WHILE it may be good news for those new immigrants who have to go through the process of obtaining their first residencia, the projected abolition of this document for Brits is likely to cause any number of secondary problems for those of us who live and work in Spain. Every Spanish citizen over the age of fourteen has his D.N.I.(indentity card), and has to use it almost daily in the normal course of living in Spain. Many routine tasks require the production of suitable identification, and when it comes to dealing with the Authorities, the D.N.I. is essential. The Spanish tax and social security system is so highly computerised that it would be totally unworkable without the magic ID number. After a number of years of constant and nagging problems as a result of using the Residencia number, the systems are now programmed to accept the foreigner's ID, and everything works smoothly. The new residents cards are similar in size and form to the Spanish D.N.I., fitting easily into a wallet or purse. With the abolition of this card, we (uniquely in Europe) will have to carry our passports with us at all times, with the subsequent danger of theft or loss of that valuable document. The passport number will not fit in the alloted spaces in official forms, and the passport will not fit in our wallets. As far as I can see, the only problem with the resident card, and it is a small one, is the need to renew it every five years. If the Government were to extend the validity of the existing document, and make it simpler to obtain on arrival in Spain, all inconveniences would disappear, and non Spanish nationals would be on an equal footing with Spaniards. Good news is not always as good as it appears to be on the surface! Yours Sincerely
Stuart F. Dickson
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