Residency post-Brexit: Am I still covered by the Withdrawal Agreement?

Residency post-Brexit: Am I still covered by the Withdrawal Agreement?

Some people may be concerned as to whether their residency application, after the 31st December 2020, will still be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

Well the Spanish Foreign Office has made it clear that as long as the applicant can prove, by any legally admissible means, that they were residing in Spain before the 31st December 2020, their application will be covered under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. Specifically, if the applicant was registered on their Town Hall census (padrón de habitantes) or they had an existing work contract before said date, this will be sufficient evidence, although other means of proof are possible.

In this instance, this means that these applicants will only need to meet the residency requirements as an EU citizen and they will be able to apply from Spain. See our post Living and working in Spain for more information.

However, if the applicant’s entry into Spain takes place after the 31st December 2020, they will have to apply for the appropriate residency visa through the Spanish Consulate in the UK, before traveling to Spain. In this case, if the applicant has travelled to Spain without the visa, they will be entitled to remain in Spain for up to the 90 days permitted under the Schengen rules, but they will need to return to the UK for the residency visa application, as these applications require a physical appointment at the Spanish Consulate in the UK.

If you are interested in applying for residency in Spain and need further guidance, we recommend you seek the assistance of a legally trained professional.

Gabriella Mary Trussler Rowland
4408 Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Almería

When do I need an Apostille?

When do I need an Apostille?

The general rule is that for any official document issued in a foreign country to be valid and recognised in another, the document will need to legalised, or in the case of countries party to the Apostille Convention apostilled.

Exemption within the EU

As part of the EU’s administrative cooperation EU Regulation 2016/1191 came into effect on the 16th February 2019, simplifying the circulation of public documents between EU member States, and it applies to:

  • Administrative documents (such as certificates)
  • Notarial acts
  • Judgments
  • Consular documents

Said Regulation establishes an exemption from the Apostille, between EU member States, for these documents when they relate to the following subject matters:

  • Birth
  • A person being alive
  • Death
  • Name
  • Marriage (including capacity to marry and marriage status)
  • Divorce
  • Legal separation or marriage annulment
  • Registered partnership (including capacity to enter into a registered partnership and registered partnership status)
  • Dissolution of a registered partnership, legal separation or annulment or a registered partnership
  • Parenthood
  • Adoption
  • Domicile and/or residence
  • Nationality
  • Absence of a criminal record
  • Right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal/EU Parliament elections

Furthermore, the Regulation also establishes an exemption from translations, under certain conditions. This means that if the original document is not issued in a multilingual format, you will be able to request a Multilingual Standard Form from the issuing authority, which saves on translation costs.

What about the UK?

The UK was of course an EU member State at the time that the Regulation was passed, but some people may be wondering if this exemption continues to apply to documents issued by UK authorities after Brexit.

Said Regulation was applicable in the UK immediately before the implementation period completion day (31st December 2020), which means that, in accordance with Section 3 of the European Union Withdrawal Act 2018 and Section 25 of the European Union Withdrawal Agreement Act 2020, the Regulation forms part of “retained EU law” and continues to apply after the 31st December 2020, until further notice.

Gabriella Mary Trussler Rowland
4408 Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Almería

The new TIE for UK nationals: Who needs it?

The new TIE for UK nationals: Who needs it?

As we all know, the Brexit transition period means that UK nationals are able to enjoy their rights of free movement in Spain until the 31st December 2020. What you may not know is that UK nationals and their family members residing in Spain under the conditions laid down in the Withdrawal Agreement before the end of 2020 shall not be required to apply for a new resident status or to submit to a new documentation process. This means that anyone in possession of a green EU citizen registration certificate (A4 or card size) can use this document post-Brexit to establish their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

However, although not required to, they will be entitled to receive a residence document expressly reflecting their status as beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement (i.e TIE card).

This means there a three scenarios in which a TIE (“Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero”) card can be applied for by a UK national:

1. Those already in possession of an EU citizen registration certificate (green A4 page or green card without photo), but have not been legally residing for 5 years.

