Expats furious at Spanish residency nonsense

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Spain is getting ’tough’ on late applications as Spanish Residency rejections increase

Expats are getting seriously annoyed at the rising rate of rejections occurring during the post-Brexit Spanish residency application process. Recent statistics show 2,400 applications were rejected so far this year. The original deadline to apply and still be covered under the Withdrawal Agreement with the EU was December 31, 2020. Many expats were based in Spain at the end of the year but for some of them the time ran out. However, those who consider they are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement may still apply.

For those not covered by the agreement who are looking to make a fresh application for residency, the process must begin in England, through the Spanish Consulate. But according to Diego Echavarria, a legal expert speaking to  The Express, The Consulate is being very strict, “turning down a lot of applications for stupid reasons.” He says English citizens now have the entry requirements of other countries not in The EU, such as Asia or Africa, and these are “very tough to achieve.”

The residency deadline was widely reported in expat newspapers, especially in the Costa Del Sol region where Diego is based.  However, some Britons did not think the ramifications would be so big. If you can prove that you resided in the country before the deadline there is still an opportunity to apply, but the mountain of paperwork is more than some people can acquire.

Diego said some applications have been turned down for reasons he considers “nonsense”.

“We have cases that have been turned down for nonsense. We have been requested to show that the person had property here or was renting here and they have requested a copy of the letting contract and the supermarket bill etc. “But they didn’t believe the person was in Spain, so it was turned down. They’ve appealed and been rejected again.” 

He hopes the two countries can reach an agreement on residence permits so that Spain can welcome Britons fully again. 

He said: “Spain is a touristic country, it’s a big part of the economy. At the end of the day, the Brits are spending their pension here.”


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Written by

Claire Gordon

Comments


    • Dave

      18 October 2021 • 13:13

      Brexit means… brexit?

      Reply
    • Dave

      18 October 2021 • 13:13

      Brexit means… brexit?

      Reply
    • Carlos

      18 October 2021 • 14:13

      I mean… After Brexit they are not expats anymore. They are inmigrants now. So they should be treated as such.

      Reply
      • Steve

        18 October 2021 • 20:21

        yah, you don’t understand what those words mean. Expat has nothing to do with being EU vs non-EU.

        Expats is a nice way to refer to rich immigrants who immigrated mostly for fun/adventure

        Reply
        • Jay Smith

          19 October 2021 • 11:55

          For a Brit, “expat” is (1) a Brit regardless of income or wealth – applies to a junky in Goa, a retired British Rail conductor in Javea or the CEO of British Petroleum US… for as long as they are Brits (2) international managers from Western countries on a temporary secondment or retired in Monaco. A “migrant” is everyone else.

          Reply
        • ops

          19 October 2021 • 13:07

          Someone who understand the hypocresy of brits when they are “expats” vs when you are an “inmigrant”, it is sad but for many of them it’s a slap of reality

          Reply
    • Carlos

      18 October 2021 • 14:13

      I mean… After Brexit they are not expats anymore. They are inmigrants now. So they should be treated as such.

      Reply
      • Steve

        18 October 2021 • 20:21

        yah, you don’t understand what those words mean. Expat has nothing to do with being EU vs non-EU.

        Expats is a nice way to refer to rich immigrants who immigrated mostly for fun/adventure

        Reply
        • Jay Smith

          19 October 2021 • 11:55

          For a Brit, “expat” is (1) a Brit regardless of income or wealth – applies to a junky in Goa, a retired British Rail conductor in Javea or the CEO of British Petroleum US… for as long as they are Brits (2) international managers from Western countries on a temporary secondment or retired in Monaco. A “migrant” is everyone else.

          Reply
        • ops

          19 October 2021 • 13:07

          Someone who understand the hypocresy of brits when they are “expats” vs when you are an “inmigrant”, it is sad but for many of them it’s a slap of reality

          Reply
    • Abraham

      18 October 2021 • 14:25

      But their pension is shit. British go home!

      Reply
      • Elisabeth II

        19 October 2021 • 16:19

        Enjoy Brexit!

        Reply
    • Abraham

      18 October 2021 • 14:25

      But their pension is shit. British go home!

      Reply
      • Elisabeth II

        19 October 2021 • 16:19

        Enjoy Brexit!

        Reply
    • Lucy Freemont

      18 October 2021 • 15:04

      Play bitch games….

      Reply
    • Lucy Freemont

      18 October 2021 • 15:04

      Play bitch games….

      Reply
    • Zeno

      18 October 2021 • 15:49

      “He says English citizens now have the entry requirements of other countries not in The EU”

      Well, duh! The UK is not in the EU now – what are they complaining about?

