Many of you will have seen, on Monday the Spanish Government introduced a new residency document for UK nationals who are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement – the Tarjeta de identidad de extranjero or TIE. This means some changes to the appointments process and anyone registering from now on will be issued with the biometric TIE card, rather than the current green paper document. You can find all the detail in the boletin oficial del estado.
There has been lots of concern from members of the British community in Spain so there are two key underlying points:
– All British nationals, who are legally resident in Spain by the end of this year, will have their rights protected, including the right to live and work here, and lifelong access to healthcare for UK state pensioners, including those who claim a pension in the future. These are not affected by the current negotiations taking place between the UK and the EU.
– Whether you already have the green residency certificate – A4 or credit card-sized version – or the new TIE, they are equally valid in demonstrating your residence status and your rights as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement. And whilst you may choose to exchange your current certificate for a TIE at some point in the future, there is no requirement to do so. The green residency document gives you the same rights as the new TIE card.
There is one group of people who must take action. If you live here, but don’t already have a green residency certificate, you must apply for the new TIE as soon as possible. A link to the Spanish administration website is here.
We know people will have lots of questions about the process itself and the Embassy have updated their Living in Spain Guide guide to reflect the changes.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that the system is very new and different provinces will be introducing it at different rates. Also, COVID restrictions mean that there will be fewer presencial appointments available. However, people do have time to get their residency certificate and as long as they are legally resident in Spain (meeting the current residency requirements) then they will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, even if they don’t have the document itself by 31 December.
You can see HMA Hugh Elliott talking about this in a short video
And here is the Q&A from the informative online event this week
UK Nationals Support Fund: As you may already know, the UK Government has made funds available to support UK nationals in the EU to complete their residency applications and secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
In Spain, three organisations have been funded to provide this support: the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Babelia and Age in Spain. Their remit is to support the most vulnerable UK nationals, providing targeted assistance to individuals who face specific challenges, such as people living with disabilities or chronic illness, those facing language and literacy barriers, or barriers in accessing relevant technology.
The below information gives you further details about the organisations and their current plans. As you will see, this targeted support is not available for the whole of Spain, but the organisations’ websites and helplines will be available for people anywhere in Spain.
UKNSF is a new support group for vulnerable UK nationals which may be very interesting for your organisation as applying for residency first time is rather complicated since July 6th.
Healthcare information: there has been a change to the online healthcare information. The British Embassy have one definitive guide to Healthcare in Spain on gov.uk. This page has been recently updated. It includes information about how you can access healthcare in Spain as a resident, and up-to-date information about your right to access healthcare during and after the transitional period. You can also sign up for alerts on this page, so that you can keep up to date with any new information.
Some people may have previously used HealthcareinSpain.eu site. Please be aware that this website has now been closed.
Please be assured that the British Embassy will continue to provide the latest information and updates regarding healthcare on their Healthcare in Spain page, and via the Brits in Spain Facebook page.