How I almost became gay for the sake of Spanish citizenship.
The reader of the magazine “TutiTam” talks about his attempts to obtain Spanish citizenship in an unconventional way.
Before leaving for Spain, I lived in severe Chelyabinsk. My move was pretty spontaneous and unexpected. It so happened that the owner of the Chelyabinsk business center, where I rented a room under my studio, turned out to be a very friendly person and called me to Spain to help him and his team organize a business for breeding sturgeon.
For the first time I came on a tourist visa, and I liked it so much in this country that I decided to stay, why should not it cost me. In the end, I’m from a military family and lived all my life in crossings. By the time I reached the age of 20, I realized that I do not have the concept of a “house” as such. So what’s stopping me from leaving everything and staying for a while in Spain? There is a wonderful climate, warm sea, a fairly high standard of living. Finally, my passion is motorcycles, and in the Pyrenees a year-round motor season.
For a long time I lived on an ordinary Schengen tourist visa, which is issued for half a year. However, for the entire period of the visa’s validity, I could stay in Spain for 90 days continuously (like any other country in the Schengen area). Quite quickly – the good is always there are more experienced compatriots who can give advice – I realized how easy it is to bypass the rule of “90 days”, in fact, without violating any laws.
In the north, Spain is bordered by such a remarkable and very small country as Andorra, which is not yet part of the European Union. The border between Spain and Andorra is rather conditional. Most travelers enter this principality, lost in the mountains, without bothering with border control: the borders are open, why this extra bureaucratic trouble! But sometimes the bureaucracy can play into the hands, as it was in my case. The scheme is simple: you live, say, three months in Spain, and then you go to Andorra, where you ask border guards to put a stamp on entering the country. In Andorra, you can walk as much as you like (by the way, the prices there are surprisingly lower than in Spain or France), and then return to Spain and live there for up to three months.
When the validity of the visa is coming to an end, you need to go to Andorra again and stamp on leaving the principality. Thus, those few months that you spend in Spain after your first visit to Andorra will be counted as held in a country that is not a member of the European Union. The law has not been violated, and there should be no questions when issuing the next visa.
Constant flights to Russia to get a new visa tired me.
Finally, life in Spain as a tourist and constant flights to Russia for getting a new visa tired me. I began to think about the prospects of obtaining residence permit, and then of Spanish citizenship. The first thought that arose from me was to marry! But here everything was not easy. It so happened that among my Spanish friends I did not find any worthy candidate, or rather, one that would agree to a fictitious marriage. In addition, I heard that the current Spanish legislation with special severity suppresses such “grooms” as I do. Another thing – gay marriage, allowed in Spain already since 2005.
Then it seemed to me that the second option would be a simple solution for me, because for several years now I have been living in Tarragona, south of Barcelona for 100 km, with my longtime friend, Ukrainian mother and a Spanish citizen. We met him at one of the parties of the Russian-speaking party, and now we rent a house for two for 600 euro a month near the sea and are engaged in the same business. I thought: why not make an alliance with your old friend? Let him and I be straight, but we have a fact of cohabitation, and we will resolve all other “nuances” somehow. So, after drinking beer in a friendly atmosphere and made him an “offer”. He not only was not against, but my adventure even seemed to him amusing.
I began to dig and learn how to organize our fake-wedding and what it threatens. The first information pleased me. I learned that as soon as we sign, I will immediately get a residence permit for a year. Later that year, I could apply for citizenship and obtain a residence permit with the right to work for another five years. So, in two or three years I planned to divorce him, and I would have a residence permit. Then my clever plan was to apply to the consulate and get political asylum as a gay person who is homophobic in Russia and does not want to return there. I thought that in my case it would be easier to do this: after all, not a single year of happy “family” life, legal work and payment of taxes from my side.
I lived by the thought of a future marriage.
I lived with this thought about the upcoming marriage (and, of course, about the coming citizenship) and even began to collect documents. For example, in Spain, birth certificates are not issued, and if necessary, confirmations of birth certificates are issued by the relevant certificates. Therefore, I had to order a similar certificate in Russia and translate it on the spot. But the package of documents is not the most difficult thing that is required to conclude a gay marriage with a Spaniard. Before us there were several tasks more difficult:
– To think up the legend of our relations;
– Learn each other’s biographies;
– Cover the house with photos together;
– To tell all neighbors and sellers of the nearest shops;
– Finally, take the test.
It would seem that the tasks are quite solvable, and when we were ready to go to the painting, I learned about … the checks. We consulted with local lawyers and they opened our eyes: gay marriages in Spain are checked much more seriously and carefully than usual. As it turned out, there are so many clever people like me there, and now local authorities hire special detectives investigating cases of false marriages. Inspections of couples like ours can be carried out during the first year of their life together. As we were told, local detectives are very motivated – including materially – to detect any inconsistencies. In the event that our scam would be disclosed, we would face a fine of about 100 or 200 thousand euros, and I would be deported from Spain.
As it was possible to find out, detectives take on arms various sophisticated methods of revealing a false marriage, including using social networks. They not only study your pages, but even if you have left everywhere, they can find your friends, classmates and find out from them whether you are gay or not. Can and write to you or your “boyfriend” from the fake account of the girl to flirt and get to know you. Moreover – detectives can come to your home, study common life. Up to then, whether there are toothbrushes in one cup, and whether we have many common photos on the walls.
In our case, the problem was that we were sleeping, of course, in different bedrooms. On this we had a legend that I snore and sleep separately. After all, I hoped that this is not the most important thing, and “rolled” the fact that we live together and are registered in the same house.
A year later, after the marriage, we were expected to have a test interview, which is carried out by social services. Ordinary questions on this test: from “where you met” and “how your parents are called” before “where each other has intimate moles.” The test, perhaps, could be the most serious test. Usually at such events the spouses are taken to different rooms, where they ask tricky questions. Interestingly, most decisions are made by social authorities before the test. For example, they watch video cameras for how the “lovers” behave in the waiting room. They say that it is enough to hold hands or rub a friend’s nose with a handkerchief so that the terrible social workers do not have any doubts about the sincerity of your feelings.
So, having learned about how detectives “mutuzyat” newly-born and sly “gays”, we abandoned our scam. Only managed to collect all the necessary documents, make some joint photos, but also those without intimate scenes: they just stood in a friendly embrace. We also managed to convince the neighbors-Spaniards, and they agreed without any problems to us to play along. And yet … the situation could be rather dumb. Having signed with my neighbor-neighbor around the house, I would for a whole year doomed myself to a semi-secret life: this means that neither girls can normally be invited or have fun. I did not really want to sign this up. And as for citizenship, I’ll still get it, but in some other way, which I’ll tell you about later.
How I almost became gay for the sake of Spanish citizenship.