30 Nov, 2020 @ 14:15
1 min read

Benidorm area sees late surge in British expats trying to beat registration deadline on Spain’s Costa Blanca

Benidorm on Spain's Costa Blanca sends best wishes to Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee
Benidorm Ayuntamiento

BRITISH expats living ‘under the radar’ in the Benidorm area are rushing to get their Spanish status sorted before December 31.

2021 sees the UK move out of the ‘transition’ period with the EU and into a full-blown Brexit.

Brits living in Spain without a residencia document or card need to have a T.I.E. card which legalises their residential status.

The British Embassy in Madrid and the Spanish Government have also made it clear that there is absolutely no need for existing residencia holders to switch to a T.I.E.

In spite of December 31 2020 long being declared as a deadline date for applications, Benidorm area groups claim that unregistered expats have been delaying going through the required procedures.

President of the Benidorm British Business Association, Karen Cowles, said:

“My consultancy firm that deals with organising appointments for the T.I.E. has seen business skyrocket very recently. Until a few weeks ago, people have not attached any importance of registering but reality has now sunk in.”

The late rush comes in spite of regular pleas for unregistered expats to get their status sorted as soon as possible.

“Many people somehow believed that they could come to live in Spain and that would be it, with no registration. Some expats may not even meet the requirements to get a T.I.E. card,” warned Cowles.

Benidorm council has also issued a fresh appeal for British people to get the registration ball rolling as soon as possible before December 31.

They are also keen for British nationals who have a residency or T.I.E. card to get themselves registered on the municipal padron, as that brings financial benefits to the area.

Officially, Benidorm has 2,946 British nationals registered, which accounts for 4.14% of the resort’s population.

The actual British residential number is almost certainly higher.

Benidorm’s Foreign Residents councillor, Ana Pellicer, said:

“The more people that we have registered as living in our city brings us the benefit of getting more national and regional money for sectors like health.”

Over the issue of British nationals who legally moved to Spain this year but have still not had an appointment date to get a T.I.E. card, the British Embassy states that ‘protection will be provided under the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement so long as you were living legally in Spain before the end of 2020’.

The Embassy further says ‘that proof of a legal move might include but not be limited to a padron certificate, utility bill, healthcare policy, work contract or flight ticket’

EXCLUSIVE: Expats are clogging up a ‘saturated’ Spanish administration with unnecessary TIE applications, claims Costa Blanca broker

Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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