Spain: British expats face threat of return to UK warns expert
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Barry Davys, who has worked as a specialist financial advisor to expatriates for the past 14 years, spoke as Spain started enforcing 90-day stays on unregistered Brits. Mr Davys, from The Spectrum International Finance Advice Group, dismissed fears Brexit was making it all but impossible to move or stay abroad.
But the lawyer, who mainly helps expats in Catalonia, has highlighted three big issues facing Brits after Brexit.
He warned of additional health insurance requirements, the need to show savings of at least £21,790 and the loss of access to UK Independent Financial Advisors, he said.
Mr Davys told Express.co.uk: “As ever, I think it was the fear of the unknown that caused the anxiety pre-applying.
“Most people I know had the reaction ‘that wasn’t too bad at all’ after having gone through the process.”
He added: “(We’ve) noticed the biggest challenge for British in Spain is simply learning what has changed and what has not changed.
“For people who have their Spanish residency card, the TIE, the changes are few.
“For people just arriving there is the additional burden of health insurance requirements and being able to show savings of €25,560 (£21,790) for the first person and €5,700 (£4,860) for each family member.
“The system is not difficult, just new to British people.
“Of course, other non-Europeans have always used this system.
“British people who live here (in Spain) are asking for help with their British investments as, post-Brexit, they have lost access to advice given by UK IFAs.
“Also, they are asking about the double taxation agreement and Inheritance Tax.
“Fortunately, there have been no changes post-Brexit to either the agreement or the Inheritance Tax position.”
Mr Davys said UK embassies offer a lot of help but some Spanish state institutions can be cumbersome.
It comes after Spanish authorities warned British tourists and second-home owners they were not entitled to spend more than 90 days in the country post-Brexit.
A group of Britons arriving at Alicante-Elche airport yesterday were refused entry into Spain, before being sent back to Manchester on the same plane.
A sign in the terminal had been put up for arrivals, which said: “No TIE card, no entry”.
Spain has also extended restrictions on unnecessary travel from countries outside the EU until April 30 due to Covid, despite the measures originally being in place until today.
Passenger Stuart Miller said: “People with letters from Alicante Foreigners Office asking them to collect their residency cards were turned away.
“What more proof do you need of residency?”
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