Nine extra workers are to be employed in immigration offices and the National Police Force in the Balearics.
The new staff are needed to help clear the backlog of applications for residency in the run up to Brexit and to deal with an increasing number of requests for information.
Four employees are being added to the Immigration Office in Majorca, 1 in Minorca and 1 in Ibiza and 3 new staff will join the Immigration Office Of The National Police.
The Director of the Work & Immigration Area in the Balearic Islands, Maria Alarcos said the number of foreigners moving to Majorca is growing all the time and that’s already putting the Immigration Offices under pressure.
Measures are also being put in place to improve communication between the Immigration Office and Professional Associations of Lawyers, Managers and Graduates so that individuals can be moved through the system much faster, which should help to alleviate the ridiculously long wait for appointments.
The Immigration Office is now dealing with an increasing number of enquiries via email and the extra staff employed in each office will help to process those and lend support to other employees in the department.
If and when Brexit occurs, British citizens who live in Spain must have a registration certificate from the National Police, and those who don’t have one are advised to contact the Immigration Office as soon as possible.
“The most important change that’s taking place is that the Mercury platform is now accepting initial applications as well as renewals,” says Maria Alarcos. “At the moment you can only submit requests for studies and extensions, but the rest of the procedures will be added gradually and once that’s done, the problems associated with the appointment system will disappear," she added.
The Head of Management of the Single Immigration Office of the National Police, Esther Ribas, says 3 extra people have already been added to her department to process the documentation of British nationals and reinforce the number of staff available to help with applications.
Esther Ribas also pointed out that British nationals have a limited period of time to apply for residency. “The huge increase in demand is putting the Immigration Office under enormous stress and its also affecting applications from other nationalities, which is another reason, so we really need to minimise the waiting list,” she said.
The appointment system is an absolute disaster, with hundreds of people waiting for months to get an appointment while at least 25% of the people who did have one, didn’t bother to turn up.
The extra staff may not solve all the problems at the Immigration Office but they will hopefully make a difference.