Tag: British Embassy

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

La Alcaldesa Bueno Secures Incredible Majority in Mogán

Mogán, May 29, 2023 – The often controversial incumbent, O Bueno, La Alcaldesa, has achieved an unprecedented and resounding victory once more in Mogán. The candidate who switched her party’s name, for these elections, to “Juntos por Mogán”, a local ally of the regionalist conservatives “Coalición Canaria” (CC), will once again assume the role of mayor. Her party has clinched a rather noteworthy 17 out of the 21 seats in the Municipal Council of this popular tourism destination located on the sunny southwest of Gran Canaria.

The Canary Guide Día de Canarias #WeekendTips 26-28 May 2023

What an interesting last weekend of May ahead. Weather predictions are showing some rain showers are likely across Gran Canaria. This extended #WeekendTips covers up to Tuesday, when all things Canarian are celebrated on the Día de Canarias. There’ll be some gorgeous Patron Saints’ festivities happening in San Fernando de Maspalomas as well as in Valleseco.

Fun Fact:
Valleseco literally means “dry valley” in Spanish, but is actually one of the wettest municipalities Gran Canaria. Nestling between the famous fresh water sources of Firgas & Teror, half way up the island’s mountainous northern slopes, this area is well known for its apple growers, cider and its weekly market

Six weeks since the unexplained disappearance of Anna-Karin on Gran Canaria

The authorities on Gran Canaria have been engaged in a rigorous search for Swedish tourist Anna-Karin Bengtsson, who went missing in the south of Gran Canaria around April 9. Her unexplained disappearance has caused her family much distress, with no clues to her whereabouts having emerged in the six weeks since they first realised her phone was no longer functioning.


The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 19-21 May 2023


An exciting May weekend ahead with abundant events and festivities taking place all around Gran Canaria. There are Patron Saints’ festivities for Motor Grande, in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, and in El Tablero in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and up in the mountains of Artenara. There is also a two day lively exhibition event in Meloneras boulevard and the Rally Gran Canaria is held this Friday and Saturday.


End of Transition Period Q&A for UK Nationals living in Spain

Information correct as at 29 December 2020.

What happens if I am not registered as resident by 31 December?
If you are unable to complete the registration process before 1 January, you will still be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, as long as you were legally living in Spain before the end of 2020.
That means that you were living here and meeting the EU free movement conditions of working, being self-employed, or having sufficient income and comprehensive healthcare cover to support you during your retirement or studies.
Your rights come from your living legally in Spain before 31 December, not from possessing the residency card itself. We recommend you have as much documentation in place to demonstrate that you were legally living here before the end of the Transition Period as possible. That might include, but not be limited to, a padrón certificate, utility bill, healthcare policy, work contract or flight ticket.
If you are having difficulties with your residency application, there are three organisations, who have received funding to support UK Nationals with this, so please do contact them for help.
What should I do if I can’t get an appointment?
COVID restrictions have meant that there are fewer appointments available in some areas, but you should keep trying. You should also remember that you can complete the first stage of the residency process by submitting your documents electronically if you have a digital certificate.You can find out how to get your digital certificate here: https://www.sede.fnmt.gob.es/en/certificados/persona-fisica. If you do not have a digital certificate you can also use a third-party representative to submit your documents for you.
Meanwhile, you should make sure you have as much documentation in place to demonstrate that you were legally living here before the end of the Transition Period as possible. That might include, but not be limited to, a padrón certificate, utility bill, healthcare policy, work contract or flight ticket.
Is my green certificate still valid or does it need to be exchanged for a TIE?
The green residency certificate – both A4 and credit card-sized – remain valid documents to demonstrate your status as a resident and your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.The Spanish Government emphasises that the biometric TIE is more durable and may simplify some administrative processes and border crossing. If you decide to exchange your green certificate for the TIE, there is no deadline for doing so. See https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/brexit/howtoprepare/Paginas/190108residence.aspx
Will I still be able to access healthcare in Spain?
People who have settled in the UK or EU before 31 December 2020, will continue to have life-long reciprocal healthcare rights provided they remain covered under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. That means if you live in Spain or moved there before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Spain will stay the same for as long as you remain resident. Visit gov.uk/healthcareinspain for more information.
Is my EHIC valid after 31 December?
A new EHIC has been developed for those eligible under the Withdrawal Agreement to protect the existing healthcare rights of people living, working and studying in the EU prior to the end of the transition period.Residents who have a registered S1 form and students will need to get the new UK-issued EHIC which will be valid from when they receive it and for travel from 1 January 2021. They can apply on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-ehic-european-health-insurance-card/
The Withdrawal Agreement also protects UK and EU nationals who find themselves in a ‘cross-border situation’ over 31 December 2020 (for example, someone whose holiday begins before but ended after the 31 December 2020). These people will be able to continue to access ‘needs-arising treatment’ until they leave that country by travelling to another EU MS or returning to the UK. If treatment is needed people will need to contact NHS BSA (https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/contact-us) for a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) which shows that they are entitled to treatment in the EU. They may need to provide evidence that they travelled to the Member State before 31 December 2020 and did not leave the country before they required treatment.
The Government always advises that anyone travelling overseas, whether to the EU or elsewhere in the world, should take out comprehensive travel insurance. This remains our advice.UK residents visiting Spain should visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-for-uk-nationals-visiting-spain for the latest information.
Can I still exchange my driving licence from 1 January?
All valid UK driving licences will be recognised for driving in Spain until 30 June 2021. We have consistently advised UK nationals to exchange their UK licence for a Spanish one. As long as you registered the details of your licence with the Spanish traffic office and the licence was verified by 30 December 2020, you have until 30 June 2021 to complete the exchange.
If you were not able to start the process before 30 December you should sign up to email alerts on gov.uk/livinginspain to be informed of the latest developments on the future exchange of driving licences. In the meantime, you can use your valid UK licence until 30 June 2021.
If you have exchanged your UK licence for a Spanish one you will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the UK. If you move to live in the UK, you can exchange your UK licence without having to take a test.
Can I continue to claim my pension in Spain?
If you are legally living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.
For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain#pensions
I have a second home in Spain. Can I still come and stay there in the same way?
UK business visitors and tourists will still be able to travel to the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days in every 180-day period. From 1 January you will require permission from Spain for any stay longer than that and this may require applying for a visa or permit. You should contact the Consulate General in the UK for further information. This will limit the time you can spend in your property, but your property rights will not change.
Can I still travel back to the UK with my dog?
There will be no change to the current health preparations or documents for pets entering Great Britain from the EU from 1 January 2021.From 1 January 2021 onwards, the UK will have Part 2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, meaning that people travelling from England, Wales or Scotland with their pets and assistance dogs will need to follow new requirements in order to travel to Spain.
For further information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-from-1-january-2021, where you will also find contact details for the pet travel hotline.
Will there be changes at the border when I come into Spain? Do I need to do anything differently?
If you live in Spain, you should always travel with both your valid passport and proof of your residence status (TIE or green EU residence certificate). From 1 January, UK Nationals will not be able to use the passport lanes for EU/EEA/EFTA/Swiss citizens and should use the lanes for Third Country Nationals (TCNs).
The COVID situation is evolving and travel restrictions can change quickly, so you should sign up for alerts to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain, so that you are kept up to date with the latest information.
Can students continue their studies in Spain?
UK nationals who are resident in Spain by the end of the transition period will continue to be treated on an equal basis to Spanish students in terms of eligibility for student support if they wish to go to a Spanish university, even if that is after the end of the transition period. UK nationals who move to Spain to study a full degree from 1 January 2021 must apply for the relevant visa before travelling and may have to pay the fees applicable to non-EU citizens.
Are there any changes to mobile phone roaming?
If you have a UK mobile phone, you should be aware that there may be new roaming charges from 1 January 2021. You should check with your provider for details.

