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The new Brexit-friendly residency card

On 4 July 2020, the Spanish authorities introduced a new residency card for British nationals in Spain. Known as the TIE (tarjeta de identidad de extranjero), the new card expressly states that the holder is a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU.

In this article, we look at how to apply for the TIE and discuss its advantages.

What is the TIE?

The new residency card is an ID card with a photo that confirms the holder’s right to live in Spain. More importantly for British nationals, the TIE specifically says that the holder is a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Why is having a TIE important?

When the UK officially left the EU earlier this year, a transitional period started that lasts until 31 December. During this period, the Withdrawal Agreement (known as “acuerdo de retirada” in Spanish) is in place and gives British citizens living in the EU the same rights as EU citizens.

These rights include freedom of movement to travel and work within the EU from 1 January 2021 when the transitional period comes to an end.

To benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement, you must be a registered resident in Spain before 31 December 2020.

How do I apply for the TIE?

There are two application procedures depending on your current residency status in Spain.

British nationals who are already officially resident in Spain

You should download and complete form EX20 You then need to book an appointment at the nearest National Police Station to your home in Spain and take the completed form, a photo and passport. You should also take your current residence permit (green EU certificate) and pay the corresponding fee.

British nationals who are not yet officially resident in Spain

If you are not resident in Spain, you need to book an appointment at the Provincial Foreigners Office and apply for the TIE. This process can take up to three months, although once you make your application your status in Spain is legal.

When your application is approved, you have 30 days to go to the National Police Station nearest to your home in Spain where you follow the procedure outlined above.

To benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement, you must be a registered resident in Spain before 31 December 2020.

Do I have to apply in person?

No, you can appoint a representative to do the paperwork for you. At Costaluz Lawyers, we offer a full service for residency in Spain.

How long is the TIE valid for?

The TIE has two types of validity:

5 years – for British nationals who are applying for residency for the first time or have been resident in Spain for less than 5 years when they apply. This is a temporary TIE.

10 years – for British nationals who have been officially resident in Spain for more than 5 years. This is a permanent TIE and valid for 10 years.

What about family members?

Your dependents also qualify for a TIE under the same conditions are you and the application procedure is similar.

Find out more about residency options in Spain

Contact us to find out how we can help you save time and stress when you apply for yours.

María Luisa de Castro


María founded CostaLuz Lawyers in 2006 and is the Firm’s Director. María is registered Lawyer number 2745 of the Cadiz Bar Association and is licensed to practice in all areas of law throughout Spain. Working closely with her team, María has developed the firm into one of the most highly regarded and trusted Spanish Law Firms acting for English speaking clients with legal problems in Spain.

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