Foreign residents associations have denounced what are described as serious problems with getting appointments at the office for foreigners. The situation is leaving people vulnerable if their residency documentation has expired.

The president of the Al Maghreb association for Moroccans, Mustafa Boulharrak, says that the office's website indicates that there are no appointments available. There is a collapse of the residency process, he believes, because of a lack of staff, and it is the same with the National Police when it comes to obtaining an NIE.

The situation has been ongoing for around a year, Boulharrak suggests, and he points out that it affects EU and non-EU citizens. There is a particular issue with non-EU family members for whom the application process takes three months. Complaints have been registered, such as with the national government delegation, but nothing has been done and there haven't been responses.

A meeting of the associations was held yesterday and considered measures of "intervention". One approach is likely to be to the Ombudsman; this was done in Barcelona, where there has been a similar situation.

The associations are principally for South American and African citizens. One for Portuguese and another for Ukrainian residents are among the seventeen.