Letter of Intent

At the beginning of October, the pet relocation people got back to me about potential alternate routing.  They didn’t say anything about the Lufthansa flight I mentioned, and instead told me that the dogs would have to go on a boat, not a plane, to Tenerife.  So between that and the (continued) high pricing, Crystal and I were less than thrilled.  So I amped up my search for an alternative.

The translations arrived in early October, so I pinged the consulate – which I hadn’t contacted since July – to inform them that I had everything, and that I wanted to confirm how to email everything.  I’m glad I did this, because now they wanted me to physically mail everything, including our passports and a money order for the processing fee.  We weren’t exactly planning any other foreign travel, but it still gave us some pause to physically mail our passports anywhere.  We also had to figure out how the hell to do a money order.  It turns out it wasn’t that difficult, and could be done at the post office, where I was going to mail everything from anyway, but it was odd that I’d never done a money order in all my years.  I also found out where the local post office was; in my 3 years in San Diego I had no clue where the closest physical post office was.  I sent everything off, and hoped for a quick response, as every day that got closer to election day, and all the associated news, just made me want to leave ASAP.

Whilst waiting on the consulate, there was some good news, as from some Facebook groups that I had joined earlier in the year that related to expats on Tenerife, I came across a potential transport company, Diggers Den, run by a woman named Charlotte.  I got a hold of her, let her know what we were looking for, and she immediately gave some ideas that gave me much more confidence than the other company I’d been dealing with.  Having her physically in Tenerife also made me more confident, as I figured (rightly or wrongly) that flying from Los Angeles to mainland Europe was probably the “easy” part, and that flying to Tenerife would be the more difficult part, so dealing with someone who dealt entirely with that would be beneficial.  After just a few days, she gave us a quote of less than half of what the other company quote us, which included flights to Tenerife from Frankfurt.

Also whilst waiting for the consulate, I started really focusing on rentals in Puerto.  We wanted either an enclosed yard or a large deck/balcony for the dogs.  We also wanted something furnished, as we weren’t going to ship any furniture and didn’t want to pay for new furniture either.  Finally, we preferred something closer to the water, but that was definitely tertiary.  Between needing a place that allowed pets, and also was furnished, the number of available rentals was quite low, but at least there were some, and some that had been available for a long time and were probably desperate.  It wasn’t like there were a ton of people looking to rent in the middle of the pandemic.

On 29 October, we heard back from the consulate, and it was a mixed bag.  Nothing was amiss or fatally flawed, but they indicated that we needed a “letter of intention,” and also needed to have medical insurance that specifically covered COVID, in case we needed care whilst in Tenerife.  I went back and forth with insurance company, who assured us that what we’d purchased would be fine, and they even offered to reach out to consulate directly, which was nice.  So I took them up on their offer, and they sent me, and the consulate, a couple of emails indicating what the insurance covered. 

The letter of intent was a fork in the road.  The consulate indicated that the letter needed to state why we wanted to move to Tenerife (not a problem), and that we wouldn’t be working whilst in Tenerife (potentially a problem).  Up to this point, from my research it was ambiguous whether we’d need to quit our jobs.  The point of the non-lucrative visa, best as I could tell, is that it was “easier” to obtain because you weren’t going to be taking a potential job away from a local.  So there were plenty of sites I saw indicating that if you were self-employed, or worked remotely for a company outside the country, you could do that on a non-lucrative visa.  Other sites said this wasn’t possible.  Because we weren’t sure, Crystal and I never needed to have a serious conversation about this.  But once we had to put it down – in writing no less – that we wouldn’t work whilst in Spain, we now needed to confirm that we were both fine not working.  I was, and thankfully Crystal was too.  So we wrote our letter of intent, printed out the new stuff from the medical insurance company, and got ready to go visit the consulate.

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