One of the biggest challenges for us had to do with the generation of updated information related to the state of alarm and COVID, and how it would affect our clients, both those residing in Spain, as well as those who had plans to live in Spain in the near future. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic was a revolution in everyone's life, and in our office we were and are still being affected by it..
In order to successfully address this challenge, we set out to prepare the article COVID-19 Can you travel to Spain?, which gathers and explains, in a clear and close way, the constantly changing regulations, in order to minimize the uncertainty regarding the possibility of entering Spain in the different cases (with residence, without it, with stay for studies, family members of Spaniards, people without visas, etc.).
We also wrote articles that allowed our clients and visitors to our website to know what would happen to their residence and stay authorizations when they could not renew them in person. These articles were: Extension of national police and Extension of foreigners' offices.
It is important to point out that, in relation to clients already living in Spain, there was some concern due to the renewals of residence and work authorizations, since the incidence of ERTE (employment regulation proceedings), i.e., suspensions of work contracts in certain companies, could mean not complying with the minimum contribution periods when these ERTE were finally transformed into layoffs.
But on the other hand, as the various anti-COVID regulations came and went, in particular, on entry restrictions for third country nationals, we found some peace of mind knowing that our foreign clients in their countries of origin, could enter Spain as long as they had long term visas or were relatives of EU citizens, among other cases, although those who had more problems here, were the domestic partners of Spanish citizens, when they did not have a document of registration of this couple in a specific registry for domestic partners.
This year we have noticed a significant increase in videoconference consultations from people mainly from the USA, Mexico and Argentina, wishing to emigrate to Spain.
Although in many cases the idea of emigrating is part of a medium- to long-term project, the situation generated by the pandemic precipitated the urgency of making decisions. Many people were able to see, once again, the deficit in health care or extremely expensive in others.
We will face this new year 2022 with great enthusiasm, perhaps with less uncertainty and with the confidence that we will be able to help many more people and companies to realize their dreams of living or investing in Spain.
By 2022, we believe that along with the Golden visa and non-profit residency, which have been the star applications in 2021, we anticipate that the Grandchildren Law or Descendants Law will be passed, which will allow many children and grandchildren of native Spaniards to finally be recognized as Spaniards.
We still have many doubts about this new Law, for example: will it be approved during the first semester of 2022? will it allow the telematic presentation of the applications? what period will the government have to resolve the applications? among many others. People with Argentine, Cuban and Mexican citizenship, at least from our experience, are the ones who are showing more interest, although it could be said that many U.S. citizens are also interested in this matter.
In 2021 we have reached an agreement with a company specialized in genealogy, which will help us in the search of birth and baptism certificates. These documents are very necessary to process nationality applications related to the new Grandchildren Law or Descendants Law..
We have also prepared a test that will allow any person to evaluate his or her personal and family situation in order to opt for Spanish nationality thanks to the new Grandchildren Law. In addition, we have not only included in the test the situations foreseen by the new law, but we have also added the alternative options for those people who cannot benefit from this law.
This is, once again, the time of year... when it's time to set goals. Just when some of us are taking some time off, I think it's a good time to step back and look at everything we want to accomplish in 2022.
For 2022 we want to further improve the user experience of our online consultation system, where people can already choose day and time directly on our calendar. These consultations consist of having a meeting via videoconference, where we can find out what people's goals are (whether to live, work, study, or simply have a residence that allows them to enter and leave Spain) and be able to recommend the most successful ways to achieve those goals, offering them our help, accompaniment and experience throughout the whole process.
Our aspiration in 2022 is to continue optimizing our internal processes to continue offering a high quality legal service, where customer service is always close, professional and efficient.
We have a highly valued escort service for all clients arriving in Spain, which will also be optimized and improved in 2022. The service includes not only managing the numerous procedures to obtain the residence card, but also has an increasingly large group of collaborators who assist clients in:
- Personal accompaniment to clients to carry out pending procedures upon arrival in Spain with a visa previously obtained in the country of origin.
- Search for a home, either to rent or to buy.
- Tax advisory services.
- Complete legal consulting during the whole process of buying a home or any type of property.
- Among others,
Also in 2022, we will face the challenge of incorporating new employees and collaborators to our office in order to further improve and increase our ability and responsiveness.
Without a doubt, we are leaving behind a decisive year. A year marked by reunions, long-distance hugs and a desire to go out and take on the world. But we have also demonstrated a great capacity for adaptation and resilience. Even with the uncertainty of what is to come, I want to say goodbye to 2021 with great hope and illusion in 2022, because I believe it will be, at last, the year of the definitive recovery.
From Echeverria Abogados we wish you happy holidays and a prosperous new year, full of success and good health. It is important that you never lack dreams and goals to achieve, I look forward to discovering them with you!
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