Since the referendum in the UK regarding Brexit, there has been increased uncertainty regarding the rights of UK Citizens Living on Mallorca. A ´Hard Brexit´ or ´no deal´ meant that we might have to leave this lovely Island that so many of us have called home for such a long time now.
Now the first UK deal is on the table. Teresa May has offered ALL EU citizens living in the UK (with the hope that the EU Leaders will grant the same rights to UK Nationals living abroad in the EU) the right to remain in the UK, but only if you arrived there or arrive there no later than March 2019.
“Under plans announced on Thursday by Mrs May, the UK envisages giving all EU citizens the right to stay after the UK’s exit – due on 30 March 2019 – and granting those resident for at the least five years the same rights to welfare, pensions and education as UK citizens”.
So what if you have not been living in the UK for 5 Years as of March 2019? Well the UK Government is not proposing that those citizens will have to pack their bags and leave. What has been proposed is that if you have only lived there for say, 3 years as of March 2019, then you will not be entitled to have the same rights as other UK citizens (welfare, Pensions & Education) until you have actually been there for a total of 5 years.
Say in March 2019 you have been living in the UK for only 3 years then you can continue to live there but you will not be entitled to receive benefits, an old age pension or be able to (those with children) access the state education system.
Once you have been there for another 2 years (making a total of 5 years) only then will you be able to have the same rights as those afforded to UK citizens i.e. access to pensions, welfare, education etc.
So what does this mean to us in Mallorca?
Well if this is agreed the agreement should work both ways. Eg if you have been living on Mallorca for only 2 or 3 years as of the 30th March 2019, then you will not be asked to leave.
However, what is unclear is the access to Pensions, Benefits and Education on Mallorca?
If you have only been living here for say 4 years as of 30th March 2019 and have children in the state system here – what will happen to them? Will they have to be pulled out of the state system and insist on them to be tutored privately? Will the cost of this force people to return to the UK?
Mallorca has a pretty tight benefit system – as does the rest of Spain for that matter. You can only really claim benefits if you have worked under a contract of employment and paid into the system for a period of time. So under the reciprocal arrangements, does that mean that if you have been working under contract for 4 years as of the 30th of March 2019 and suddenly find yourself unemployed – will you not be entitled to receive any benefits?
Some EU officials are saying that citizens will be worse off under this scheme and we await to hear the proposals put forward by Brussels.
At the time of writing this article the full offer from the UK has yet to be published (full report to be published on Monday 26th June 2017).
Our advice is this: If you live here on Mallorca, but have never registered as living here then do so as soon as possible.
Make sure you Register on the “Padron” in your local “Ayuntamiento” (Local Council). Whilst you may have a residency card, this does NOT serve as evidence the in fact you live in Spain.
Those who are living here, but who are not resident here and want to start to accrue rights, then you need to apply for your NIE, obtain residency and register on the Padron as soon as possible.
If you would like help or assistance in respect of the above applications then please do not hesitate to contact Key Consultants Mallorca.