Ibiza’s British Consulate

November 23rd, 2008 - 4:54 pm Posted in ibiza | Comments (0)

ibiza british consulateThe British Consulate threw open its doors to the public at the end of October to show off their impressive, newly extended suite of offices. It was, of course, also an opportunity to meet the charming Consular team with their hair down, so to speak, clutching glasses of wine to prove that they’re just as human as the rest of us, if not more so.

A very British affair, it was hard to hear yourself think above the hubbub of residents enjoying the very Britishness of the occasion by unloading all of their gossip upon one another in a noisy space without a Spanish word to be heard.

However, it was also an opportunity for the Consular team to remind us of their role in supporting British nationals abroad and updating us on changes back home that will affect us over here. Rather than regaling us with facts on what was, after all, a very social affair, we were each presented with an orange folder containing such nuggets as how the recent Pension Reform Act will affect us all and how, when and from whom we should each be claiming our pensions. Similarly included was the latest news on benefit entitlements and how to obtain them.

ibiza british consulateMany people here find it hard to get to grips with the fact that the Spanish national Health system is different to that in the UK. It is ‘contribution based’ rather than ‘residence based’, so those still hopefully relying on the long obsolete E111 will certainly find the seven pages explaining all of their options indispensable. It definitely makes sense to sort out your healthcare status before you arrive at the problem in an ambulance!

Slightly more depressing, but also more topical this year, is the information on returning to the UK, which is a task that should be approached with the same thoroughness and preparation you’d apply if you were moving abroad in the first place.

In addition to all of this comes a list of all of the notarial services now offered by our own fully fledged British Consulate. In addition to preparing certificates, attesting signatures (e.g. for banks, wills, power of attorney etc.), legalizing documents for their use in Spain and translation services for birth, marriage, death and divorce certificates, they also keep lists of English speaking lawyers and translators available online.

Let’s face it – if your lawyer comes recommended by the British Consulate he’s hardly likely to let you down?
In similar vein, another page within the orange pack urges us all to register with our local British Consulate and sets out how this makes it easier for them to help us, particularly in times of major catastrophe.

Since many ex-pats are clearly very shy people and haven’t done this yet a new confidential online registration service has been set up called Locate – www.locate.fco.gov.uk/locateportal/

For the life of me I can’t understand how anybody can be so shy that they wouldn’t want to pay a visit to Helen Watson and her charming team down at their shiny new office on the Avenida Isidoro Macabich 45, 1B.

Don’t all turn up at once though. This one of the UK’s busiest Consulates so, as usual, they’ve had a long and busy summer…

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