British Consulate Press Release: British holidaymakers arriving at Alicante airport this summer are being confronted with banners warning them to keep their passports safe, as part of a campaign to reduce further the number of British nationals who lose their passport or have it stolen whilst on holiday on the Costa Blanca. Alicante airport has agreed with the British Consulate in Alicante to display banners in the arrivals area, warning tourists that losing their passports will cause frustration and inconvenience as they miss out on valuable holiday time whilst they visit the Consulate and pay for an emergency passport to get home. Over two million British travellers, who make up 45% of all those who use the airport, will see the banners titled “Lose your passport, lose your holiday” as they head for passport control. They will again be reminded of the message when they get to the baggage reclaim area. Posters encouraging Britons to look after their valuables, especially their passports, will also be displayed in all the main tourist information offices across the Valencia region. Every year the Consulate in Alicante issues around 1000 emergency passports at a euro equivalent cost of 95 pounds each. It’s a number that British consul, Paul Rodwell, is keen to reduce. Says Paul:, “We want to prevent British nationals from getting into trouble in the first place. Everyone arriving in Alicante is being reminded to think about where they’re going to keep their passport for the duration of their stay. My advice: lock it away somewhere safe and, if you have to take it with you, keep it in a zipped bag or pocket to ensure a hassle-free holiday. “Partnership is key in preventing consular cases and I am very grateful to both the airport and tourist authorities for agreeing to display these banners and posters free of charge.”
Hi I am a 19 year old British citizen who has been living in France for the last 8 years, currently as a student on a preparation course for a business school studying in Le Havre, Normandy.I had made plans to spend my summer in Majorca, travelling with a company specialising in providing working holidays to young people however due to an administrative error I was informed at 1 O'Clock on the morning of my flight that I had no accommodation. I am therefore searching for an alternative solution to spend my summer in Spain as I desperately want to improve my Spanish and become trilingual (I already speak fluent Englsh and French). I like to consider myself quite a well rounded human being. What I mean by that is that I can do almost any kind of job. I have gained experience in outdoor and garden work from many long weekends helping my parents, and I worked as a labourer two years ago as a summer job. I have 3 dogs, chickens and once had as many as 5 cats so I am an animal lover and I know how to look after them. I am also good with kids, I have 2 half brothers and 1 disabled half sister and my most recent seasonal job was working in a summer camp. I am also a pretty good cocktail mixer, and I love jobs where I can use my language skills to my advantage and I have been paid for translation jobs on many previous occasions so I will pretty much take most kinds of work. I am not looking to make any profit at this stage of the summer so I will be happy to work for board and lodgings somewhere vibrant and dynamic where I could interact with a lot of Spaniards. Please get in touch with me quickly as I would like to come to Spain as soon as possible. I am available until the end of August. Thanks for reading Charles
Additional measures to help British nationals overseas who need new or replacement passports British nationals living overseas who are waiting for a new passport, or whose passport has recently expired or will expire soon, are being offered additional services to help with any concerns they may have about their ability to travel. If you need to renew an existing British passport, you can instead apply for it to be extended for 12 months. You will need to be in possession of a passport that expired less than six months ago or will expire within the next three months, and have at least three blank pages left in your passport. You won’t be charged for this service. If you have already made an application to have your passport renewed, you cannot get an extension in your current passport, even if you still have your passport with you. If you need to travel urgently, you can apply for an emergency travel document. If you’re the parent or guardian of a child living overseas who needs to travel, you may be able to apply for an emergency travel document for your child instead of a new or renewed passport. If you want to access any of these services, you should make an appointment to visit your nearest British Consulate. Please do not arrive without an appointment – there is no “drop-in” service. You can also get more information here. These additional services are designed to enable British nationals overseas to continue to be able to travel, and are in response to people’s understandable concerns about the current pressure on Her Majesty’s Passport Office in the United Kingdom, which is dealing with the highest demand for passports in 12 years. We ask anyone who requires the passport extension service or an emergency travel document to consult our website for up to the minute information about eligibility and how to apply www.gov.uk/get-an-emergency-passport-extension-or-child-travel-document.
