Since arriving it’s been absolutely manic, and we’ve not had much time to stop and think for a second! Arrived on Wednesday 22nd February, on Thursday a friend came round to discuss all the paperwork we needed to get sorted and in place as soon as possible. Then Friday it began!
Now, a bit about paperwork and organisation in Spain – the organisation bit doesn’t seem to exist, while the paperwork is in triplicate! Prior to arriving in Fuerteventura we did a lot of research. The trouble is that the more we researched the more different requirements we came across, even from the official websites! Here, I go through the process in the order that WE took; however, the system will vary for different people, depending upon your circumstances, your situation and why you need to do it. For instance, you might need to get your paperwork in a different order.
The first bit of paperwork we went for was our Certificado de Empadronamiento. This is adding you to an official register showing where you live, the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes, which is more or less Spain’s equivalent to our electoral register. Early Friday morning we were off to the Ayuntamiento (town hall), armed with our completed forms and other paperwork, and Marie who was helping and translating for us. All seemed to be going well at first, until another lady stepped in and said that we needed proof from the owner of the villa where we were staying that she did indeed own it. Anyway, cut a long story short, after some time and a lot of tooing and frowing and conversing with our friend in the UK who owns the property, we finally got everything together and were told to come back on Monday to collect the finished paperwork. Back first thing on Monday, but there was a problem (surprise, surprise) in that the letter from Jo, who owned the property we were staying in, was not quite worded correctly for them. Thankfully, a phone call to England and a new letter correctly worded was emailed. YES! We were given our empadronmiento!
Next was the NIE (pronounced nee-eh), and for that we needed proof of the reason why we require it. Fuerteventura Residences came to our rescue with a letter stating we were buying a property. But Tuesday was carnival day in Puerto del Rosario and it was a bank holiday, so we had to wait until Wednesday to go to the policía armed with our forms. They opened at 8.30am and we arrived just before then to be greeted with a long queue! Luckily it turned out that most of them needed the other side to where we needed to be, but there were still a number of people in front of us. It wasn’t too bad though and our turn came after just a half an hour wait. I sat with baited breath, but it went without a hitch! Our application was submitted and accepted. Then off to the bank up the road to pay for it and then wait two days to go back and collect the final paperwork.
Friday came and there were even more people in the police station. Thankfully though we realised that there was a separate queue for those just collecting their NIE, and ours was quickly found and passed on to us.
Once we had our NIE we had to dash over to the Hacienda (a tax office). Here we were to get our NIF so that all our worldly goods could get through customs. After spending some time there with Marie, (our lovely translator!) we finally got our sheet of bar codes to give to the shippers.
Finally, the first bit is over, we were official and could now purchase a property and car, and get our shipment through customs!