4 Apr, 2023 @ 19:15
2 mins read

EXCLUSIVE: Brit denied residency in Spain goes on hunger strike in Valencia area

Brit Denied Residency In Spain Goes On Hunger Strike In Valencia Area
Mark Saxby image

A BRITISH man has gone on hunger strike to protest against Spanish authorities refusing to grant him residency because he did not have private medical insurance by the cut-off point of Brexit Day- January 1, 2021.

Mark Saxby started his strike on Monday which will see him only drink water until he gets the situation resolved.

Mark First Weigh In

55-year-old Mark moved from Birmingham to the Safor area of Valencia province at the start of 2020.

He was going to work as an English language teacher, but returned to the UK just as the coronavirus pandemic struck.

Once travel restrictions eased in the autumn he came back to Spain, but delays in getting appointments to sort out his paperwork resulted in his residency application only being sent in December- weeks before the deadline.

His application was denied over the lack of private medical insurance, which Mark told the Olive Press could have been sorted if there had not been delays that autumn.

“There were difficulties accessing websites to log in my details and then I kept being referred to different offices for appointments across the region due to Covid delays,” he said.

“We were promised a three-month period to deal with any problems which would have identified the insurance issue, but as everything ended up being submitted in during December 2020, I was left with no time to do anything about it,” he added.

After Brexit Day and being told of his rejection, he immediately acquired medical insurance that matched what was required.

“If this stipulation had been clearly flagged up in the application process it would have saved me lot of time and bother,” he commented.

He also argued that the UK Brexit Withdrawal Agreement contained protections that if an initial residency application has mistakes or omissions, it would be down to a host state to help an applicant correct them and that any such errors or omissions could not be used as a pretext to deny residence.

Mark appealed to Valencian immigration authorities but was refused and although the National Ombudsman took up his case, he was met with the same answer from Valencia.

He then appealed to Europe and although the European Commission accepted that Spain may have misapplied the regulations in the Withdrawal Agreement, they stated that they could not intervene in any specific case.

Mark is now worried about leaving the country in case he is fined on his return for not having a residencia or even denied entry.

“It’s madness really. I normally work around the world on short-term contracts, earning money that I then spend back home, effectively bringing money into Valencia. But right now I cannot travel so I cannot work and am surviving on my savings.”

As a final throw of the dice, he launched a hunger strike on Monday where he will only drink water until somebody in authority can help him resolve the situation.

“This is not something I am doing for a day or two to get some publicity, but to get action, as my life is in limbo as I cannot do anything,” declared Mark.

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