Flying in the face of European laws

Q Having read your article in the EWN (Issue 1427), I was alarmed to note your response which suggested that expatriates holding Certificate of Registration as EU citizens are required to renew them after five years.

As my Certificate will soon be five years old, I thought it wise to seek advice. I was told that, yes, the rules have changed for new applicants, who must now demonstrate that they have financial means and health insurance, but that there is no requirement for present holders of the EU Certificates to renew them after five years. I think we need some further clarification. 

MR Costa del Sol

A Let’s try to keep it simple.


1.  The Spanish authorities now require the renewal of the EU Certificate of Registration after five years.


2.  On application for this renewal they will require evidence of financial means and health insurance.


3. When renewing the certificate after five years, an application can be made for a ‘permanent’ certificate.


Many European Union citizens in all parts of Spain have already been through this procedure, which has been in place since July of this year.

The website of the Spanish National Police clearly states that the EU Certificate of Registration lapses after five years.

This contradicts the European Union legislation and the certificate contains no expiry date. Nevertheless, residents are required to comply with the laws of the country they live in. They are free to protest to the European Union.

Both new and renewal applications need evidence of financial means and health insurance. UK pensioners can simply present their pension document or evidence of payments, and they are already entitled to Spanish Social Security health care. Some people will need private medical insurance.

Then they will have a ‘permanent’ certificate, which I suppose will have to be renewed in another five years. I myself hold a ‘permanent’ resident card, which needs to be renewed every five years.




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