Expat Life

Arranging a funeral.

We have had many questions following my meeting with the British Consul regarding the situation of funeral arrangements on the island.

This of course varies between tourists and residents. Sudden unexpected death whilst on holiday will of course be under the direction of the local police and translators will be provided. Here on the island funerals take place very quickly. It is often preferable for the victim to be cremated here and the ashes shipped home. Most tourists would have insurance cover for this type of tragedy.

Interview with Maria Leng.

Maria, the British Consul to the Canary Islands, who took up the position of British Consul last year, is keen for British Nationals to think about their rights and obligations as residents in Spain.’

 Maria highlighted the various services provided by the Consulate and also stressed the importance of registering on the padrón.  As well as being required by law for anyone permanently resident in Spain, a person must be registered on the padrón (electoral roll) in order to access many local services, ie social services, health issues, funeral benefits, voting and inheritance tax issues. Also this offers further travel discounts between the islands.


Registering on the Padron.

This is a legal obligation for residents on the island whether renting or owning a property. Registering is very simple. One needs to attend their local town hall. Documents required are NIE and passports, also proof of address.  If you do not have proof of your address there may need to be a police visit to provide this proof.
This registration gives a true picture to the British Consul of numbers of Brits abroad and also offers the person various social benefits and travel discounts. You may be simply be asked your educational status. Registration is free; the exercise takes only ten minutes and provides each person with the necessary documents required.

Getting married in Fuerteventura!

Only the Catholic Church is authorised to carry out a church wedding that also fulfills the civil requirements for an official marriage certificate. Once a couple can prove that they are married, either with a Spanish ceremony or back at home, it is easy to have a wedding blessing on this island.

For in depth information on civil marriages in Spain look at the info provided on British Consul website, ( The circumstances of each individual will dictate the criteria they need meet, or paperwork they need to provide to the local authorities.

British Consulates in the Canaries host charitable volunteer workshop

British Consulates in the Canaries host innovative
cross island charitable volunteer workshop

 Volunteers from British run charitable organisations in Tenerife shared their expertise and experience with like minded ex pats seeking to do the same for the English speaking community in Gran Canaria.

 Norman Goodall of the Tenerife Sur Lions Club and his wife Edna, both hard working volunteers, joined Rosalinde Jeffrey, director of SHE, an advice line for women in distress, to offer practical advice and guidance.


Don’t let a lost passport ruin your holiday

Losing your passport will cost you time, cost you money and could ruin your holiday. That’s the message from the network of British Consulates in Spain who between them handle more than 4,000 lost passport cases every year. For the unfortunate passport holder that usually means a journey to the nearest consulate, time spent making an application for an emergency travel document, and a fee of over 100 Euros. 


A new direction for Consular services in the Canaries

From the 1st July 2012, both British Consulates in Las Palmas and Santa Cruz will be introducing important operational changes.  We seek to improve the way in which we serve both British residents and tourists and recognise the need to adapt to meet the challenges of the current economic and social climate.

Transferring from the NHS to the Spanish system

We were assured by one help agency that we could register on the Spanish system and still keep our UK NHS entitlement! This is not the case and paying the 100€+ fee for them to do the work would have been a very dissappointing experience.
  In order to transfer care from Uk to Fuerteventura one first needs to obtain a certificate S1 from The  Newcastle office. 0191 21 87777. This entails giving a few simple details like your NI number and new address and then waiting for the mail.


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