THE UK-EU WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT
All UK nationals who were legally resident in Spain at the end of 2020 have their rights protected, including the right to live and work in Spain as well as lifelong access to healthcare for UK state pensioners, including those who claim a pension in the future.
In July 2020, the Spanish Government introduced a new residency document for UK nationals, known as the ‘Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE)’ – the Foreigner’s Identity Card.
If you already have the green residency certificate in A4 or credit-card sized version, they are both valid for proving your residency status in Spain and your rights as a beneficiary of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement. At the time of writing (July 2021), you can choose to change your current residency certificate for the new biometric TIE card but there is no requirement to do so as the A4 certificate or card provide the same rights as the new TIE card. However, the Spanish authorities have confirmed that the TIE may simplify some administrative processes and advise changing as soon as possible.
Click here for a full description of the exchange process based on our own experiences when we went through the procedure in August 2021.
There have been reports of UK nationals resident in Spain before December 31st 2020 having issues at the border with the green A4 certificate. The Spanish Government has produced an informative note in both English and Spanish (see the link below) which explains which documents can be used to prove residency and your rights in Spain as a UK national benefiting from the Withdrawal Agreement.
Post-BREXIT UK nationals entering Spain are now regarded as third-country nationals and will be required to apply for residency through general immigration.
The Spanish Government also provides information on the conditions of entry, stay, study, residence, and work that foreign citizens from third-countries in the link below (in Spanish):
RESIDENCY IN SPAIN FOR EU CITIZENS
All EU and EEA citizens have a right to live and work in Spain. However, they are required to register themselves as resident by applying for a “Certificado de Registro” from the OFICINA DE EXTRANJEROS (Foreigner’s Office) if they intend to stay for more than 90 days.
Note that it is now no longer necessary for those applying for a residency certificate to submit a separate application for an N.I.E. as this number is now incorporated in the residence certificate application process.
Since 2012, all EU citizens applying for residency in Spain will be required to produce evidence of sufficient financial means to support themselves (and dependants). Applicants will also be asked for proof of private or public healthcare insurance. From May 2013, the certificate has been replaced by a small identification card.
You should carry your residency document (the A4 certificate or TIE card) as well as your passport when you travel to provide proof that you are resident in Spain. This is particularly important if you are a UK national because if you can’t provide proof, you may be subjected to additional scrutiny at the borders to enter the Schengen area and your passport may be stamped. This won’t affect your rights in Spain though.
- A valid passport or recognised official identification PLUS a copy. If it has expired during the application process, a copy will be required as well as proof of application for its renewal.
- One of the following completed forms (external links below):
- Form EX-18: Solicitud de Certificado de Registro de Residencia Comunitaria.
- Form EX-19: Solicitud de Tarjeta de Residencia de Familiar de Ciudadano de la UE.
- The completed form Modelo 790 Código 012 (Reconocimientos, Autorizaciones y Concursos) which is your proof of payment of the required administration fee. You will need to select the option “Certificado de registro de residente de comunitario o Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de un ciudadano de la Unión” and then pay the necessary fee at a bank and receive a stamped receipt.
- Certificado de Empadronamiento – It is a legal obligation to register with the Town Hall where you reside. A certificate is issued by the Ayuntamiento where you live.
- If you are employed, you must produce the following:
- a certificate of employment which includes details of the employer (company name and address), tax identification and social security number;
- an employment contract registered with the Public Employment Service or a document of registration similar to the corresponding Social Security System. (These will not be necessary if the applicant agrees to have his details checked against the General Social Security Finance Office files “Ficheros de la Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social”.)
- If you are self-employed, you must produce the following:
- a certificate of registration on the “Censo de Actividades Económicos” or proof that the applicant is registered in the “Registro Mercantil” or a document of registration similar to the corresponding Social Security System. (This will not be necessary if the applicant agrees to have his details checked against the General Social Security Finance Office files “Ficheros de la Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social”.)
- If you are employed, self-employed or have recently retired from working, you may need to provide an ‘Informe de Vida Laboral’ which shows your work history and the insurance contributions that you have made over the previous 12 months. This can be requested from the INSS (social security) office in Denia or you can apply online with a digital signature.
- Applicants who do not work in Spain must produce documentation proving that they comply with the following conditions:That they have public or private health insurance contracted in Spain or another country, provided it ensures cover in Spain during their period of residence equivalent to the cover provided by National Health Service. This will be achieved through the production of a certificate which states “Cobertura integral médica, quirúrgica hospitalaria”. Pensioners will meet this condition if they can prove by appropriate certification that they are entitled to health care paid for by the State from which they receive their pension.
- That they have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members so as not to become a burden on Spain’s social assistance system dring their period of residence. They would need to supply proof of a regular income whether it be through employment in another country, ownership of assets, property deeds and any other capital income and provide a bank certificate showing a minimum monthly income of 619 euros.
Download and complete “Form EX-18: Solicitud de inscripción en el Registro Central de Extranjeros Residencia ciudadano de la UE”. It is in PDF format with the ability to fill in your details on the screen; if the required fields are not highlighted, click on the button in the top right (‘Highlight Fields’ | ‘Resaltar Campos’). When completed, click on the [IMPRIMIR] button at the bottom of the form to print it. You will find some translations below. (For family applications, download and complete Form EX-19.)
The Application Process
Appointments can be made online using this link.
Page 1 – PROVINCIAS DISPONIBLES: Select “Alicante” and press [Aceptar].
Page 2 – TRÁMITES CUERPO NACIONAL DE POLICÍA: Select “POLICIA-CERTIFICADO DE REGISTRO DE CIUDADANO DE LA U.E.” and press [Aceptar].
Page 3 – Confirmation of documentation required as well as other application details. Press [Entrar].
Page 4 – INTERNET CITA PREVIA. Select “PASAPORTE” and input your passport number without spaces and hyphens. Then input your FULL NAME, DATE OF BIRTH and NATIONALITY (select “REINO UNIDO”). Note: These details must be identical to those on your passport. Press [Aceptar] to continue.
Page 5 – Click on [CITA PREVIA] to request an appointment. The system will provide the location of the appointment and the available slots for that appointment. If there are none available, the system will tell you immediately and you will have to wait and try again as they release more appointment slots daily.
After selecting an appointment, you will receive a code on your mobile phone which you will need to enter straight away as the application is time-sensitive. If you are accepted, you will receive a confirmation e-mail which will include your appointment number, the office, the date, the time and other specific details to submit your application.
NOTE: During the current COVID-19 health crisis, many administrative procedures are being centralised in Alicante, although you may be lucky and receive an appointment for the Dénia office. If you are determined for the latter, you can go through the above process several times in order to try and be presented with a more local appointment. We are told that there is only one person currently dealing with these applications in Dénia. If you are in a hurry, we suggest accepting the first appointment that is offered.
The Application Process
Armed with all the required documentation, head for your assigned office to carry out the process. It’s simple and you just need to keep an eye and ear out for your name and/or appointment number to be announced. The staff are normally well experienced with these applications so don’t be too nervous about it. If necessary, if your Spanish language skills are not particularly good, practise a few phrases that you might think important to know.