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31 December is fast approaching - don't leave it till the last minute to act!

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:34pm
5 replies283 views3 members subscribed
chrisso50

chrisso50

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Posts: 746

759 helpful points

Location: Roquetas de Mar

Joined: 23 Jul 2018

On 23 June 2016, 52% of those who voted in the Brexit referendum voted to leave the EU. Did they realise they were actually voting away their own rights? I doubt that they knew what it exactly entailed and how it would affect our futures here in Spain.

On 31 January 2020 we UK citizens ceased to belong to the EU but a grace 'Transition' period was given until 31 December 2020 to allow us to get our paperwork sorted in Spain to be able to live here as legal residents.

I am trying to write this from a neutral point of view and just give the information but if anybody can explain to me the benefits of the UK leaving the EU then I am all ears because to date nobody has been able to do so!

On 1 January 2021 we become third country nationals, a term generally used to denote a citizen of a country that does not belong to the EU, nor is a citizen of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and is not to be confused with third world country! Up until then, as EU citizens, it has long been our right to free movement to live in any other EU country - all we had to do was register. But from that date on, it will no longer be our right so to live in the EU - we have to ask permission of the country which can obviously be declined! So if you think ‘Spain can’t afford to lose us’ or ‘Spain won’t do anything’ then be it on your head. The UK’s departure from the EU is going to create a deficit in the already depressed Spanish economy given the hardships of Covid-19 and certainly Spain will be needing to claw back some of that money by maybe imposing fines where they have been lenient in the past, or not so accepting of the costs of our medical care when an illegal ‘resident’ (living here for several years!) proffers his no longer valid EHIC card as payment for his costly medical treatment. So you really must get sorted before the end of the year and time is running out especially since December has 3 national holidays and only skeleton staff in public administration from about 21 December which starts the rundown to Xmas.

So, to enable you to continue to live here you will need to ensure that you have a green residency or the TIE (no need to change your green residency for the TIE though), medical insurance or S1 as a UK State pensioner and your UK driving licence exchanged for a Spanish one if you want to be able to drive here after 31 December.

At the moment throughout most of Spain a non-working non-UK State pensioner has to show approximately €6,000 pa income. Third country nationals in Spain currently have to prove an annual income of around €26,000 to remain legally resident and that could be a problem for some British pensioners who arrive here after 31 December and who will lack cover from the UK for State medical care after 31 December. Third country nationals also tend to be rather disadvantaged in the workplace so don’t expect to walk into a job. And those Brits who work across the EU travelling from one country to another will be subject to even more bureaucracy post-Brexit.

There is a big group of ‘swallows’ who spend the winter months here every year and may even own a second home here who will be affected by the 90 days in any 180 days Schengen rule. I have heard some say that they will 'pop over to Gibraltar, Portugal or France for a few days' to overcome this rule but they fail to understand that they must leave the Schengen zone for the next 90 days before returning.

I am also still hearing some say ‘Nobody knows what will happen'. And 'we’ll wait to see what happens’. What are you waiting for? Our citizens' rights are already secured in place from the 2019 Withdrawal Agreement, we do know what is happening! But you do need to get yourselves sorted legally if you wish to remain here as a resident in 2021

During the last 4 and a half years there have been some quite unbelievable stories. One lady had paid a year up front for a medical insurance that was not valid for her to obtain residency because it did not cover all potential heath conditions. She had shopped around for the cheapest (I understand that) but it was sadly a false economy. Another, presumably again to save money, had their UK bank statements translated by a Spanish neighbour and this was not accepted because the neighbour is not a court-approved translator. A man owned a car-valeting company and picks up the very swish Porsches, Rolls Royces, Lamborghinis etc to take them away to valet them and then return them to their owners. ‘I presume you have a Spanish driving licence’? ‘No, and I have been stopped several times but the police never so much as even batted an eyelid at my UK driving licence.’ If he takes a look at that EU flag on his UK licence it indicates he is an EU citizen. He cannot use it here any more! One man recently asked exactly what he needed to do. He was sent a long list of what is required to get a first TIE and to exchange his driving licence. His reply? ‘I cannot meet the financial requirements, I have no private medical insurance nor own a property here so will just carry on as I have done for the past couple of years.’ How naive or hopeful some Brits actually are. You can take a horse to water but ...’

To reiterate: to do nothing is not an option, you will fall foul of the Spanish authorities and be fined and worse - may have to leave Spain. So, to enable you to continue to live here you will need to have a green residency or a TIE (no need to change your green residency for the TIE though), medical insurance or an S1 as a UK State pensioner and a Spanish driving licence (if you want to be able to drive here after 31 December). 

Thanks are due to Anne Hernandez of Brexpats in Spain for the above...

