Dear Sir, with reference to your suggestion in the Daily B of September 2 that the English and German residents in Majorca should join forces in attempting to reduce the queue at the Residencia office, isn't it about time that someone put a bomb up this office, generally! My residencia was due to expire on July 26, so on June 1 I went to the office and queued for 2 HOURS - this was just to get the necessary forms as there was just the one queue for those wishing just to obtain the forms/seek information/to hand in the completed forms or to collect their residencias.

The completed forms with all the required documentation were returned on June 6 when I got to the office at 10:30am and came out at 1:45pm, as several people in front of me had incomplete documentation and had to go to get photocopies and were then absorbed into the queue upon their return.

I was then told that the waiting time for the issue of the renewal would be three months as they were only just dealing with applications lodged in February! But, as it was just a renewal and not a new application or connected with a work permit, it could be ready before the three months.

Accordingly, I attempted to telephone the office in mid-August, but either there was no reply or having got through after several attempts, the line would be cut at the other end.

So, I decided to call in person - on August 29 just a few days before the three months were up, as I needed a valid residencia to use my Spanish driving licence in Britain as family circumstances there required a fairly imminent journey.

After queuing for 1-1/2 hours, I was told that my application still had not been processed but that I could go to another office upstairs and request that it be expedited. After giving the reasons for my necessary visit to Britain (involving my brother waiting to go into hospital for an operation and with no one to look after him upon his discharge) I was told that the residencia would be available for collection after September 10.

Accordingly, yesterday I made yet another trip into Palma to the usual office in C/Tous y Maroto (where I had been told to go) where after queuing for nearly an hour, I was shunted round to the new office where I queued for a further 3/4 of an hour, only to be sent back to Tous y Maroto where I decided to go back upstairs to try and see the person who had told me the permit would be ready for collection after September 10. No sign of her and I was sent back downstairs to join yet another queue for a further 3/4 of an hour, only to be told that my residencia was not ready. They could give no indication of when it might be as they were only just processing URGENT applications submitted in APRIL! So it could be a further three months before mine found its way to the top of the pile.

I could well understand a six-month delay (as laid
They could give no indication of when it might be as they were only just processing URGENT applications submitted in APRIL! down in the letter you are given when handing in your documentation) for first-time applications or those involving work permits, but I just fail to comprehend why a simple renewal of a residencia which has been in force since 1976 should present such a problem.

It is little wonder that several people I know here are either not bothering to obtain a residencia or are letting theirs lapse in view of the hassle and delays - what price in TRYING to be legal? As it is, it looks as if I will have to depart to the UK and trust that I will not be picked up for using my Spanish driving licence without a valid residence permit accompanying it.

What a contrast to the extreme efficiency of the Trafficos when I went to exchange my UK driving licence for a Spanish one I went expecting to be greeted with queues of people and a request to come back at some uncertain date. In the event, I was in and out of there in 20 minutes, having been dealt with in an extremely courteous and efficient manner.

Maybe there should be some swap-over of personnel between the police and the residencia departments.

Please withhold my name and address as otherwise I cannot see me getting my residence permit before the dawn of the next millennium.

Letters can also be e-mail on jmoore@majorcadailybulletin.es