Canary Islands beg EU to relax Brexit visa rules

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The regional president of the Canary Islands has asked the European Union to let Britons remain longer than 90 days in a bid to boost the regional economy. Under current rules, British passport holders can only stay for 90 days within 180 before having to return to the UK.

But Ángel Victor Torres wants the bloc to change the rules as the seven Canary islands are classed as a peripheral zone thus qualifying for extra aid towards economic development.

Over 44,800 people who travel freely and work remotely – known as digital nomads – moved to the Canaries between January and November this year.

The largest groups of digital nomads are Germans (27 percent), Britons (12 percent) and Dutch nationals (10 percent).

Mr Torres told The i the current rule for Brits puts off digital nomads who want to stay longer or want to avoid visa red tape.

He said: “We want to ask Brussels to make an exception for the Canary Islands to change so that non-EU workers like the British can stay longer.

“We are going to work hard. It is not going to be easy.

“I would say that the Canary Islands is the only ultra-peripheric region of Spain. We have discussed this with (the Spanish Government) and the British Government.”

It comes as the clock ticks down UK passport holders travelling from Britain having to pay to get a visa to holiday in an EU country.

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The new visa system is being introduced in 2023 after in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the bloc.

It means Britons will have to pay to enter 27 countries, all of which are in the European Union.

To purchase a visa, British holidaymakers will need to have it issued through the European Travel Information and Authorisation System if they’re travelling for less than 90 days during an 180 day period.

The scheme applies to anyone who is travelling to any EU country by plane, boat, or car.

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Applications for a visa must be made 96 hours before leaving on a trip. A visa is set to cost £5 (€7).

Travellers younger than 18 years old or over 70 will be exempt.

Applicants will be asked about their identity, passport, education, job, recent travel, and any criminal convictions.

The visa is expected to last for three years, but will expire if a person’s passport runs out.

At present, Britons entering an EU country must get their passports stamped by border control officers, but the new visa will replace this.

Next year, Britons will get their visas scanned instead of their passports being stamped as a new digital system will check a person’s name, biometric data as well as the date and place of entry and exit.

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