Chris

DarioMartin

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:47pm

DarioMartin

Legendary helpful member

Posts: 2355

2612 helpful points

Location: Vera

Joined: 16 Aug 2017

Posted: Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:47pm

Many thanks for posting this Chris; a timely reminder.  There will still be those that scoff and say “Spain can’t afford to lose us, we’ll wait and see what happens” .. as you say, you can lead a horse to water ... I only hope the shock to their system when they “see what happens” isn’t more than their medical insurance can handle ... if they have any.

On another note, apropos of the swap from green Residencia to TIE, has Anne given any indication of what to do, if anything, if you have been issued a TIE with “dependent of a citizen of the EU” on instead of “Resident of EU”  i.e. the incorrect cards being issued (now by Almerias as well)?

chrisso50

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:25am

chrisso50

Original Poster

Very helpful member

Posts: 746

759 helpful points

Location: Roquetas de Mar

Joined: 23 Jul 2018

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:25am

DarioMartin wrote on Mon Oct 12, 2020 8:47pm:

Many thanks for posting this Chris; a timely reminder.  There will still be those that scoff and say “Spain can’t afford to lose us, we’ll wait and see what happens” .. as you say, you can lead a horse to water ... I only hope the shock to their system when they “see what happens...

... isn’t more than their medical insurance can handle ... if they have any.

On another note, apropos of the swap from green Residencia to TIE, has Anne given any indication of what to do, if anything, if you have been issued a TIE with “dependent of a citizen of the EU” on instead of “Resident of EU”  i.e. the incorrect cards being issued (now by Almerias as well)?

No, the British Embassy and La Moncloa are aware that there was a massive cock-up in issuing (some) incorrectly worded TIE cards. Glad to say ours were OK, I know yours wasn't ... Hopefully this should be remedied ASAP.

Chris

DarioMartin

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:54am

DarioMartin

Legendary helpful member

Posts: 2355

2612 helpful points

Location: Vera

Joined: 16 Aug 2017

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:54am

chrisso50 wrote on Tue Oct 13, 2020 12:25am:

No, the British Embassy and La Moncloa are aware that there was a massive cock-up in issuing (some) incorrectly worded TIE cards. Glad to say ours were OK, I know yours wasn't ... Hopefully this should be remedied ASAP.

Chris

Thanks Chris; also I’ve contacted our Asesora, who has a friend in Extranjeria; she’s emailed photos of our incorrectly worded cards and is awaiting a response as to what Extranjeria are doing about this (if anything!) ... as soon as I get a response I’ll post an update on the “collecting TIE from Almería” thread.

At best it’ll be a straight swap, no further paperwork needed as photo and fingerprints are on file ... but as Spain has an unhealthy obsession with bureaucracy, I’m thinking they’ll require a new form developed - say an EX-23(A) Swap incorrectly worded TIE, another photo, fingerprint, of COURSE a further 12€ on the Modelo 790-012, another appointment to submit paperwork and another 4 week wait to collect :-D ... or maybe 🤔 m just being cynical ....

chrisso50

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:32am

chrisso50

Original Poster

Very helpful member

Posts: 746

759 helpful points

Location: Roquetas de Mar

Joined: 23 Jul 2018

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 10:32am

Hope it does not take too long. I guess we are all used by now to Spanish bureaucracy and its many idiosyncrasies - and how long it takes to sort them out!

I think all of us who are British passport holders and spend time in an EU27 country from full-time legally resident through to temporary visitors/holiday makers and to those unwittingly living full or part-time “under the radar” better known as “an illegal immigrant in Spain“ will have to face up to the hard change in direction by the authorities after 31 December.

Having a passport from a non-EU country, like Britain, will mean a HUGE change.

All those many rules, some small, some large, some even petty and trivial, and a number of regulations that were often ignored or even forgotten by the Police, Border Force, Driving Agency, Customs, Banks, Doctors, Pharmacists, Employers of cross border workers, seasonal workers, casual workers, Tax Office etc and all the other authorities as we were all part of the EU family. 

Brits that are here and knowingly illegally ‘living under the radar’ or who maybe think the rules won’t be applied to them will have to wake up. Those rules and regulations will be applied to the LETTER on occasion. However this will play out slowly, it will not change suddenly on January 1st 2021 but will happen as we test those rules that we didn’t even know were in place. 

Sometimes it takes a car accident to find out that the insurance cover does not cover it all. Or perhaps being denounced by a friend or neighbour.

Some of us have done everything “by the book” but we might still have some surprises in store. Others may not even be trying to regularise their situation. Some just don’t care.

We will all find out in due course how this will affect us in our personal circumstances. Health insurance, professional qualifications, car registration and insurance, driving licence, income tax and social security can trip up even the innocent.

The ending of freedom of movement at the end of December 2020 and with the introduction of ETIAS in January 2023 for many may not be their first taste of change.

In particular our arrival and departure from the Schengen area is going to be more closely monitored than we ever thought.

