Schengen VisaSouth Africans wanting to travel to the EU, may face more stringent requirements and longer turnaround times when applying for a Schengen visa. For some countries within the EU, including Spain, conditions have recently been tightened. High-risk nations, such as South Africa are facing stricter visa restrictions in countries such as Spain because of the introduction of a new visa facilitation company.

BLS International Services have taken over from VFS Visa and Permit Facilitation Centre, and with this, have imposed additional requirements in keeping with their own high standards of visa facilitation. In Spain, turnaround time has also increased due to specific documents needing authorisation by the Spanish police.

brexit-transitionBritish people living in Spain and across the EU are growing increasingly concerned of the outstanding issues yet to be confirmed by Brexit. The EU has recently announced that citizen rights for British expats and EU citizens in Britain will be extended for the transition period of Brexit. This transition period will start from the 29th March 2019, the official Brexit day and finish on the 31st December 2020. However, the rights of citizens after the transition period have yet to be decided.

The recent transition period announcement made it clear that EU citizens arriving to the UK during the transition will have the same rights as those who came before Brexit. It also confirms that British citizens moving to the EU will have the same rights and guarantees as people who have already made the move. This is a dramatic turnaround as Theresa May initially said those moving in the transition period would not enjoy the same rights.

dementiaA study has shown that middle-aged women who have a higher level of fitness are less likely to develop dementia in later life. 191 women aged between 38 and 60 years old took part in the 44-year-long study which assessed their fitness and their chances of being diagnosed with dementia.

The study by the University of Gothenburg found that fitter middle-aged women were 88% less likely to develop dementia and if they did develop the disease, the diagnosis was, on average, ten years later.

This long-term study has provided further evidence that staying fit and active is linked to better mental health as you get older. However, this study does not suggest that having a high level of fitness will protect against dementia, but it does show a link between physical fitness and mental health.