Marla Vanessa Bojorge Zúñiga
Office:
VALENCIA, Sorolla Center
Avenida Cortes Valencianas 58, 5th floor
46015
City:
Valencia
Country:
Spain
Tel:
+34 96 045 1676
Fax:
+34 96 112 5927

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Brexit

Marla Bojorge is the owner of Bojorge & Associates.

She has been recognised at the Corporate INTL Global awards, the ACQ Global Awards, the Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards, the Acquisition International Magazine Legal Awards (Women in Law Award), the Lawyers World Country Awards, the Lawyers Worldwide Awards and the European Corporate Excellence Awards. She is also recommended by Legal Comprehensive, Worldwide Financial Advisor Awards Magazine, CorporateLive Wire, Global Leading Lawyers, Finance Monthly, AI Global Media, Global Business Insight and WWL.

WHAT ARE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CONCERNS YOUR CLIENTS CURRENTLY HAVE IN RELATION TO BREXIT?

They show concern for the rights of their family members; the bureaucratic procedures that they will have to carry out if they do not already have their residence card as a dependent family member; the problems of obtaining documentation in their countries of origin that complies with the legal requirements demanded by the member country in which they have chosen to reside; and the problems of inheritance if they do not apply the laws of the EU country and do not have the status of an EU dependent family member.

TO WHAT EXTENT DO YOU FEEL PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE IN THE BREXIT PROCESS IN THE PAST 12 MONTHS?

It seems that little by little the initial ironclad and closed position is transforming to one more in line with the needs of the market and its goods; but no clear improvements are observed in relation to the circulation of people, one of the biggest concerns for European citizens who wish to continue visiting the United Kingdom and vice versa.

HOW WILL THE NEW SPANISH GOVERNMENT’S APPROACH TO HEALTH INSURANCE AFFECT IMMIGRATION TO SPAIN?

On 15 July 2018, the new government’s Council of Ministers announced that the universal right to health will be returned to all Spaniards, including foreigners who do not meet all the administrative requirements. The Royal Decree of 2012, which excludes irregular foreigners, will be repealed, and European citizens will require valid medical insurance in Spain if they reside in the country for more than six months. The autonomous Spanish cities Ceuta and Melilla will not be included in this regulation, according to the Council of Ministers.

The new government considers the protection of health to be the mandate of international organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union, the World Health Organization and the Ombudsman.

In addition, a delegate committee on migration issues has been created that will define the government's new migration policy, at both European and national levels.

FROM WHAT YOU HAVE SEEN OVER THE PAST YEAR, DO YOU THINK A SO-CALLED “SOFT BREXIT” IS MORE OR LESS LIKELY NOW?

In my opinion, Brexit is a break-up, an end of a relationship, and it is always a hard situation. It is not a soft situation.

We are seeing that British Parliament is listening to the positions, and could reach an agreement that would help an already-made decision meet the needs of more people.

We are all waiting for the end result to be satisfactory, and something more positive than negative.

DO YOU EXPECT SPAIN TO SEE SIMILAR LEVELS OF BRITISH EXPATRIATION AFTER BREXIT?

Probably. As I mentioned earlier, it has been announced that there will be a new European and national migration policy, so it may be possible to allow UK citizens already residing in Spain to keep their rights (as well as those who wish to visit Spain in their holidays), and to allow businesses continue operating without so much inconvenience. Spain is, after all, a tourism-heavy country of excellence, and its beaches are often visited by British citizens of all ages.

In any case, Spain belongs to the European Union and will follow what is ultimately agreed by the European Union.

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES FOR IMMIGRATION PRACTITIONERS IN THE SPANISH MARKET TO BE OVER THE COMING MONTHS?

One is to make sure that the rights already obtained are maintained. Another is to observe the possibility that increased documentation will be necessary – currently, membership of the European Union means many documents have some simplified procedures. An additional challenge, among many others, is the creation of special formulas for clients with companies in the United Kingdom and other member states of the European Union.

WHAT PLANS DOES BOJORGE & ASSOCIATES HAVE TO ADAPT TO THE CHANGES BREXIT WILL BRING?

We are attending seminars on the subject; listening to the needs of clients and third parties; reading documents published on the subject by the European Union; discussing with British colleagues their expectations and forecasts, and trying to foresee the purchase of new legislation and necessary programmes.

DO YOU EXPECT A CHANGE IN THE TYPE OF WORK CLIENTS REQUIRE AFTER BREXIT?

Yes. I may find myself faced with questions from clients that they had not previously raised or problems that a client previously felt they could resolve on their own without consulting me.

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