Expats are now reportedly leaving the popular destination in large numbers after Brexit saw the introduction of stricter immigration rules. Britons wishing to settle in Spain must now meet certain conditions to obtain residence status, including financial means and health coverage. More than 350,000 Britons are registered as permanent residents in Spain, but recent statistics have revealed that 2,400 British residency applications have been rejected this year.
British citizens can now only visit Spain without a visa for up to three months for tourism and business purposes, and the Spanish government has warned that extending their reception can be considered a “serious offense”.
The sanctions range from fines ranging from â¬ 501 (Â£ 429) to â¬ 10,000 (Â£ 8,562), a possible expulsion from Spain as well as a possible ban from the Schengen area (Spain, France, Greece and Portugal) for six months to five years. .
Asked about expats forced to sell their homes in Spain, Leon Fernando Del Canto, founder of London-based tax group Del Canto Chambers, told Express.co.uk: âThis is a serious problem for those who do not want to become residents fiscal. in Spain and who bought their properties before Brexit.
âThere is, in my view, a serious violation of human rights in these cases, because no one should be deprived of their right to freely enjoy their property.
“The 90-day Schengen limitation should be lifted in these cases.
“This is quite worrying for those who owned real estate in Spain before December 31, 2020 and have not yet obtained a residence permit.
âThe UK government should bring the issue of the human rights of homeowners affected by Schengen to the Spanish government.
“This is also a case in other EU jurisdictions.”
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Del Canto has launched a furious attack on the problems facing British expats who bought homes in Spain before Brexit, claiming their human rights have been violated in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
He added: âTheir rights are violated by the Schengen limitations in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
“This states that individuals have the legal right to ‘peacefully enjoy’ possession of their homes and that deprivation of property by states should be subject to certain just and equitable conditions.”
“It should be noted that in addition to the fact that the United Kingdom is a member of the Council of Europe, the ECHR applies to all foreign citizens in Spain.
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“State rules preventing people from enjoying their property peacefully, regardless of whether it is their primary residence, are likely to directly violate this treaty right.”
The latest official data from Spain’s land register revealed that the number of UK buyers of new homes has fallen to an all-time low, accounting for just 9.5% of all purchases.
Real estate expert and managing director Robert Barnhardt recently told Express.co.uk that many Britons in Spain are now starting to sell their properties due to mounting post-Brexit difficulties.
He said: âA lot of retired Brits are starting to sell.
âThey would come here in September or October, then stay until April / May for the six months of better weather.
âBut now they can only come for 90 days and a lot of them used to drive down. The Spaniards are now becoming quite strict on cars registered abroad and mainly on British cars.
âOn the rural roads, where I live in the sticks, a lot of people drove in the same English cars.
âI mean I certainly saw them for 10 to 15 years with the same vehicle. And now it’s against the law and they’re being impounded.