As the scheduled Brexit date of October 31st looms ever closer, the UK government is sending out letters to the 180 thousand British citizens who live in the European Union, and who get their healthcare via the recipricol S1 scheme.
The Sun Lawyers advice is clear and straight-forward, as we have been telling you in recent months, and that is simply not to panic or worry!
We´ve read the letter, which is a “catch-all” affair meant for the whole of the EU and tells UK nationals of “the necessary steps they need to take, which include registering for residency and applying for local healthcare schemes”.
Sun Lawyers of course can guide you through all the steps that you need to take to put in for a residencia in Spain to make sure that you are a legal resident over here.
Remember as well, that if the UK government gets a Brexit deal with the EU, then your S1 rights will continue.
The letter also mentions that the government wants to continue the arrangements with the EU if there is a no deal, or to make arrangements with individual countries.
Crucially, Spain has already agreed to keep everything going until the end of next year in a worst case scenario, so do not worry, as the S1 letter has been sent right across Europe, and does not take into account individual countries.
Do not forget, even if there is no deal, the Spanish government has made it clear, through a law passed earlier this year that current holders of a SIP card will be fine as well as those on the S1 scheme for at least the next 16 months.
In a no-deal reckoning, with no EU-wide health arrangements, most experts and commentators suggest that expats in Spain will probably be fine, but the medium and longer-term uncertainty must be of some concern.
The Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, acknowledged on a recent visit to Madrid, that the Spanish authorities have been more generous in their guarantees to British expats than other countries, but the letter sent to S1 holders says that you have to play by the rules, with two key pieces of advice that we at Sun Lawyers want to point out to you.
1. Register as a local resident. This is vital, irrespective of whether or not the UK gets a Brexit deal with the EU.
Sun Lawyers will make sure that you go through all the legal hoops, which are not many, and because we have helped many people get a residencia in Spain, you can trust us to handle everything for you.
As British officials in Spain have been saying for months, you need to get registered, and you can get in touch with us, and we will tell you what paperwork you need, and you can trust us with our experience to get everything sorted.
2. The letter to S1 holders also talks about the need to find out what changes there might be after October 31st in getting health cover in an EU country. You don´t need to ask, as the official picture in Spain is totally clear.
To quote the British government and their website:- “If there’s no deal, the UK and Spain have each taken steps to ensure that people living in each country can continue to access healthcare as they do now until at least 31 December 2020. This means that if you are currently living in Spain and the UK currently pays for your healthcare, for example you are an S1 form holder, your healthcare access will remain the same after 31 October 2019 until at least December 2020.”
If you are worried, then don´t be, and of course you can ask us at Sun Lawyers what you need to do, if anything!
The letter to S1 holders is pretty stark and dramatic, but actually makes sense over making sure you are registered, irrespective of what happens over Brexit.
You can trust us at Sun Lawyers to act on your behalf in getting a residencia, which is one of our many specialities.
It can be daunting, but make us your first port of call on making sure your life in Spain is all legal!
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