Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Legal! [Con Papeles]

The key piece of documentation for foreigners living in Spain is an N.I.E (foreigner's identity number). While not strictly a requirement for E.U. passport holders, it is needed for tax and social security purposes. Sadly the procedure for obtaining one is a bit tricky. There's option A where you stand in a queue from 4.30 in the morning with no guarantee of getting seen. Option B involves paying someone else to do it for you - we were initially going to do this but the selected Gestor suddenly started wanting more money than we could give him. Option C. You phone up and make an appointment. This is a bit tricky, as the three lines are constantly engaged and they do not speak English. Around about Christmas I managed to get through, and was given an appointment for today.

This morning was a flurry of printing off and completing forms, having photos taken, copying passports. And then a few hours before our appointment someone told MamaDuck that we needed to pay the fee (a measly 6.80) at a bank in advance of the appointment. So we rushed over to the Foreigner's Registration Office, got the payment forms, and then started touring banks in the neighbourhood. All of these banks declined to take our money: they would only do so in the morning before 10 o'clock. Getting increasingly desperate, we were finally told to go to a branch of Santander Bank: the nearest one was at the top of the almost vertical street that houses the Rastro flea market on Sundays. It was quite a hike, but fortunately when we got there they happily took our money.

We got back to the Foreigner's Office just in time for the appointment. The procedure was completely unrelated to anything we had read on any website or in any book. As EU passport holders, all you need is your passport, a photocopy thereof, and the application form. No photos, no employment contracts, no property leases. And in return, you don't get an ID card (which I thought was one of the main purposes of the exercise). You get an A4 certificate with some words in Spanish and your N.I.E. number on it.

Now I can register to pay Income Tax and Social Security and become a tax collector (VAT) for the Government. I might even get a job!


Jayne said...

You're gonna work & pay taxes & be all legit keefie? I was under the impression you were gonna sort've (semi) retire?

Keefieboy said...

Jayne: where'd you get that idea! This is us desperately trying to earn some money because we never could make any in Dubai!

dubaibilly said...

I don't understand blogger Keef. When I came on this morning the latest post from you was the Xanadu-du update in which you tell us about the map. Now, this evening there are 4 new posts spanning at least three days - why don't the posts go up when we post them?

Keefieboy said...

Billy: I blame your router! The posts appear when you post them. It's possible for you browser (probably Internet Explorer) or your ISP to show you 'cached' copies of the site if they think it hasn't been updated - but that should not be happening. Bamboozled, I am. Bamboozled.