Expatriates Can Now Dial for Help Free on 010

Wondering how many more lines you’ll have to wait in, just to be told you’re in the wrong government office? Passing the buck or not understanding questions besides in Spanish are common barriers when applying for residency, jobs, or other numerous proceedings that take place in every day life for a foreigner living in Spain. Considering how many foreigners are here, advice should be easier to come by (from Rajoy’s talk on social matters in last night’s debate):

In the year 2007, over 725,000 [foreigners entered Spain], also more than France, the United Kingdom and Germany combined. We are the second nation in the world, only exceeded by the United States, when it comes to entering foreign citizens.

The Malaga Town Hall inaugurated a new telephone service last week (TelĂ©fono del Inmigrante) to hopefully alleviate that helpless feeling, where you can speak with lawyers who specialise in immigration matters in English, French or Spanish. They will provide information related to the type of documents and steps needed for accomplishing what you need to, whether or not you’re a member of the European Community. They can also aid those who conduct business with foreigners, those who want to hire foreign residents and students, and other matters.

Dialling 010 (from outside Malaga – 902.210.250) from 9 am – 7 pm, M-F will connect you to an answering service, which will then connect you with the cell phone of one of the two lawyers. Note that this line is also the general information number for the City of Malaga – find out what else this number provides from malaga.eu.

The need for this was stirred up months ago by immigration associations, and according to the City’s representative Julio Andrade, it is a pioneer service in AndalucĂ­a. It will also prompt the opening of a municipal office for aiding immigrants, possibly in March. On a side note, the United Left political party has requested the closing of the Centro de Internamiento de Extranjeros ("Centre for Admission of Foreigners") because it is in "conditions not fit for human occupation." Oh well, one’s going up and the other coming down – is that progress?

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