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A family moves from the UK to Galicia

It's all about the family. And the sea, and the wine, and the food.... A family moving to start a new chapter, and a Spanish family reunited after many years apart. We are planning towards a move to Galica, to live with my wife's parents and aunts/uncles and to give ourselves a new life away from exorbitant UK property prices and council tax.... This blog is about our research and planning, and then about the move, and then about our new life as ex-pats/new residents.

3.5 Months update
18 October 2016 @ 12:07

Hi to Rosa that got in touch (will message you) and I thought I would offer an update.

We arrived in Galica on July 2nd, and I went back to the UK at the end of August to start my Mon-Fri UK working/weekends in Galica pattern whilst my wife stays there with her parents, the kids and cats, and begins life proper.  The plan was that we would run things that way for at least 6 months, to build up some £ and pay off some debts whilst beginning to plan more for the longer term.


Things have mostly worked out as per that plan.  I'm going back again this weekend, and have booked my flights well in advance all through Sept, Oct, Nov and then Dec to go out for a 4 weeks period for Solstice/Daughters bday/Xmas/NY/3 Kings day.   I take the Vueling flight from heathrow which is usually 5pm (a bit early) but in November they are moving it to 7pm (better, though of course slightly later arrival to see kids etc).  Easyjet have opend up their flight for next year up to end of June, so in theory I could consider their morning flights eg sat 6am.  But I think Vueling is ok for me.  I've joined the Vueling Pass scheme to get priority boarding and lounge access at heathrow (but it's a fairly crap lounge, free drinks and snacks but other than that not 'VIP').

Other pragmatics?

- bank account: we haven't progressed much really but instead deal a lot in Cash which I'm getting a good exchange rate on near Liverpool st each month.  Then using UK debit cards and accepting a hit on fees and rates (but in the grand scheme of things it's not that much per month/year).   I have been able to get a Euro bank account with HSBC now which was easy just took a few weeks for them to open, and we can make payments out to Spain bank accounts from that (at a cost of 6 euros each time), but there is no provision of debit cards which is annoying.  Hoping we will find another option in time.

- residency/citizenship/foreigner etc - related to the above, then below : one major fail has been wife and kids registering.  My wife had a spanish passport until she was a teenager, and recalls choosing 'No I do not reject my spanish citizenship' on a UK passport form sometime later.  So she was able to 'register' at the local town police department, and was then instructed to go to the city police/DNI office where they said 'no you have lost citizenship rights, you will need to renew or be foreigner resident but need proof of income, private medical insurance'.

There was also this other aspect about needing a letter from me saying I give permission for my children to live there with my wife.  Then the city police DNI said this would need to be with me in person, or witnessed by a spanish solicotor.

Since then, further advice from the UK spanish embassy (who took months to respond) has pointed my wife to the Registro Civil office instead to follow up on her citizenship and she may have a way through via them.

ho hum.

Mean while we've been progressing with changing UK accounts addresses, closing down utility accounts from our previous rented house etc etc.  Including a child benefit HRMC letter talking about her there vs me here.

All quite complex.


So the above of course affects access to health services, and my daughter had an accident at a friends house and got concussion which was really scary for a while so we took her to the local urgenxias, including when we didn't have her passport on EHIC on us and they at first said they wouldn't see her.  So we were visiably shocked and upset they wouldn't look at a 10 year old girl with a head injury and they relented and saw us, just to refer us to the city A&E for children.  they were better, and just said that we would need to get her passport and EHIC to show them but it could wait until she had first been assessed. Luckily she was all fine, just an overnight stay for observation and  no further hassle.

But it highlighted the issue for being on this 'in between' status, and we do have other health issues we want to work through and not sure quite when we'll be able to.

I've read about the 'pay in' scheme, and will also look at private cover.



Other happy updates: the kids have settled really well into a horse riding school, including picking up some spanish through that.  and we have all bonded well with another set of familes from around the nearby city.  

The summer weather seems to be finally over, with a final lovely sunny weekend at the start of october.  So on wth the rain, fog and coldness.  We also haven't yet progressed getting central heating quotes or install which is a shame, so I hope to have updates on that in the coming months.


So much to write! that will do for now.








Like 2


cuius said:
22 October 2016 @ 09:54

Santander UK debit cards can be used for cash withdrawals in euros from Santander Spain ATMs without a fee, and they use a reasonable exchange rate.

Chelseadave said:
22 October 2016 @ 11:53

I highly recommend the Caxton FX card. No fees, top up online at rates that are better than anything on the high street and you can use it as a debit card and for free cash withdrawals.

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