Letter from the British embassy to Ex-pats living in Spain reading the new TIE CARD for British citizens

Letter from British Embassy Madrid.

Dear All,

I hope everyone is well. There are a few things to update you on, most importantly the introduction of the TIE Card.

1.  TIE: As I’m sure 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 and we have received a huge number of questions on social media. Therefore, we would appreciate your help in underlining two key 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.

We know people will have lots of questions about the process itself and we are currently updating our gov.uk/livinginspain 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.

2.  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 attached document gives you further details about the organisations and their current plans. As you will see, we do not have this targeted support for the whole of Spain, but the organisations’ websites and helplines will be available for people anywhere in Spain.

3.  Healthcare information: We also wanted you to be aware of a change to our online healthcare information. We now 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 www.healthcareinspain.eu  Please be aware that this website has now been closed. 

We’d like to thank anyone who visited the page and offered comments and feedback over the last few years.  Please be assured that we will continue to provide the latest information and updates regarding healthcare on our Healthcare in Spain page, and via our Brits in Spain Facebook page.

We are very keen to hear your feedback and any general comments and questions from your members. But I would ask that people do not email me directly with individual questions nor pass on my email address to others. Whilst I am happy to help where I can, I am in the Embassy comms team and our consular teams are much better placed to assist with individual questions. You can find their details on gov.uk or you can contact us via social media. Far too short notice, I know, but you may also want to join our Facebook Live Q&A this evening (8 July) at 19:00 (CET), which will also be available to watch afterwards and may answer many of the questions you have.

All Best,


Debbi Christophers | Consular Communications Officer | Communications Team | British Embassy Madrid

How to get a TIE CARD in Spain

How to use the police status checker website for TIE CARDS

New TIE Card system launches in Spain for British Citizens wanting to remain in Spain after the Brexit transition period.

The Spanish government have today (6th July) launched the new Residency system for British nationals/passport holders wishing to remain in Spain after the 31st December 2020.

This is the press release regarding TIE CARDS from the Spanish government:

Migraciones e Interior firman la Instrucción sobre el procedimiento para la expedición del documento de residencia a los nacionales de Reino Unido residentes en España

El objetivo es establecer un procedimiento de documentación para los ciudadanos de Reino Unido que residen en España, así como para sus familiares en cumplimiento del Acuerdo de Retirada negociado entre RU y la UE El procedimiento estará operativo a partir del 6 de julio de 2020 y distingue entre aquellos que ya contaban con un certificado de registro o tarjeta de familiar de ciudadano de la UE y aquellos que no contaban con ellos por diversos motivos

El Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones, a través de la Secretaría de Estado de Migraciones, junto con el Ministerio de Interior, a través de la Secretaría de Estado de Seguridad, han firmado una Instrucción, publicada hoy en el BOE, por la que se determina el procedimiento a seguir para la expedición del documento de residencia previsto en el artículo 18.4 del Acuerdo de Retirada del Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña e Irlanda del Norte de la Unión Europea y de la Comunidad Europea de la Energía Atómica.

Dicho acuerdo aborda un proceso de documentación de los ciudadanos británicos residentes en un Estado miembro de la Unión con el fin de diferenciar entre quienes ejerzan su derecho a la libre circulación antes del 31 de diciembre de 2020 y quienes lleguen con posterioridad a dicha fecha. Los primeros se beneficiarán de los derechos en materia de residencia, libre circulación y Seguridad Social reconocidos expresamente en el Acuerdo de Retirada. 

Nacionales de Reino Unido que residen en España 

España, actualmente el país de la Unión Europea con más residentes procedentes de Reino Unido, cuenta ya con un sistema de registro de ciudadanos UE. A 31 de diciembre de 2019, nuestro país contaba con 359.471 nacionales de Reino Unido en posesión de un certificado de registro. Por este motivo, a la hora de documentar a los británicos residentes en España y teniendo en cuenta las opciones del Acuerdo, se ha optado, a través de esta Instrucción, por un proceso de documentación basado en el sistema de registro actual, acompañándolo de todas las garantías e incentivos necesarios para que se registren también los británicos que residen en nuestro país y que, por diversas razones, todavía no lo han hecho. Este documento de residencia mencionará explícitamente su condición de beneficiario del Acuerdo de Retirada y tendrá una validez de 5 ó 10 años en función del tiempo que el ciudadano lleve viviendo en España.

