An update from the British Embassy to UK nationals in Spain

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As you may be aware, negotiations are continuing on the UK’s exit from the EU and some of you have asked what that means for you as UK nationals living in Spain. Please remember that citizens’ rights are already protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, which was ratified by the UK and the EU in January. This guarantees your rights and means that as long as you are legally resident here by the end of 2020:

  • you will be able to continue to live and work in Spain
  • UK state pensioners will continue to have lifelong healthcare access as long as they remain living in Spain (this also applies to residents who claim a UK state pension in the future)
  • and your UK state pension will continue to be uprated.

Therefore, our key message remains to register as a resident as soon as you are able. Many of you have contacted us to ask when residency appointments will be available again, given the recent coronavirus lockdown. We understand that in those provinces that have now moved into phase 2 or 3 of the Spanish Government’s de-escalation plan, some offices are opening a limited number of appointments. However, many may not have their appointment systems back up and running yet. You should keep checking the Spanish Public Administration portal (https://sede.administracionespublicas.gob.es/icpplus/index.html) to see if appointments are available in your area. You may need to be patient as provinces are lifting restrictions at different rates.

Some of you have also asked us about the introduction of the TIE (Foreigner Identity Card), the residence document that will explicitly show you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. The Spanish authorities have not yet announced when this will be introduced. In the meantime, those registering for the first time will be issued with the green residency certificate.

HMA Hugh Elliott said: ““I know that because of the suspension of residency appointments during the state of emergency, many UK nationals are concerned about their ability to obtain the correct documentation before 31 December. I want to reassure people on two points. If you already have the green residency certificate, your core rights are protected and it remains a valid document, even after the end of the transition period.

If you don’t yet have your green residency certificate there is, likewise, no need for alarm. We continue to advise people to get an appointment as soon as you can. However, as long as you are living in Spain and can prove that you satisfy the legal conditions of residence (ie. sufficient income and access to healthcare) by 31 December 2020, your rights are assured even if you are not able to get the physical document before the end of the year.”

Another of our key messages continues to be to exchange your UK driving licence for a Spanish one. For those who are yet to do so, the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) has provided information on their website about the Jefaturas Provinciales opening for appointments in those areas that have moved to phase 2 or 3. The page also provides instructions on the measures citizens must take when attending their appointment. Further information is available here: http://www.dgt.es/es/prensa/notas-de-prensa/2020/Las_Jefaturas_Provinciales_de_Trafico_reabriran.shtml. Remember, you will be able to exchange your driving licence until the end of 2020 without taking a test, so please do make an appointment as soon as you are able to.

For further information for UK nationals visit:

gov.uk/livinginspain
https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/brexit/howtoprepare/Paginas/index.aspx
facebook.com/britsinspain