These people are able to request a TIE card, which will be issued for a period of 5 years and once they have been residing in Spain legally for 5 years they will be able to apply for permanent resident TIE card.

2. Those already in possession of an EU citizen registration certificate (green A4 page or green card without photo) and have been legally residing for 5 years, or possess a permanent residency certificate.

These can apply for a TIE card valid for a period of 10 years.

3. Those who do not possess an EU citizen registration certificate (green A4 page or green card without photo) and are applying for residency for the first time.

All applications submitted before the 31st December 2020 will be considered under the existing regulations for EU citizens. In the event that the application is successful these will be issued with a TIE card valid for 5 years.

It is very important that any UK nationals considering applying for residency move swiftly to ensure their application is able to be submitted before the end of the year.

Furthermore, as far as current residents go, although not required, it is advisable that they apply for their TIE card, as this will greatly facilitate matters such as travel and dealings with the administration.

We always advise you engage a legal professional to manage your application, especially now that the issue is so time sensitive, to avoid unnecessary complications and delays.

Gabriella Mary Trussler Rowland
4408 Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Almería

Inheritance Tax reform in Andalucia

Inheritance Tax reform in Andalucia

Finally, a much needed change to Inheritance Tax in Andalucia has arrived and will be coming into effect on the 1st January 2017. With Andalucia being one of the poorest regions of Spain it was becoming increasingly difficult to justify it being the region with the highest level of Inheritance Tax, forcing many inheritors to renounce their inheritance because of the unaffordable tax bill that came with it. Consequently, a restructuring of the tax had long been a matter of debate and negotiation, on a regional as well as a national scale.


Higher threshold

The main change brought about by the new Inheritance Tax reform is the increase of the general threshold from 175,000 € to 250,000 € for each individual beneficiary. This means that as long as the value of the part of the entire estate being inherited is under this amount, no Inheritance Tax will be owed by said heir.

In addition, to inheritances of between 250,000 € and 350,000 € a 200,000 € reduction is applied (e.g. if an inheritor’s share is valued in 270,000 € tax will only be due on 70,000 €). The effect of this change is to correct the leap that currently exists where, the moment the inheritance is even a euro over the threshold, Inheritance Tax is owed on the entire amount. This circumstance quite clearly placed inheritors at a comparative disadvantage, and was one of the main criticisms made of Inheritance Tax regulation in Andalucia.


Main residence

Another important change is the introduction of increasedallowances for the inheritance of the deceased’s main residence by spouses, ascendants or descendants, or collateral relations over 65 years-old. Specifically, a 100 % allowance is applied when the value of the property is under 123,000 €, which reduces 1 % each time as the property value band increases, with the minimum allowance being 95 % when the property is valued at anywhere over 242,000 €.

Furthermore, as of the 1st January the beneficiary will now only be required to maintain ownership of the property for 3 years, as opposed to 10 years as it stands at the moment.


How is the tax rate calculated?

The above allowance, together with any other allowance the heir may be entitled to, is applied to the amount above the general threshold to determine the taxable amount.

Once we have the taxable amount the Inheritance Tax scale is applied, as well as a coefficient that depends on the relation to the deceased and the inheritor’s existing assets, to determine the tax rate that applies. All of these aspects remain unaltered by the tax reform.


Will this apply to UK residents post Brexit?

The regional allowances for Andalucia in the event that both the deceased and the beneficiary are EU residents. When this is not the case, only state allowances may be applied, which are far fewer.

Therefore, depending on the result of the negotiations between the UK and the EU, these regional allowances will continue to be applied to UK residents post Brexit, or not.


It is important that all of these circumstances and potential costs are taken into account when preparing your will, so as to organise your will and manage your wealth in a way that will be most beneficial to yourself and your inheritors. All of which makes seeking professional assistance in these matters essential, to avoid any unexpected and costly surprises when it’s too late.


Gabriella Mary Trussler Rowland
4408 Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Almería

Living and working in Spain

Living and working in Spain

As we all know, citizens of EU and EEA member states are allowed free movement throughout the Spanish territory. This is in theory. In reality, since 11th July 2012, the conditions for residence in Spain for more than 3 months have become much stricter. (más…)