Chris

Doris

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:54am

Doris

Helpful member

Posts: 77

67 helpful points

Location: Vera

Joined: 27 Feb 2020

Posted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 11:54am

chrisso50 wrote on Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:34pm:

On 23 June 2016, 52% of those who voted in the Brexit referendum voted to leave the EU. Did they realise they were actually voting away their own rights? I doubt that they knew what it exactly entailed and how it would affect our futures here in Spain.

On 31 January 2020 we UK citizens ceased to belong to the EU but a grace 'Transition' period was given until 31 December 2020 to allow us to get our paperwork sorted in Spain to be able to live here as legal residents....

...

I am trying to write this from a neutral point of view and just give the information but if anybody can explain to me the benefits of the UK leaving the EU then I am all ears because to date nobody has been able to do so!

On 1 January 2021 we become third country nationals, a term generally used to denote a citizen of a country that does not belong to the EU, nor is a citizen of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and is not to be confused with third world country! Up until then, as EU citizens, it has long been our right to free movement to live in any other EU country - all we had to do was register. But from that date on, it will no longer be our right so to live in the EU - we have to ask permission of the country which can obviously be declined! So if you think ‘Spain can’t afford to lose us’ or ‘Spain won’t do anything’ then be it on your head. The UK’s departure from the EU is going to create a deficit in the already depressed Spanish economy given the hardships of Covid-19 and certainly Spain will be needing to claw back some of that money by maybe imposing fines where they have been lenient in the past, or not so accepting of the costs of our medical care when an illegal ‘resident’ (living here for several years!) proffers his no longer valid EHIC card as payment for his costly medical treatment. So you really must get sorted before the end of the year and time is running out especially since December has 3 national holidays and only skeleton staff in public administration from about 21 December which starts the rundown to Xmas.

So, to enable you to continue to live here you will need to ensure that you have a green residency or the TIE (no need to change your green residency for the TIE though), medical insurance or S1 as a UK State pensioner and your UK driving licence exchanged for a Spanish one if you want to be able to drive here after 31 December.

At the moment throughout most of Spain a non-working non-UK State pensioner has to show approximately €6,000 pa income. Third country nationals in Spain currently have to prove an annual income of around €26,000 to remain legally resident and that could be a problem for some British pensioners who arrive here after 31 December and who will lack cover from the UK for State medical care after 31 December. Third country nationals also tend to be rather disadvantaged in the workplace so don’t expect to walk into a job. And those Brits who work across the EU travelling from one country to another will be subject to even more bureaucracy post-Brexit.

There is a big group of ‘swallows’ who spend the winter months here every year and may even own a second home here who will be affected by the 90 days in any 180 days Schengen rule. I have heard some say that they will 'pop over to Gibraltar, Portugal or France for a few days' to overcome this rule but they fail to understand that they must leave the Schengen zone for the next 90 days before returning.

I am also still hearing some say ‘Nobody knows what will happen'. And 'we’ll wait to see what happens’. What are you waiting for? Our citizens' rights are already secured in place from the 2019 Withdrawal Agreement, we do know what is happening! But you do need to get yourselves sorted legally if you wish to remain here as a resident in 2021. 

During the last 4 and a half years there have been some quite unbelievable stories. One lady had paid a year up front for a medical insurance that was not valid for her to obtain residency because it did not cover all potential heath conditions. She had shopped around for the cheapest (I understand that) but it was sadly a false economy. Another, presumably again to save money, had their UK bank statements translated by a Spanish neighbour and this was not accepted because the neighbour is not a court-approved translator. A man owned a car-valeting company and picks up the very swish Porsches, Rolls Royces, Lamborghinis etc to take them away to valet them and then return them to their owners. ‘I presume you have a Spanish driving licence’? ‘No, and I have been stopped several times but the police never so much as even batted an eyelid at my UK driving licence.’ If he takes a look at that EU flag on his UK licence it indicates he is an EU citizen. He cannot use it here any more! One man recently asked exactly what he needed to do. He was sent a long list of what is required to get a first TIE and to exchange his driving licence. His reply? ‘I cannot meet the financial requirements, I have no private medical insurance nor own a property here so will just carry on as I have done for the past couple of years.’ How naive or hopeful some Brits actually are. You can take a horse to water but ...’

To reiterate: to do nothing is not an option, you will fall foul of the Spanish authorities and be fined and worse - may have to leave Spain. So, to enable you to continue to live here you will need to have a green residency or a TIE (no need to change your green residency for the TIE though), medical insurance or an S1 as a UK State pensioner and a Spanish driving licence (if you want to be able to drive here after 31 December). 

Thanks are due to Anne Hernandez of Brexpats in Spain for the above...

Chris

Sorry chrisso50, you won’t get any answers to your question regarding benefits of leaving the Eu because there are no benefits. I’ve asked the question many times and no me has ever replied. 

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