Spanish citizens in the UK are still adapting to the changes that Brexit has brought about in their lives as immigrants.
If we Spaniards usually get our chest out of something, it is to know all the tricks to get benefits from any situation, but it is clear that there are many unknown areas on the part of the population before leaving the European Union.
Any of the benefits obviously go through being registered with the corresponding Consulate General, be it London, Manchester or Edinburgh, and this registration is nothing more than the registration in your new place, and now with Brexit it has many implications that most of emigration does not know yet.
This registration is not an option and is supposed to be mandatory once we emigrate, but we already know that this does not happen and many times it does not happen based on urban legends, or the “tricks” that I mentioned before to continue registered in a population in the one who does not reside and benefit from some measure despite no longer living in their city.
The benefits of registration are many and include being able to renew or request the issuance of travel documents at the consulate (when we get appointments … that’s another issue), being able to vote in elections in Spain and not being called to be at a polling station , request the issuance of residence certificates to prove residence abroad before the Spanish authorities (very useful in various tax procedures), or receive consular assistance, more easily, in situations of need, emergency or natural disasters.
Being registered is something that is not usually forgotten when we emigrate to countries with problems of political instability or areas prone to natural disasters. Sometimes our country has to repatriate our citizens as we have seen in Afghanistan recently or after hurricanes or earthquakes in various parts of the world such as Haiti.
If you are not registered in the eyes of the Spanish institutions, you may be a tourist, and you will have to find the return trip at your own risk as we saw during the pandemic.
Registering is also important to be able to access help from the return plans, since you will have to prove that you have been somewhere registered to request help for the return.
You will be lucky if you manage to meet all the conditions that are required and the moons of the autonomous community and the central government align, and perhaps you meet the age, job or specialty scales that you carry out, and you will still have more possibilities if you are a researcher , for example, thanks to the lobbying work of organizations such as RAICEX at a global level or CERU / SRUK in the United Kingdom. The famous “he who does not cry does not breast” taken at the institutional level by a highly organized sector of the diaspora and that represents that brain drain that sometimes seems, is the only part of the emigration that they want to recover.
With Brexit, many emigrants decide to return and after decades sometimes in the country, the move is large and expensive … and to make it cheaper they will have to request the certificate of Consular Discharge. The exemption of import duties and tax exemption in the transfer of residence to Spain requires proof of having resided at least TWELVE MONTHS year in the United Kingdom.
If you did not register previously, your trailer loaded with your belongings, furniture, records, books, appliances, etc., will be valued to calculate the customs tax to be paid, which can be almost 30% of various taxes . The reason is that, in the eyes of the institutions, if you were not registered as a resident, you could be moving belongings for the sale of them, and not because they are your possession.
Brexit and the withdrawal of the freedom of movement of goods is what it entails …
Another of the great unknown is the need for many procedures, to have an updated ID with the residence address in the United Kingdom.
This update is free as it is simply a change in the user’s address, and we hope that this new DNI 3.0 will be the tool to speed up the digitization of procedures, which was already advanced by the former Foreign Minister, Arancha González Laya. This modernization is as key as the increase in consular resources and buildings according to current needs.
DNIs for non-residents do not need a request for a prior appointment and just by showing up at any DNI Issuance office they should make room for this procedure. Facilitate the process if you can take the Certificate of Residence Abroad, the plane tickets for the trip (to demonstrate the urgency) along with the rest of the necessary documentation and photographs.
This updated ID can be used to prove residence in the United Kingdom and will allow us to request a VAT refund on purchases in Spain and the rest of the EU.
All those products that we buy in Spain and that we will bring back, such as electronic devices or clothing, may be purchased without VAT included. The lifelong duty free applied to our vacations in Spain and which in some cases will imply that at the airport we can request a refund of overpaid fees, otherwise we have managed to buy in a store that already provides it directly at the airport. purchase.
In the new world of Spaniards in the United Kingdom after Brexit there are many changes to which we will have to get used to and learn how to benefit from them. These benefits will be the least and at least we must be aware.
Our world has not been reduced and despite living in the United Kingdom we will be able to continue traveling, working, and settling in the rest of the EU countries thanks to our passport and the overwhelmingly pro-European sentiment of our citizens. The British meanwhile will live in their Little Britain.
If Brexit brings us something positive, we will have to take it, I say.