Important notice - Consulate closure Due to local public holidays, the British Consulate in Alicante will be closed to the public on Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th of June. Any British national who needs assistance during this period can still contact us by phone on (+34) 965 21 60 22 or by email email@example.com
British Embassy Madrid News release – Holidaymakers warned to watch out for highway robbers in Spain The British Embassy in Spain is warning holidaymakers to watch out for ruthless gangs of modern-day highway robbers who are preying on people driving foreign-registered vehicles and hire cars. Police in the Catalonia region of Spain have dealt with 126 British victims of robbery on the AP7 motorway between the French border and the Valencia region over the past two years. British Consulates across mainland Spain say they are receiving regular reports of roadside robbery occurring along the coast between Barcelona and Alicante, across Andalucia in the south, and in the Madrid region. Consular staff estimate that 1 in 20 of all emergency passports issued last year as a result of theft were following motorway robberies. A new video produced by the Foreign Office - ‘Don’t let thieves drive you to distraction’ - https://vimeo.com/98023947 shows real-life footage of some of the most common tactics. Highway robbers flag their victim down by indicating there is a problem with their vehicle, then one gets out to distract the occupants’ attention, whilst an unseen accomplice robs passports, money and other valuables before the gang makes a fast getaway. In a second case, the robber tricks a victim into thinking they have a problem with their parked vehicle, whilst another opens the door and removes valuables. Other tricks include throwing something that creates a sudden noise, or puncturing a tyre at a roadside rest stop. Will Middleton, consular regional director for Spain, warns: ‘Distraction is the most common technique used by highway robbers in Spain. They will try to worry you about the state of your vehicle, and then whilst they point out the supposed problem, an accomplice is robbing you. ‘So be wary of anyone attempting to stop you when you are driving, or trying to point out a problem or offering assistance. They may not be the good Samaritan they appear to be. ‘If someone points out a supposed problem whilst you are on the road, keep going until you reach a service area. If you have to stop, make sure one person stays in the vehicle. Keep valuables out of sight and out of reach. If you do notice a problem with your vehicle, call your emergency breakdown service for help. ‘We are working with the Spanish police to alert British visitors to how these gangs work, so that holidaymakers can avoid becoming victims. Police statistics indicate that these robberies are largely non-violent. ‘However falling victim to this kind of theft can be distressing and costly: a family of four who lose all their passports would unfortunately need to pay around four hundred pounds to get emergency passports to get home.’ Case study 1 In April, Richard Hibbs from Llandudno in North Wales, and his brother-in-law who lives in Spain, had just driven through the toll booths on the AP7 motorway north of Barcelona when another car drove up very close to them and they heard a loud noise. It sounded the same as when Mr Hibbs had been in a minor collision once before. A youngster leant out of the window of the car and started shouting and gesticulating towards their vehicle, motioning them to stop. Alarmed, they pulled over and both got out. One of the occupants emerged from the other vehicle and held their attention by talking loudly in Spanish and pointing at their rear tyres. Then he suddenly broke off mid-sentence, ran back to his vehicle and dived in through the rear window as the car sped away. Whilst they were being distracted, another member of the gang had sneaked into the car and stolen a leather travel wallet containing two passports and other documents from the glove-box, and two coats from the back seat. The whole incident lasted less than two minutes. Mr Hibbs says: ‘Fortunately we didn’t have any cash or cards in the wallet and there were no weapons involved, although we’re still not sure how they made the noise. My insurance covered the cost of replacing the passports. ‘I’d say to anyone travelling in a vehicle with UK plates to think at least twice before stopping on a Spanish motorway in similar circumstances, particularly at night, and don’t keep all your valuables in the same place. If you do have to stop, don’t all get out of the car.’ Case study 2 Mr and Mrs J from Lewes in Sussex were on the AP7 north of Barcelona when a car overtook their British-registered Transit van and a young girl leant out of the back window shouting and indicating that there was a problem with the bikes on the back of their van. Unsuspecting, they pulled over and the passenger in the other car took them round to the other side of their van. Mrs J realised something was wrong when the ‘good Samaritan’ started pointing underneath the vehicle, but it was already too late. An accomplice had grabbed their passports and valuables, dived back into the moving car and the robbers made their getaway. Mr J warns: ‘It all happened so quickly… my advice is to avoid stopping on the motorway for whatever reason.’ Top tips to avoid highway robbers ruining your holiday: On the road Be wary of people flagging you down If you have a problem with your vehicle, call your emergency breakdown service Keep valuables out of sight and out of reach When you stop Park your vehicle in sight Take your valuables with you Watch out for tampering
