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RESIDENCE

SPANISH CITIZENS RESIDENT IN THE UK OR FAMILY MEMBERS OF SPANISH CITIZENS RESIDENT IN THE UK BEFORE THE UK's WITHDRAWAL DATE

What will my situation be?

With a Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period until 31 December 2020, which may be extended. During the transition period your rights under EU Law will be maintained, with the following exceptions:

  • The right to vote and stand in elections to the European Parliament.
  • Use of the EU citizens' initiative.

Once the transition period ends, the Withdrawal Agreement stipulates that your rights of residence, work, study and social security will be maintained.

You can consult this European Commission document, which includes questions and answers on who benefits from the Withdrawal Agreement and what their rights are.

For more information on the right to vote and stand in elections, see the La Moncloa website and that of the Ministry of the Interior.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement

If no Withdrawal Agreement is signed and ratified, the UK may pass its own laws on foreign nationals that are applicable to citizens of EU Member States.

According to the information given by the British Government, the UK will guarantee certain rights to EU citizens who are resident in the United Kingdom at the withdrawal date and are registered through the Settled Status procedure.

You can find more information about this in the following document.

You can also contact the Brexit Single Window at the Spanish Embassy in London if you have any queries, via the following email: emb.londres.brexit@maec.es.

Do I have to act today?

To benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement, it is very important that all citizens are able to prove they are legally resident in the United Kingdom before the end of the transition period.

The United Kingdom has rolled out a registration process called the EU Settlement Scheme for EU citizens who want to continue to live, work or study in the United Kingdom. For more information see this link.

You can also contact the Brexit Single Window at the Spanish Embassy in London if you have any queries, via the following email: emb.londres.brexit@maec.es.

Without a Withdrawal Agreement

Stay informed on the latest developments through the British Government's Website.

Do not hesitate to consult the Brexit Single Window at the Spanish Embassy in London if you have any queries.

INDEX FOR UK NATIONALS OR THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS RESIDENT IN SPAIN

  • BEFORE THE DATE OF WITHDRAWAL

  • AFTER THE DATE OF WITHDRAWAL

1. With a Withdrawal Agreement

2. Without a Withdrawal Agreement

BEFORE THE DATE OF WITHDRAWAL

1. I am a UK national or family member of a UK national resident in Spain before the withdrawal date, but I have never registered. What do I have to do?

EU citizens, including UK nationals, who want to reside for more than three months in Spain must register at the Central Register of Foreign Nationals (Registro Central de Extranjeros).

If you do not have a registration certificate as an EU citizen (a green certificate), you have to get one by requesting an appointment for the "Certificados UE" (EU Certificates) procedure at a police station in your province.

For more information on this process, and on the documents you must submit, see the Immigration Portal.

2. I have tried to obtain an appointment to obtain a registration certificate, but there are no appointment times available on the internet. How can I obtain one before the withdrawal date?

The Government of Spain has been working for months on further improvements to the system for appointments. Human and material resources have been increased at the Foreigners' Offices (Oficinas de Extranjería) and police stations of the main provinces where British citizens live to respond to the increased demand for certificates. Nevertheless, as Brexit approaches, it is inevitable that the system will become strained in all the offices despite all efforts made, as a result of people doing things at the last minute.

Bear in mind that not all police stations arrange appointments online and you may contact them by phone. For more information, see: Comisarías de Policía (Police Stations) in your province.

AFTER THE DATE OF WITHDRAWAL

1.

1.1. What will my situation be?

The Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period to be established lasting from the withdrawal date to 31 December 2020. This period may be extended.

During this transition period UK nationals and their family members resident in Spain who are nationals of non-EU countries will maintain their rights derived from the application of EU law (except for the right to vote and stand in elections to the European Parliament and the right to use the EU Citizens Initiative).

Once the transition period ends, the Withdrawal Agreement stipulates that your rights of residence, work, study and social security will be maintained.

You have to bear in mind that the registration certificates (the green certificate) and ID cards of family members of the EU citizen obtained before the end of the transition period will subsequently serve to accredit their legal residence in Spain and benefit from the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement. However, during the transition period you may request the issue of a Foreigner Identity Card that explicitly mentions your condition as beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Having a registration certificate in force is a guarantee of your rights as resident in Spain.

You can consult this European Commission document, which includes questions and answers on who benefits from the Withdrawal Agreement and what their rights are.

The rights of British citizens and their family members who begin their legal residence in Spain after the transition period will be those established by the agreement regulating future relations; if there is none, the general arrangements governing foreign residents in Spain will be applicable.

1.2. I have a registration certificate. Can I continue to reside in Spain?

Yes, you may continue to reside in Spain. In addition, both you and your family members may request a Foreigner Identity Card to be issued explicitly mentioning your condition as beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement, which will facilitate both administrative procedures and any crossing of the external EU border.

1.3. What is my situation if I arrive in Spain after the withdrawal date but during the transition period (from the withdrawal to 31 December 2020)? What do I have to do?

