Now the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, gaining residency in Spain as a so-called ‘Third Country’ can be stressful to say the least. However, if you want to spend more than 90 days here in a rolling 180 day period, without jumping through the hoops to obtain a visa, you need to apply for Spanish residency – or ‘residencia,’ to give the process its official term. The 90 day limit applies to tourists only, and cannot be used to circumvent the rules to spend longer in Spain, or any other Schengen Area country.
While it’s perfectly possible to do this process yourself, you need to cope with the Spanish obsession with paperwork – lots of it! Even if you take every single piece of paper you can think of, it’s possible you will hear the words beloved of every Spanish bureaucrat:
‘Falta un papel,’ or, ‘There’s a piece of paper missing.’
That’s one of the reasons I decided to ask Matt Neale of Chandelier Professional Services to progress my residencia application, help me change from a UK driving licence to a Spanish one, and register on the Spanish health care system. I also decided to register as autonoma (self-employed) at the same time, since I wanted to work here as a writer and clairvoyant, and I wanted to do it all legally, since I want to spend the rest of my days happily living in my soul’s home, Spain.
I was really impressed with the friendly professionalism of the Chandelier staff. They certainly know their way around the system, and they are willing to devote time to securing appointments, even if it means spending ages refreshing the website in between the processing other applications. I approached Matt on Wednesday 30 September, got my updated Padron on Thursday 1 October, registered as autonoma on Friday 2, and handed in my paperwork on Monday 5. Two days later – on Wednesday 7th October 2020, my application for residencia was accepted.
Why was it so quick? I don’t know, but I’m sure the fact that the advice from Matt and the team was clear and concise, so I knew exactly which paperwork to submit. The guy behind the desk in Alicante congratulated me for having ‘Perfect paperwork.’ No sign of a single ‘Falta un papel’ there!
Chandelier Professional Services has 100% acceptancy record for residencia, which is testament to the thorough groundwork which goes in beforehand. As well as helping with the important elements of obtaining Spanish residency, Matt and Georgia, his executive assistant, can also help you make a Spanish will, to ensure your wishes are carried out when you pass away.
Georgia’s fluent Spanish and attention to detail will ensure all your interactions with Spain’s army of officials will progress smoothly at all times. She will even go and obtain your SIP (Health System) cards for you, so you don’t have to navigate the many, confusing routes into and out of Almoradi! And the team will obtain the necessary appointments as soon as humanly possible by the simple process of perseverance! Recently, Matt was able to make appointments for all his outstanding TIE card clients to have their fingerprints taken within a week, despite the general consensus among gestors and lawyers that it was ‘Impossible to get a fingerprint appointment.’ Nothing is impossible when you are as dedicated to customer service as Chandelier Professional Services.
There’s another element to the business, too, as Chandelier Real Estate also operates from the spacious office on Avenida Maria del Mar Rodriguez, in the heart of Algorfa. Darren Allen, Matt’s trusted business partner, is an experienced estate agent, with many years in the trade. He won’t rest until he’s found your ideal place in the sun, or found the perfect buyer when you are ready to move on. Darren collaborates with other experienced agents in the area to ensure that you don’t miss out on your perfect place in the sun. That means you’ll find an extensive choice of properties to suit your budget, whatever your dream home in Spain may be.
Speaking of collaboration, Matt also has a good working relationship with the DGT (Traffic Department), which makes changing your driving licence as easy as it can be. As trusted industry professionals, the team have a number of reliable contacts in local and regional government, so you can rest assured any information or guidance you receive from Chandelier Professional services is accurate and relevant to your particular situation.
The office has a lovely feeling – welcoming and friendly, yet professional, and the coffee pot is always on the go, so you can be sure of a warm welcome. Matt and Darren will even accommodate you outside office hours, if you can’t get to Algorfa between 10.00 am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.
Why not call into the Chandelier office in the heart of Algorfa and see if Matt, Georgia and Darren can help you make the most of your new life in Spain?
Avenida Maria del Mar Rodriguez 41, Algorfa 03169
865 75 99 31; 633 56 70 46
For five years now, Julie Mills has been running Cinders Pre-Loved Fashion, a dress agency in the heart of Algorfa. She started off in a back room in Mailpoint (now Mary Girona Dance School on Avenida Maria del Mar Rodriguez), and for the last three years has traded from the shop on the corner opposite, next to Meson Algorfa, or the Red Bar, as it’s known locally.
In case you don’t know, a dress agency is a step up from a charity shop, and the charity begins at home, in this case. You take in your good quality clothes, Julie inspects them, and if they meet her high standards, she will sell them for you on a 50/50 basis. So if that dress that’s never seen the light of day since you bought it sells for €10, you get €5 and Julie gets €5, and everyone’s happy, because your mistake is somebody else’s dream dress, and they’ve got it for a price that won’t keep them awake at night.
I’ve bought a number of things from Cinders, and I’ve been delighted with all of them, in terms of price, quality and service. Julie has a keen eye for what will suit her customers, and she has a good range of items to accessorise your new purchases as well. The shop is beautifully laid out, and it’s a pleasure to just be there, because you get a warm welcome, and there’s so much to see and appreciate. It’s a timely reminder in this challenging period that there are still a lot of good things in life.
As we all come to terms with living with Covid 19 – because it’s not going anywhere any time soon – there are lots of reasons to shop at somewhere like Cinders, rather than heading for the crowded shops in Zenia Boulevard or the Habaneras Centre. Here’s why you should head down to Cinders Pre-Loved Fashion, even if we can’t go to the ball just yet!
If you live in Algorfa or any of the surrounding urbanisations, you are no more than 10 minutes’ drive from this fabulous shop, yet it’s surprising how many locals don’t even realise it’s there. So tell your friends on La Finca, Montemar, Lo Crispin and Montebello to get down to Cinders and take a look. And yes, there is a glass slipper there, although Prince Charming is already taken!
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday, 10.00 am – 2.00 pm
Telephone: 627 19 13 13