British Consulate Press Release: British Consulate, police and tourism partners work together to reduce petty theft which represented 80% of crimes reported in Alicante province in 2013 With the busy tourist season already upon us, the police and consular staff met with tourism partners in Benidorm yesterday to encourage them to help keep tourists safe. The National Police prevention team gave the representatives from hotels, campsites and apartments in Benidorm some simple tips to pass on to their guests: * Beware of “triles” - groups who trick tourists with fake street games * Mobile phone theft is on the up – don’t leave your phone on the table or take it to the beach and look after your passport. * Take advantage of the “Operación Verano” – in July and August anyone can get a free certified copy of their passport from the police so they can leave the original at the hotel * People approaching tourists to ask them to sign petitions or for money are sometimes looking for opportunities to steal from them so be wary The Consulate welcomed this proactive advice to avoid petty crime and also talked about the importance of working together to support tourists when something does go wrong, which can have a huge impact on how the victim of crime recovers from the experience. Mr. Rodwell encouraged the hotel staff to inform guests of the National police’s “SATE” office in Benidorm, where victims of crime will be supported and assisted in English to make a police report and make any emergency calls they need to. The office is located in the Centro Municipal Torrejó, Plaza Canalejas and is open from 9am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am-2pm at the weekend. The Consul also showed the hotel staff their prevention posters and a short video titled “Enjoy your holiday” on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9h3_VOPZfo), which the hotels, apartments and campsites were keen to use. Following the event, Mr Rodwell said: “The Consulate is committed to supporting vulnerable British nationals in Benidorm by working closely with the Spanish national police and tourism partners. This event was a great opportunity to gain a greater understanding of each others’ role so that we can help British nationals more effectively.” The event was opened by the head of tourism for the Valencian region, Sebastian Fernandez Miralles, the deputy Mayoress of Benidorm, Gema Amor, and the head of the National Police in Benidorm, Juan Carlos Hernandez.
British Embassy Press Release: British nationals wanting to renew or obtain a British passport should avoid leaving their applications too late. You currently need to allow at least six weeks for a passport renewal and eight weeks for a first time application, according to Her Majesty’s Passport Office. It’s also important to get your application right first time, to avoid the paperwork being returned and causing further delay. The Passport Office took over the processing of all applications from British nationals across the globe in March. As part of the transition, the British Embassy in Madrid ceased to handle applications last year. Overseas applications are now subject to further security checks, to align with the processes for domestic passport applications. These checks can take significantly longer than those made in the UK and a passport will not be issued until all checks have been satisfactorily completed. Processing times have therefore increased for UK passport applications submitted from overseas. The Passport Office has acknowledged the frustration that customers may be experiencing and will continue to review its guidance on estimated processing times. It has recommended that customers do not book travel until they have received their passport. UK passport applications must be made online and the webpage to start an overseas application can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports/y . The six week minimum for the issue of a new passport starts when the application is received by the Passport Office. So if you need a new British passport soon, don’t leave it until the last minute. You can make your application up to nine months before the expiry of your current passport and the remaining validity time will be carried over to the new passport.
British Embassy Press Release: British nationals living in Spain should note that from Monday 9th June, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is changing the way that it registers the births and deaths of British citizens overseas. The process will gradually be withdrawn from British Consulates in Spain during the rest of 2014. Thereafter this option for British expatriates will be carried out by a central registration unit in the UK. Consular birth registration is an optional service and is only available to those born overseas who have an automatic entitlement to British Nationality at birth. There is no legal requirement for a consular birth registration, and a local birth certificate with a certified translation if necessary should be sufficient for all purposes in the UK including applying for a passport. Similarly there is no requirement for a consular death certificate – a local certificate should be sufficient for winding up the affairs and obtaining probate in the UK. The processing time for registrations will remain the same but applicants will need to allow extra time for documents to be sent to and from the UK. British nationals can find information here on how to apply for a consular birth or death registration. Centralisation of birth and death registration into a single-purpose unit in the UK will allow the FCO to provide a common online application procedure with a credit card payment facility, which will be more efficient and convenient for customers. Centralisation will also enable FCO consular staff to better focus on their primary function of assisting British nationals in distress.