The Withdrawal Agreement establishes a transition period until 31 December 2020, during which you must directly request the residence document at the office for foreign residents (Oficina de Extranjería) in the province where you live. A check will be made to ensure that you meet the same requirements as for obtaining a registration certificate as EU citizen. Once this residence document has been obtained, you will be issued the Foreigner Identity Card, explicitly maintaining your condition as beneficiary under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you already have Spanish nationality you will not have to do anything else.

1.4. Will UK nationals resident in Spain have to obtain a work permit to continue their professional activity in Spain?

No. 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. You may therefore continue to work as now without any additional permit.

1.5. Do family members of a UK national who are nationals of non-EU countries and resident in Spain have a special status?

Family members will maintain their status of family members of an EU citizen for the whole of the transition period and after.

2.

2.1. What will my situation be?

Although after the withdrawal date your status will be that of a third-country national, the Spanish Government has provided for a period of 21 months from the date of the UK's withdrawal without an agreement for the UK nationals resident in Spain before withdrawal and their family members to obtain the new documentation (Foreigner Identity Card - TIE) certifying temporary residence and work authorisation for UK nationals, temporary residence and work authorisation for family members who are UK nationals, or authorisation for long-term residence. This does not prevent you from applying for any of the authorisations or permits under the law governing foreigners in accordance with its requirements). This new documentation will certify your residence in Spain. Until you obtain the necessary documents, your residence will continue to be legal for a period of 21 months.

Registration certificates (the green certificate) and the cards of family members of an EU citizen will serve as proof of their legal residence in Spain for a period of 21 months after the UK's withdrawal from the EU without an agreement and until they obtain the TIE.

2.2. I have a registration certificate:

2.2.1. Can I continue to reside in Spain?

Yes.  Your residence will continue to be legal provided that you were resident in Spain before the withdrawal. However, before the expiry of the 21-month period following the date of withdrawal without agreement, you must obtain the Foreigner Identity Card (TIE). This document will be definitive proof of your residence in Spain.

2.2.2. How do I obtain the TIE?

To obtain a TIE after the withdrawal you must ask for an appointment and present your application in person at the police stations specified for this purpose. The certificate or EU citizen's family member card will be replaced automatically by the TIE.

You will receive your TIE shortly after the application.

Regardless of this ad-hoc procedure you may request any of the authorisations and permits under the migration legislation if you comply with the requirements in each case.

2.3. I don't have a registration certificate:

2.3.1. Can I continue to reside in Spain?

Yes.  Your residence will continue to be legal provided that you were resident in Spain before the withdrawal. However, before the expiry of the 21-month period following the date of withdrawal without agreement, you must obtain the Foreigner Identity Card (TIE). This document will be definitive proof of your residence in Spain.

2.3.2. How do I obtain the TIE?

To obtain the TIE after the withdrawal you can use the new procedure established for this purpose through the "procedure for documentation of EU nationals", presenting the application in person or via your representative, at the migration office of the province in which you live, or by electronic means.

Among other requirements, you must prove that you were a resident in Spain before the withdrawal date (for example, through your certificate of registration with the local authorities, rental contract, ownership of property, employment contract, enrolment at a study centre).

The procedures are as follows:

  • One: apply for the temporary residence and work permit for a UK national at the migration office of the province where you live ("procedure for the documentation of UK nationals"). You may apply for it in person at the office (yourself, or via a representative) after obtaining an appointment. You may also apply online.
  • Two: once the authorisation has been granted, you must request the TIE at the corresponding police station. This procedure must be done by you in person.

Regardless of this ad-hoc procedure you may request any of the authorisations and permits under the migration legislation if you comply with the requirements in each case.

2.3.3. How long does it take to get a TIE?

The period required to resolve the authorisation is three months. After this, you must apply for the TIE within a month of notification.

2.4 Information on the documentation:

2.4.1. Do the documents required have to be originals or copies (certified)?

The documents must be original.

If you apply for the authorisation online (this procedure will be available for people who do not have a registration certificate) you must submit copies of it. You are reminded that to apply online you must have an electronic signature.

Any official documents required must be translated and notarised if necessary.

2.4.2. Do I have to provide proof of income?

Proof of sufficient income will only be required if you do not have a registration certificate and do not engage in a professional or employment activity in Spain.

2.4.3. Do I have to submit a criminal record certificate?

You do not have to submit one with your application. However, the competent authority may check whether you have a criminal record, and as a result refuse to provide documentation that may affect public order.

2.4.4. Are there any reasons could justify the submission of an application after the deadline, e.g. a serious illness?

There are no grounds justifying an application submitted after the deadline, given that the 21 months from the withdrawal date is sufficiently long.

2.4.5. Can I continue to work or study in Spain while I obtain the new documentation?

Yes. Provided that you are a resident in Spain before the withdrawal date, your residence during the 21 month period will continue to be legal, and you may therefore continue to work and study in Spain.

2.4.6. How much will the new residence document cost?

The TIE fee payable is on the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs.

2.4.7. Can I see how my application is progressing while it is being processed?

Yes, and if necessary you can provide additional documentation if the administration contacts you by email or via your postal address. If you have provided an email for the purpose of notifications, please check for possible messages.

