 12hours per week, living together and banking together. Its SS time!! you should apply to the Brittish embassy in Madrid for your eea family permit. with all your docs including either work contract, 3 months bank statments, lease and padron. Fingers crossed you get it and can go back to U.K and live like we all deserve. Please keep informed with up to date info on the F.B forum, with tips of applying for your S.S. (i shall also gove updates when i have crossed that bridge. Good luck comrades! Be strong and fight on!!

Notes * Gestor! is a self important unqualified lawyer and unqualified accountant, who shall hold your hand if need be while you fill in your documents and go to foreigners offices.

After holding your hand and reminding you they are fluent in spanish, therefore if your not you need them. they shall charge you for doing nothing but being a self absorbed pain in the arse. Stay away you dont need these cretins!

*Moviestar is a company that does your phoneline and internet acces on same day as you order it.. Th3y have stores all over Spain, no need to use these expat comanys "who once told me for a extra 5 euro permonth they would track my order and i could speak to a english person, Aye right!

*Santinas is the spanish version of BUPA. *www.thinkspain.com go to longterm properties for renting apartments. *self employment http://www.expatica.com/es/finance_business/tax/Self_employment-inSpain_15798.html

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