Brexit and residency in Spain for UK citizens – The Foreign Identity Card (TIE)

2020/07/06 16:35:45 Written by Canarian Weekly Business

Following the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the procedure, requirements and documentation for UK nationals wanting to register as residents of Spain will change at the end of 2020. A new residency document has just been introduced and people who are already resident in Spain and who hold the green card or certificate confirming their registration as an EU citizen resident in Spain can change this and apply for the Foreign Identity Card (TIE).

The Withdrawal Agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020, which may be extended. During the transition period British citizens’ rights under EU Law will be maintained, this includes the right to move to and legally reside in Spain.

The Spanish government website La Moncloa advises the following that once the transition period ends, the Withdrawal Agreement stipulates that UK nationals’ rights of residence, work, study and social security will be maintained.

The procedure to obtain the Foreign Identity Card (TIE) is simpler for British citizens who hold a registration certificate (the green certificate), in this case it is possible to request it in person at the Police authorities; UK nationals who do not hold a registration certificate will have to apply for residency at the Foreign Office first (this can be made in person or by a representative or by electronic means) and then request in person the Foreign Identity Card at the Police authorities within one month as from the date the residency application has been accepted. It will be necessary to pay a small tax and present a photo along with the relevant documents to apply for the Foreign Identity Card.

Residency documents serve to accredit legal residence in Spain and to benefit from the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, the Foreign Identity Card explicitly mentions British citizens’ condition as beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you are not yet registered as a resident but arrive to live in Spain before 31st December the Withdrawal Agreement will apply, and therefore your rights will be derived from the application of EU law. Having a residency document in force before 31st December 2020 is a guarantee of your rights as a resident in Spain. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of EU citizens and British nationals, as well as their respective family members, to continue living, working or studying as they do now and under the same basic conditions as under EU law.

If you are living in Spain or intend to move here before the end of 2020 and you have never registered as a resident (the green certificate or card) you should apply for the Foreign Identity Card (TIE) now. If you are a UK national already registered as resident on the register of EU citizens and have the green certificate or card, you can request the Foreign Identity Card (TIE).

De Cotta Law is a Firm of English and Spanish lawyers providing a broad range of legal services, we can help you with your residency application. For more information you can contact us on: (0034) 922 719520, or email: