Family Book Refusal

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07 Nov 2010 00:00 by Eloy Star rating in London . UK. 10 posts Send private message


Hi to everyone 

I am a resident in the UK since 1968 and registered in the Spanish Consulate in London . I went  to Philippines in February this year to meet my future wife and once we managed to arrange the Fiance Visa in Manila which wasn´t easy and costly she came to London and we got married in April this year, she is now legally in the UK and able to work, we  intend to remain in the UK for the foreseable future.

We decided to register our marriage in the Spanish Consulate in London in May this year and once we completed the necessary forms for the Civil Registry and delivered them at the Consulate I was told a couple of days later by phone that the Consul wanted to interview me and my wife , after several months wait and I don´t know how many telephone calls we finally managed to get an  interview with the Consul and be interviewed separately @ 11.00am on 21st September , on the same day @ 2.00pm we get a telephone call at home from the Civil Registry at the Consulate to inform us that the Consul had refused to have our marriage registered at the Consulate and therefore our marriage is still not recognised in Spain. When my wife applied for a Visa at the Consulate to be able to visit our family in Spain for the first time, they asked her for the Family Book so that she wouldn´t have to go through all the checks required by another person who is not married to a Spanish National and make it easier but she told them at the time that she had applied for it and was waiting to be issued with one, Now it seems that we have to go through the same process of filling forms , writing letters and proof of documentation everytime she applies for a visa whenever we want to visit our families in Spain 

The reason the Consul gave us in a letter was that the marriage was considered to be conveniently arranged  and there was a lack of consent because we had met through the internet, we gave contradictory evidence at the interview he gave us separately and lastly that there was a 34 years age gap between my wife and myself, a decition that we completely disagree except for the age difference , a comment which  we found  to be offensive and discriminatory.

We have been given 30 days in which to appeal to the Consul decition to the Direccion General de Registros y del Notariado del Ministerio de Justicia but unfortunately the cost of a specilised solicitor to deal with the appeal is beyond our reach  and I do not know if we would be able to apply for the Family Book and have our marriage declared valid in Spain when we go on holidays again as we are residents in London.

Any help and advise in this unfair decition to have our legal marriage in the UK declared valid in in Spain would very much be appreciated.





This message was last edited by Eloy on 07/11/2010.


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08 Nov 2010 19:47 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

Hi Eloy

I am no expert in this area but I would have thought if your marriage has not been queried in the UK then the Spanish would have to fall in behind this being Europe and all that ......

On a previous thread I suggested Manual Martin & Associates to help you - did they offer any free advice? But I would not waste any money on professionals.

As you are in the UK have you tried the citizens advice bureau?

I would imagine if you reply in the future (say married 12 months) they will have to accept the marriage - the passage of time kind of defeats their argument.

But otherwise as you intend staying in UK I would not worry too much about it. A bit of an irritation for the odd visit but once you go through the process once it's easier after that........

I always find dealing with any Spanish Consul General tedious but I can't say they have not been helpful and fairly cheap for notarial services except it takes a tad longer to arrange etc.

Interesting so please keep us posted as to how you get on

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08 Nov 2010 21:38 by Eloy Star rating in London . UK. 10 posts Send private message


Many thanks for your kind reply and advise Faro,  I will not bother wasting money with expensive legal fees to appeal to the Consul decition , We will try to register our marriage when we go next to visit our family in the Canaries , I have a friend who works for the Juzgados over there and she might help , if not luck because we are not residents then in a couple of years we will go to the Consulate and try again although the lady in the Civil Registry told me that we could not apply again for registiring our marriage in the Consulate in which case I would spend the money for a good lawyer to take them to the European Courts of Human rights.





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09 Nov 2010 09:24 by Faro Star rating in London. 1139 posts Send private message

I do not believe they can deny you a libro de familia.

You obviously have a Spanish passport - do you also have DNI? If you don't have DNI maybe it might help to apply for that in terms of establishing a greater link with Spain. I can tell you how to do that as the procedure is different to NIE becuase you are not extranjero! If you try and do anything in Spain you will need DNI - without DNI you do not exist!

