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stories of immigration

From Balashikha to the Mediterranean sea

Lidia Kononova, 63

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
Our emigration to Spain started almost by accident - several of my sisters live in Germany, I visited them many times, but I never wanted to move. I lived in Balashikha, worked as an accountant - in several companies at the same time. An apartment, a car, my son - everything was stable and clear. Life changed when a friend bought an apartment in Spain on Costa Blanca. She invited me to visit, I went and fell in love. I remember when the thought of wanting to live here for the first time came to me and my friend had dinner on the terrace of her apartment, with wine, olives, fruits, cheeses, jamon - and it was so good!

Upon returning home I talked to my son, he said that if I liked it, he didn't mind seeing Spain. The second time we went to visit a friend, along with him, and immediately asked to bring him to the realtors, from whom she bought apartments. In the end - we bought a one-bedroom apartment: a living room with an American kitchen and a bedroom.
Alicante. View from the Santa Barbara castle

Problems and solutions when moving to Spain

In Balashikha, we had a two-bedroom apartment, exchanged it for a one-bedroom apartment, sold our car, and made the first mortgage payment, which was enough for everything, including furniture. A few years later they also sold the one-room apartment and both of them moved to Spain. First, my son moved to Spain, found a job remotely, and got a taste of Spanish life. He loved it, of course!

At first we were not planning to emigrate, but after living on the Mediterranean coast for six months, it was difficult to return to Balashikha. We took a risk and did not regret it.
We were legalized in Spain with the help of immigration attorneys - we would have hardly succeeded on our own, even though we already lived here for some time - Spain has rather slow civil services, you have to pull them all the time, otherwise you can wait for one piece of paper for several months. 
Lidia Kononova
Documents, prices, final
We have already legalized in Spain with the help of immigration lawyers - on their own we would have hardly succeeded, even though we already lived here for some time - in Spain rather slow public services, they need to pull all the time, otherwise one paperwork can wait for several months. In addition, immigration experts know exactly how to issue documents, so that no problems with obtaining a residence permit, and we had nowhere to retreat - all the apartments were sold, so that either good or bad - we could not take the risk. So far, that made "non-working" residence, then the son plans to obtain the right to work: for himself or on the contract - have not decided, will depend on the situation. Residence permit obtained at once for 2 years.

Health care here is all insurance - you buy insurance and go to any necessary doctors, and you can choose even the Russian-speaking. The necessary medicines and procedures are prescribed by doctors, and we get them for free or at a great discount right in the pharmacies - not like in Russia. There are many stores within walking distance, including a Russian shop where you can buy ryazhenka, kefir, buckwheat and Russian candy. Life itself is cheaper than in Russia, although prices have risen during the coronavirus, including for utilities, especially electricity.
Alicante waterfront, Costa Blanca
I work part-time cleaning offices, sometimes babysitting - there's easy work even for people my age, especially since I'm not afraid of work. My son works on the computer. We learn Spanish on courses for immigrants - here they are quite cheap, they take place once a week. 

Every day we walk along the sea - it's a 10-minute slow walk from our apartment to the sea. Whatever the difficulties, the sea and the Spanish sun - it's worth it! And what a delicious fruit! In short, we have no regrets - neither me nor my son, although I am a bit worried about the fact that he doesn't have a girlfriend yet - neither here nor in Russia.