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Old 5th February 2009, 08:27 PM   #1
lenox
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Well, I've lived here since 1967 and have had a residence card since around 1970 - a white thing, then a red thing, then a snappy little version of the Spanish Documento Nacional de Indentidad... but tomorrow, after 40 years under Franco, Spain's amusing version of democracia and European partnership, I am booked in to the Almería immigration authority where my residencia will be scissored and trashed.
So much for that.
Instead of my handy little card, with my tax number, drivers' licence number and ID number all rolled into one, together with a representation of my pulgar and a full colour picture, so useful for flashing with the Mastercard or withdrawing a few bob at a caja de ahorros, I will be issued with an A4 letter which will tell anyone who cares to read it - until I've folded it a few times and it's fallen to bits - that my tax number is such and such and that, together with my passport, I am legal and a respected member of our citizenry.
So- 40 years a resident and now a tourist again.
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Old 5th February 2009, 09:10 PM   #2
Ben
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Doesn't bare thinking about... I love my little ID card, and can't imagine it being changed for a stupid bit of paper. When mine runs out, I'm thinking of becoming Spanish so I can get a similarly-sized and useful DNI card. Can I do that? I think I can... really, I'd do it just to keep that wonderfully handy little card!
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Old 5th February 2009, 11:42 PM   #3
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My tarjeta de residencia expires in April and I'm already being reminded what a nightmare it is to deal with Spanish bureaucracy. I tried phoning them today to find out what I need to do - but the phone was permanently engaged, not even a queueing system.

I'm hoping that all I need to do is show up somewhere once, fill in a form, and then they'll post me the letter. Somehow I doubt it'll be that simple.

It's not just carrying the letter around that'll be a hassle, UK nationals will have to carry their passports with them the whole time as well, since they won't have their own ID cards. Apparently it is the EU that has forced this change through.
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Old 5th February 2009, 11:58 PM   #4
Culebronchris
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And the real fun is that most Spaniards don't recognise (in the sense that they don't appreciate what it is) the green bit of paper so that they ask for the NIE paperwork instead
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Old 6th February 2009, 04:49 AM   #5
lenox
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Legazpi - I asked a friend in France and another in Italy - neither of them have this A4 plus passport crap. The Brit resident in France has a 'carte de sejour' from the police (with a photograph, therefore legal identity) and the Italian system is similar.
It is all down to not having any political identity. Displaced Europeans don't have a voice in Brussels (or, evidently, in Madrid). This is the 21st century vision of Europe - walking around with a useless bit of A4 paper?
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Old 6th February 2009, 07:58 AM   #6
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Serioulsy, does anyone know if I, as someone that has been resident for 10 years, and married to a Spanish person, can get dual nationality or a DNI? I think I can, but no idea how it works... anyone know anything? Mentioned it on the blog too to see what answers might turn up there...

Last edited by Ben; 6th February 2009 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 6th February 2009, 08:57 AM   #7
Legazpi
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lenox - I can't remember where I read it, maybe even on this forum, but someone said that Spain was meant to have phased out the tarjeta de residencia quite a while back, because they weren't meant to be issuing ID cards to foreigners from other EU countries, and the EU gave them a ticking off for not having phased them out before. However this does indeed appear inconsistent with how you say it works in France and Italy. Maybe the "carte de sejour" is not officially an ID card, but recognised as such for most day-to-day stuff. Also I'm not sure if you need to carry your ID with you in France anyway, I recall not having to produce any ID when paying by credit card in France.

In the past I have used my Spanish driving license as ID when paying by credit card, and it hasn't been a problem. So I'm hoping I can carry that around instead of my passport. Does anybody know if you can officially use your driving license as ID? I guess I'll have to get a plastic cover to protect that certificate, like the ones you used to get with the old paper UK driving license.
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Old 6th February 2009, 09:01 AM   #8
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Hi Ben. You definitely can. But I don´t think Spain recognises dual nationality. To be eligible you need to be resident in Spain for at least 10 years and you certainly qualify for that. I´m not sure about the process.
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Old 6th February 2009, 09:09 AM   #9
Legazpi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
Serioulsy, does anyone know if I, as someone that has been resident for 10 years, and married to a Spanish person, can get dual nationality or a DNI? I think I can, but no idea how it works... anyone know anything? Mentioned it on the blog too to see what answers might turn up there...
AFAIK Spain does not recognise dual nationality, but the UK does. If you took Spanish nationality you'd have to renounce your UK nationality to the Spanish crown, and you'd be as Spanish as Marina. However I'm not sure whether that necessarily means that the UK will stop recognising you as a UK citizen. If you become a Spanish citizen there will be other implications, such as your last will and testament will be subject to Spanish law.

