By Jennifer Leighfield • 21 July 2021 • 9:22
Arancha Lopez is the councillor for Foreign Residents (PHOTO: Mijas Comunicacion)
EURO WEEKLY NEWS spoke to Mijas Councillor for Foreign Residents Arancha Lopez about the work that her department does to help foreigners in the town.
Mijas has around 87,000 inhabitants, and at the rate it is growing, it is expected to surpass 100,000 in just a few years. Around 30 per cent of the population are foreigners of 124 different nationalities, the largest foreign community of any town in Andalucia.
She explained that Mijas was the first council to have a department aimed specifically at foreign residents, dating back to 1985, and that over the years they have become the link between residents and the numerous departments of the council for anything that they may need. Apart from that, residents in Mijas can count on the Foreign Residents’ Depatment to help with anything else they may need and not fully understand, they just have to ask. They can help you to contact your consulate or embassy, or the National Police if necessary.
During lockdown, they made sure that the foreign population was not cut off and launched a helpline operating in several different languages. They make sure that all important information which is published by the local council is translated and broadcast on the relevant channels and pay particular attention to the elderly residents of the town, making sure that they, as well as anyone who needs it, have the assistance of the social services and are always able to get any medicines that they have been prescribed.
The councillor told us that investments in the town have stayed stable with the arrival of companies such as The Food Co Spain and that the property market has fortunately seen little change and continues to prosper.
The Foreign Residents’ Department in Mijas is much more than just an area of the local council, it is a helping hand for all foreigners in the town whenever they need it.
Why get on the padron?
If you live in Mijas, it’s important to register on the padron (census), here’s why:
The number of people registered as residents in a town affects the resources and financial aid that the city receives from the Central Government. The more people there are on the padron, the better for the city and all its residents.
There are around 87,000 people registered as residents in Mijas, but there are thought to be many more.
1,000 new registrations = one more firefighter
2,400 new registrations = one more rubbish truck
2,500 new registrations = four more police officers
3,800 new registrations = eight more street sweepers
As well as this, Mijas would get: more cleaning equipment and rubbish containers, more police cars and equipment for the police and fire department.
What are the benefits for you?
REGISTERING on the Padron is also important for you as it will allow you access to the public health service, public education, the chance to vote in the elections, discount on municipal services…
To register, take the following documents to the Foreign Nationals Department:
ID and passport
Deeds to the house or property tax bill in your name if you’re the owner; rental agreement and utility bill if you’re renting a property.
Your details should be renewed:
Every two years: citizens with temporary residence permits, EU citizens with NIE from before 2007 or who have never had an NIE
Every five years: citizens with permanent or EU relatives residence permits, EU citizens with NIE from after 2007
Find out more on: 952 768 766, e-mail: [email protected], on the web www.mijas.es/portal/extranjeros/
Register with the health service
It is important to be registered on the Padron in Mijas so that you can access the public health system.
Once you are on the Mijas padron and have the Certificado de Empadronamiento, take this and your NIE/TIE document to the health centre for the district where you live and you will receive assistance to register and have a family doctor assigned to you.
If you have private health insurance and you want to be eligible for the Covid-19 jab, there is a simplified process for registering with the health service so that they can contact you when it’s your turn to get the jab. Find the form which you need to fill in at our website.
Pay bills online
Residents of Mijas can now pay their council taxes online, saving them time waiting in queues as well as money.
The Councillor for New Technologies, Nicolas Cruz, and the Councillor for the Treasury, Roy Perez, explained that thanks to the express payment feature, property tax (IBI), rubbish collection and road taxes can be paid electronically.
Residents of Mijas who do not pay their taxes by direct debit and don’t have a so-called digital certificate will be able to use the online payment option which is very simple to use from the comfort of your own home on a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
To access the platform, go to https://pagosexpress.mijas.es/es/ or visit the municipal website, www.mijas.es, or scan the QR code on display in municipal offices.
To access it, you will need to provide an email, ID, date of birth or the identification of the last receipt. Once accessed, payment can be made using the barcode on the bill.
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Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics.
Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.
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