Can Spanish royal decree save Brit retirees from deportation?

Published:  8 Feb at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Citizens Advice Bureau Spain’s founder Myra Azzopardi is warning British expats they may well become illegal immigrants on March 30.

Under EU law, British expats in Spain are allowed just 90 days’ permission to stay, after which they must register to regularise their status. Should this not be done, they will be regarded as ‘irregular migrants’. Although Azzopardi states that Spain is not able under EU law to expel irregular migrants, it could deport UK expats as illegal aliens in the country. May’s withdrawal deal, rejected in parliament last month, does include special provisions for Brits with registration certificates to exchange them for TIE residence cards, but no provisions have been made to cover non-registered expats.

Azzopardi believes the majority of unregistered Brits in Spain is down to simple ignorance and lack of appreciation of the benefits, although she added some may not have registered in order to avoid paying Spanish taxes. Some 300,000 UK expats are registered, but the estimated number of unregistered Brits is between 500,000 and 700,000. May’s rejected deal gave British expats until the end of 2020 to register for the first time, at which point they would immediately be given a TIE. According to Azzopardi, it’s still unclear whether those who’ve lived in Spain for more than 90 days and are still unregistered will be allowed another 90-day period to establish their official status.

Under the worst option of a no-deal Brexit, Brits will not have any protection as there will be no special provisions, with one Spanish website claiming even registered Brits will be forced to comply with the ‘general immigration regime’ laws as third country nationals. Requirements for third-country nationals include proof of an annual income pf €26,000, a stipulation which would rule out all British expats claiming the UK state pension without having any other income. The only hope left for retirees on the basic state pension would seem to be a royal decree outlining the no-deal Brexit effect on registered British expats. The decree is expected to be published later this month, with diplomats assuming it may grant provisions similar to those in May’s withdrawal agreement.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive