Expat Life

Voting in Spain in the European Parliamentary elections

EmbasyThe Spanish deadline for registering an intention to vote in the European Parliamentary elections is Thursday 30th January.  If you are a British resident in Spain you can have your say, provided you take action by the deadline.

The Spanish government has provided the following information (translated by the British Embassy) that residents may find useful:


Spanish Christmas traditions & customs

GrapesIt is the Spanish custom to eat 12 grapes as the bells chime midnight, that is 1 for each month of the coming year. To miss one is to have bad luck. As it is difficult to buy seedless grapes you have to be extra careful how you eat them.



Feliz Navidad


With best wishes from Simon Montague, Jimmy Birkett and the Communications Team at the British Embassy Madrid.

We hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable Christmas.  If you can’t get hold of us during the holiday period, please ring the FCO Newsdesk on +44 (0)20 7008 3100 where you should be answered 24 hours / day.

British Embassy’s new social media channel

EmbasySeek out the Embassy’s new social media channels and get more out of living in Spain

British people living in Spain can now use two new social media channels to engage with fellow residents, as well as to find news and advice from the Embassy and its partners who support Britons abroad.


Drugs Leave Hundreds of Brits Behind Bars Overseas

EmbasyHundreds of British nationals are currently locked up in prisons across the globe for drug-related offences, often detained for months without trial and facing distressing living conditions. In Spain, consular staff dealt with over 100 drug-related arrests last year alone and drugs offences account for approximately three-quarters of the 172 Brits currently on remand or serving sentences in Spain.


Crimestoppers launch Operation Captura

EmbasyThe unlucky thirteen revealed as Crimestoppers launch Operation Captura campaign seeking criminals believed to be hiding in Spain

Crimestoppers, the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the Spanish Ministry of Interior are once again on the hunt for Britain’s most wanted, with 13 new faces released to the public, thought to be evading capture in Spain.



EmbasyA couple in their 60s have been brought to justice after lying about their Spanish home in order to claim a string of UK benefits including a council house.

Married couple Michael and Sylvia Plumridge from Sonning in Wokingham fraudulently claimed over £16,000 in UK benefits. They failed to declare to benefit officials that Mrs Plumridge was in fact the owner of a luxury apartment in Torrevieja in Alicante province, where they both lived until they moved back to the UK in 2010.

Don’t lose out on your UK pension and benefit payments

EmbasyExpatriates in receipt of UK pensions and benefits may soon be contacted by the Department of Work & Pensions to confirm their international bank details.

From 31st January 2014, the Department for Work and Pensions will need an International Bank Account Number (IBAN) and Bank Identification Code (BIC) in order to make payments to expatriates’ accounts in Spain and other Eurozone countries. This change is due to new European Union regulations which aim to make payments between EU countries faster and more secure.

Rental update.

A fringe web blog in Tenerife has recently announced that the Canarian Government has apparently just admitted that all proceedings and fines issued against owners by the government’s tourist inspectors that were based solely on evidence obtained via the Internet, were in fact illegal and should never have been brought against those owners in the first place.

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