      Reply
    • Zeno

      18 October 2021 • 15:49

      “He says English citizens now have the entry requirements of other countries not in The EU”

      Well, duh! The UK is not in the EU now – what are they complaining about?

      Reply
    • Alexandru Mija

      18 October 2021 • 16:12

      I can only laugh at these donkeys. You reap what you sow

      Reply
    • Alexandru Mija

      18 October 2021 • 16:12

      I can only laugh at these donkeys. You reap what you sow

      Reply
    • OJ

      18 October 2021 • 16:13

      <>

      Because the UK is not in the EU anymore, duh. Also, Asia and Africa aren’t countries.

      Reply
    • OJ

      18 October 2021 • 16:13

      <>

      Because the UK is not in the EU anymore, duh. Also, Asia and Africa aren’t countries.

      Reply
    • DP

      18 October 2021 • 16:38

      Are these people from the same UK that recently detained Italian au pairs in prison cells for several days before deporting them?

      They should be pleased Spain does not apply equal treatment.

      Reply
    • DP

      18 October 2021 • 16:38

      Are these people from the same UK that recently detained Italian au pairs in prison cells for several days before deporting them?

      They should be pleased Spain does not apply equal treatment.

      Reply
    • BM

      18 October 2021 • 18:32

      So, let me get this straight. UK votes to secede from the EU. EU now treats UK as non-EU member. People from UK say this is “nonsense”?

      Reply
    • BM

      18 October 2021 • 18:32

      So, let me get this straight. UK votes to secede from the EU. EU now treats UK as non-EU member. People from UK say this is “nonsense”?

      Reply
    • Dp

      18 October 2021 • 18:55

      You misspelled immigrant repeatedly. What’s an expat?

      Reply
      • Bobbins

        19 October 2021 • 12:43

        Like a cowpat but more sunburnt

        Reply
    • Dp

      18 October 2021 • 18:55

      You misspelled immigrant repeatedly. What’s an expat?

      Reply
      • Bobbins

        19 October 2021 • 12:43

        Like a cowpat but more sunburnt

        Reply
    • asdf

      18 October 2021 • 22:59

      UK is welcome to vote and ask to join the EU again, the EU will decide whether to let them in or not

      Reply
    • asdf

      18 October 2021 • 22:59

      UK is welcome to vote and ask to join the EU again, the EU will decide whether to let them in or not

      Reply
    • CL

      19 October 2021 • 07:11

      “But this isn’t the brexit we voted for, because we were too stupid to understand what it meant!”

      Reply
    • CL

      19 October 2021 • 07:11

      “But this isn’t the brexit we voted for, because we were too stupid to understand what it meant!”

      Reply
    • Roy

      19 October 2021 • 07:24

      “At the end of the day, the Brits are spending their pension here.”

      Yeah right… In businesses owned by British,enjoying Spanish healthcare having never paid for it.

      Reply
      • Ps

        19 October 2021 • 12:15

        True. We don’t want them here, it should be clear by now.

        Reply
      • Patrick

        19 October 2021 • 16:31

        Your comment re healthcare is inaccurate. I paid NI for 47 years, and when I retired to Spain the British government provided me with a form S1, which assures the Spanish healthcare system that they will be reimbursed for my care.

        For me, at least 70% of my expenditure is with locally owned firms. It’s what I came here for. Can’t vouch for everyone else in this.

        Still, I have friends who have been living here “under the radar” for 15+ years, paying no tax, driving their UK registered cars, some without MOT, and now getting upset because they are not finding it easy to get residence.

        Reply
      • David Smith

        20 October 2021 • 17:11

        First part right, second part not, pensioners with S1`s are paid for by UK, non pensioners have to have private health policies.

        Reply
    • Roy

      19 October 2021 • 07:24

      “At the end of the day, the Brits are spending their pension here.”

      Yeah right… In businesses owned by British,enjoying Spanish healthcare having never paid for it.

      Reply
      • Ps

        19 October 2021 • 12:15

        True. We don’t want them here, it should be clear by now.

        Reply
      • Patrick

        19 October 2021 • 16:31

        Your comment re healthcare is inaccurate. I paid NI for 47 years, and when I retired to Spain the British government provided me with a form S1, which assures the Spanish healthcare system that they will be reimbursed for my care.

        For me, at least 70% of my expenditure is with locally owned firms. It’s what I came here for. Can’t vouch for everyone else in this.

