Family of Four Taking Flight to Financial Independence

Non-Lucrative Visa to Spain: Empadronarse

Obtaining our Non-Lucrative Visas to Spain during a global pandemic ... and finally arriving in Spain felt like a huge feat.  (How did we do it?  Read more here).  Once we arrived in Spain, I wanted to sit back, relax, enjoy some wine ...and a nice siesta.  But not so fast.  The Visa process isn’t done yet.

Our neighborhood...the Albaicin in Granada, Spain.

First up?  Empadronarse.  What is that?  I understand it as registering with your local City Hall that you are a resident in your specific neighborhood / area.  It is my understanding that you need the Padrón for other steps in the Visa process and for things such as registering the kids in school.

I found this blog post to be helpful as it provided more information and guidance.

After doing some research I learned that this process can vary a little (or a lot) depending on your city / town, neighborhood, your specific situation, and possibly the person you work with at your meeting, and so on.

What were our steps?  How did the process go for us?

1) I was told to go to the Ayuntamiento de Granada website.  Once there I was told to click on Cita Previa to schedule an appointment for the Empadronarse.  Once I got to this point, I scheduled a separate appointment for all four of us.  I believe that is what we needed to do.  Everything was in Spanish so many times I used Google translate to navigate through the process.  I did need our passports to enter either our passport numbers or the NIE numbers from our Visa page.

The good news is plenty of appointments and times were available.  I scheduled on the weekend for the coming Friday starting at 12:00 pm.  I wanted to give myself the week to figure out what I needed to gather (if anything) before our appointments.

Note, it didn’t let me enter one email address (like mine) for all 4 appointments.  Luckily I had at least 4 email addresses for the family I could use otherwise this would have been slightly frustrating.

2) I had our appointments.  What next?  I needed to figure out what I needed to gather / copy and make sure I had it all.  Based on my Internet research (hah!) and asking in at least one virtual group, I decided to gather the following:

-Original Passports and color copies (including of the Visa page).

This one was easy.  We took our Passports to a local copy / school supply shop in Plaza Larga in the Albaicin (recommended by another expat).

-Original Housing lease and color copies.

This was also easy.  Same as above.  I did everything in color copies just in case!  I know for the Non-Lucrative Visa process in the US this was the rumor - color copies for everything.

-Proof of housing payment.

I printed out a receipt from our first month’s rent.  Luckily WISE offered this option, and it was easy and simple to download.

-Both adults on the lease ... based on my research, in retrospect it may have been important to make sure all parties are on the lease.  If you are just starting the housing process, you may want to make sure to do this.

-Utility bill and color copies.  Our landlord provided this to us ... no problem!

-Based on my research it seemed like we needed to fill out a form(s).  I couldn’t figure out what form(s) online so I decided to “risk it” and try to figure that out when I got to the appointment.

-I also wanted extra copies on hand for anything I used for housing for our Non-Lucrative Visa application (besides the lease ...copies of the landlord’s IDs, copy of the Deed.)

-After reading about the importance of having everyone in your family on the lease, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to have extra copies of the marriage certificate and birth certificates.  I also made extra copies of everything that went with them for the Non-Lucrative Visa (see this post for more specific information).

-I also decided it couldn’t hurt to have printed confirmation of our four appointments.  I had all four email confirmations printed.

3) Then what?  Someone ended up calling and emailing a few days before the appointment.  They spoke in Spanish of course ...I tried to respond.  Everything was definitely lost in translation.  I was assuming they were calling to confirm the appointment.

4) Our appointments!  How did they go?  Luckily our landlord had already scheduled her own appointment because of past issues with her rental properties and addresses.  Her appointment was right before ours.  She was very kind to basically attend and lead our appointment for us (she’s bilingual).  Without her I think we would have been totally lost ...and / or needed a translator.  If you don’t speak Spanish (yet!?), it may be helpful to bring someone with you that can help or hire a translator.  Or you could just see how it goes!?

There was a lot of conversing, but I understood very little.  I did fill out two forms, and our landlord helped me fill out both.  Both forms contained basic information like address, names, birthdates, Passport and NIE numbers (on our VISAs), and so on.  The second form was basically about the kids / claiming them as ours which would be important for enrolling them in school.

What paperwork did they need from us after all?  The woman that was helping us at the appointment actually made her own copies of our passports / VISAs.  She didn’t take the color copies I had.

They also took a copy of the lease and utility bill.  And they took a copy of the birth certificates and all corresponding paperwork.

Then it seemed like they scanned everything, stamped it, and handed the copies back to me.  I was told we could use this paperwork to enroll the kids in school.

We were also told that we would hear back in about 4 weeks.  Then we would need to make another appointment to pick up our Empadronarse (which I think is just a sheet of paper, but don’t quote me on this).  We were also told that a police officer would be stopping by our apartment (they don’t actually need to enter) to make sure we are living at the address that we said we would be living at.  Not sure how that works if we aren’t here.  I guess they will try back.

Hopefully everything goes smoothly in about 4 weeks (well less than that because our appointment was on 4/23).

Update: It’s been a little over a month.  Our landlord was nice enough to check on our Empadronarse about a week ago.  They basically said check back in a week.  Yesterday on May 26th a mail carrier came to our door with a letter (luckily we were home!).  Erik had to show his Passport, and we signed for the letter.  Basically it told us (in Spanish of course) to fill out a document to prove the minor children belonged to us.  We actually already filled out that very similar paperwork at our Padron appointment in April.  But I noticed instead of our NIE number (found on our Visa), it had our passport numbers (the original paperwork).  So maybe we did it wrong before?

I filled everything out again.  We took the paperwork the next day to our local copy shop near Plaza Larga.  We then walked our paperwork to the Ayuntamiento (City Hall) in the Albaicin (where our original appointment was located).  I tried to explain as the best I could in Spanish why I was there.  The lady that we spoke with didn’t seem too pleased with us.  She looked up our information, and then she gave us an appointment time to return the next day at 9:14 am.  We are quickly learning that you need to return several times in Spain when you are dealing with any paperwork.  Stay tuned for updates.

Another update.  We did return the next day for our appointment.  She took our filled out information, took our copies of our Passports / Visas again, and she filled out paperwork.  She also gave us our paperwork back after she scanned it in.  I believe the final result was she asked us to make another appointment in 20 days.  I was hoping to get the Padrón this day, but I wasn’t too surprised we didn’t!

And what else do we have to do for our Non-Lucrative Visas?  Stay tuned!

Gardens at Generalife (Alhambra).

Are you trying to obtain a Non-Lucrative Visa to Spain?  Where are you at with the process?

Read Erik’s latest post here.  Would you like help starting your own FI journey?  Read more here.


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