Hello All, Many people may not be aware of the terrible fate of some of Spain's hunting dogs. They may be killed heartlessly at the end of the hunting season, sometimes by the slow and agonising method of 'piano-playing' - the dog is hanged by the neck but can just reach the ground. The piano-playing refers to the click of its toes on the ground as it desperately scrabbles around until it tires and succumbs. This can take a long time. Other dogs are insufficiently fed, kennelled and exercised. A Spaniard has started a petition to present to the Spanish government to bring about some long overdue legislation to protect these animals. Please sign the petition and pass it on to all your friends, Spanish and English, so that the total of 500,000 required signatures can be reached (see link below, you may need to copy and paste into your browser). http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/293/313/901/ Thank you so much.
A Place In The Sun is looking for an expat couple who have relocated to or spend the winter months in the Costa Calida. We are looking for a couple who would be willing to share their experiences of living in the Costa Calida with our presenter and would be happy to appear on TV. If you are interested in taking part, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and contact information.
Thanks to La Rosa Bar, San Cayetano MABS Mar Menor has been able to purchase a much needed Van. The Bar raised 2,269 Euros by having a 24hour poolathon, and Beverley Buckley who works at the bar doing a triathlon raising 400 Euros. The 24 hour Poolathon was held in February when 10 of the customers, including Mark McCluskey the landlord played pool around the clock. They were all sponsored very generously by friends in Spain and the UK. The Van will be a huge asset to MABS enabling them to do more deliveries and collections of Furniture for their Charity Shop in San Javier, and also to deliver equipment such as hospital beds to patients. Having transport 5 days a week also means more drivers will be required, and helpers to go with the driver to load and unload. Recently MABS Volunteers went along to present La Rosa Bar with a Certificate of Appreciation and receive the money and were able to show off the Van to all the Customers who had helped raise the money. La Rosa Bar would like to thank Magani Brewery, Serena Golf, and Iceland for donating prizes for the Poolathon. If you would like to volunteer to help please contact Sylvia on 634 353 575, and if you have any furniture or bric a brac you would like to donate to the Charity Shop, please ring 868 186 514 or 615 016 035. Cancer does not descriminate and neither do MABS who help anyone of any nationality affected by Cancer. Helpline 693 275 779
British Embassy Press Release: Tell them to look after their passports, warns British Embassy The British Embassy in Madrid is warning Easter visitors to Spain to take good care of their passports, after more than 6000 were lost or stolen in the country last year. A lost or stolen passport means spending precious holiday time and money to get an Emergency Travel Document or ETD in order to return home. The Embassy urges travellers to watch a new Foreign Office video “Enjoy your holiday” on YouTube, in which British tourists who have suffered a lost or stolen passport reveal the true costs in terms of time, money and frustration in dealing with the issue. Replacing a passport whilst abroad requires a visit to the nearest British Consulate – which may be several hours away – to obtain an Emergency Travel Document that costs the euro equivalent of 95 pounds. “Your passport is valuable”, says Will Middleton, Consular Regional Director for Spain. “If you do need to carry it, keep it in a money belt under your clothes rather than in a handbag or rucksack, and never leave passports in a car. “Avoid carrying all your passports together. A single bag theft can leave a family of four facing a bill of nearly 400 pounds for emergency travel documents.” Taking just four months from last year2, Consulates in Spain assisted 568 British nationals from London and the South East whose passports were lost or stolen. Figures in other regions include the South West 149, West Midlands 96, East Midlands 101, North West 209, North East 98, Yorkshire & the Humber 88, Scotland 139, Wales 72 and Northern Ireland 27. Bag theft is the biggest cause of stolen passports in Spain (39%), followed by thefts from cars (20%), pickpocketing (15%) and apartment or villa break-ins (14%). Travellers can get further advice and information on Spain via the British Embassy’s social media channels. Follow @BritsvisitSpain on twitter (www.twitter.com/BritsvisitSpain ) or “Brits visiting Spain” on Facebook – (www.facebook.com/BritsvisitingSpain ). How to view the video: Use this link http://bit.ly/1c0rvTF, or go to www.youtube.com and search for “Enjoy your Holiday FCO”, or scan the QR code below on your smartphone. 1. Source: 2013 British Behaviour Abroad Report 2. Source: Sample of 1767 emergency travel documents issued by British Consulates in Spain in February, May, August and November 2013.
