As a Filipina married to an EU Citizen living in Spain, it is easy to get a residency visa to Spain. At first, I did not believe it because I have read a lot of stressful experiences on the internet when getting visas. Add to the fact that there is not much information on the web on how to exactly go about the process, especially for those coming from outside Metro Manila.
I made my own research and found the assistance of VFS Global website to be quite valuable. This entity provides administrative support for the Consulate General of Spain. The visa type definition, requirements, fees, forms, etc are on their website for each visa category. I selected the option long stay visa since I will live with my husband in Spain. There are also corresponding requirements for family member of EU Citizen under which conditions I was applying. VFS Global only processes short stay visas so I have to personally hand over my application at the consulate in Manila. However, VFS helped me secure a slot for my chosen appointment date. I did it months before to prepare my requirements as some of them had to be produced by my husband in Spain.
The appointment day came and my husband was able to be in Manila with me. He was not allowed to accompany me inside the building so he went back to the hotel. Applicants were told to go at the premises early but it did not start on time for some protocols. Before going up the building, I have to wait for my name to be called by the guards and had to leave my gadgets and an ID but I was allowed to bring my bag. I had to do another security check before going inside the visa waiting room.
During the interview, I was asked simple questions about me and my husband but the visa form I already had filled in was not the correct one, so I had to change it. The one sent to me by the consulate through email was the National Visa Form, but then they wanted me to fill in a Schengen Visa Form instead. Anyway, mistakes do happen so I just went with the flow to avoid delays. Meanwhile, the interviewing officer had to go back and forth to clarify my case before he asked if my husband was around, because they needed his signatures for the new visa form. I had to go down to the guard to ask for my mobile phone so I could contact my husband at the hotel. While waiting for him, I filled in the new forms, and thankfully, he made it before the consulate closed.
After some questions and more document presentation by my husband plus signatures with my biometric procedure, I got the approval and could pick up the visa after seven days. I was drained a bit but my husband and I celebrated with some Latin American dishes at a nearby restaurant. Then we went to the airport for our separate flights, with me going back to Davao and my husband to Spain.
The mistake from the consulate sending me the wrong visa form could have made a great delay for my travel to Spain, but luckily enough my husband was in Manila with me, and all went well. Sigh.