Benidorm has long attracted British expats eager to leave the chilly UK behind them and enjoy the sun, sea and sand the resort in Spain has to offer. However, with Brexit fast approaching, Britons in the area need to make sure they register their residency in time. In July this year, the Spanish government introduced a new residence document for UK nationals living in Spain who have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement – the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE).
“This biometric card explicitly states that it has been issued to the holder under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement,” explained the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in its Spain travel advice.
Britons in Benidorm are now rushing to get this card ahead of the December 31 deadline.
Some are claiming unregistered expats are facing delays as they go through the required procedures, reported local news site The Olive Press.
One Londoner living in Madrid and travelling to Benidorm posted on Twitter: “I am currently attempting to negotiate Spanish bureaucracy to get my residency (hi, trip to Benidorm on Thursday) and all I keep thinking is “it didn’t need to be like this. It’s all so unnecessary”.
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President of the Benidorm British Business Association, Karen Cowles told The Olive Press: “My consultancy firm that deals with organising appointments for the TIE has seen business skyrocket recently.
“Until a few weeks ago, people have no attached any importance to registering but reality has now sunk in.”
She added that many Britons thought they could come to live in Spain without ever registering.