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A tale of two (types of) engagement

Regional Co-ordinator the Canary Islands, Deepika Harjani, with Deborah Edgington, Concejala de Turismo y Playas, Ayuntamiento de Antigua, Fuerteventura

The variation in Covid19 restrictions across Spain means that our Regional Co-ordinators often need to adapt from place to place and from week to week exactly how they support people with their residency issues.

Earlier this week our Co-ordinator for the Canary Islands, Deepika was able to hold two face-to-face events at the Tenencia Alcaldia of the Ayuntamiento de Antigua on the Island of Fuerteventura. Over the course of two days (8 and 9 of February) Deepika spoke to 28 people aged between 28 and 85. They raised a number of issues and concerns, including pensions-related questions, issues around the implications of Brexit for “swallows” and the difficulty of finding a job which met the residency income requirements. Deepika also helped one UK national who had previously been resident in another EU country and was facing a more complicated situation in resolving their status in Spain. Each person had pre-booked a 30 minute slot, which was enough to help many people while Age in Spain is also providing follow-up support for others.

While Deepika was able to hold an in-person event (in line with all the Covid19 protocols), last week in Catalonia our Regional Co-ordinator Brad had to hold online surgeries due to the restrictions in place. Brad spoke to 18 people on 4 February. The main theme of the event was people asking about exchanging their green residency certificate for the new TIE but Brad was also asked about registering a child as resident, healthcare issues and about returning to Spain to study following a Covid-induced absence from the country. Brad noted that, in some respects, holding these surgeries online was an advantage as people contacting him from home had easy access to all their documentation which they could hold up to the camera and it also meant he was able to talk someone through completing an online form and booking appointments online as they were sitting at their own computer.

These experiences of Deepika and Brad show that there are still many UK nationals out there who need support with the residency process. Whether it’s in person, online or through the residency helpline, Age in Spain is committed to reaching out in the most appropriate way in each area.

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