2.4.8. What will happen if an application is rejected? What are the deadlines for appealing the decision?

If your application is rejected, you must file an administrative appeal. The decision itself will indicate the procedures for filing an appeal, the deadlines and where you must file it. After this administrative examination you may take judicial action.

2.5. I have been a resident in Spain for more than 5 years. Will I be eligible for long-term residence if there is a no-deal withdrawal?

Yes, provided that you meet the eligibility requirements.  See Article 5 of Royal Decree-Law 5/2019 of 1 March. You should take into account the following:

  • If you already had a permanent registration certificate, obtaining the TIE will require a procedure at the police authorities
  • If you did not have the registration certificate, or the registration certificate is temporary in nature, another procedure at the foreign nationals office will be required in addition to one before at police authorities.

In both cases your passport must be valid.

2.6. What documents do I need to cross borders within the Schengen Area?

You must have a valid British passport and the document proving your status as resident in Spain (TIE with the uniform format).

Within the period of 21 months from withdrawal, the provisional document (e.g. registration certificate or family member's card) will allow you to cross borders within the EU: Work is being done with the Commission to extend the provisional documents.

2.7. What documents will I need to move to another EU Member State for a period of more than 3 months?

If you want to do obtain the documents in another Member State, you will have to request the corresponding authorisation in that Member State under the local legal requirements.

2.8. What is my situation if I arrive in Spain after the withdrawal date? What do I have to do?

From the day following the withdrawal date, UK nationals will have the condition of third-country nationals and the general arrangements for foreigners in Spain will be applicable to them. They may not request the application of the provisions of Royal Decree-Law 5/2019, as the scope of application is limited to those who were residents before the withdrawal date.

2.9. Will UK nationals have to obtain a work permit to continue their professional activity in Spain?

They must request the documentation corresponding to their new condition as third-country national within 21 months from the withdrawal date. During this period their residence in Spain is legal and they may engage in their professional activity. In any event, once they obtain the Foreigner Identity Card it will definitively accredit their residence and employment status in Spain.

2.10. Do family members of a UK national who are nationals of third countries and resident in Spain have a special status?

Family members must obtain the documentation corresponding to their new condition as family members of third-country nationals within 21 months of the withdrawal date.

If they hold a residence card as a family member of an EU citizen, they must apply to have it replaced by a Foreigner Identity Card at the corresponding police authorities.

If they do not have the card of a family member of an EU citizen, they must apply for a residence and work permit as a family member of a UK national, at the office for foreign residents of the province where they reside. This application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and if it is accepted, they may then apply for the Foreigner Identity Card.

NOTE: In any event, the validity period of this temporary residence and work permit will be linked to the validity of the residence and work permit of the family member who is a UK national.

2.11. How long will a UK national be allowed to leave Spain for without losing the long-term resident status?

You may leave for a maximum period of 12 consecutive months.

You must take into account that at the time when your status becomes one of a long-term residence, a check will be made to verify that your residence has been continuous. This is not affected by absence from Spain in the terms provided for by the law on foreign nationals.

For more information, see the Immigration Portal.

2.12. How long will third-country family members of a UK national be allowed to leave Spain for without losing their resident status?

They may leave for a maximum period of 12 consecutive months.

You must take into account that at the time when your status becomes one of a long-term residence, a check will be made to verify that your residence has been continuous. This is not affected by absence from Spain in the terms provided for by the law on foreign nationals.

For more information, see the Immigration Portal.

2.13. I am a UK national and reside in Spain. Can I travel to another Member State?

To travel to another EU Member State for a period of up to 90 days out of 180, you must have a valid passport and the document proving your residence in Spain (TIE). In theory, and provided that the UK respects reciprocity, no short-term visa will be required for British citizens. 

2.14. I am a UK national resident in Spain who wishes to study at university in another Member State. What do I have to do?

To study at a university in another Member State you must apply for the corresponding permit in accordance with the national law of the corresponding Member State.

Take into account that the residence permit arranged by Spain under Royal Decree Law 5/2019 does not allow you to move to study in a university in other Member States.

If you participate in an EU or multilateral programme that includes mobility measures, or measures that are covered by an agreement between two or more higher education institutions, it may be a good idea to request an authorisation study associated with such an agreement under Article 44 of Royal Decree 557/2011 of 20 April, approving the Regulation on Foreign Residents with respect to the right to movement within the EU for study purposes.

2.15. Will British citizens who are family members of another European citizen (e.g. they are married to a Spanish citizen) have to apply for a TIE or EU national family member card?

You may apply for whichever is better for you.

  • If a British national applies for an EU national family member card, will he or she be granted a "permanent" certificate if they have been resident in Spain for more than 5 years?

In the case of a no-deal Brexit, British citizens who are family members of an EU national (whether Spanish or any other EU Member State) will be able to replace their EU certificate automatically for a temporary or long-term TIE (depending on what kind of certificate they had before).  In this way they will be fall under the general foreign resident regime as a third-country national. However, as provided for in the Instructions (see the above question), this does not stop them from applying for any of the authorisations or permits provided for in the law on foreign residents or in accordance with its requirements.

Thus, as family members of EU nationals they may apply for an EU national family member card. The card will be issued taking into account prior periods of residence in Spain.

Non official translation