        Still, I have friends who have been living here “under the radar” for 15+ years, paying no tax, driving their UK registered cars, some without MOT, and now getting upset because they are not finding it easy to get residence.

        Reply
      • David Smith

        20 October 2021 • 17:11

        First part right, second part not, pensioners with S1`s are paid for by UK, non pensioners have to have private health policies.

        Reply
      • George

        10 April 2022 • 20:46

        Roy your ignorant rant about the British getting health care for nothing in Spain is totally wrong…the UK Government pays the Spanish government €4,500 for every British pensioner that has submitted a S1 …the UK government did this before the Brexit.. please get your facts correct next time you fancy a ignorant rant.

        Reply
    • Jamie

      19 October 2021 • 09:13

      Bunch of hooligans lacking basic culture. Decent Brits holiday in the Cotswolds or Cornwall. It’s the white trash that, despite living abroad for years, didn’t even bother to pay taxes or learn the language.

      Reply
      • ops

        19 October 2021 • 13:09

        With your coment you show you are no better than those you are rating about

        Reply
    • Jamie

      19 October 2021 • 09:13

      Bunch of hooligans lacking basic culture. Decent Brits holiday in the Cotswolds or Cornwall. It’s the white trash that, despite living abroad for years, didn’t even bother to pay taxes or learn the language.

      Reply
      • ops

        19 October 2021 • 13:09

        With your coment you show you are no better than those you are rating about

        Reply
    • Janders

      19 October 2021 • 11:10

      If they want to live legally in Spain, they should follow the same procedures as any other immigrant.

      Reply
    • Janders

      19 October 2021 • 11:10

      If they want to live legally in Spain, they should follow the same procedures as any other immigrant.

      Reply
    • V

      19 October 2021 • 11:13

      The thing with “expats” is that many pensioners wanted to live in Spain under the radar, to avoid paying taxes in neither UK or Spain, So no wonder they’re having a hard time trying to demonstrate they actually lived there.

      Also, many fail to understand that Spain has no problem welcoming pensioners that went legal since the very beginning.

      Who Spain is not welcoming is those that didn’t want to pay taxes, went under the radar, but also wanted to use spanish health care system and other public services. It’s mostly those the ones that are being rejected.

      Reply
    • V

      19 October 2021 • 11:13

      The thing with “expats” is that many pensioners wanted to live in Spain under the radar, to avoid paying taxes in neither UK or Spain, So no wonder they’re having a hard time trying to demonstrate they actually lived there.

      Also, many fail to understand that Spain has no problem welcoming pensioners that went legal since the very beginning.

      Who Spain is not welcoming is those that didn’t want to pay taxes, went under the radar, but also wanted to use spanish health care system and other public services. It’s mostly those the ones that are being rejected.

      Reply
    • Trevor

      19 October 2021 • 11:14

      Expats? You mean immigrants rights?

      Reply
    • Trevor

      19 October 2021 • 11:14

      Expats? You mean immigrants rights?

      Reply
    • John

      19 October 2021 • 11:34

      If you are white anglosaxon you are expat. If you don’t you are inmigrant… how curious…

      PD: No, Spain does not survive either thanks to the pensions of english retirees or thanks to english low-cost tourists, that’s what you want to believe. Stop that nonsense

      Reply
    • John

      19 October 2021 • 11:34

      If you are white anglosaxon you are expat. If you don’t you are inmigrant… how curious…

      PD: No, Spain does not survive either thanks to the pensions of english retirees or thanks to english low-cost tourists, that’s what you want to believe. Stop that nonsense

      Reply
    • Carl

      19 October 2021 • 11:36

      No use crying over spilt milk. I can only hope that a lot of the people whose application has been turned down voted pro-Breixt. For the rest, I am really sorry you need to live with more than half of your citizens being short-sighted morons. Try and organize yourselves and maybe you can get into the EU again in due time. Would you like some cream on that humble pie?

      Reply
    • Carl

      19 October 2021 • 11:36

      No use crying over spilt milk. I can only hope that a lot of the people whose application has been turned down voted pro-Breixt. For the rest, I am really sorry you need to live with more than half of your citizens being short-sighted morons. Try and organize yourselves and maybe you can get into the EU again in due time. Would you like some cream on that humble pie?

      Reply
    • Bob

      19 October 2021 • 11:38

      Expats finding out that after all they are only inmigrants in a foreign country

      Reply
    • Bob

      19 October 2021 • 11:38

      Expats finding out that after all they are only inmigrants in a foreign country

      Reply
    • Miguelagf

      19 October 2021 • 11:53

      First of all, they are immigrants, not expats.

