It is my pleasure to inform you that I have an actual job offer, in writing and all. It seems that two and a half months of miserable job searching has come to an end. I’m not going to disclose the company just yet as I have not signed a contract yet, which means it’s not exactly a done deal, but suffice it to say it’s the biggest company I have had anything to do with so far and the benefit + salary package is also very good for my level.
The reason for why I have not signed a contract yet is because while the miserable job search may have come to an end – misery itself however has not. While I am a European Union citizen, Spain requires you to have a work permit to actually get hired, open a bank account, etc. A work permit which you can only get when you actually have a job offer – which I now do.
Getting the work permit or NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) by yourself is apparently a pretty sad untertaking and can leave you running in circles for quite some time. Time which I do not have. However, there are quite a few agencies that specialize in this paperwork nightmare and can do all the required things for you – including doing the impossible which is getting an actual appointment for the NIE.
Now, I have not done this yet. I’m in talks with a few agencies like that to see what they can exactly do, how they do it and how much money do they charge.
How I got a work permit or NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero)
And so on 4th of September, after a lengthy conversation with the NIE agent (they charge 90 EUR for NIE) who wanted documents from me that my employer could not provide and who said that the job offer I have was not enough to get a NIE, even tough my employer said it should be enough, I decided to say fuck it and go give a shot to what some other people here have done.
I showed up at the police station Comisaria Policia Nacional de Sant Feliu de Llobregat at 3:00 in the morning. I made it there as the 4th person and they only give 5 appointment numbers a day, so I made it, barely. Sitting in front of the police station for 11 hours is not exactly glamorous, but I finally got a NIE number which I will go pick up next Monday.
What I brought with me was a copy of my passport, copy of my job offer and a EX-18 form, of which I only filled the first section, the rest did the clerk at the police station. Do note that they speak no English what-so-ever there, so if you don’t speak Spanish, bring someone who does.
10th September update: I now have my NIE number! Yay!
How I opened a bank account
On 10th September I showed up to CaixaBank, which seems to be the quality over quantity type bank here in Spain. Instead of being bombarded by paperwork, they told me I only needed my NIE number to open a bank account and set an appointment for Wednesday (12th September).
12th September update: I now have a bank account! Yay!
How I got Social Security (Seguridad Social)
The internet told me that I had to print out the TA-1 form, make a copy of my passport and bring a job contract as well (which, ironically, I can’t get without social security, so …). I filled out the first section of it because it seemed to me that the rest are to be filled out by someone else, maybe in similar fashion to the NIE’s EX-18 form. The internet also said to show up at the nearest Tesorería de la Seguridad Social place half an hour before opening and to remember the Spanish line; “necesito número de la seguridad social”.
13th September update: I now have a social security number! Yay! I did mess up with it once tho’, apparently all you need to fill in the TA-1 form is section 1 and 3, that’s it and you don’t have to be at the Seguridad Social place half an hour before opening. I went there 12 in the middle of the day, waited 20 minutes and got it done with a total of 25 minutes.
Since I won’t be doing this process again, I also won’t have any new information to update this post with. But as of 13th of September, this worked. I hope this benefits someone in a similar situation to me, who’s moving to Spain and has to go through all this mambo-jambo.