I visited Alicante and successfully applied for the new Residents’ card. Whilst there I asked two questions that your readers may be interested in.
1. A friend of mine has mobility issues and whilst I appreciated a personal attendance at Alicante was obligatory because of the finger prints required I asked what happens if the person cannot travel to Alicante for medical reasons.
The answer I received was if the person can leave the house even with an electric scooter or other aids (not bedridden) they have to attend. If bedridden /house bound a medical certificate is necessary and there is a possibility of the authorities arranging for a home visit.
2. I asked whether so few people were applying (only a handful were there when I attended) because the general consensus was that the existing residents card/paper did NOT need to be converted to the new card. The processing officer told me in no uncertain terms that after 31 December this year all existing old residencias (paper or card) will be invalid and everybody will have to apply for the new card. Furthermore, she said that an application after 31 December no matter how long you have been resident will involve proving income, health etc as per a new arrival.
I can only pass on the information I was given but it appears the sooner Brits apply for the new card the better.
Name withheld by readers’ request
According to the information given out by the British Embassy, the old green certificate will remain valid and residents are not obliged to change it. However, only the TIE will be issued from now on to Britons who apply for residency, or for renewals. We are expecting further official information from the Embassy shortly and details will appear in Costa Blanca News accordingly.