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I don't see any duplicates in the suggestions, but some of my previous questions (listed below) are somewhat related.

Consulate website says I can have a “duly accredited representative” do my visa application—but only under certain circumstances. Otherwise, I have to personally go to Houston both to apply, and to pick up the visa. And that they keep my passport, preventing me from taking advantage of the ninety-day no-visa option (citizen of USA) while I wait.

Furthermore, as part of the application, I have to include a lease or purchase agreement proving that I already have a place to live in Spain. (Spain has no hotels?) So I am supposed to go to Spain, buy or lease a home, then return to USA for two or more months to get permission to live in it! (And pay for it for those two months that I am not using it!)

They say that all documents must have “certified” translations into Spanish. Does that mean I’m not allowed to translate them myself even though my Spanish is good enough to survive in remote parts of Mexico, Spain, and Peru for periods of time? (BTDT)

And I'm puzzled to see on another forum someone claiming that the consulate’s website is wrong, that English is good enough and you don’t need an appointment.

I already have a ticket to Barcelona for 8 Jan 2017. Is there any way i can avoid coming back for two months after finding an apartment? Even going into France, England, Italy, etc. would be preferable to going all the way to Houston. (I say Houston because I have a mailing address in Oklahoma, even though I don’t currently have a home anywhere.)

I guess I should have also mentioned that my income exceeds the €25K requirement, that I have insurance to return me to USA if some urgent need arises, that my medical coverage covers emergencies anywhere, and that I plan to purchase insurance in Spain for routine care (even though I can afford to be self-pay).

Questions somewhat related:

Cheapest way to ship three cubic meters from Oklahoma to Spain?

Can American citizen get an NIE in Spain while on no-visa 90-day visit?

U.S.V.A. health coverage outside of CONUS?

Must have bought or leased before applying for entry?

Which visa for about a year in Spain with flexibility for Schengen?

Where to go to obtain Spanish residency

Can a nomadic US citizen have "bona-fide resident" status?

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Well, this is not a complete answer, but it's a start.

In Spain, everyone agreed with some of the websites: get the NIE from the police. And the realtors and bankers also agreed with the websites, that they can't do anything for me until I have the NIE. But the websites and friends also said you can't get an NIE unless you already have a domicile. And one friend says the police show up every other month to verify that they actually live where the NIE says they live.

I thought, well, obviously I need to find out the straight scoop from the police. Maybe a "promise" of an apartment is sufficient. Well, earlier in the month, the NIE handling was moved from the police to another government building, and "mornings only." So I had to wait another day and they said to just list the hotel I'm at and my phone number. They will notify me by SMS when it's ready. Not by e-mail, even though the form asks for an e-mail address. And not by paper mail, even though there's a place for that address and a check box to authorize electronic notification.

So, I had to buy a phone. Also, they want a photocopy of every page in the passport that has content.

UPDATE: Back to the Oficina de Extranjeros with the copies and the phone number. Change "purpose" from the reason I want to be in Spain to the reason I need the number (para tramitar negocios). Then she says I have to walk two blocks to pay the fee and bring back the receipt. The Caja Laboral says I can't pay without an NIF which is different from NIE. BACK to the NIE office, where they say they're the same, but they agree that in fifteen days when it's ready, they'll tell me the number so I can pay before picking it up. I think I will have to write up this procedure in bullets somewhere for the amusement of others.

  • How did you manage to get a phone? Last time I checked you needed a valid DNI/NIF/NIE to activate a phone line. – Diego Sánchez Jan 23 '17 at 10:58
  • No, for many things, a passport is sufficient ID. But not for a bank account or a lease. What's the difference between NIF & NIE? – WGroleau Jan 23 '17 at 11:56
  • NIF is the corporate id for companies, associations and others. – Diego Sánchez Jan 23 '17 at 11:59
  • As far as I'm aware the police only show up to check on residents at an address which has a suspiciously high number of people registered. And unless things have changed you can open a "non-residents" account at the bank without a NIE and then close it and open a normal account once you have the NIE. – Peter Taylor Feb 6 '17 at 21:38
  • My friends don't have anyone but the two of them there. Probably someone complains about them, prompting the visit. And I asked a couple of bankers about using a passport number but was told No, NIE. I expect the NIE tomorrow, but I still have to go back to USA to get the visa. – WGroleau Feb 7 '17 at 7:46

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