Connect with us
British Embassy British Embassy

Around Spain

Torrevieja´s International Residents Councillor Visits the British Embassy



Torrevieja´s Councillor for International Residents, Gitte Lund Thomsen, has visited the British Embassy in Madrid, representing the local council in a visit organised in collaboration with the Consul in Madrid, Bernadette Gallagher, who presented the different departments of the embassy.

In Torrevieja there are approximately 4,900 British residents registered, and whereas this is considerably fewer than say a decade or so ago, during 2023 there was an increase of 2.4% in the registered British population.

For Torrevieja Council, it was an opportunity to thank the Embassy for the good service. On a day-to-day basis, it is contact with the consulate in Alicante that is incredibly important for the municipality to provide a proper service to British residents and tourists. From the consulate in Alicante, activities are regularly carried out to strengthen coordination between town councils, associations and consular services.

Recent years have presented particular challenges in relation to Brexit. With the support of the different authorities, Torrevieja town hall, and in particular the departments led by the councillor, have tried to reduce the obstacles in this transition. Britons who were already residents before Brexit should not have many problems. Your previous ID (the EU Green ID) is still valid, but both the British and Spanish authorities strongly recommend switching to a TIE (residence card for non-EU citizens). This is to avoid administrative difficulties.

In addition to being the general embassy for all of Spain, consular services are managed not only for Madrid but for all non-coastal areas of Spain and northern Spain. Many embassies and consulates have the issuance of passports as one of their main services. However, for the UK, passports are applied for online and delivered by post, so issuing passports is not part of the work of consulates, but rather issuing emergency travel documents. If people are traveling and have suddenly lost or had their passports stolen. And from Madrid they have a branch that receives these emergency calls, not only from Spain, but they cover opening hours throughout the entire time zone. A similar service exists in Shanghai and Canada to cover all time zones in the world so that there is always an open office.

It is a very wide range of services that are managed by consular services. It is one thing when people want to get married in Spain and need documentation to get married and then register as married. British churches do not have a licence to consecrate people in Spain. Something that, for example, the Swedish and Norwegian churches have and therefore Swedish and Norwegian citizens in Torrevieja can get married in their national church, but not many nationalities have this opportunity.

Another important area for the British authorities in Spanish territory is the service to British travellers on cruise ships leaving Spanish ports. If someone becomes seriously ill or dies, possible diversion and transport to Britain must be arranged.

An area common to the consulates of all countries is visiting prisoners in the territory’s prisons. This is based on international conventions.

At the end of the visit there was an interesting meeting with the welfare department. Health insurance for international residents and tourists was discussed here. And in this field, it applies not only to the British, but here there are general measures relating to international inhabitants. And from the embassy and Torrevieja Town Hall, you can agree to ensure you have adequate health insurance before traveling to Spain. Here it is very individual. If you are a tourist, it may be a good idea to take out travel insurance and make sure you read the fine print. If you are a pensioner and move to Spain, you can transfer your health insurance to Spain through an S1 form. When it comes to health, there are still agreements that give similar rights to Britons from when they were EU citizens.

This Is Torrevieja – Torrevieja news and events



Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Mark Nolan’s Podcast



PHP Code Snippets Powered By :
Skip to content