Last edited by Legazpi; 6th February 2009 at 01:52 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:07 AM   #10
Ben
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Comment from Sam on the blog:

Deleted - Sam found out he was wrong

Last edited by Ben; 6th February 2009 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:30 AM   #11
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My father has dual citizenship (Spain and the US), I know Spain recognizes his status because they pay him a monthly pension.
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Old 6th February 2009, 10:44 AM   #12
rod
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As far as I understand it, Spain does not recognise dual nationality except in certain cases. Towards the end of last year these were extended as part of the historical memory legislation to include descendants of civil war refugees and, it seems, International Brigade veterans who had fought in the civil war.
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Old 6th February 2009, 11:02 AM   #13
Ben
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Update, had to delete quote from Sam above, turns out he discovered he was wrong about still being able to get a card
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Old 6th February 2009, 11:39 AM   #14
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I believe Spain is still being pursued in the European Courts for its actions contrary to European law with regard to Residency.

Apparently the Spanish Authorities are acting illegally by requiring people to attend National Police Stations to obtain the Residents Certificate. They should be issued by local authorities, similar to Padron Certificates. Nor should they make any charge, they should not require people to disclose certain details, for example, parents names. Anyone interested in this subject would find the link below interesting reading.

http://www.ukgovabusesexpats.co.uk/E...-08-report.php

Personally, having had the Residents Certificate since 2007, I have had no problem using my Spanish Driving Licence as ID. Interestingly, it is now apparently (in theory) illegal for offcials to demand production of a Residents Card (EU Citizens). Having said that, if you want to get things done, you have to run with the current system.

I suppose eventually Spain will comply.

If any EU citizen is thinking of taking up Spanish Nationality, I think you should seek specialist advice first. There are many issues involved, for example State Pension rights etc.

Hope this helps.

By the way, the British Expats Association, (who published the information in the above link) has now disbanded.

Last edited by fawlty; 6th February 2009 at 11:43 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 6th February 2009, 03:44 PM   #15
Ben
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I think I'll just have to go with the piece of paper, and for day to day purposes carry my driving license around. How annoying they took away our NIE cards... I wonder why?
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Old 6th February 2009, 03:47 PM   #16
midnightgolfer
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Sorry, this is a bit unhelpful for Brits, but as a U.S. citizen, married to a Spaniard, I was able to get a NIE card.
It's looks a little bit like my wife's DNI card.
It required several trips to various government offices.
It also required the acknowledgement that phone calls and website sites still don't get you anywhere in this country. There always seems to be some major glitch.
The only way I was able to do it was to stand in many lines, some of which wrapped around the building, or the entire block, and it took over six months from the time we started (the same week we arrived from the U.S.)
I had to be added to her Libro de Familia, which meant I had to get a recent marriage certificate sent to us from the state where we got married, plus the Seal of the Hague. Luckily we had a friend that was nice enough get that done for us, as it otherwise would have required a flight back to the States.
After we got our marriage recognized by Spain, and got me added to her 'family book' we then waited for confirmation by mail, and then went and stood in line again to actually sign for and get the card itself. I know there were a couple of steps in there that I missed, but my case is pretty unique, as I'm not from the E.U. and my residency is contingent upon my marriage to a native.
Anyways, I was then able to get my driver's license, as Spain no longer recognises D.L.'s from any of the states, and I just recently got to take the green "L" out of the rear window.

Is there no universal EU ID card?

Last edited by midnightgolfer; 6th February 2009 at 11:18 PM. Reason: Did I mention that NIE numbers start with X instead of a number? How quaint.
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Old 6th February 2009, 05:18 PM   #17
switch007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnightgolfer View Post
Is there no universal EU ID card?
The EU isn't a single country (yet ). I wouldn't like to think of the bureaucracy involved with a single ID card. It would also happen over a few peoples dead bodies. Or when hell freezes over

Last edited by switch007; 6th February 2009 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 6th February 2009, 05:21 PM   #18
lenox
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Well - I went to the Almería extranjería office (zipped through the special door for whites - I'm not kidding) and was whisked by a gestoría contact to my fate. They took away my residencia, photocopied my passport, told me the printer for the A4 was bust and waved me good-day. I am - in theory - eyedee-less at this moment.
Why have you taken away our residence card, I asked.
It's all to do with Europe... our hands are tied... well, each country can do what it wants... (and finally) it was to stop the Romanians and Bulgarians getting residencias.

In our case down here in Almería, we will be given a reduced photocopied version of the A4 which will be plastificated to be carried in our wallets and, together with our trusty passpoprt, we will be (sort of) legal.

'In the ninth year of the twenty-first century, in a European country...'
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Old 6th February 2009, 06:16 PM   #19
Ben
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Quote:
it was to stop the Romanians and Bulgarians getting residencias.
Madre mia... speechless at the solution they came up with!
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Old 6th February 2009, 06:59 PM   #20
rod
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Having arrived since the card was withdrawn I've been already been through the process and have the certificate in front of me. It clearly states on it, twice, just in case you miss it the first time: 'Aviso: documento no válido para acreditar la identidad ni la nacionalidad del portador'.

So it doesn't prove your nationality or identity and it also doesn't prove your place of residence, because you don't have to supply any prove of your place of residence when you apply. The basic residency certificate, ie for those who have been in Spain less than five years, is nothing more than a certificate of having registered in the register of foreigners.

So my question is: can anyone provide a link to an authoritative source confirming that you have to have your certificate with you at all times as has been suggested .

I've had mine nearly a year and I have difficulty remembering any occasion when it was specifically asked for.
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