Spain | how to apply for the new residency card

Spain | how to apply for the new residency card

It’s hard to keep up with the fast-changing rules about travelling to and from Spain right now. However there’s at least some clarity for those Britons seeking to apply for Spanish residency by the end of the year.

By law, under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, European Union member countries must provide new Brexit residency cards for Britons. Whilst the French version has been delayed until October 1st, Spain put into place the new procedures on 6th July for how to apply and obtain the new TIE (Tarjeta de Identificacion Extranjeros) residency card.

For those people who haven’t officially been resident in Spain yet, new applications can be submitted electronically by their authorised legal representative, or lawyer. 

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Alternatively, new applications can be presented in person at the Foreigners Office in the province where the applicant lives, or wishes to move to. If their legal rep accompanies them, they can receive notification of the approval. 

Within a month of the date of the approval, the applicant must arrange an appointment at any designated police station that deals with residency applications in the province where they reside. The TIE card will not be issued on the day of their appointment. Collection will be notified by email within a month. An appointment is required for this.

Bear in mind that although British citizens have until 30th June 2021 to apply for residency, they need to prove that they have been resident in Spain before 31 December 2020 (even if for only a month or so) so don’t completely despair if you have been delayed getting out to Spain by the latest coronavirus restrictions. 

All British citizens and their family members who arrive in Spain after 1 January 2021 and who cannot prove prior residency in Spain, will have to apply for residency as a non-EU citizen. Negotiations between the UK and EU as to residency requirements from 1 January 2021 onwards are still ongoing. 

“It’s best advice is to apply before December to avoid disappointment,” says Alex Radford of My Lawyer in Spain, flagging up the uncertainty surrounding travel restrictions and pandemic local lockdowns. “Plus there’s a lot of pent-up demand [that could lead to last-minute backlogs].”

For those British citizens already settled in Spain - with a residency card less than five years old - they must can apply for the new residency card personally by appointment only at any designated police station that deals with residency applications in the province where they live. The residency card that will be issued will have a duration of five years and after this period, it should be renewed.

Been settled in Spain for over five years (but without a permanent residency card)?  You can do the same, and once the duration of your residency has been verified, the new “PERMANENT” residency card will be valid for a period of 10 years. If you already have the PERMANENT card, the same process will be required, but you will receive your new 10-year TIE within a month. Collection by appointment, as above.

If you are starting the residency process from scratch, bear in mind you will need proof of permanent address, registration on the census known as the padron, electric and water bills in your name(s) and also local bank accounts with living expenses going in.  

You will need to prove your financial self-sufficiency by showing a certain amount of money: this varies from town to town, but is generally between €6,000 and €9,000. Check local requirements with a company specialising in residency. You will also need a NIE (Tax) number and healthcare cover (if under 65).

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Liz Rowlinson