Hi Dave Jones
I hope you are keeping well – I have been following your articles and letters regarding the TIE application. I have written about my experience and also my response to the letter “Another experience…”, name and address withheld, printed in this week’s CBN.
I decided to go ahead and apply for the TIE having read the editor’s personal experience and particularly his quote, quite simply put, “why wouldn’t you want one?”
I could see no reason to wait. So, with the help of Dave’s comprehensive account, featured in CBN on 17th July, I completed the process to apply for mine and my husband’s new identity card.
Last week we attended the appointment in Alicante and we are now waiting to collect the cards in a couple of weeks’ time. I have been advised not to go on a Thursday as the market is held in the car park next to the police station.
The whole process was relatively simple. I speak fairly good Spanish, but I admit to having used google translate for some of the technical terms. I was unsure about a couple of questions on the EX-23 form so I emailed my legal advisors, PSB, in Torrevieja, and they very kindly helped me, even advising me about where to park for the appointment. PSB offers a service to complete the forms and make an appointment, which I would recommend if you don’t have access to a computer. Providing you have all the correct paperwork you should not have a problem attending the appointment without an advisor. The officers that dealt with mine and my husband’s application were extremely helpful.
I believe that we will all need a TIE eventually so it seems sensible to apply now at a time when appointments are easily available.
Even so, none of my friends have applied, and they seem surprised by my decision. I have been asked on numerous occasions, “Why are you bothering, you don’t have to do anything?” One friend even told me she had been advised against it. I appreciate that many expats are not computer literate, may not speak Spanish and are, perhaps, not in a position to pay an advisor to do the whole process, or in some cases just do not want to bother. In addition, the British Embassy has confirmed that no action is necessary.
There are a number of conspiracy theories about why the Spanish Government and the British Embassy are advising UK expats that they do not need to change their current residency cards. One compelling theory is that, with around 250 thousand UK, Spanish resident holders living in Spain, the authorities could not cope if we all rushed to obtain the new identity card before the end of the year.
However, I have just read the letter in today’s CBN “Another experience …” regarding the processing officer stating that all existing ‘residencias’ will be invalid after the 31 December this year. The officer may know something the British Embassy doesn’t, on the other hand, she may have been given the wrong information. In any event, it is going to cause concern.
The fact that the name and address of the sender is withheld leads me to suspect that it was the true experience of an advisor who does not want to be named and accused of scaremongering. If my suspicions are correct, then I understand the reasoning for remaining anonymous. Legal firms have been criticised for attempting to coerce clients into using their services, in some cases, at extortionate rates, to obtain an identity card that is not required.
I sincerely hope that the information given by the processing officer is not true and the green ‘residencia’ will remain valid and, perhaps, the TIE will be phased in over a reasonable period of time.
The British Embassy should give clear guidance about how long the green residency is going to be valid for then people can make an informed decision. Either way, my advice would be to do it now – not wait until such time as it becomes an obligation and may not be so easy to achieve.
Wendy Lawrenson, Torrevieja