Police in Tenerife are investigating four Britons who allegedly presented fake ‘padron’ certificates, which allow people to stay in Spain after Brexit
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A Briton has been arrested by Spanish cops in the Canary Islands for possessing a fake document allowing them to stay in the county after Brexit.
Officers in Tenerife are investigating three other Britons who allegedly presented false documents allowing them to stay on the island.
Local media say that in all four cases the suspects were holding fake padrons – proof of an official address you receive after registering with your local town hall.
All four allegedly had fake padron certificates dated back to before the Brexit deal, which allowed residency status in Spain.
Spanish investigators from the Santa Cruz de Tenerife immigration office are reportedly looking into these allegations.
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In November 2021, the UK Embassy warned on its Facebook page: “The Spanish authorities have asked us to warn UK nationals against submitting fraudulent residency applications, either directly or through the intermediary of a third party.
They are particularly alert to fake health insurance, padrón certificates and lease contracts, as well as people falsely claiming student status.
“Of course, this only applies to a very small minority, but it’s a useful reminder that if you’re using a gestor, make sure they’re as reputable as possible.
“We recommend using the online database of registered gestores [on our website] or ask for personal recommendations from people you trust.
“And if you are submitting your application yourself, it is important to provide as much documentation as possible to avoid being refused for lack of proof of having moved to Spain before January 1, 2021.
Britons applying for post-Brexit residency under the Withdrawal Agreement must prove they were resident in Spain before the end of 2020.
Applying for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement is simpler and less demanding than applying for residency as a non-EU national.
The Britons surveyed all live in the south of Tenerife, which is a popular tourist destination among Britons and home to a large expatriate British community.
Further arrests have not been ruled out following the ongoing investigation.
Last year, an elderly British woman was banned from entering Spain due to a post-Brexit issue with her passport.
The woman – named only Linda, 72 – was traveling from Gibraltar to Spain to visit her son, but was held up at the border because her passport lacked an exit stamp from a previous trip.
Britons entering and leaving the Schengen area must now have entry and exit stamps, but passport authorities forgot to stamp Linda when she last visited the country in June.
When she attempted to visit again last month, she was refused entry and classified as an ‘overstay person’.
“I was refused entry to Spain on September 26 because my passport had not been stamped on exit during a previous week-long visit to Spain which started on June 4.”