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