Our preparation for applying for Spanish long-term residency visas got underway in August, and I thought an update might be good to do - especially for other people who may also end up doing something similar.
On its face, the process is not that complicated. Collect some documents that will indicate to your prospective host country's government that you are not a criminal, have the income/savings to support yourself, and are not carrying any fatal diseases. Include those with an application explaining why you want to live in a different country whose culture and language are not your own, and submit them all in a package for review and, hopefully, approval.
However, as with anything else worth doing in life, it's the details of this apparently simple process that can trip you (us) up.
First, who gives you these documents? Our long-term primary care physician provided us with letters that declared us to be in good health and free of known infectious diseases at a cost of $50 per letter or $100.00.
Our state's State Police provided us with notarized letters declaring that we had no criminal history, at a cost of $20 per letter or $40.00 + $20 for the notarized applications, so $60.00. However, these have a catch, a use-by date, as it were. They cannot be more than 90 days old at the time of application, so to use these, which are dated 5 August 2022, we must apply for the visas before 5 November 2022. In addition, they must be authenticated with something called an Apostille by the Secretary of State's office of our state, at the cost of another $20, So now we're up to $80.00. Fortunately, this can be done on a walk-in basis, so I am off to my state's capital, about two hours away, tomorrow to fetch the Apostilles.
Our proof of income/savings will come from statements from our retirement savings accounts and a benefits letter from the Social Security Administration, also a certified statement from a Spanish Bank where we already deposited some Euro. The retirement and bank statements do not appear to present a challenge, but Social Security has said they cannot get us a benefits letter until mid-October. Further, as this document must be apostilled from the State Department, it must be on Social Security letterhead, with a seal or watermark of the agency, and with an authorized signature. And then, the Apostille will take six weeks, according to the State Department. (Letter free, but apostille, $20.00 and time lost.)
Our preparation for applying for Spanish long-term residency visas got underway August, and I thought it might be good to do an update, especially for other people who may also end up doing something similar..