"The government is prepared, whatever happens"

  • Staff reinforcements have been brought in to the Oficina de Extranjería to cope with the expected demand after Brexit

Whether Britain leaves the EU with or without a deal, British residents will have to apply for residency papers during a certain period of time after Brexit.

With their padrón certificate from their town hall and their green EU residency paper or card from the National Police, after the UK leaves the EU it will be the government's Oficina de Extranjería that will most likely take over the paperwork.

The central government's representative in Malaga, María Gámez has said that the administration is "prepared", whatever timescale is thrown up in the latest negotiations.

"Whatever the case, staff in the Oficina de Extranjería has been reinforced by 24 per cent with 12 extra workers, the greatest increase in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona," Gámez told SUR last week.

"The aim is to help British citizens meet all their administrative requirements during and after the envisaged transition period after Brexit; as after that time they will no longer be EU citizens," she added.

As well as residency papers, another important step is to exchange a British driving licence for a Spanish one. Sources from the Spanish traffic authority, the DGT, said they had been receiving a steady flow of applications, "although we haven't been inundated," they added. British residents have been informed that they should initiate the procedure to exchange their licence to the DGT before Brexit.