Son igualmente beneficiarios del Acuerdo, y por tanto podrán solicitar dicho documento de residencia, los familiares de los nacionales de Reino Unido beneficiarios de un Acuerdo que proceden de un tercer país. Es importante subrayar que los certificados de registro y tarjetas de familiares de ciudadano de la UE obtenidos antes de la finalización del periodo transitorio seguirán teniendo validez y, de hecho, servirán para acreditar su residencia legal en España con posterioridad y poder beneficiarse así de las previsiones del Acuerdo de Retirada. No obstante, podrán solicitar la expedición de un documento de residencia en el que se mencionará explícitamente su condición de beneficiario del Acuerdo de Retirada.

Inicio procedimiento de documentación 

Este nuevo procedimiento estará operativo a partir del 6 de julio de 2020 y distinguirá entre aquellos que ya contaban con un certificado de registro o tarjeta de familiar de ciudadano de la UE, y los que no estaban en posesión de los mismos por diversos motivos. 

Esta Instrucción, firmada desde la Dirección General de Policía y la Dirección General de Migraciones, busca garantizar las previsiones del Acuerdo y permitir que los británicos, en el ejercicio de sus derechos, puedan solicitar el documento de residencia que les acredita como beneficiarios del Acuerdo de retirada.

Which translates in into to:

Migrations and the Interior sign the Instruction on the procedure for issuing the residence document to United Kingdom nationals residing in Spain

The objective is to establish a documentation procedure for United Kingdom citizens residing in Spain, as well as for their relatives in compliance with the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated between the UK and the EU. The procedure will be operational from July 6, 2020 and distinguishes between those who already had a registration certificate or family card of an EU citizen and those who did not have them for various reasons

The Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations, through the Secretary of State for Migrations, together with the Ministry of the Interior, through the Secretary of State for Security, have signed an Instruction, published today in the BOE, by the that the procedure to be followed for issuing the residence document provided for in Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community is determined.

This agreement addresses a process of documentation of British citizens residing in a Member State of the Union in order to differentiate between those who exercise their right to free movement before December 31, 2020 and those who arrive after that date. The former will benefit from the rights regarding residence, free movement and Social Security expressly recognized in the Withdrawal Agreement.

United Kingdom nationals residing in Spain Spain, currently the European Union country with the most residents from the United Kingdom, already has an EU citizen registration system. As of December 31, 2019, our country had 359,471 United Kingdom nationals in possession of a registration certificate. For this reason, when documenting British residents in Spain and taking into account the options of the Agreement, through this Instruction, a documentation process based on the current registration system has been chosen, accompanying all the guarantees and incentives necessary for the British who reside in our country and who, for various reasons, have not yet done so, to register. 

This residence document will explicitly mention your status as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement and will be valid for 5 or 10 years depending on the time the citizen has lived in Spain. The relatives of United Kingdom nationals who are beneficiaries of an Agreement and who come from a third country are also beneficiaries of the Agreement, and therefore may request said residence document. It is important to emphasize that the registration certificates and family cards of EU citizens obtained before the end of the transitional period will continue to be valid and, in fact, will serve to prove their legal residence in Spain afterwards and thus be able to benefit from the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement. 

However, they may request the issuance of a residence document in which their status as beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement will be explicitly mentioned. Start documentation procedure This new procedure will be operational from July 6, 2020 and will distinguish between those who already had a registration certificate or family card of an EU citizen, and those who were not in possession of them for various reasons. This Instruction, signed from the Directorate General of Police and the Directorate General of Migrations, seeks to guarantee the provisions of the Agreement and allow the British, in the exercise of their rights, to request the residence document that accredits them as beneficiaries of the Agreement of withdrawal.