British expats ‘kept waiting’ for Spanish residency due to ‘lack of resources’

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The deadline to apply for Spanish residency from within the country passed in December 2020 but some expats missed the date. They now face having to return to the UK to apply from the Spanish Consulate.

Spanish publication OK Diario reported that around 4,000 British nationals are being kept waiting due to a lack of resources at the London Consulate.

The calculation is based on numbers provided from several British legal firms that specialise in helping Britons apply for golden visas and other non-lucrative schemes.

The firms claim they have not been able to get appointments or visa approvals for their clients.

One of the emails received from the London Consulate reportedly said: “The high demand for appointments means that all requests cannot be met at the desired speed.”

Expats must normally apply from the consulate closest to them so those nearest to London are not able to use other facilities in the UK.

Delays have not been reported at the Manchester and Edinburgh Spanish Consulates.

Ok Diario criticised the Spanish Government for slowing down the process for ‘high-income’ Britons planning to move to Spain.

To qualify for a golden visa in Spain, a British person must make a significant investment in the country.

British expats have also reported that the process to apply for a Spanish residence permit has become tricky since Brexit.

An estate agent based in Fuengirola told that British expats were selling up on the Costa del Sol after failing to obtain residency.

Other Britons who planned to retire in Spain are now facing the possibility they may not be able to.

Even British people who used to travel to Spain for the winter season must apply for Spanish residency if they want to stay longer than 90 days.

According to reports some Britons had applications rejected because certain documents were out of date by the time the Spanish Consulate looked at them.

Some of the documents required for residency applications expire after three months.

Britons are only allowed to stay in Spain for 90 out of every 180 days under EU laws after Brexit.

A British woman recently claimed she was blocked from entering Spain after her passport was incorrectly stamped on exit.

She said authorities suspected she had overstayed her 90 days in Spain on a previous visit and refused her entry.

Meanwhile, British expats who voted remain have been campaigning for a reinstatement of EU rights.

Bremain in Spain, a campaign group told The Local that rejoining the EU was at the top of their members’ requests.

She said: “Stronger ties with the EU were also highly valued, including rejoining the customs union and the single market.”

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