WHILST formalising official resident status for immigrants still living illegally in the Balearics, authorities in Palma are rejecting airline tickets or any other papers other than local town hall registration as proof of immigrant residency on Majorca prior to 8 August, 2004. Magistrates are attempting to process hundreds of cases brought before courts in Palma by lawyers representing immigrants anxious to have their legal status in the Islands confirmed. However, court administrator Carmen Frigola was adamant: only authentic documentation will be accepted as evidence; an airline ticket and shopping receipts simply won't do. Foreigners who have been denied the use of any kind of unofficial documentation as proof of their residency in the Balearics, have the right to take their case to Tribunal, but the Balearic Supreme Court has not as yet made clear its ruling on such cases so for now, all processing is on hold. However, early indications are that initial hearings at the first stage of the legal process are rejecting any other documentation other than a proper paper, endorsed by the local town hall authorities across the Islands. It is only such evidence that will be accepted by Balearic courts that an immigrant was living in the region prior to 8th August, 2004 - the date used by authorities as a benchmark for legalising foreign resident status. In one such case, a Bolivian national brought before a dispute court in Palma airline tickets and shopping receipts to attempt to persuade authorities of her presence in the Balearics prior to the cut-off date, thereby assuring her of a resident's permit and right to a work permit. Responding to the plea, the court acknowledged that the plaintiff had clarified that after arriving in Majorca in June 2004, she could not get an official town hall paper validating her living on the Island until November of the same year. However, the court could not legally accept the case at face value despite its apparent sincerity. Other areas of Spain do not hold to this criteria. Last month, in unprecedented circumsstances, a judge in Guipuzcoa accepted an airline ticket as a document to settle a disputed case of residency.

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