Spain: Expert explains ‘repercussions’ for British expats
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Diego Echavarria, a partner of Fairway Lawyers on the Costa del Sol, told Express.co.uk about the many challenges his British clients are facing when applying for Spanish residency. Some Britons are dubbing Spain’s post-Brexit attitude as proof of being after “Brits’ money”.
Recent statistics show that 2,400 British residency applications were rejected this year.
The main reason, Diego said, is they’re handing them in after the December 2020 deadline, which now leaves them with no other route than to do it through England, at the Spanish Consulate, instead of in Spain directly.
The lawyer said: “The Spanish Consulate in England are being very tough now, they are turning down a lot of applications for stupid reasons. They’re being very strict.”
Some people view Spain’s response to late applications as an arrogant move.
Reader Sami said: “If I was living in Spain I’d leave, not apply for residency. Portugal is a much better alternative.
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“They actually like the British and the lifestyle would be similar without the rip-offs. Spain only like Brits for their money to prop up the Spanish economy.
“Let them sink. Their arrogance will be their downfall.”
Maureen E suggested Portugal as a better choice of residency, too: “Spain’s a drinkers dump. They just want the ‘Brits’ money’…
“Why anyone would want to live there, is beyond me.
“Portugal is much better, the people are lovely, the food is better and accommodation nicer and cleaner.”
Cranza, dubbing Spain’s approach as stupid, said: “They will be begging the Brits to come and spend very soon.”
But not all empathised with those who complain about their applications being rejected.
One user, Ohwell-2020, asked: “Are we supposed to have sympathy for those who missed the deadline?
“I seem to remember them all being given adequate time for this.”
Along the same lines, Seawolf157 added: “Sorry, but if the expats are too lazy to organise their permits when given plenty of time by Spain, they only have themselves to blame. I do not feel any sympathy for them.”
Another user, CooleRaine, agreed: “Nothing wrong with the rules that Spain is imposing.
“The UK has even stricter rules… UK citizens in the EU should be treated in the same way as EU citizens in the UK.”
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Some even argued that arrogance is a British rather than Spanish trait.
AntiGammon said the rejection “serves them right” for not following the rules, adding: “The arrogance and superiority of the Brits is astounding.
“Anyone who wanted to remain in Spain easily could.”
Rawson, who lived and worked in Spain for some time, claimed: “I learnt to speak reasonable Spanish and integrated as best as I could.
“I avoided the British community if I could.
“Few bothered to learn the language or mix with the locals.”
And DeeA, who has been there for nearly twelve years, shared a very positive expat experience, he said: “No problems as long as you obey the rules, and not try to get away with being the proverbial Brit abroad.
“If people want to live in Spain, embrace the life and the people – not just the climate.
“We’ve obeyed the rules, hold official Spanish residency, have Spanish driving licences, are in the Spanish health service, which is excellent.
Advising people to “keep your eye on deadlines”, he said Spain always gives “plenty of time” for citizens to “adhere to such changes”.
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