We sit down with Rebecca Bellafont Evans from Mallorca Solutions to get an update on the rumoured dog insurance law, what’s going on with the Digital Nomad Visa and how much longer British driving licence holders have before they cannot drive legally in Mallorca.
Mallorca Solutions was founded in 2008 by Rebecca with the goal to offer support to clients seeking services that require the Spanish language and general day to day assistance with what can be seen as the never/ending Spanish paperchase. The company now has a multi-tiered raft of services aimed to help those living and relocating to Mallorca. “Customer service with a smile has always been a top priority, my team and I take great pride in delivering a service second to none, ensuring our customers are well looked after in this complicated field.”
Mallorca Solutions offers insurance as well now?
Yes, we are insurance brokers. We work with 37 companies and we can offer every type of insurance. We work for the client, not the company, so we will always do our best to get you the best. So by offering the different types of insurance, we can play around and we can move clients around as many times as they want.
So, let’s start with the rumoured dog insurance law.
Nothing has been approved yet but the rumour is that it is going to be compulsory to have insurance for your dog. We should know more at the end of September. A lot of people don't realise that they have actually got their pets covered within their home insurance. So it's a good one to check. If it is not included in your home insurance then you can probably add it as a supplement. You should also check if you have a dog which is classified as PPP or what are called “dangerous dogs”, you can check in your local ayuntamiento if your dog’s breed is on their list. But there is also a stipulation about the width of neck or jaw, and how heavy the dog is, which can mean your dog can also come under the dangerous dog section.
What about the status for Digital Nomad Visas?
We are seeing some people getting their visas and the system is in place. The digital visa is aimed at people who carry out remote work or professional activity for companies outside of Spain through the exclusive use of computers and telecommunication systems.It is really important that you are working remotely, and that you are not physically on the premises. It is very important that paperwork is ready before coming over, so it's ready to be submitted within the 90 day tourist visa window allowed as documents as well as the apostille service can be a lengthy process.
For the digital nomad requirements, the paperwork currently required is:
- Strictly within 90 days tourist allowance
- Proof of sufficient experience and technical knowledge for the job: Graduate or postgraduate from University, professional training/ business school (apostille) or professional experience in the field of at least 3 years.
- Proof of employment history (tax documents, etc)
- Proof that the company or companies with which the teleworker maintains a professional relationship must have been operating in the market for at least 1 year
- Must have a clean criminal record and not been previously banned from entering Spain. Lack of criminal records in Spain and in the countries where you have resided in the last 5 years. An apostilled criminal background certificate issued in the last 3 months will be required.
- Certificate of continued Social Security in the country of residence. N.B: this certificate can take a long time to be issued and is a mandatory requirement at initial application. If there is no treaty or are sole shareholder/self employed or the A1 is not obtained, then the registration of the foreign company/ employee/ self employed within the Spanish system (tax office and social security) to pay contributions at the current flat rate here which can go up to 500€ a month and could invalidate any tax break. As to renew you would need to be in Spain for 6 months we strongly advise you to get tax advice for all implications.
- Spanish full private health insurance policy coverage that is valid throughout Spain. We can assist with this option
- Full CV in English/Spanish
- Sufficient funds to cover 200% of the minimum interprofessional monthly salary (SMI), 75% for partners and 25% for each additional member. SMI is 1.260€. (Wage slips, bank statements)
- Official apostilled birth certificates for children (no time limit) and marriage/civil union certificate issued in the last 3 months at time of applying for partners. All with sworn legal translation which can be done once here. Partners are issued a work visa so will be able to work in Spain.
Depending on if they are working on a contract in a bilateral agreement or they are self employed the other paperwork needed is different, but it is extensive, and they ARE most definitely vetting every single person who applies. The length of the residency will be linked to your contract length with a maximum of 3 years issued initially. All official documents issued abroad (birth certificate/death, marriage certificate/divorce, criminal record check) must be legalised with an Apostille and legally translated into Spanish. Documents such as contracts will need to be translated into Spanish also. We can assist with the official translations.
The processing time is 20 business days (approx) for a reply either requesting further documentation or approval. Then there will be an appointment for the fingerprint appointment (subject to appointment availability), and then 45 days after an appointment to pick up the final card.
There’s a lot of confusion about the exchange of driving licences from Spanish to English. What is the deadline for it?
People are asking if they will still be able to exchange after the deadline, and the answer is YES, the problem is that they can exchange yes, but they won’t be able to DRIVE until they get their new licence. I think the worry is that they will have to take their test in Spanish, well they don’t have to do that but, as I said, they won’t be able to legally drive. The deadline for anyone who was living in Mallorca before March 16th of this year. So if you have been living here before that date, then you needed to have exchanged your licence by September 16th! If, however, you are new to the island and you have been living here less time than that then you have six months from the date that you got here to exchange your licence. It takes time so it is worth it to get the process underway. The Spanish authorities check with the British authorities before allowing the exchange to happen.
Do your clients have to be present and part of the paperwork process?
No, we offer three levels of service. We can set it up for you and you go to the offices and do it all yourself, or we can accompany you, or we can do it all for you. So you can choose the level which suits you the best. Sometimes the process can be quite lengthy and there are inevitably a lot of questions that our clients have about the process so we support them through the whole thing, from start to finish.
What about TIE cards? What is the time scale for those?
If you still have the green residency certificate there is no deadline to exchange this for the TIE and it is not mandatory, however, there are government departments (for example, Social Security) that are not accepting the green document as valid, therefore it is recommended to do so. The waiting time is down to how long it takes to get an appointment for the fingerprinting stage of the process.
Are you seeing a steady stream of enquiries from people wanting to move here?
I think a lot of people want to move, the problem is when they don't meet the requirements. We can offer the Nomad, the Non Lucrative Visa where they don’t want to work here, just reside here, we have the Golden Visa, or we can look to see if they have family members who live in the EU. But if you don’t match one of those criteria then it is quite difficult for them. One thing I am seeing is that the Spanish government wants to encourage people who have innovative business ideas to live here, they want to stimulate the economy. They really want new opportunities brought to Spain. And those are the people with these ideas that have got the chance of getting residency.
And you have a rumour about the Golden Visa…?
It’s a little rumour but we'll be changing if they approve it. But the change is going to happen in Portugal so it is a potential I think. Either the Golden Visa is going to go from 500k to a million in property, or they are going to scrap it completely for investment in real estate. So, double or quits? Yep, exactly!
You can get in touch with Rebecca and her team via mallorcasolutions.com or visit them in Son Bugadelles, but an appointment is advised to avoid waiting times.