Talk Radio Europe (TRE),the recognized/ well – known radio station on the Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca and Mallorca will celebrate its traditional charity Telethon in aid to Cudeca on Friday 21st March from 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. Telethon is an English speaking radio auction, where you are able to auction alive for donated new items. There will be a special donations line in operation on the day of the Telethon. The number is 951 214 216 and a Cudeca volunteer will be waiting for your call. In its latest edition, the Telethon auctioned over 150 items and raised € 17.000, which helped Cudeca to continue offering its Special Kind of Caring to patients suffering from advanced and non-curable illnesses within the province of Málaga. If you want to help by donating a new item that can be auctioned (eg . Jewelery, bags , discs or balls signed , gift vouchers , etc) , you can leave it in Talk Radio Europe (Centro Comercial La Colonia San Pedro de Alcántara ) or Cudeca Foundation ( Avenida del Cosmos, s / n , Benalmádena ). All the auction items are on display now on www.tretelethon.com and you can bid on-line for items right up to the day! You can help make this a record-breaking year in one of the following ways: • You can bid for the auction items – the website will be shortly up a running: www.tretelethon.com • You can donate auction items • You can call in and make a donation to this the account number ES48 2100 7681 3523 0006 0031 or www.cudeca-eventos.org To tune TRE fm, see your http://www.talkradioeurope.com frequency. THANK YOU FOR HELPING US TO CONTINUE GIVING LIFE TO DAYS
British Embassy Press Release: The fees for a UK passport for British citizens applying from overseas countries, including Spain, will fall by 35% from next month. James Brokenshire, Immigration and Security Minister, has announced that from 7th April the passport fee for customers applying for a UK passport from overseas will be reduced by £45 for adults and £28.50 for children. The new fees are: Adult 32 page passport £83.00 Child 32 page passport £53.00 Jumbo 48 page passport £91.00 (Adult / Child / Veteran) The 35% decrease in passport fees is the result of efficiency savings made over the last three years by bringing back the processing and issuing of overseas passports to the UK, including from the former passport processing centre at the British Embassy Madrid. Will Middleton, Consular Director for Spain, said: “This is good news for British citizens applying for a UK Passport from Spain. The repatriation of overseas passport centres means overseas applications can now be handled more efficiently and at significantly lower cost. “The new fees will benefit some four million Britons living overseas, including many of the estimated 800,000 who live in Spain for all or part of the year.” If you need a new or replacement passport, go to the Overseas British passport applications page on www.GOV.UK where you can make an overseas application. You need to apply and pay online and send your supporting documents direct to the UK (no longer to the nearest Consulate or Embassy). The turnaround time is four to six weeks, and applications are accepted up to nine months before the expiry of your current passport. The new fees for overseas applications remain marginally higher than the equivalent fees for UK-based applicants because on average overseas applications take longer – and therefore cost slightly more - to process. This is because it is often less straightforward to establish whether or not an overseas applicant is entitled to a UK passport. Overseas customers will also continue to pay a courier charge in addition to the passport fee. British nationals can get more information and advice on living in Spain by “liking / following” the British Embassy’s popular new social media channels on: Facebook - www.facebook.com/BritslivinginSpain Twitter - www.twitter.com/BritsliveSpain
Just a warning about TELEAST internet supplier. I had 6mb internet installed 3 weeks ago, noticed immediately I wasn't getting 6mb in the evenings only between 1mb and 2.5mb. Told company who promised to fix it and promised a technicIan to visit but have had no help in sorting this matter and I'm still not getting what I'm paying for. And to top it all I'm TRAPPED in a 3 months contract and can't do anything about it. A total waste of money. So beware!