Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh- Powers of attorney







I have received several phone calls in the last few weeks asking me whether it would be possible to sign a power of attorney at the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh.

My understanding is that a new Consul will arrive shortly, probably in the next two weeks. Until such time, the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh will not be able to deal with powers of attorney. The rest of the consular services will not be affected but those who need to sign an urgent power of attorney will have to either fly to Spain or contact one of the law firms recommended by the Spanish Consulate (this firm being one of them) and sign the power of attorney in the UK.

In any event, it seems like a temporary situation and the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh should be able to resume its notarial services very shortly.

If you live in the North of England or in Scotland, do not travel to the Spanish Consulate in London without having spoken with them first. London is not obliged to take any requests from UK nationals who live outside their Consular jurisdiction so do not travel to the said Consulate unless you have spoken to London first and confirmed that they will be happy to see you for the signature of a notarial document.

London is a wonderful city, worth to visit a hundred times, but there is no point in spending several hours in the train when you may not get what you wanted.

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Changes in obtaining NIE in Spain

Good news! There has been a relevant development in Spain and from now on it is possible, again, to apply for a NIE numbers in Spain through a representative.  This means that those British nationals who require a NIE in Spain can give power of attorney to someone based in Spain and enable him or her to obtain their NIE on their behalf.

For the last 4 months it was no longer possible to obtain a NIE in Spain through a representative. However, a group of lawyers and professionals, interested in changing the situation, raised numerous complaints with the Spanish Government and managed to change a situation that seemed unfair and unnecesarily complicated.

As many people know, a NIE is necessary for several type of transactions such as opening a bank account, buying a property, inheriting an asset, paying taxes, etc. It is therefore a compulsory document for those who either own assets, plan to acquire them or intend to work in Spain.

From now on, those who require a NIE number have 3 ways to obtain it:

1. If the person is in Spain, he/she can go to the local Police Station and apply for the NIE in person.

2. If the person lives in the UK and cannot travel to Spain, he/she can apply through the Spanish Consulate in London or Edinburgh, depending on the territory where the said person lives.

3. Last but not least, the person can grant power of attorney to a third person to obtain the NIE in Spain.

This is a very positive outcome that restores the previous situation and returns UK nationals the right to obtain a NIE through power of attorney and without having to fly to Spain.

It is also a positive development that helps Spain to re-gain, little by little, the confidence of the foreign investor. The road to recovery is, in deed, very long and full of obstacles but hey, this can be a good starting point.


Watch Out: Problems with the NIE

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Some of the readers of this blog already know that there was a change in the law in 2011 and it was no longer possible to obtain a NIE number in Spain through power of attorney. This polemic decision was accepted by most of the local police stations in Spain except for a few of them who were still providing NIE numbers to those lawyers attending the police station with a proper power of attorney. Well, since the beginning of this year it is no longer possible to obtain NIE through a power of attorney and this also applies to those few police stations who defied the previous communicate and still issued NIE numbers.

Ok, so what is situation now? If you are British and you want to buy property or are inheriting assets in Spain, between other scenarios, you will have two way to apply for the NIE. The first one is to fly to Spain and attend the local police station, queue for several hours and eventually get the NIE number (although in some occassions you may have to come back 1 or 2 days later). If you don’t fancy a trip to Spain, your other option will be to go to the Spanish Consulate in the UK. This means that depending on where you live you will have to go to either London or Edinburgh. For further information on the competent territories please have a look to my post of the 16th December 2011.

This is clearly a step backwards and may affect the interest of foreign purchasers considering buying in Spain. It could also prove a real nightmare for elderly people or those who are ill who may have inherited an asset in Spain but do not have the health to travel to Spain or the Consulates to obtain a NIE number.

I hope this decision will be withdrawn but in the meantime there is no other way around it. However, if you live in the UK and require assistance with the paperwork for obtaining the NIE you can contact the Consulates or contact lawyers like ourselves as we are familiar with the procedure and can help to overcome potential problems involved in the procedure.





Attention please! Spanish Consular Services- Part II

This week I wrote a post explaining the counties that belong to the jurisdiction of the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh. Somehow, the blog does not show the entire list so I now take the opportunity to provide the list in a more direct format.

To summarise what I was saying in my previous post, the Spanish Consulate in Manchester is no longer operative. If you live in one of the areas below you will now depend on the Consulate in Edinburgh, specially if you are Spanish or require something from the Spanish Consulate.

Cheshire, Cleveland, Cumbria, Durham, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Merseyside, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, West Yorkshire and Northern Ireland.

I hope this time it can bee seen properly on the blog! If not, drop me an email and I will be happy to provide further information.