I read in the current edition of the paper an article which is likely to cause considerable concern to the majority of Brits resident in Spain. It brought to light an apparently long standing EU law which, post Brexit, now applies to this group of people. As I understand it any family or friends coming to stay with a Brit resident in their home must be in receipt of a ‘letter of invitation’ to prove that they have a place to stay.
To obtain this letter the Brit in Spain must apply through a National Police office. (Our nearest one is in Benidorm) I hear that it costs around €70 and can take up to 50 days to process. Bearing in mind that the majority of Brits in Spain are of pensionable age and that, of those, many live solely on the somewhat meagre State pension it is totally inconceivable that they will be able to do this. I know of many Brits who have family and friends visiting virtually non-stop from May to September.
My own daughters come over three or four times a year, sometimes just popping over for a long weekend when they can pick up a cheap flight. It is unlikely that the visitors will want to pick up the cost of these letters as it will add significantly to travel costs especially for a family, so a large percentage of these visits will cease.
I foresee this leading in the long run to many Brits selling up and returning to UK just to be able to see family and friends on a regular basis.
Should this happen Spain will really have shot itself in the foot as they will lose millions in foreign income. Surely something like this which will cause serious anxiety and may be detrimental to the wellbeing of so many people should have been under consideration in the withdrawal negotiations. Only now, five months after the agreement was signed, does it suddenly come to light. It needs to be sorted out for people’s peace of mind.
Please see the answer given by the Ambassador about this issue on page 7 of this edition of the paper