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stories of immigration

In Spain after 40

Alexander Simakov, 50

We publish real stories of emigration to Spain to make it easier for you to understand how the move actually happens.
The idea of immigrating to Spain
Thoughts of emigration had been on my mind for a long time. We talked about it a lot, first jokingly, then more and more seriously, until my wife suggested that we each write down our dream lives in 5, 10, and 30 years. Surprisingly, our dreams coincided in that we want to face our old age by the sea, in a warm country with a pleasant climate.

We thought about Greece, Portugal, Germany, Cyprus, even Indonesia and the U.S., but realized that the maximum permissible for us - Europe and 4-5 hours by plane, because our parents are not going to move anywhere, and therefore we should be able, if necessary, to be near them for a few hours. My parents live in Perm, my wife lives in Saratov. In addition, we discussed the cost of medicine - of course, we are not 70, but not 20, so that the question of the cost of treatment in the new homeland, too, stood. States on this point fell out at once.

Germany seemed the most suitable place - close to Russia, inexpensive, to find a job is not so difficult, education is cheap, but the climate is not much different from ours and no sea. In France we were interested in jobs at the UN, where we needed specialists with knowledge of English and French, in Italy the possibility of obtaining a work visa loomed, but somewhere along the way Spain suddenly popped into my mind.
The beach of Tossa del Mar in the Costa Brava

Problems and solutions when moving to Spain

From the significant minuses of Spain for us was the absolute ignorance of the language, lack of work and any connections in this country, not the youngest age, unemployment, which was written about almost all the forums of Spain, and our fears.

The pluses were also: in our financial situation to get a residence permit seemed easy enough task, my son could get an education in Europe, and we still had time to earn at least a minimum pension. In general, we decided to try and began to study the question. We decided to move to Barcelona.
Illegal way we did not consider at all, there was almost no chance to get a work visa, we had no one to reunite with, to get a student residency could only son, so we decided to try to move on a visa without the right to work. Almost immediately it became clear that it is difficult to collect all the documents by ourselves, so we found an immigration company, paid the first down payment - and began the process of registration.
Alexander Simakov
Barcelona. Park Guell
Documents, prices, final
It took a lot of documents, even more subtleties, how to properly fill out an application and what documents to attach in order to accurately get first a visa, and then a residence permit. I never would have thought that a motivation letter was so important, and that it was on this, as it seemed to me, passable document that you could fail... It is important to write not about how great you will be in Spain and how you want to live in this country, but what benefits Spain will get from you. As it turns out, motivation letters are read - and very carefully.

A separate quest - to collect all the documents so that no certificate is not outdated. Fortunately, our migration specialists helped at all stages, so everything went well and fairly quickly.

We started to learn Spanish back in Russia - the whole family Skype with Vanessa, a Cuban woman who has lived in Russia for over 10 years and teaches Spanish, so that by the time of the move we could explain ourselves on a basic level. In Spain, my son went to the local school, and we continued to learn the language on our own: from textbooks and directly on the streets - Spaniards are very contactable, so my wife and I went for walks along the beach or in parks and tried to make conversation with the locals there. At home, of course, we watched Spanish programs and movies, listened to songs. When for the first time we were able to show tourists the way - almost went crazy with joy! I think we even drank Rioja on this occasion. 
Lloret del Mar
At the moment we are planning to apply for residency with the "right to work for myself", something like a Russian IP or self-employment. We are thinking of opening our own mini-business. I am 50 now, my wife is 45, my son is 17, and soon he will go to university. We are optimistic about the future and have no regrets at all about our decision to move.