Age in Spain helps over 8,000 Brits with information on obtaining residency in Spain
Updated: Sep 10, 2020
The national charity, Age in Spain, has helped over 8,000 people with online and one to one information and support in the first 3 months of its Residency Helpline Project.
The Residency Helpline volunteers and staff have provided over 270 individuals with one to one support by phone or email. They have directly supported the applications of over 170 British people applying for the new TIE, the foreigners identity card for Brits in Spain.
Hazel, a 50+ year old British woman who lives in Catalonia, was one such person who successfully applied for the TIE. "I found the guidance and support I received from Age In Spain to be invaluable when I was applying for Spanish residency. I had been struggling on my own for a few months and needed help to navigate through the confusing regulations,” she said. Hazel has a disability and has been struggling to find work, she also had issues with registering for the padron and with her old residency certificate.
Hazel went on to say, “After talking with Age in Spain I was able to present the right information and go through the process quickly and easily - with a positive result at the end!"
Sarah, who retired to Spain some years ago, also needed help as she doesn’t have an email address and couldn’t access the appropriate forms and book an appointment. “I’ve been living in Spain for years and never had to worry about any of this stuff. Age in Spain helped me to understand the process and they sent me the forms,” said Sarah.
Age in Spain’s virtual call centre - the Residency Helpline, has been set up with financial support from the British Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office through the UK National Support Fund.
Project Director Helen Weir said, “This service is helping to reach the most vulnerable people, who through no fault of their own, need help to sort out their residency. Our service is free, confidential and makes a real difference, so that when the transition period of the UK leaving the EU finishes, all British nationals in Spain can take advantage of the Withdrawal agreement to protect their rights as residents of Spain.”
The Helpline is supported by a team of professionally trained and extremely dedicated Residency Helpline Assistants. From 9am to 6pm, 5 days a week, they answer queries from worried Brit's who want to make sure their rights are guaranteed after the end of the transition period on December 31st 2020.
The Residency Helpline is supported by a website with accessible information, such as FAQs and blog posts to guide people through the residency process.
“Sometimes the online information itself is not enough or people have specific questions about their unique circumstances. This is when our wonderful volunteers are able to provide one to one support by phone or email,” said, Regional Coordinator Brad De Abreu.
The Helpline covers all of Spain, with an outreach service for people who need extra support in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.
“It’s getting to the stage now where many Brits are thinking, I’d better sort out my residency. There is a lot of conflicting or unclear information out there and we want to provide clear, free and accessible information to help ease some of the stress that comes with dealing with these kinds of processes,” said Brad.
“Since the 6th of July, when the Spanish government announced the new TIE process for Brit’s living in Spain, we have seen a surge in enquiries,” said Brad.
Age in Spain’s priority is to help vulnerable and older people who might otherwise be passed by due to barriers such as language, isolation, lack of confidence, lack of capacity, lack of access to technology, health issues, mobility issues, financial issues and the responsibilities of being a carer. They are now recruiting volunteers to do home visits to assist those who need extra support with booking appointments online, filling out forms and getting paperwork ready for their appointments.
If you, or someone you know, needs assistance with completing a residency application please call +34 932 20 97 41. You can also visit the Age in Spain website for more information - https://www.ageinspain.org/
If you want to be a part of the Residency Helpline by becoming a volunteer, check out the Age in Spain website for more information and to apply - https://www.ageinspain.org/volunteer
Age in Spain is a not for profit organisation that works to enable all older people to live full lives as actively engaged citizens. We focus on supporting English speaking people who are thinking about moving to Spain, people who live in Spain or those who are family/carers of someone who lives in Spain. We do this by providing independent and accessible information and one to one support services.
For comments, pictures and quotes please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or the Helpline: +34 932 20 97 41