Brexit and the registration of residency in Spain


31 Aug 2020

Important message:

As we have informed in our previous newsletter, UK nationals who plan to live in Spain for more than 3 months a year must register by the end of 2020 as resident and on the padrón at their town hall, further to Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

For the purpose of documenting nationals of the UK residing in Spain under the conditions laid down in the Agreement and on the basis of the two options offered therein, Spain has chosen not to require to apply for the new residence status document for those who already hold a green card (prior to 6 July), but to allow them to voluntarily apply for the new residence document (TIE).

Getting the TIE is compulsory for those moving to Spain as from 6 July 2020 and voluntary for those living in Spain before and holding a green card. We have to point out that it is not only recommendable but necessary to get a TIE in every case as we have been informed by the Police that Customs agents will likely only accept those holding a TIE to avoid confusions and problems.

Therefore, we strongly recommend Britons who plan to live in Spain to get the TIE card in any case.

The UK Government has issued guidance on how to register the residency in Spain, and it indicates that you can do this electronically (if you have an electronic signature), in person by requesting an appointment or via a third party representative. However, in practice, physical presence is required because the only procedure in place is a) to obtain the electronic signature that requires the presence of the applicant at the Tax Office, Town Hall or Social Security Office, b) to register with the Town Hall, c) to get the residence authorization from the Immigration Office “Extranjeria”, d) to go in person to the Police for fingerprints and e) to make an appointment to collect the card one month later at the Police.

The whole process is taking 2 months approximately and it requires physical presence of the applicant in every public organization. Traveling to Spain now from UK may not be in the plans of everyone, particularly when they have to stay at home when flying back, but this physical presence requirement is in line with the second part of our previous newsletter and the fact that the purpose of the Agreement is to protect Britons living in Spain, so for them physical presence would not be a problem at all as they are here already.

Getting the TIE card requires physical presence and it takes more than 2 months so we urge those who are planning to benefit from the Agreement to take action as soon as possible.

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