BRITISH expats can still apply for residencia to protect their rights while living in Spain, despite the UK leaving the EU.
The December 31 deadline to apply coincided with the end of the transition period for the UK to leave the union.
However, it is estimated that thousands of British nationals did not start the process of formalising their status as resident in Spain.
Those who can demonstrate that they were legally living in Spain before the end of last year can still apply for residency and their rights will be protected under the terms of the UK’s withdrawal agreement.
‘Legally living’ means that someone was living here up until December 31 and they met the EU residence conditions.
Those conditions include being a worker, self-employed, a student or someone who is self-sufficient.
If they meet these requirements but have not started the residency application process, there is still time to do so.
Hana Jalloul, Secretary of State for Migration, said: “I know that many have built your homes here and we want you to stay. You are part of the Spanish family. You are part of us!
“As I said in July, this is, and will always be, your home… my key message is, as long as you were legally living here before December 31 your rights will be protected and recognised in Spain.”
Organisations like Age in Spain, Asociación Babelia and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are supporting UK nationals who are struggling to complete the paperwork required for residency applications.
All three organisations have put out this joint message: “Now really is the time for UK nationals who lived here before 31 December 2020 to secure their rights to live in Spain.
“There is still time but please don’t delay. If you are struggling with your residency and need support, then contact the UKNSF organisation that deals with your area, to maintain your rights!”
The UKNSF specifically support those who may find it harder to complete their application, such as elderly people, people living with disabilities, those living in remote areas or who have mobility difficulties, and those facing language or technological barriers.
Responsibility for the Spanish autonomous regions is divided between the three UKNSF organisations as follows:
Age in Spain covers Catalonia, the Basque Country, Aragon, Navarra, La Rioja, Cantabria, Asturias, Galicia and the Balearic and Canary Islands.
Age in Spain – email@example.com / +34 932 209 741
Asociación Babelia covers the Region of Valencia (Alicante, Valencia and Castellon) Asociación Babelia – firstname.lastname@example.org / +34 865 820 229
IOM covers Andalucía, Madrid, Murcia, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla León, Extremadura and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
IOM – UKnationalsSP@iom.int –Madrid, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla León and Extremadura: +34 699 581 855/ Andalusia and Ceuta and Melilla: +34 650 339 754 / 616 825 704/Murcia: +34 648 642 543
The services offered by these organisations are free of charge.
The Gov.uk website was updated only yesterday, December 12, with the same information – clickable here