I once had three and that really surprised them - I had one for each child! I think they since took them all back and merged them into one and blamed me for the error!

Sometimes you can play games with the Spanish officials and use their interpretation of laws to your advantage. I have on occassion said fine show me where that is written - show me the law - and they can't - but I still get shown the door.

A Spanish magistrate did help me in the past change my son's name as he was born under franco law which meant he had to take a name from the book of names. In the free world it made no difference but in Spain it would have been a real problem in school & university to use a different name. All we had to do was bring 2 witnesses to swear he was always known by a different name and then they re-issued all his paperwork (DNI, passport etc) - it only took a couple of weeks.

I also had to have a lot of my wife's paperwork re-issued because names on driving licence and bank cards etc did not tally with Spanish ID. Try explain to a trafico why your driving licence has a different name! But there again you have an advantage - a different identity.

Most people don't know what the old Spain was like and the fear people lived under and had to do what the governemnt told them or face imprisonment which I think partly explains why people still will not challenge the system. Franco still lives in all the public offices and the older generation still live in fear. Maybe this is one of the reasons you or your family escaped to the free world.

Try your local MP or MEP - worth a letter or a petition!!



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09 Nov 2010 17:24 by Eloy Star rating in London . UK. 10 posts Send private message


Hi Faro

Thank you for your kind reply, they are encoraging and helpful. Yes, I do have  D N I  , I was born in Las Palmas and have lived in London since 1968 and guess what , I have also been registered as a resident in the Spanish Consulate of this city ever since.

I will do a search for the  M E P , but should it be a British or Spanish one ? I asume most probably write to both. I contacted the C A B , Citizen Advise Bureau and they refered me to a Lawyer specialising in European Laws and of course they are all private and very expensive so I will give up on hiring one.

I think we will wait until we go to Las Palmas again and perhaps my friend who works at the juzgados will point us in the right direction. We feel let down to let these biggots at the Consulate to get away with their wrongful decitions as if they had a law of their own , specially when we were legally entitled to a document that will be needed in the future if my wife and I decide to go and live in Spain one day.




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18 Mar 2013 13:27 by Eloy Star rating in London . UK. 10 posts Send private message


Hi Faro

Two and half years have passed since my application for marriage registration in the Spanish Consulate in London and my appeal to the Direccion General de Registros y del Minesterio de Justicia. After spending a great deal amount of money in lawyer  fees complying with legal documentation required by the Minesterio in the process through the consulate, not only was my Spanish nationality withdrawn by the consulate because I had obtained British Nationality before it was allowed in Spain, now it is possible to have dual nationality. I did reinstate my Spanish nationality straight away, surprisingly an easy process also through the consulate which it only took me a couple months.  I did get in touch with my M E P and they were very helpful, they refered my case to the British Embassy in Madrid who wrote to the consulate in London and obviously Civil Registry were not too happy when I went to see them during my visits to the consulate. 

Last week I was left a message on my answer phone from the Civil Registry at the Consulate to get in touch with them with regard to my appeal as they had news from the Direccion General de Registros y del Ministerio de Justicia in Madrid. I phoned them today and I was told that my appeal was turned down and would I come round to collect the letter for the refusal to my marriage registration. I will be going sometime this week to collect the letter but I wonder if it is worth to refer again my case to the European Courts of Human Rights as I have exhausted all options, one of the conditions that I had to comply with the  E C H R  before they took my case.

I do have my Spanish nationality back and I also the Documento Nacional de Identidad. My wife will eventually acquire British Nationality this year and will not be needing a visa to visit our family in Spain but it is the principle in all this that has happened to us after doing all the legal requirements and everything by the book from Philippines to London to get my wife as a Citizen of Europe and now for simple marriage registration which I belive is our legal right, we have been turned down by the consulate therefore breaking articles 8 and 12 in the  E C H R, a right to family life, we have a daughter and age descrimination.

I will be consulting the  E C H R about this outcome and decide if it is worth to take it further that is if this case is valid in Spain.


Best regards




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