So, after applying and getting accepted into Spain’s language assistant program, and living and working abroad for a whole school year, you decided in the spring you wanted to do it all over again. You’ve read through Spain’s official how-to-renew guide, but their guide for renewing via Profex is all in Spanish and the application period begins tomorrow…so what do you do? Read below, that’s what! (hahaha)
Anyway, in this blog post I want to make it as clear as possible how to renew for Year 2 (or Year 3…) since the process is similar, but different from Year 1. If you finish reading the post and still have questions, leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it!
|Me at the Plaza de España in Sevilla|
Step 1: Figure out where you want to renew
|Sevilla’s Torre del Oro and the Guadalquivir River at the blue hour|
The first option is to simply remain at your present placement for another year—simple as that. I have a friend who is staying at her school for Year Two but moving to an apartment in a bigger city, just to change things up a bit, but you can keep on living in your pueblo if you want!
Next, you can choose to stay in your current Autonomous Community (Andalucía, Castilla y León, Galicia, etc.) but move to a different city or province. For example, someone I met at the Jaén orientation had been in a small town for her first year but moved to Úbeda for her second—both in the same province—and one of my good friends from this year is moving from a rural village to the big city of Sevilla on the other side of Andalucía. If you’re staying in the same autonomía, you’re more likely to get placed in the province, city, and sometimes school of your choice.
Finally, it’s possible to transfer to an entirely different Autonomous Community altogether. Travel blogger Liz Carlson went from Córdoba in Andalucía to Logroño in La Rioja, one friend I met this year in the south had worked in Palencia (Castilla y León) the year before, and I personally am moving from Andalucía to Galicia. When moving from region to region, you get less preference on city and school placements, but you’re essentially assured you’ll get a job in the community you want.
Step 2: Endure the dreaded ProfexAh yes, our
Anyway, what you have to do is, once the application period begins in January, you sign in to your Profex account and go to Presentación solicitudes under the Auxiliares de Conversación menu on the sidebar. (All your information in the Curriculum section from last year will automatically carry over, so no worries about spending hours filling in your address, education, blood type, list of exes, etc.) At the Presentación solicitudes screen, select “[year] - Auxiliares de conversación extranjeros en España” and — THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART — click on the Renovación solicitud button, NOT the Nueva solicitud one. I have a friend who accidentally clicked on Nueva instead of Renovación and it totally screwed up her renewal chances. Thanks, Spain.
informe del centro (your performance review from your school and your declaration of where you want to teach). It’s okay if you don’t upload everything at this step; you can go back and finish things later…I think. The website is super glitchy so anything is possible.
|This is what happens when you stay up until 2am in Spain—you get inscrita #43. Aww yeahhhhh|
Step 3: Mail in your PDF application
|Calle Obispo Cobos in Úbeda where I lived|
If you’re changing regions, you mail it in to the Ministry office in Madrid. “Extracomunitarios” refers to people who aren’t EU citizens, basically. The address is:
Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte
Subdirección General de Promoción Exterior Educativa
Programa de Auxiliares de Conversación – Cupo Comunidad
Paseo del Prado, 28, 5a planta, despacho 524
(A la atención de Javier Menéndez [extracomunitarios] o Victoria Hernández [comunitarios])
Once all your documents have been uploaded and your PDF application has been mailed in, a worker bee will look over your file and move you from inscrita to admitida, and you’ll be ready to go.
Step 4: Receive your placement
|Puerta de Granada on the south side of Úbeda|
Step 5: Renew your residency
|My TIE card…which expired May 31st (ugg)|
In a perfect world, your NIE wouldn’t expire until late September, when you come back to Spain after going home or traveling for the summer, and you wouldn’t have to worry about questionable legal status when re-entering Spain. But many provinces (e.g., Córdoba and Jaén) set your NIE to end on the last day of the program—May 31—making you technically an illegal alien in the EU when you wake up June 1. Sucks to suck! To make matters worse, these foreigners’ offices refuse to renew your NIE if you’re moving from one province to another. And now we get to the crux of the problem.
You don’t find out about your placement for the next school year until May—fewer than 30 days before your status expires. And 90 days into the future from May 31 is only August 31—an impractical date to arrive back in Spain (one month before classes start with no paycheck!). So what you have to end up doing is run across the country like a chicken with its head cut off to the foreigners’ office of the province you are moving to and apply to renew there.
But it gets worse—the renewal process involves several trips: for the initial application, for the new card, and for picking up the new card. The website says it could take up to three months for everything to go through.
|Calle Explanada, a street|
I lived nearby in Úbeda
This whole process is extremely impractical for 1) those language assistants who are changing regions 2) those language assistants whose status ends May 31) and 3) everyone, since we have no means of sustaining ourselves or health insurance during the summer months and can’t afford to just twiddle our thumbs while waiting up to 3 months for approval before going home.
And even if you do get everything squared away, renewal-wise, you have to get an autorización de regreso before leaving under your expired-but-being-renewed TIE, under which you are allowed to come back into the country legally but only in under 90 days. So you’re pretty much screwed even if you manage to get your act together by, for example June 10, because you’d have to return to Spain no later than September 9, which is still super early.
What me and a lot of other friends are doing this summer is simply going back home and getting a whole new student visa. Ugg. Liz Carlson actually pulled off the whole two-cross-country-train-trips-and-faking-an-apartment-contract, and you can read about her experience here.
Step 6: Get in contact with your school!
|Central Úbeda at sunrise|
Have you successfully renewed as a second or third year auxiliar de conversación before? What tips would you give potential renewals about the process? Add them to the discussion below!