British Embassy Press Release: More than 6000 emergency passports issued in Spain last year The number of emergency passports issued by British Consulates in Spain rose 11% last year to a total of 6005 – more than a fifth (22%) of the Foreign Office world total. The increase has triggered the British Embassy to warn British expats to take care of their passports, check the expiry date and renew them in good time. In May alone this year 493 emergency passports were issued to British nationals in Spain, including 280 as a result of theft (mainly bag theft), car break-ins, burglary and pick-pocketing. Of the 213 emergency passports issued for other reasons, 14% were because full passports had expired. Expatriates should check when their passports are due to expire and make a diary note to renew them up to nine months earlier, says Will Middleton, new Consular Regional Director for Spain. “Living overseas, it can be easy to think that you don't need your passport or to forget to renew it. “But if you need to travel at short notice, getting an emergency passport is both costly - currently 116 euros - and time-consuming, which can add further to what may already be a stressful situation. And you will still need to renew your full passport when you get back.” Many people fear that by renewing a passport before it expires they will ‘lose out’ on validity they have paid for. In fact any remaining validity on your existing passport (up to a total of nine months) will be added to the new one. Circumstances in which British expatriates can find themselves needing emergency passports vary from the death or serious illness of a loved one through to job opportunities put at risk - like the resident who was offered an interview in Germany only to discover his passport had expired. Others have been forced to cancel holidays of a lifetime for lack of a valid passport. One customer, who had already suffered five lost or stolen passports over the years and received a warning from the Passport Service, decided to keep the latest one safe by storing it in the freezer. Unfortunately it got wet, so he had to get yet another emergency one. Applying for a new passport is simple: download the application form and guidance notes from www.gov.uk/overseas-passports, complete them at home and send them off with your photographs. A new passport generally takes a minimum of four weeks from when the application is received.
I need some advice...I'm on the verge of buying a property on rural land in monserrat,Valencia. The property is a 2 storey property on 1600sqm of land.the living area is upstairs and downstairs which is bigger is basically empty but does have a small kitchen and bathroom which is not registered. The estate agent unsurprisingly says it is not a problem to mess around with the layout of the house and put bedrooms downstairs and once completed see an architect who will redraw the plans of the villa and then submit the plans saying it has been like this for more than 4years. i then saw my solicitor who basically said I could get away with this and even introduced me to an architect who said he would do this no problem...is this normal??
Hi I am looking for info on the new tax laws in Spain. My partner and I are thinking of moving to Spain. He is employed and we both have medical insurance. His work means that he will be out of the country for more than 183 days a year, he works off shore, and presently in the UK because of this, he does not pay tax, I have heard of Beckham's law, but as his salary is nowhere near the Beckhams, :) would he have to pay tax in Spain? I have tried to find the Spanish tax web site but without success! Any advice would be gratefully accepted.
just wondering if anyone has come across this problem. My nephew arrived at our house in Spain yesterday to discover our water had been 'cut off'. We contacted the bank and they don't us for the first time in 7 years we had insufficient funds in our account to pay a 14 euro bill to the water board. We conforted the bank and they said its not their problem and their not there to offer a personal service. Seriously for 14 euros.
Hi, Please can anybody advise me about the requiremant to renew my Residency Certificate after 5 years. (Certificado de registro como residente comunitario de la EU ).I am confused. In August 2008 we obtained our certificates in Valencia and as far as I was aware they were valid indefinately unless you needed to notify change of circumstances. A recent visit to the Pedralba Town Hall to verify our details on the Padron . It was pointed out to me that our Residency certificates would need renewing by August 2013. I would be pleased to hear from anyone about this subject but in particular anyone that has recently had to renew there certificate.ie. cost of renewal, where you have to go ect. Thanks for any help with this in advance
British Embassy Press Release: British nationals in Spain wanting to apply for a new passport are advised of an important change in the way they will need to make applications. From Monday 13 May, all applications will need to be sent directly to the Identity & Passport Service (IPS) in Belfast in the United Kingdom, instead of the regional passport processing hub in Madrid. All the necessary information about the new passport application process, including a new IPS overseas application form, can be found at www.gov.uk/overseas-passports. Andy Hamilton, head of the regional passport processing centre in Madrid, says: “In real terms, all that this means is that British nationals living in Spain now need to send their applications to a different address.” “Current passport processing times remain the same. If you are renewing your passport, you should allow at least four weeks from the date the fee is taken and all the correct documentation has been received.” “If you are applying for the first time or you are replacing a lost or stolen passport, you should allow at least six weeks.” The only other change is that the current passport helpline call charges are being removed. Instead of paying for a premium rate phone line, customers will now only have to pay for the cost of a call to the UK. British nationals who lack internet access or want advice are able to call the IPS Customer Service Centre on +44 (0) 300 222 0000. People who need to travel urgently but whose normal passport is unavailable should contact their nearest British Consulate via 902 109 356 or email email@example.com . Your local Consulate may be able to issue an Emergency Travel Document to help you travel.
Hi I need to put in place a very simple Spanish will for my wife and I, but would like to avoid the €100 per person I've been quoted for a solicitor to do it. Im based in moraira and my Spanish is rudimentary just yet. can anyone give me any tips - what the process is to draft one, make it official and so on? thanks very much.
