‘Tough’ British expats in Spain slammed over 90 day rule issues – ‘English are finished’

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Since the Brexit transition period ended, British expats can only stay in Spain for 90 out of every 180 days if they don’t have Spanish residency. The rules apply across the Schengen zone.

Some British expats in Spain have appealed to extend their stay in the country and have even started a petition on Change.org.

Express.co.uk spoke to Maria L.de Castro of Costa Luz Lawyers to find out more about the petition.

She said: “The aim is to create an extended stay permit for UK national owners of property in Spain, who have been using it for more than the 90/180 period as a way to retirement, and that, with Brexit, have seen their rights shortened.”

The rule has primarily affected retired Britons who used to spend about six months of the year in Spain and people who had bought a home in Spain to retire in future.

However, there was limited sympathy for the British expats from Express.co.uk commenters.

One commenter ‘Squidward’ said: “If you act like a decent citizen, get the right paperwork, pay your taxes and treat the country and its people with respect then you will have no problems.

“Some Brits want it all ways and get outraged when they find living below the radar doesn’t benefit them in the long run.

“The rest of us lead a great life here, ignore the moaners and their self pity, Spain is a great place to live.”

British expats have always been required to register in Spain if they lived there. However pre-Brexit there were some who lived ‘under the radar’.

That has become more difficult after Brexit and expats could face deportation, fines and bans if caught.

Commenter, ‘Puppetonastring’ said: “Quite simple really. They need to decide where they want to live and if Spain is their choice then they’ll have to apply for residency.

“When we went to live in Austria we had to apply for residency after three months of living there.

“Trouble is these folk want it both ways, to live in the sun but also have the benefits of living in the UK.”

‘Spanish John’ advised: “Just get the paperwork done or done for you. I live there four or five months every winter.
“There’s never a problem because I have my ‘books’ in order.”

One Express.co.uk had little sympathy saying: “I hope all those people who are objecting to these rules voted remain. If not, tough.”

Many expats may not have realised that the rules would change or been aware that they had to register.

Britons who bought homes before Brexit and haven’t moved to Spain yet are in a particularly difficult situation as they will have to apply for a non-lucrative visa to enjoy the home for longer than 90 days.

One Express.co.uk reader even claimed that British expats would no longer be able to live in Spain.

They said: “The English are finished in Spain. Now that the right to live, work and study in the EU has been lost, there will be no new residents coming to take the place of retired Brits who’ve returned to the UK or died.

“Subsequently there will be no new Brits bars, clubs, or shops. Property prices in the purpose built Brit villages are crashing through the floor because there are no Brits to buy them and no one else wants to live beside the Brits.”

One commenter joked: “I hear Clacton-on-Sea is nice in winter. Almost on par with Benidorm.”

The Spanish Government has not announced any plans to extend the 90 day rule for British citizens as yet.

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