      Second, they are being treated as non-EU citizens because they are non-EU citizens. That’s what Brexit means, doesn’t it?

      Third, if they have been living in Spain and can prove it, their applications are being accepted. The cheaters, the ones who avoid paying taxes, are the ones being rejected. I’m sure that a Brexit voter, considering their ‘immigrants are coming to abuse our welfare state’ dialectics, can get on board with this, can’t they?

      Reply
    • Miguelagf

      19 October 2021 • 11:53

      First of all, they are immigrants, not expats.

      Second, they are being treated as non-EU citizens because they are non-EU citizens. That’s what Brexit means, doesn’t it?

      Third, if they have been living in Spain and can prove it, their applications are being accepted. The cheaters, the ones who avoid paying taxes, are the ones being rejected. I’m sure that a Brexit voter, considering their ‘immigrants are coming to abuse our welfare state’ dialectics, can get on board with this, can’t they?

      Reply
    • Diego

      19 October 2021 • 12:05

      Expats = Inmigrants. Write with the corrects words, please.
      Also… Brexit means Brexit.

      Reply
    • Diego

      19 October 2021 • 12:05

      Expats = Inmigrants. Write with the corrects words, please.
      Also… Brexit means Brexit.

      Reply
    • Anywhere

      19 October 2021 • 12:22

      Extra extra “Furious immigrant doesn’t go back home”

      Reply
    • Anywhere

      19 October 2021 • 12:22

      Extra extra “Furious immigrant doesn’t go back home”

      Reply
    • Asterisk

      19 October 2021 • 12:25

      “However, some Britons did not think”

      This line explains the last five years of self punishment. Good riddance

      Reply
    • Asterisk

      19 October 2021 • 12:25

      “However, some Britons did not think”

      This line explains the last five years of self punishment. Good riddance

      Reply
    • FCV

      19 October 2021 • 12:28

      This news is bad for the 16,141,241 (48.11%) people who voted remain. Some of those might be the ones suffering the consequences of the leave vote, like the bureaucratic struggles reported in this article. Some of those remain voters might be friendly retired folks rooted in Spain after years enjoying bearable weather. They do not deserve it. I despise some of the hatred comments towards British as whole. Do not get distracted with governments rhetoric. Do not get drawn to geopolitical fights that transcend individuals. Be more careful, for leave voters, stay and die in your island, for remain voters, I hope Spain continues being a friendly country for you.

      Reply
    • FCV

      19 October 2021 • 12:28

      This news is bad for the 16,141,241 (48.11%) people who voted remain. Some of those might be the ones suffering the consequences of the leave vote, like the bureaucratic struggles reported in this article. Some of those remain voters might be friendly retired folks rooted in Spain after years enjoying bearable weather. They do not deserve it. I despise some of the hatred comments towards British as whole. Do not get distracted with governments rhetoric. Do not get drawn to geopolitical fights that transcend individuals. Be more careful, for leave voters, stay and die in your island, for remain voters, I hope Spain continues being a friendly country for you.

      Reply
    • JMC

      19 October 2021 • 12:57

      Enjoy your vote!

      Reply
    • JMC

      19 October 2021 • 12:57

      Enjoy your vote!

      Reply
    • susana

      19 October 2021 • 13:16

      No son rentables los britanicos que viven en españa . la gran mayoria son ancianos que viven de chupar de nuestra sanidad. gastan demasiado. que se vayan a sus paises y vivan alli. vienen ancianos solamente. los Españoles que van a reino unido van a estudiar o trabajar de camareros para aprender el idioma y son muy muy jovenes y no van a sus hospitales. van a trabajar. yo me alegro de que se vayan.

      Reply
    • susana

      19 October 2021 • 13:16

      No son rentables los britanicos que viven en españa . la gran mayoria son ancianos que viven de chupar de nuestra sanidad. gastan demasiado. que se vayan a sus paises y vivan alli. vienen ancianos solamente. los Españoles que van a reino unido van a estudiar o trabajar de camareros para aprender el idioma y son muy muy jovenes y no van a sus hospitales. van a trabajar. yo me alegro de que se vayan.

      Reply
    • lusi galdamez

      19 October 2021 • 13:23

      Brexit means brexit!

      Reply
    • lusi galdamez

      19 October 2021 • 13:23

      Brexit means brexit!

      Reply
    • Yop

      19 October 2021 • 13:44

      We don’t need more immigrants. Thank you very much.

      Reply
      • George

        10 April 2022 • 20:55

        Yop..what a ignorant statement to make… aren’t you part of the so called EU that has absolutely no internal border control…that allows people from all over the so called EU to wonder all over the so called EU like headless chickens with totally unregulated migration .

