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Age in Spain: behind the scenes

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Age in Spain? Every enquiry we receive is a new opportunity to help someone, with a responsibility to ensure that we give accessible and reliable information. If you contact Age in Spain, our team of talented staff and committed volunteers is ready to do everything possible to help you.Our Residency Helpline provides practical support to UK Nationals who may have difficulty completing their residency application or registration. This support is funded by the UK's Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office via its UK Nationals Support Fund.

As well as the specifics about residency, accurate and trustworthy information about the many different issues which link to residency status is key to helping British people take the right steps to integrate in their chosen country of residence. This way, we can help people to make informed decisions in a country where to the newcomer, the rules and regulations might at first seem like a bureaucratic nightmare and it might not be clear as to when to take professional advice rather than going it alone.

To provide accurate information that is specific to each person’s situation, Age in Spain invests time in researching, translating and checking every detail to respond to all the questions we are asked. This covers much more than the new residency process as a result of Brexit. Other vital rights and services, such as healthcare, wills, taxes, driving licences, UK benefits and pet travel rules are just as important for a population that soon will see their situation change in the place they now call home. Our regularly updated and extensive knowledge base is helping thousands of people to help themselves, covering almost every question we receive, no matter what it is!

So how do we help so many people? Our enquiries are managed by our team of professionally trained volunteers, supported by experienced staff. We have designed a sophisticated system that enables our small team to manage a large number of enquiries whilst maintaining strict data protection and confidentiality rules so that each enquirer’s privacy is respected at all times. No two enquiries are ever the same, so we provide a personal one to one service. We never just rely on stock responses, we look at every case individually and respond appropriately, even if that requires more research and fact finding, talking to the Spanish authorities or British Consulate colleagues where intergovernmental liaison helps to clarify rules and procedures. Most importantly, our service is completely confidential and independent of the state authorities. We do not share anyone’s personal details or situation with anyone else or any other organisation. This means that you can be sure that you can ask us anything in complete confidence and we will give you an accurate reply.

Extra help

Our residency project is only a part of what Age in Spain has to offer. Our mission is to help people to live fuller lives in Spain during later life which goes far beyond helping people with residency paperwork.

This is where our support service comes into its own. Some people need extra help - people who face barriers to self help through health or other incapacity issues, lack of experience with using the internet or not actually having access to a mobile phone or computer to manage their affairs, caring responsibilities, financial or language problems. Whilst these issues might affect some older people, they are not age specific, so our support service is for everyone. Getting things right when you are younger helps to ensure that later life is as well planned as possible.

If we cannot give you all the help you need via our Helpline, we have fully trained residency support workers who can make a home visit and help you sort out your paperwork face to face (with appropriate health and safety measures to ensure that you and the support worker are not put at risk). This service is currently available in the Balearic Islands and Catalonia. For other parts of Spain we can help you access a similar service in your region.

What’s next?

Every day we expand our support to the real and changing needs of British people in Spain. So that we can continue our excellent level of service we are recruiting more volunteers who undergo an intensive training programme when they join the team. Wherever people need help, we aim to provide the service. That way, we help all British people in Spain to get help with their residency issues and secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

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