A British national has been seized by police in the Canary Islands for possessing a forged document that allowed them to stay in Spain after the Brexit split.
Police in Tenerife – who are investigating three other Brits – say the suspects presented false documents allowing them to claim residency status on the island.
In all four cases, report local media, the forged document was a ‘padron’, an official proof of address you receive after registering with your local town hall.
All four allegedly had bogus padron certificates backdated to before the Brexit agreement, which allowed the residency status in Spain.
The cases were handed to police after the Immigration Office in Santa Cruz de Tenerife discovered the suspicious residency applications.
Brits applying for residency post-Brexit under the Withdrawal Agreement must prove they were residing in Spain prior to the end of 2020.
Applying for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement is more straightforward and less exacting than applying for residency as a non-EU national.
The Brits under investigation all live in southern Tenerife, which is a popular tourist destination among Brits and where there is a sizeable British expat community.
The police have not ruled out further arrests in addition to the one already made.
This is not the first time Spain has seen such cases from Brits, and the UK Embassy in November last year even warned against making fraudulent residency applications.
The investigation is ongoing.