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Consul and town halls continue to stress the importance of registering as residents

The British consul Charmaine Arbouin at a meeting with British expats in Marbella last week.
The British consul Charmaine Arbouin at a meeting with British expats in Marbella last week. / J-LANZA
  • The consular team continues its tour of the region to advise British residents of how to prepare for Brexit

This week's vote against the Withdrawal Agreement in the House of Commons has not affected the ongoing campaign by Brexpats and the British consulate to encourage people to make their residency in Spain official in preparation for Brexit.

The advice was made clear at a meeting led by the British consul Charmaine Arbouin in Marbella last week, and at others held this week in Almeria, which were attended by several hundred UK nationals.

Joining the padrón, the municipal population register, at their local town hall is the first step towards applying for official residency in Spain, explained Hernandez.

One of the aims of the meetings is to make sure that residents understand the difference between joining the padrón and registering as resident at the Extranjería department, or designated National Police station, which is also an essential step.

The difference between being an official resident and a tax resident is also among the issues discussed at the meetings as well as healthcare, driving licences, nationality and the electoral roll.

The meetings are essential as not all British citizens who live in Spain register to be officially resident, especially those who spend six months in here and six months in the UK.

"The problem is that when Brexit is a reality any British citizen who spends more than three months in Spain in the space of six months will be here illegally," said Arbouin after the Marbella meeting.

The British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley, stated after the Withdrawal Agreement was voted down that the same message was going out to British citizens in Spain.

"The most important thing British nationals in Spain can do, and this is a message from both the UK and Spanish governments, is to ensure they are registered as resident at either a Naional Police station or Extranjería," said Manley.