Residencia restrictions get tougher

IT’S a fact: Spanish authorities are tightening up the requirements for ‘residencia’ for British passport holders, albeit in a rather chaotic manner: whereas the Cadiz immigration office will be satisfied with the usual documents (medical/healthcare insurance and a bank certificate showing sufficient funds), the Malaga office is requesting evidence that applicants do have ‘real and certain’ residency in Spain, most probably to filter applications and avoid saturation.

In one of the latest official letters received from the Malaga immigration office, the registration certificate from the town hall or a property title to a property were not enough evidence of living in Spain and requested additional documents that could prove real residency in the country to grant the now coveted card:

Bank account statements -payments or expenses – proving transactions or operations with establishments in Spain; proof of appointments for medical and hospital assistance in Spain; contracts of any nature held in Spain or payroll or salary receipts in Spain; receipts for utility supplies (electricity, water, gas or electricity from an address in Spain) or landline/mobile phone receipts with Spanish address, TV or internet invoices, as well as invoices of any kind issued with an address in Spain; Documents from public or private entities that prove to have received a service in Spain; Plane tickets with entry into Spain from another State, entry stamp in Spain in passport, work invoices and proof of payment in Spain; certificates with public or private entities showing a relationship with them in Spain (with associations, training centres, golf clubs…) Spanish income tax returns…

I have drawn some questions from the above text, and they are not trivial:

– Will administrative residency, tantamount to having a TIE (‘tarjeta de identidad de extranjero’), inescapably tie in with tax residency, or at least become a strong presumption of it unlike now?

– Could card holders lose the residency status if they fail to spend the required time in Spain (six months/ year)?

– Will passport stamping become a reality if the EU and the UK fail to find common ground to avoid this unnecessary and annoying procedure at airports on either side?

2021 is right around the corner and many doubts will be then clarified. Meanwhile, we expect politicians on both sides of the fence to drop their egos and work to bring much needed clarity.

Abogado/Lawyer LLM (Essex) – Reg. Nº 4712 I.C.A. Málaga

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