So many people are asking me about why I am in Valencia now that I thought rather than keep writing it all each time I would blog it.
So I left Colombia with Niko, making the decision to leave Juan behind. It was the toughest thing we have ever done but we managed “what’s 6 months out of our whole lives right?”
In order for Juan to be able to join us, there were certain criteria I would have to meet
-We must wait 6 months before applying
-During those 6 months I must have been working and earning a minimum annual salary of £18,600
Well I managed both of those things and struggled through each month after paying out for Nikos full time childcare. With the government against me by saying I have to put in 45 hour weeks I then had to pay for 50 hours of childcare a week but because I was earning the amount they said had to be my minimum (£18,600) I then didn’t qualify for any of the childcare benefits schemes.
Anyway as the time grew near, and the countdown of our 6 months apart grew close I got in touch with a solicitor who specialises in immigration and has been helping me all the way through, and he advised me that the application now is averaging at £5,000 due to needing
-visa fee £1000
– private health care for Juan -£600
-English language test £600
– Flights between £500-£800
-solicitor fee £700
-allowance for extras/ issues.
He also then advised me that even people right now making applications who are ticking all the boxes are getting refusals due to the recent elections and crack down on immigration.
The refusal of a visa means you don’t get the money back and the cost of the appeal is about £2,000.
I was getting panicky about 1. Not having this application money saved up yet, 2. Concerned about Juan having a refusal (which can then look bad for other applications and 3. Concerned that even if Juan does get to the UK where would we live as I was barely managing with just the costs of childcare let alone rent and bills as well, and Juan may struggle to get work too (many company’s do not want to employ people unless they already have their indefinite leave to remain and this takes 5 years to get) so this could be a problem too.
We just felt that it was too risky to chance it and then be stuck relying on family.
I came to Valencia, on holiday initially to see our friends who are in the same situation (British &colombian) and to see how they are managing here- it was all made to appear really easy. My friends Colombian husband was here with her for just under 3 months and has now been given a 5 year visa! I think the total cost of this was about €100 tops including all travel n printing documents etc! A massive difference from the UK procedure.
Both my friends have found jobs easily here and the rent and bills are affordable averaging about €400 a month. Transport is cheap (about 70p per journey on tram/train.
So I figured I would start looking for a Job in Spain online, and a week after I got back from holiday I found one, nannying.
I booked my flights out here with niko and since the 22nd September I have been here in Valencia.
I’ve got 4 little babysitting / nannying jobs lined up but the hunt for contracted work continues (I will need a contract in order to apply for Juan to stay here with me.
So our plan going forward is:
-Juan will come here on the 22nd October (flights now booked!!!!! Yay)
-He / we will then have 3 months to get me a job and apply for his 5 year residency
– Juan can then work / travel etc within Europe (UK still excluded)
– after 2 years of this 5 year residency being issued he can then apply for his Spanish nationality!
Which gives me between now and the 23rd Jan 2016 to get a job with a contract, should be easy (I’ve been here 1.5 weeks already n got a potential 4 jobs lined up – but as private so no contracts yet.
Anyway life here seems fab, my friends after nearly 10 months here still love it and say they can’t believe they live here- it’s not just a holiday, but it’s easy to forget your not on holiday, living in the city centre with all its architecture, green areas, parks, public outdoor pools, little plazas with restaurants and ice cream parlours and the SUNSHINE! We are 10 minutes by tram from the city centre, and 20 minutes in tram from the beach. The people are all so lovely too.
For us we think it’s going to be our happy neutral place, it has the best of bogota and the UK for me, it’s hot, it’s still Spanish speaking so me and niko won’t lose the language, it’s a bit of an adventure, but at the same time it’s safe here, they sell food from Colombia and the UK (and most other countries too it’s just so varied, and the work life balance is perfect meaning we can afford to work yet still get good quality time together as a family.
I’m currently staying with my friends until Juan arrives and then we will find our own place. Exciting!
Juan is busy getting our apartment in Colombia rented out and packing ready to be re-United with me and niko after what will then be a long 8 months.
So there you go. I’ll keep you all updated!