Applying for a Spanish Visa
After attending my long stay student visa appointment at the General Consulate of Spain in New York on February 5th, I was thrown into a tailwind of events that included setting more appointments while preparing to relocate myself to Spain.
Waiting For the Consulate to Call
Being left in a weird state of purgatory while waiting for the approval of my application, I was without any information on how long it would actually take for me to receive the decision on my visa from the consulate. The Spanish class at the language academy I enrolled in was scheduled to begin on March 4th (today!) and I was desperately hoping my papers would be ready in time for me to still get a plane ticket, find a home nearby Jorge, fly all the way there, adjust, and settle in, all somehow before the start date of the class.
To say I was feeling uneasy would be an understatement. I was nauseous just thinking about everything. I felt severely stressed out and unable to relax 24/7 knowing that everything about this process was either going to work out perfectly… or fail miserably. There was no middle ground. Failing this would be a major screw-up for us because everything involving the consulate takes weeks (and money) to fix.
Booking a Flight… Without Knowing
I grew anxious. The Consulate said that processing of my visa could take anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months. While it was possible that I could have had to have waited until the end of March to actually receive the decision on my long-stay visa application, I took a leap of faith and trusted that it would arrive sooner. I trusted that I would receive a positive decision sooner rather than later and went ahead to purchase a flight to Spain set for the end of February.
Using my favorite booking website, I bought my ticket to Spain!!!
I had no way of knowing if my application would be approved or not or whether or not the decision would be ready by the time of my flight which was now scheduled but airfare only gets more expensive (usually) as the time of departure nears and I didn’t want to pay $1,000.00 for a flight that could cost less than $300 if I scheduled it on a day when budget airlines were running deals with lower-than-usual fares.
On February 11th, I bought a ticket to fly to Spain on February 26th.
Excluding President’s Day, that left the Consulate ten business days to get back to me.
The Consulate Called Me
While sitting at my family’s dinner table, my dad received a phone call from an unfamiliar number. We were in the middle of having dinner but my dad decided to answer the call on speakerphone so we could all see what it was about in case the call was important. Instead, it turned out to be a solicitor calling to inquire about our “electricity bill.”
Simultaneously, as my dad clicks the button to end the call on his phone, another unfamiliar number now appears on my iPhone and my phone begins to vibrate on the table. We all exchange looks, I roll my eyes, and in an unimpressed voice, I answer, “yes?” expecting it to be a robocall that advanced onto my number after getting nowhere with my father. I get so many soliciting calls every day that I thought nothing of it. Instead, when a woman answered with, “Hello. Am I speaking with Rocky? Hi, I’m calling on behalf of the General Consulate of Spain in New York,” my jaw dropped. She went on to say, “I would like to let you know your visa has been approved. It is now ready. You can come in any day to pick it up.”
I gleefully replied, “Ahhh! Okay, thank you! Gracias!!” After hanging up from the call, my mom, dad, and I all jumped up and cheered. It felt like such a huge victory. I lost so much sleep waiting for that phone call. What a relief!
Picking Up My Student Visa
The call from the Consulate came through on February 19th: more than a week after I bought a plane ticket to travel to Spain. The timing couldn’t have been any better though because I still had exactly one week left before I left the U.S.A. to fly to Madrid.
As you can probably imagine, the next seven days quickly became consumed with last-minute plans: packing, visiting doctors for routine visits, making last-minute plans to see family and friends, etc.
On February 21st, I traveled to New York to pick up my visa from the Spanish Consulate.
Selling My Car
On February 22nd, I sold my car. Even though my Honda Civic was the third car I’ve owned, it was the first car I had the chance to sell. I actually liked my Civic so I was sad to see it go. My first two cars ended up totaled on no fault of my own so I never had the chance to actually sell either of them. This time, I actually went through the process of cleaning it, listing it, and showing it to people.
My Honda Civic was plagued with a history of unusual problems so honestly, I was kind of happy to get rid of it. Though I enjoyed driving it and I will miss its digital speedometer and the programmable LCD screen that it had inside since I was able to customize it with photos of me and Jorge. I hope my next car, whatever it may be, has those same features. At the end of the day, it was time for the car to go. It made little to no sense to store a depreciating car while living in another country.
Moving to Spain
On February 26th, I flew to Spain to meet up with Jorge and to begin my next journey! I’ve now been here in Madrid for about a week. Jorge has been a huge help in assisting me with getting settled. I started my Spanish class today. The first lesson went really well! I want to keep writing about everything that has happened but I’ll save the specifics for another post. For now, I have to get back to studying the Spanish verbs that we learned today. 😉