British Embassy Press Release: Consular staff on hand to guide potential buyers at ‘A Place In The Sun’ show in London Access to healthcare, obtaining independent property advice and learning the language are all things to consider carefully before deciding to move abroad, Foreign Office staff advised would-be buyers at the annual ‘A Place in the Sun’ overseas homes show in London last week. Consular staff from Spain were on hand to provide more than 1000 Britons with impartial advice on things to think about before moving abroad. British Consul Paul Rodwell said: “We offered clear advice that helps people to think more carefully about planning their move. We made them aware of potential pitfalls when buying property overseas, as well as thinking about other important issues such as access to healthcare and how they’re going to integrate into local life by learning the Spanish language.” Potential buyers are encouraged to visit the wealth of information on living abroad within the UK Government’s new www.gov.uk website, as well as to look at the property advice on Spain at www.gov.uk/how-to-buy-property-in-spain . New official figures show that last year some 4,148 Spanish homes were purchased by British nationals, an increase of 3.5% compared with 2011, though still far from the peak of more than 17,000 British buyers in 2007. Mr Rodwell, Consul for the Alicante region, and Bernadette Gallagher, property expert for southern Europe, attended the London property show as part of a continuing drive by the Foreign Office to ensure that Britons who are thinking about moving abroad have all the information they need before making final decisions. Six out of ten people who spoke to Foreign Office staff were thinking of Spain as their place in the sun, showing that the country continues to be the most popular destination for Britons thinking about moving overseas.
British Embassy Press Release: The British and Spanish authorities have joined forces in the fight to bring benefit fraudsters to justice through new information sharing arrangements. The UK government is committed to clamp down on fraudsters who cheat the system to obtain taxpayers’ money that should be going to people needier than themselves. Sharing information, such as deaths of British nationals in Spain, helps the UK to ensure that the pensions and benefits of deceased expatriates are stopped as soon as possible, to avoid large overpayments to benefit recipients that then need to be paid back. The sharing of information also helps to identify fraudsters who deliberately fail to report the death of a family member to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in order to continue fraudulently receiving the pension or benefit. One such case involved Michael Higgs and Nancy Rutter who together stole more than £39,000 from the public purse by continuing to draw the benefits of a deceased family member. Data matching between the UK and Spain revealed that Higgs’ father had died in Spain in 2005 yet the couple, who were living in Malaga, had failed to notify the DWP of the death. Thinking they would never be caught, they continued to fraudulently claim the father’s benefit. After being found guilty of fraud, and as well as having to pay back the money they had stolen, Higgs was given 18 months in prison and Rutter received two sentences of 30 months and 18 months to run concurrently. A criminal record can easily be avoided by keeping the DWP informed of any change in personal circumstances, including the death of a family member who is in receipt of a pension or benefit. Failing to do so can lead to hefty overpayments that will have to be paid back, and even a prison sentence. For further details on how you can report someone you suspect of committing benefit fraud, visit www.dwp.gov.uk/benefit-thieves-spain/ or call the DWP’s free and confidential benefit fraud hotline in Spain on 900 55 444 0. The UK and Spain are working together to tackle benefit fraudsters.
I am in the process of suing an inmobiliaria for misrepresentation concerning the sale of a villa to us. This agent in collusion with the vendor - we suspect - intentionally with-held information crucial to us; had we known this information, we would not have purchased the villa. I have been guided by another solicitor to www.aeat.es where I can issue notice which I believe to be a denuncia. has anyone experience of doing this please. Thanks roger lines
British Embassy press release: New video guide from BuyAssociation and Foreign and Commonwealth Office helps people planning to buy property abroad A new online video guide that provides vital information for people buying property abroad has been launched by the BuyAssociation, the award-winning property media expert, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The video, which can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=JA7yJSOBTj4&feature=youtu.be, features industry experts from estate agents and overseas property lawyers to foreign exchange companies and lettings agencies. They outline a wide range of highly useful, first-hand advice on buying property abroad. Among the experts is Steve Jones, British Consul for the Canaries and Malaga. A number of British people who have already bought a property abroad share their insights and advice based on their own experiences. They discuss topics including mortgages, property lets, foreign exchange, tax, legal advice, and general administration. A supporting document, ‘Buying Property Abroad: An Expert Guide’ can be obtained free of charge via www.buyassociation.co.uk/fco. Caroline Roberts, Chief Executive of BuyAssociation, said: “This online video is an easily accessible and enjoyable ‘know before you buy’ guide, packed with essential hints and information, and designed to get consumers off to a stimulating start on what, for them, can be a lengthy and complex learning curve. “There are so many apparent bargains on the market at the moment, and it’s vitally important that people are not tempted to buy something solely because of the price or the discount. It’s even more important for them to do their homework and ensure they’re buying the right property for them, at the right price and in the right location.” Sher Houston from the ‘Know Before You Go’ team at the Foreign Office said: “Buying overseas is a dream for many people in the UK, but this dream can often turn into one’s worst nightmare if a property is bought without considering the proper safeguards. “The Foreign Office strongly encourages those thinking of buying an overseas property, for whatever purpose, to research their destination thoroughly, take independent advice, consider their personal circumstances carefully and plan for the long-term.” Britons accounted for some 19% of foreign home buyers in Spain in 2011, buying just over 4000 homes, compared to a peak of more than 17,000 homes in 2007. The online video, which will also be available through leading overseas property websites such as Rightmove Overseas and A Place in the Sun, covers the vital issues that should be considered during the buying process. It will be edited regularly so that it remains factually correct and accurately reflects market developments. The content is editorially independent of commercial interests and delivered free for viewers to save and share.
Possibly an odd question and not sure if it should be in this forum but I'll try here first. I've heard that it's Spanish law that you can take one lemon from a tree even if it's not yours (tree or field), can anyone confirm this please? I personally don't think you can but this is being debated locally by me and others. Cheers eaglet
I would like to apply for a building permit to build a wall on my property, which isnt a legal home. I'm seeking a 'Spanish with good English surveyor to draw up the plans , to enable me to submit to Catral Town Hall - do you think this would be a waste of time and money - afterall the money would help the Spanish economy if they give permission.