CASE STUDY Nº 5: Appeal at the Consulate
When applying for a residence permit, there is always the possibility that the application is denied. In this article, I want to tell you about a case where a client of mine first tried to do everything on their own and got denied their application for a non-lucrative residence permit at the Embassy of Spain in Abu Dhabi.
In general, we can all imagine it being a very bad experience, gathering documents, spending money and time on preparing everything and attending an interview at the Embassy only to then receive a notification that the Spanish administration has denied your visa and residence permit. This is a frustrating outcome and not easy to deal with.
While I can never guarantee a positive outcome, the assistance of an immigration lawyer is highly recommended to avoid going through bad experiences like this.
My client had been denied their permit sue to a variety of reasons.
On the one hand, the Embassy explained that they had failed to accredit the amount of economic means required for this kind of visa and residence permit. And on the other hand, they had been invited to an interview at the Embassy and their answers to some of the questions gave the impression that they did not actually want to move to Spain.
Once I reviewed the documents that had been presented, we noticed that they had indeed shown sufficient funds and the Embassy had made a mistake when they decided that that was not the case.
With regards to the questions during the interview, my clients encountered a rather typical case. The personell at the Embassy had reviewed their passports and found that they were foreigners residing in the UAE with a residence permit. So they asked what they would do with this residence permit for the UAE once they were granted the permit for Spain. My client answered that they would keep the UAE residence permits to be able to spend time in both countries. This is the worst answer they could have given, but they were not aware at the time. The correct answer is always that one will renounce the other residence permit since they will not need it anymore because they will be residing in Spain.
Thus, in light of the result of my review of the case, I recommended my client to present an appeal.
There are always two options that are equally available to an applicant whose application has been denied:
Submit a so-called Recurso de reposición (appeal to the administration that denied the application, which has to be submitted within 1 month after having been notified the negative decision), asking for the reevaluation of the decision.
Submit a so-called "Recurso contencioso-administrativo" (appeal to the court, which has to be submitted within 2 months after being notified of the negative decision) asking them to decide in your favour.
The two appeal options do not have to be presented one after the other. It is possible to present an appeal at the courts in Madrid without asking the consular office to change their decision.
Note that it is always recommendable to try the appeal at the consular office first, since this is the only option where you may get a different decision fast. Appealing to the courts usually is a lengthy process that can take years.
In our case, I prepared the appeal for my client so that they could sign it and present it at the Embassy in Abu Dhabi. We explained that they had made a mistake and that the funds were sufficient. Furthermore, the client presented an affidavit declaring that they will renounce their UAE residence permit once they are granted the Spanish one.
After two weeks we received the positive resolution from the Embassy and the client was overjoyed to be able to relocate to Spain with their family.
In this case, the outcome was positive and the process was fast. This is not always the case, of course. What is shown is that you should get in touch with an expert to avoid wasting time and money, as well as experiencing being rejected.