Thousands of British Expats to Receive New Residency Status

July 8th, 2020

Starting Monday 6th of July 2020, the Directorate General of Migration and the National Police will issue -upon application- a new residency card and, with it, a new residency status for British expats specifically created pursuant to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (Part Two), published jointly by the EU and the UK on the 14th of November 2018.

This new residency sits in between the standard EU-citizens and the non-EU citizens status, and will have its own terms and conditions, in particular in respect to duration of the residency cards (and notably the introduction of a photo on the card).

These are the most important points to consider:

  • UK nationals residents in Spain prior to the 31st of December 2020 will have the rights to residency, freedom of movement and Social Security as recognized in the Withdrawal Agreement. Applicants for residency after this end date may have others, either those recognized in a future agreement between the EU and the UK or, by default, those recognized by existing Spanish laws and those that may be approved.
  • UK nationals (and their family members) will not have to apply for a new status but will be entitled to receive a card that confirms their status as beneficiaries of the rights contained in the Withdrawal Agreement.
  • The Instruction refers to various “statuses” and procedures:
    • Applicants who have been residents for a period above 5 years and do have a permanent residency certificate, will submit their applications at the Police Station, receiving a permanent 10-year residency card.
    • Applicants who have been residents for a period above 5 years but do NOT have a permanent residency certificate, will submit their applications at the Police Station, receiving a permanent 10-year residency card.
    • Applicants who have been residents for a period under 5 years but do have a residency certificate, will submit their applications at the Police Station, receiving a “temporary” 5-year residency card.
    • Applicants who do not have a residency certificate will submit their applications initially at the Foreigners Office and once approved, they will need to request the issuance of their 5-year validity cards at the Police Station.
  • UK nationals arriving in Spain after the end date of the transition period (31st of December 2020), will have 3 months to apply for residency. Where not, the authorities reserve their right to grant extra time to submit the application.
  • Temporary or extended absences from Spain will not affect the rights under the residency cards.

Finally, further to the end of the transition period, Spanish authorities may request that British citizens apply for residency under the various options granted to any non-EU does (non-lucrative residency permits, self-employed work authorization and residency permit etc.).

2 thoughts on “Thousands of British Expats to Receive New Residency Status

  1. Steve Matthews

    Could I make a telephone appointment to speak with your company. I need assistance for either a TIE application or preferably a temporary five year residency. Law bird previously obtained my N.I.E.
    I have spoken to two ‘agencies’ here in Mallorca that process applications, I was not impressed with the initial contact and neither was their response to my questions convincing, I felt that there was a lack of knowledge between TIE and temporary residence.
    My thoughts for temporary residency are based on that I want to continue to work from home here, at some point I will move to another part of the world to work. I work in the oil and gas exploration and production industry. Few can understand that this work is rarely confined to long periods in one location, for this reason my application needs professional advice.

  2. Patricia Martin

    Hello Steve,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Please feel free to call us during office hours Monday through Friday.

    Note that TIE stands for Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero, that is the document that a foreigner eventually gets after having been granted a residence (with or without work) authorization in Spain. Therefore, the TIE is not an authorization per se, but the documentation proving it with the ID details of the holder on it. It has no validity without a residence permit authorization application processed in advance.

    I believe that your main concern is related to the minimum stay requirements of your authorization, as you need to remain in Spain for at least 6 months per year to be able to renew the authorization upon expiry. Whenever there are work related reasons, those 6 months out of Spain can be extended for 2 more months, so as long as you re in Spain for at least 4 months per year you will always be in a position to renew your temporary residence permit. However, you may have found some controversy around the type of permit you´d be granted due to the particular work position you have, since it doesn´t fit in the Non Lucrative residence permit holder profile( someone that does not work at all in Spain, because their income is generated abroad, and has no work commitments requiring them to be out of Spain) nor the self-employed worker one (someone who has started a business or self-employed work activity registered in Spain), or the salaried worker one ( someone employed in Spain by a registered employer in Spain).

    This particular case must be discussed with the immigration office that will initially point out that as a UK citizen that can stay in Spain up to 180 days in Spain per year ( 90 days every 180) without the need of a visa, you would not be in need of a residence permit if yo don´t plan to remain longer than 6 months in Spain every year (observing the 90 days rule). If your situation needs particular consideration, a specific information request must be made at the corresponding Immigration office.

    Please contact us if you wish to discuss further.

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