Living in Spain after Brexit:
What UK citizens need to know


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Don’t worry if you missed the deadline to arrange your residency documents our Immigration team is here for you!

UK nationals planning to live in Spain following Brexit have several options available to obtain Spanish residency.

Let's talk about how Talenom International Mobility can help you

UK citizens have to register for the new Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) while still maintaining their legal status. As your immigration lawyer in Spain, Avalanding is ready to guide you through the steps for UK citizens to get their Spanish residence documentation in order.

To avoid legal problems, UK citizens who want to reside in Spain need to move quickly and take advantage of the current procedure . Spain’s cabinet approved legislation for an estimated 400,000 Brits living in Spain. And under a reciprocity agreement, 180,000 Spanish citizens would remain in the UK.,

UK citizens in Spain can easily modify their resident documentation without having to follow the general and complex residence formalities for  non-Europeans seeking a residence permit in Spain. Maintaining your residency in Spain will allow you to take advantage of all the benefits of jobs for UK citizens in Spain as the permit will allow you to work in Spain should you decide to do so.

With Talenom International Mobility helping you, the validity of the status of British citizens as legal residents in Spain need not be affected even as the UK has left the EU.

Whether you are British and live in Spain with a green card; or you wanted to move to Spain and get residency in the immediate future, Talenom International Mobility has compiled essential information for you.


Do you have a green NIE certificate? (the former residency document for EU nationals)

If you currently have one of these cards, you can still exchange it for the new Spanish residency card, the “TIE”, until June 30th.

Need a helping hand? Just call us at +34 934 814 349 or schedule your consultation here so we can discuss your current situation and suggest a course of action based on your personal circumstances.

Have you purchased real-estate in Spain after September 2013 or are planning to do so in the near future?

If the total value of the properties you have acquired since 2013 or will acquire in the future is over 500.000 euros you are eligible for the Golden Visa program. This is the best residency and work permit Spain has to offer for non-EU investors. Here is a complete guide to the Spanish Golden Visa Program.

Would you like to reside in Spain without working?

If you do not need to work in Spain (because you are retired or for any other reason), the perfect solution for you would be the non-lucrative visa. With this type of visa you can freely live in Spain but without the right to work.  If this is ok for you, please just call us on +34 934 814 349 or schedule a free meeting here, and we’ll tell you exactly what you need to know about this and how it applies to your personal circumstance.

Are you an entrepreneur with a project you would like to launch in Spain?

Spain is welcoming new entrepreneurs, so if you have your own, solid business project you would like to set up in Spain, that is your way to the residency. We’ll be happy to give you additional tips, please just call us on +34 934 814 349 or schedule a free meeting here, and we’ll tell you exactly what you need to know about this process and how to get your project on track in Spain.

None of the options above apply to you?

Don’t worry, let’s have a look at your particular situation more in detail to see what we could do regarding your residency in Spain. Please just call us on +34 934 814 349 or schedule a meeting here, and we’ll tell you exactly what you need to know about this, taking into account your personal circumstances.

British citizens in Spain and the new residency card

The simplified procedure for the new type of residency card available until June 30, 2021 applies to two groups of UK citizens:

  • British citizens with a green card (the EU resident’s certificate)
  • Family members of British citizens with the green EU card

These people have obtained their current residency green card following a process that is in line with simplified European migration registering for Spanish residency before the process will become more difficult corresponding with what people from all non-EU countries have to go through.

British citizens, and family of British citizens, who have the old residency document (Green Card) will have to change their current cards before June 30, 2021.

In this case, you must provide the following documentation at the time of application at the police station:

  • Valid and current passport (original and photocopy of the data page)
  • Empadronamiento:  a document of registration from the Town Hall, no older than three months
  • 1 photo
  • Proof of payment of the fee (model 790, code 012)
  • Application form – EX 23
  • EU citizen’s registration certificate (original and fotocopy)

Those British citizens that are not currently in Spain must start and alternate process and can still obtain the residency card even if they are not yet in Spain – this is a slightly more involved process – with the requirements being in line with those of people seeking residency from non-EU countries. Please get in touch with us for your free consultation and the best way for you to secure Spanish residency based on your circumstances. 

British citizens and their legal status in Spain after Brexit

Before December 31,2020 the European Union rules applied to UK citizens and their relatives. However from January 1, 2021 the general Spanish immigration rules applied – similar to those for non-EU residency seekers,

From this date UK citizens are subject to the same immigration legislation as those from, for example, Russia, China, or the United States. This makes things much more difficult to regularize their situation in Spain resulting in extra legal requirements, longer procedures, application from the country of origin and not from Spain.

That’s why we recommend that you start as soon as possible so as not to miss the extended deadline of June 30, 2021 and modifying your current card for the new TIE; or by applying for the EU residency in Spain.

Significant work has been carried out within the framework of the withdrawal agreement and you can find information here on how to prepare on the official Spanish Brexit website

Talenom International Mobility is well versed in managing immigration process and are ready to assist you in navigating your residency. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your specific case and see how we can help.

After Brexit: How to get your new residency permit

Depending on your current status in Spain the steps that you need to follow will vary.

Your status: A British citizen with a temporary Spanish (EU) residency certificate

These are citizens from the United Kingdom who are already living in Spain and have residency documents. Before June 30, 2021 you  needed to compete the paperwork and get an appointment at the national police office located in the area corresponding to their registered address. At that appointment your application will be processed, you will submit proof of payment of the card processing fee and photos and in just a few weeks you can pick up your new Residency card.

Your status: A British citizen with a permanent Spanish (EU) residency certificate

If you currently have a permanent residency certificate you have been in Spain for a minimum of 5 years but will also need to apply for the new card as outlined above – the good news is that it will be valid for 10 years.

Your status: A British citizen in Spain over 5 years but without a permanent Spanish residency certificate

If you have been residing in Spain for over 5 years but have never gotten around to getting your permanent Spanish residency certificate and are still using your temporary certificate – don’t worry, there is a solution for you with a small modification from the procedure outlined previously.  The only difference is that you will need to prove that you have been living in Spain for more than 5 years.

Your status: A British citizen that has never obtained the Spanish (EU) residency card/certificate

This case applies to people who have not yet started to live in Spain but how would like to start the procedure now.

Initially you will need to start at the foreigner’s office in person with an appointment or online – Talenom International Mobility can assist you if you do not have a digital certificate. If you meet all the requirements you will be issued a permit to reside in Spain. These requirements are the same as for any non-European citizen who needs to demonstrate sufficient economic means and medical insurance coverage.

In several weeks your new card will be ready and you need to make an appointment with the police to get the new residence card.

Your status: You are a relative of a British citizen and have a Family member card

The family member of an EU citizen card is a residence permit granted to European Union citizen relatives. Specifically, it was created for spouses (civil partner or husband/wife), children and parents of a European citizen resident in Spain.

The advantage of the this EU family member visa is that it is granted for a 5 year period of residence and provides the holder with the ability to legally work in Spain. This initial 5-year card is also known as the temporary EU residence card.

The change from the current community card as a family member of an EU citizen to the new TIE post-Brexit card can be done after setting up an appointment at the police station. Talenom International Mobility can assist in navigating this process.

Brexit: How long will it take to get the new TIE card?

Once you have had your appointment at the national police office, submitted the required material for your special Brexit residence permit it will take on average 3 -4 weeks for you to obtain it (you need to make another appointment to collect it).

Our BREXIT team

Toni Musalaev

Fiona Sitbon

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