Where can I find more information?
For the latest information on living in Spain, including on residency, driving and pensions visit gov.uk/livinginspainFor the latest information on healthcare visit gov.uk/healthcareinspainFor the latest travel advice for Spain visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spainYou can also keep up to date through our Facebook channel www.facebook.com/britsinspain.


The Canary News

Spain’s DGT “Traffico” puts new system in place to help UK license holders exchange to drive legally in Spain

As you know, one of the key actions for UK Nationals living in Spain is to exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish one, but recently a lack of appointments has made this difficult. Therefore, to speed up the licence exchange and ensure UK Nationals can begin the process before the end of the year, the DGT “Traffico” has put a new system in place which went live on their website yesterday.
It is a two-step process. The first step is to make an application to the DGT before 30 December. You can do this via their online portal if you have a digital certificate/CLAVE or by calling 060. In some provinces it may also be possible to do so by downloading the form and taking it to your local office, though you may wish to ring ahead to confirm this. You can also ask a representative (eg a gestor) to do this on your behalf. We understand that for this part of the process you do not need to have a residency certificate or TIE, but you will need a NIE.
If you do not hear anything from the DGT “Traffico” in the meantime, three days after submitting your application you can request an appointment with the DGT to do the exchange. This should be booked on the DGT’s website.
As long as your application has been submitted before 30 December, and the UK authorities have verified your licence by the end of the year, your appointment to exchange your licence can be after 1 January 2021, provided it is within the first 6 months of next year. Please note that you will need a residency certificate/TIE to do final exchange, so if you are in the process of applying for residency you may want to choose a later date for your appointment.
Irrespective of whether a UK licence has been verified for exchange by the end of the year, you will be able to drive in Spain using your UK licence for 6 months from 1 January 2021. The future rules on exchange and recognition of UK licences are still subject to negotiation. 

For more information and a link to the online application form visit: The DGT website.Please note that you can change the site’s language to English by selecting it in the drop-down menu in the top right hand corner of the page.

To keep up to date with the latest information on driving, please sign up for alerts to the Living in Spain guide on gov.uk. 


The Canary News

£3 million grant to help UK nationals in the EU prepare for Brexit

UK Government announces £3 million grant to help UK nationals in the EU prepare for Brexit
UK nationals who may struggle to complete their residency applications will be helped by measures announced by the UK Government. Up to £3 million is being provided for organisations who will inform UK nationals who live in EU member states including Spain, about the need to register as resident and support them as they complete their applications. The Government wants to support those who may find it harder to complete all the paperwork – focusing in particular on pensioners or disabled people, those living in remote areas or with mobility difficulties, and those needing assistance with language translation or interpretation.
British Consul Charmaine Arbouin said: “The UK will be leaving the EU on 31 October and we want to help UK nationals living in Spain to be fully ready for Brexit, whatever the circumstances. This funding will ensure people get the support they need to protect their residency rights and access to services.”
Organisations working with people who might be affected and who might require additional support can apply for project funding from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office from 19 September at gov.uk/fco. The fund’s programme team, based in London, will be running a series of webinars to provide bidders with a fuller understanding of the fund and an opportunity to ask questions on the bidding process. Interested organisations can find further detail at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/3-million-grant-to-help-uk-nationals-in-eu-for-brexit. Organisations can also contact their nearest consulate for an initial conversation.
Individuals wanting to access support with their residency applications will be able to contact those organisations who are successful in their bid, once the funding has been awarded. We will provide details of the providers for Spain in due course. Meanwhile, UK nationals living in Spain should continue to prioritise registering as a resident by 31 October.
Advice on residency for UK nationals living in Spain can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/living-in-spain


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