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The Importance of Timing for a Residence Permit Application

In my experience, people who wish to apply for a residence permit often think that you just gather the documents and then get an appointment at the Consulate and present everything. Well, that is correct. However, there is a lot of planning involved if you do not want to get to the appointment after having invested a lot of money in the preparation of your documentation, only to be told that one of the documents is not valid anymore.

Documents are only valid for a limited amount of time!

The problem is that if you only rely on what a Consulate publishes on their website or even the general info provided by the Spanish government, you will miss quite a few important things to keep in mind when planning and preparing the presentation of your application.

While some Consulates do inform you quite well and with some detail, most do not. And they are even often prickly or do not respond at all when asked for additional information via email or phone. Thus, it is recommendable to use the help of an expert, because what counts here is: experience, experience and, you guessed it, more experience. You may think, of course, it is in her interest that people use experts for their applications and it absolutely is. But it does not make it less true. I have seen many frustrated applicants whose applications were denied or not even accepted by the Consulate and who only then came to me for help. This cost them time, money and lots of nerves.

Timing is everything!

One of the most important things to keep in mind is the timing. Many of the documents you have to present, such as for example the police clearance certificate, have a limited validity in the eyes of the Spanish administration. They will usually not accept documents that were issued more than 3 months before you present them at your appointment. Now, that seems like a lot of time, but keep in mind that you have to 1) apply for the certificate, 2) get it legalised and 3) have it translated. These steps can take time, especially while Covid is still an issue.

These validity time limits and possible issues when obtaining all the documents and getting them prepared mean that you have to have a plan and someone at your side who can make sure the plan gets realised (and who knows what to do if that turns out to be impossible due to unforeseeable obstacles).


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