British residents are encouraged to register as legally resident before 31st December 2020 to guarantee their rights now Britain has left the EU. This applies if you are NOT already in possession of the green certificate or small green paper by 6th July 2020. If you already have a green residency document, YOU DO NOT NEED TO TAKE ANY ACTION NOW, as you are already registered and protected as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement.
The UK left the European Union on 31st January 2020 and there is a legal implementation/transition period until 31st December 2020 when, although the UK is officially outside the EU, everything stays the same for UK nationals resident in Spain, including those newly arriving by the 31st December, and visitors from the UK.
The good news is that the Withdrawal Agreement, now signed by the EU and the UK, guarantees that key rights (and obligations) of UK nationals already legally resident in Spain BEFORE 31st December 2020 will be preserved indefinitely in the future; including your long-term residency, healthcare, work, current and future pensions, benefits etc.
On the other hand, rights for British visitors, holidaymakers and non residents, including length of stay, driving on holiday and emergency healthcare, are being negotiated with the EU after the Withdrawal Agreement has been ratified, as are the rights of Britons who arrive AFTER the end of the 31st December transition period to live.
The EU-citizen residency certificates (green A4 pieces of paper or credit-card sized green papers) are valid indefinitely after the transition period and can still be used to verify UK citizens’ guaranteed rights in Spain.
If you have NOT got the green card or green piece of paper, then a new process applies from 6th July to 31st December 2020. The rules to satisfy residency requirements are still the same but an extra step has been been added.
From 6th July, if you are a British national applying for residency for the first time, you will not receive a green certificate or small green paper, but a TIE photo card (“Tarjeta de Identiidad de Extranjero“) instead. If you already have a green coloured document (whether it says ‘permanente‘ or not), you can still use it and it will be accepted indefinitely, but you may swap to a TIE photo card if they wish.
For fuller details on the process and useful links on the new process see our information page by clicking here.
Official government websites with the latest news
If you haven’t already done so, see the UK government’s Living in Spain (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain) and from here you can sign up for email alerts to be sent to you when and if this information is updated or changed.
Follow https://www.facebook.com/BritsInSpain/ from the British Embassy in Madrid for news.
More details on the agreement with the EU and what it entails for UK nationals living in Spain or coming to live in Spain are on this UK government link.
The Spanish government provides more information in English on plans for Britons living in Spain on this link http://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/brexit/howtoprepare/Paginas/190108residence.aspx and the equivalent in Spanish is here: https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/brexit/preparacion2/Paginas/271218_residenciatrabajo.aspx
Other useful links
The following independent groups can also provide additional information and support on the EU exit process:
Last Updated: 10th August 2020