        Reply
    • Yop

      19 October 2021 • 13:44

      We don’t need more immigrants. Thank you very much.

      Reply
    • AM bored

      19 October 2021 • 14:04

      Well done EW for lifting a story from an utterly bias, pro BREXIT, far right-wing, fascist loving media source, The Express. Are you trying to enter the league of gutter press also? Keep going if so.

      Reply
    • AM bored

      19 October 2021 • 14:04

      Well done EW for lifting a story from an utterly bias, pro BREXIT, far right-wing, fascist loving media source, The Express. Are you trying to enter the league of gutter press also? Keep going if so.

      Reply
    • squanchy

      19 October 2021 • 16:06

      If I rent an apartment in UK, and I pay in the supermarket with my VISA, do I own the right to stay in England forever? Of course not. Why do expats think they have that right in Spain?
      They can demostrate they lived in Spain for several years, and that helps, but it’s not definitive.

      Reply
    • squanchy

      19 October 2021 • 16:06

      If I rent an apartment in UK, and I pay in the supermarket with my VISA, do I own the right to stay in England forever? Of course not. Why do expats think they have that right in Spain?
      They can demostrate they lived in Spain for several years, and that helps, but it’s not definitive.

      Reply
    • Fernando

      19 October 2021 • 16:53

      Each comment is better than the last.
      I can’t stop laughing
      Brexit is Brexit, in both ways…

      Reply
    • Fernando

      19 October 2021 • 16:53

      Each comment is better than the last.
      I can’t stop laughing
      Brexit is Brexit, in both ways…

      Reply
    • Blas de Lezo

      19 October 2021 • 17:23

      1.They are inmigrants
      2. Most of them ilegal inmigrants as they refused to apply the residence in Spain (even as EU you must submit after 3/6 months.
      3. They spend some mone in Spain, that is true. They waste our money in healthy care.
      4. UK is welcome to come back to UE, this time better with Euro and international metric system.

      Reply
    • Blas de Lezo

      19 October 2021 • 17:23

      1.They are inmigrants
      2. Most of them ilegal inmigrants as they refused to apply the residence in Spain (even as EU you must submit after 3/6 months.
      3. They spend some mone in Spain, that is true. They waste our money in healthy care.
      4. UK is welcome to come back to UE, this time better with Euro and international metric system.

      Reply
    • Marcos

      19 October 2021 • 19:00

      British are terrible drivers, i am a cyclist and i really do not want them to drive anymore in my country unless they prove they can. I hope the goverment do something about this.
      Thanks.

      Reply
    • Marcos

      19 October 2021 • 19:00

      British are terrible drivers, i am a cyclist and i really do not want them to drive anymore in my country unless they prove they can. I hope the goverment do something about this.
      Thanks.

      Reply
    • Miki

      19 October 2021 • 22:47

      British elders who abuse of the Spanish public health without paying taxes. Basically parasites.

      Brexit means brexit.

      Reply
    • Miki

      19 October 2021 • 22:47

      British elders who abuse of the Spanish public health without paying taxes. Basically parasites.

      Brexit means brexit.

      Reply
      • Hope

        07 February 2022 • 23:57

        You need to have more respect for your elders. I would assume that you are a racist The pensioners have to pay the Spanish government a tourist tax once a year. They do not abuse your health system. The N.H.S pay for all their pensioners in Spain. If they are not pensioners then they have to pay as a private patient.

        Reply
    • Blas de Lezo

      20 October 2021 • 14:35

      Brits go home!

      Reply
    • Blas de Lezo

      20 October 2021 • 14:35

      Brits go home!

      Reply
    • Zoe Adams Green

      20 October 2021 • 17:59

      Plenty of people here seem to be unaware that the British government pays the health care costs of British pensioners who reside in Spain. Brits who work in Spain pay via their taxes. Other Brits require private health insurance in order to gain residency (as even EU citizens do if they’re self-sufficient applicants).

      Reply
    • Zoe Adams Green

      20 October 2021 • 17:59

      Plenty of people here seem to be unaware that the British government pays the health care costs of British pensioners who reside in Spain. Brits who work in Spain pay via their taxes. Other Brits require private health insurance in order to gain residency (as even EU citizens do if they’re self-sufficient applicants).

      Reply
    • u-pol

      22 October 2021 • 21:06

      Congrats, you won.
      Brexit is brexit

      Reply
    • u-pol

      22 October 2021 • 21:06

      Congrats, you won.
      Brexit is brexit

      Reply

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