Why the pause?

I will post a little later today on something (from my perspective) with a little more substance than this one. So to explain the pause… and to tie to the previous post on being a ‘privileged’ immigrant.

This month, so far, we have managed to clock up in excess of 40, and probably nearer to 50 than 40 hours, of either filling in forms, going to a government department for an interview complete with filled in forms. Today was a good day. A few days ago we had a visit to the tax office to seek to get back excess tax paid in 2017. No cannot do that – main reason being Gayle is not a resident in Spain! (Mental note to self – must work out who is the imposter!)

Then tied to seeking to get Gayle registered as a permanent resident (we were already working on that on a parallel track with the national police) we had to get our wedding certificate legally authorised by the British foreign office, then translated in a centre approved by the Spanish government for translation… the police office is 10 miles one direction, the translation office 10 miles the other, drive between, pay translation of 40€ and foreign office £45, all to receive a card. Yesterday left for translation office (2 hours). Today back to the translation office, off to police station… then a big hit as without an appointment Gayle got her piece of card – permanent residence.

All the above kinda explains what we have been up to (we are also in process of changing our driving licenses – that is a 1 hour drive away and involves a three step process). Meanwhile life for those who are immigrants, often not by choice, and without our privileges? They probably would not have the privilege even to reflect back on the various processes and would have long since given up on counting how many hours had gone into their probably unsuccessful attempts to get whatever papers that might make their lives a little easier.

4 thoughts on “Why the pause?

  1. Dealing with the nation state is difficult – by design. I immigrated to Canada and it wasn’t too difficult back then. I’ve had tenants who more recently embarked on the same process. Much more difficult now. And paperwork is the hallmark of the process. It really counts too where you come from. Sometimes the former home country has the documents or can provide them (after a suitable wait time) or not at all. Then you have a problem. The modern nation state is all about paper and more paper, and stamps, and then more paper and stamps covering all of our lives. I think of the jobs of the people who shuffle the paper and apply the stamps as high end welfare. It keeps them from becoming homeless and they contribute to the economy.

    Has Spain heard of online services? It would at least save some GHG emissions as you drive to and fro. Glad it is all getting settled even if it feels like a full-time job.

    1. Yes full-time job indeed! However it opens a window on those whose position is less stable than ours. And as we push for a new Europe it is just so disturbing to think what many ‘immigrants’ have to go through.

  2. I applied for Estonian residency on Tuesday for my job. Go to the police station, show them my British passport, get sent to the council office, got given a piece of paper, back to the police station to see the same lady – without getting in the queue. Sorted! Just have to wait for my card now. Probably 2 hours. It does help that my Estonian friend agreed to go with me and he could sign to say that I could be registered at their place. Now two EU residencies, as I work mainly from home in Latvia 😀

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