Occasionally I have to arrange some paper work and visit some “specialised” bureaucratic institutions. I needed “new” paper recently and since I was already arranging something else at tax office I asked for a residency statement. “Sure, no worries” and she pass me the paper to fill in. “Just write your data here and than take it to the office at Letemendi, because we don’t deal with residency stuff here.” Yes, it was too good to be true.

Determined to get the paper ASAP, I went to the other office, luckily not totally on the other side of the city, but wasn’t on the way either. I knew you can wait enormous time without an online appointment, but press to get the ticket anyways. Wait time: 3.5h, are you kidding? Like I have nothing better to do in the mornings. Went back home, made famous “cita previa” to hopefully get another appointment in the same week. Not to mention that their website is stuck in times of IE7 and you should not try to click on too many links as you are soon going to end up at 404 page.

Two days later I am back in the office, hoping to get the paper in my 3rd attempt. “Just wait a minute”. When it seems like a good day, the lady at the desk is actually willing to speak spanish and not catalan with me until – “sorry, there seems to be a error in your profile and I can’t issue the certificate you want!”. Ok, tell me what’s wrong, I have all my folder of spanish documents with. “Look, what I do here is just press the ‘print’ button and I don’t have any access to your other data. But since is says ‘error’ at your profile I can’t print it. But don’t worry, usually we are just missing a document or two and all you have to do is go up to the 3rd floor and they will tell you what’s missing. And of course you need to have appointment for it, I think there is no appointments left for today, since the hour is late”. Yes, official working hours are from 9-13 and since it was already 12, that’t too late for people that work in bureaucracy. Since I was already in the office, I still went upstairs, just to be sure, there is no more tickets available for that day. I was correct.

At home, back to the same page, making an appointment of 3rd floor office and I am lucky enough that I can go back to the tax office for the 4th time in the same week. A day later I can ask what the problem is and that I have all my spanish papers with, in case anything is needed! So, she says I have to prove I lived more that 6 months in Spain in 2014. I almost go nuts. I live here for two years and I have to prove it? Not that tax residency law for self-employed person apply from day 1 from your self-employment, not after magical 183 days and I pay my self-employment fees every month and taxes every three. Ok, what paper you need now?

She is insisting that I will have to make copies of all documents and I am insisting I have all the papers with me – just tell me which one is it and I can come back in 5 mins with a copy, if I don’t have it already. There are just 2 other people hibernating in the waiting room. So, here we go: NIE number (aka ID number) – yes; your recent registered address – sure; work contract for minimum of 7 months in last calendar year – yes, I have this also even for 13 months, if needed; rent or contract – yep; document stating you have a bank account (and having a bank card is not the same as document) – yes yes, I told you, I have everything in my magic folder! So, anything else?? Yes – 7 utility bills on your name. You are kidding, right? You know that bills are most of the time on landlord name, because nobody want to waste time changing names on the bills. And list is not over yet – your bank transactions for 6 months. And 7 payslips – in case of self-employment just the prof that you payed your s.e. fees. Hey, you know – I am lucky enough that I occasionally buy metro ticked and pay by card, and now you can see all my transactions to “transportes de Barcelona”. Crap, I will need to come back another day.

I do ask myself every 3 months when I have to report my invoices – “WTF do I need that. Spanish bureaucracy, every time the same when I need one paper. I should be working a stupid office 9-7 spanish job, get precisely XY € and x days of vacations.. but of course, this is not an option!”

After an almost successful week of visits to tax office there is a bank holiday in next week. Meaning, I was too late to get appointment for monday or tuesday and all the other days the office is close. It was not easter week, just one day bank holiday! So, after another week I am back with all the copies, originals and whatever they want. I just hope to finally get the paper – but I still remember the day that I was in the office just before the closing time and there were just stamp and signature missing on my paper-of-that-time. You think I got it? Nope, come and get it in the morning, baby! And this time they introduced something new to me – “we are going to send it by mail”. I went a bit mental (I like this sentence). Give me my paper! “Look, you will have to print it anyways. Print it now and give it to me.” Neigh!! “In case it doesn’t arrive in 3-4 days, you should come back .. you know how spanish post work”. Yes, I also wish you the nice day.

So, waiting by the end of the week, checking my mail, because I have nothing else to do. 🙂 If I don’t get it on Monday, I shall go back. And on Monday – finally get the “Residencia fisical en España”! 🙂 Can’t believe that even on officially bilingual documents they can write something like “the meaning of the Spain and Slovenia Republic”, made my day, definitely!

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