Way back when we started this process, the immigration services New Relic contracted with told us to expect the paperwork for residence + visa to take about 30 business days. So earlier this summer, when the documentation was ready for everything to kick off, we bought a cheap flight on Norwegian Air for July 22, a good couple weeks past that 30 day processing time. Smooth right?
It turned out we needed to physically show up at the Spanish Consulate in San Fransisco to request the visa process start. That required an appointment, which was backlogged almost two months beyond the “normal” timing the immigration service was expecting. Our appointment date? September 4th.
This development left us in limbo. We’d unsuccessfully petitioned the consulate for an earlier appointment since my visa was supposed to be fast-tracked, but as June closed out, July departure was looking less and less likely.
Complicating that further, we needed to leave the house we were renting toward the end of June. We had enough trips, family, and friend visits to pack out until our July departure date. But “hanging” for all of August? :massive-sigh:
Our residence paperwork completed, so we had the necessary numbers to rent a flat in Barcelona, open bank accounts, etc. A plan emerged. With those cheap flights, it wouldn’t be outrageous to take our July 22 flight out, then come back in September to settle our visas. We can live in Spain for August as visitors, get a flat, start sorting out the new shape of our life there, then come back for the visa.
Apart from expense, the only other hang-up is around my eye condition and insurance since I won’t be working for New Relic Spain until the visa is through. “Luckily,” my eye is at a stable (if crummy) stage. We’d only see the retinologist once during that month–a lot of wait and see–so I’m trying to schedule with my referrals in Barcelona. At worst I’ll just postpone a couple weeks to see the doctor stateside when we’re back in September.
All this to say… it’s T-minus one week until the Clarks leave for Barcelona and our new adventure!