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BREXIT: New 2-STEP Procedure to Obtain Residency for British nationals

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July 9, 2020

As of this week, Spain is introducing a new 2-step procedure to obtain residency certificates for UK Nationals who wish to reside in Spain post-Brexit.

The Withdrawal Agreement between UK and EU sets a transitional period until 31 December 2020, until which UK citizens retain all the rights as if the country were still a member of the EU. However, for all new applications from 6 July 2020, UK citizens will be issued not with a green-residency certificate as other EU citizens, but with a third-country credit-card type ID called “TIE” –Tarjeta de Identidad del Extranjero. This card will indicate the type of permit as “Beneficiary of Article 50 TEU” and state that it has been “issued in accordance with Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement”.

New applications from 6 July till 31 December

The new procedure is a transition towards the third-country applications and involves 2 steps:

  • Obtaining a residence “authorisation” from the Immigration Office of the province of your residence
  • Obtaining a “TIE” card in a police station of the province of your residence.

Please note that you have until 31 December 2020 to process your residence document.

STEP 1 application can be submitted electronically – if you have a digital certificate or through a representative – e.g. a lawyer, along with the required documentation as you would normally need to provide to the police – we will write about it separately. Once submitted, you will receive a receipt that will be sufficient to prove your legal stay in Spain until the application is resolved, which can take up to a maximum of 3 months.

Once you receive the authorisation from the Immigration Office, you have 1 month to apply for the residence document – a credit-card size “TIE” at the corresponding police station.

If you already have your green residency certificate

You do not need to do anything, and it will remain valid as a proof of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

However, you may choose to exchange it for the new-style TIE card. In this case, you can go directly for STEP 2 – obtain the new TIE in your police station. Please note that the certificate (green card) you currently hold is valid, so you should not be in a hurry to arrange the new document, to help to avoid the overload of the system.

You may be in one of these cases:

If you have not reached 5 years of legal residence in Spain

If this is your case, you can go to the corresponding police stations and present your application along with the corresponding documentation.

This document will be valid for 5 years and, before it expires, you can apply to the police for a new permanent residence document that will be valid for 10 years. In this case you will qualify for the permanent residency after the 5 years of residence in total, including the previous years on your “green card”.

If you have reached 5 years of legal residence in Spain, but do not have a permanent registration certificate (green card)

You can apply in person at the corresponding police stations for a permanent residence document, which will be valid for 10 years. Remember that you must present the corresponding documentation in order to apply.

If you are the holder of a permanent registration certificate (green card)

You can go to the police station and request a new permanent residence document, which will be valid for another 10 years. Again, you will need to bring the appropriate documentation with you.

Family members of UK citizens

If the family member already holds a temporary residence card for a family member of an EU citizen and has not reached five years of legal residence in Spain, he or she may request the emission of a new residence document from the police.

If the family member is a holder of a temporary residence card and has already reached five years of legal residence, he or she may apply for this document in two steps: first at the Immigration Office of his or her province and then, once the authorisation has been granted, at the corresponding police stations.

If the family member is a holder of a permanent residence card of a family member of an EU citizen, he or she may request the issuance of the new permanent residence document at the corresponding police stations.

If the family member does NOT hold a residence card for a family member of an EU citizen, he or she must first submit the application to the Immigration Office of his or her province and, once it has been resolved, process the residence document at the corresponding police stations.

Do not forget that for all the procedures for STEP 2 before the police stations you will need to book an appointment. For STEP 1 you also need to book a different appointment unless you have a digital certificate or hire a lawyer.

Link to the official resolution.

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Anna Klevtsova

Anna holds an LLM in International Human Rights Law, and is a Certified Lawyer with the Bar Association of Barcelona. With more than 20 years of legal practice in International Law, Anna specialises in business set-up, investment transactions, and immigration strategies.

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