Thousands of British expats will be kicked out of Spain by police and immigration officials for failing to have the correct residency paperwork.
Under the post-Brexit regulations British expats must register for residency by the 31 March deadline or they will be classed as illegal immigrants.
Within the next few weeks Spanish officials will start deporting Brits with the first round of deportations will see around 500 UK citizens to be thrown out.
Thousands of Brits who were oblivious to the new residency changes in the new year are now exposed and are unprotected.
Under the Brexit withdrawal agreements British expats must prove that they lived in Spain legally prior to 31 December 2020.
Potentially thousands of Brits will be left without healthcare and rights, and could be trapped under the strict Covid travel restrictions as Europe is entering a third wave.
Third country nationals will only be allowed to visit Spain for no more than 90 days within a 180 day period in any country within the Schengen zone.
The British Embassy has warned, “Any stays beyond the 90 days in any 180 day period will be dependent on the applicable visas and immigration rules for Spain.
“This may require applying for a visa and/or permit.”
Moira Carmenate of the Expat Centre based in Ciudad Quesada in Costa Blanca South told The Olive Press, “Brexit has changed so many things in a wholly negative way.
“The withdrawal agreement wasn’t properly thought through and the consequences for some individuals and businesses has been catastrophic.
“After four years of soundbited and false promises from the UK government, those picking up the pieces are the vulnerable Brits right throughout Europe, not just Spain.
“As a consequence a lot of elderly folk living here who don’t have access to social media or trustworthy news sources, have been unaware of the recent and ongoing changes.
“This leaves Brits vulnerable and at the mercy of hearsay, I really feel for them.”
Many Brits have had their residency applications rejected and are heading back to the UK before this Wednesday’s deadline.
Anthony Cook, who has lived in Spain for seven years, told Global247news: “The Spanish dream is over for me, it’s time to go back to Cardiff.
“It’s been a blast but the new regulations have made it impossible to stay.
“The freedom of movement has gone and I don’t want to end up getting deported and fined.”
Shaun Cromber voted Leave and is now heading back to the UK, said he did not believe Brexit would end his Spanish lifestyle.
He said, “Yes I voted out, but I didn’t realise it would come to this.
“My application has been rejected and we are on our way home, my wife is in tears, she’s distraught if I’m honest and I’m not too happy at the prospect of returning back to the UK.
“I’ve loved living on the Costa del Sol and after five years can’t believe it has come to this.
“We applied but got rejected and so have no choice, although long term I think the Spanish will regret chucking us out of Spain.”