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As you know, Brexit will take place at the end of 2020 and we don’t know yet if there will be a deal or not. That means that coming to live in Spain can become quite difficult in terms of paperwork. If you have been living in Spain for years and haven’t registered as a resident yet or you are moving to Spain, we recommend you get the TIE card before the end of the year. Until then, the UK is part of the European Union and the process to get legal residency in Spain is much easier.

What is a TIE number in Spain?

The TIE document Is the new Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjeros for British expats in Spain and other non-EU residents. This identity card has your personal details, photo and fingerprints on it.

Anyone from the UK, including family members, must register in Spain as a resident if you live here for more than three months. Until now, UK citizens were part of the European Union and covered under the free movement regulation.

British nationals registered in Spain before the 6th of July 2020 have a green card or green paper that says they are residents in Spain. However, this document is no longer available for British expats moving to Spain now. The green card is only for European citizens and Brits need to get the TIE. 

How do you get a TIE in Spain?

You will need:

  • A valid passport of the applicant is needed. If the passport has expired or has been lost, you cannot apply for the TIE. The first step, in this case, is to get your passport renewed.
  • Another requirement for the TIE is to get healthcare cover in Spain. It can be either public or private.
  • In the case of family members of UK nationals, you need to prove the family tie by providing marriage certificates or birth certificates. The marriage certificate needs to be an updated one issued less than three months ago. Both marriage and birth certificates must be legalised. Of course, all these documents need to be translated into Spanish.

What happens if the TIE is not granted before the Brexit deadline?

Well, the criterion is that residency is granted from the application date. So even in the case that the residency is granted after the 31st of December, if you applied for it before that date you will get the special TIE document under the Withdrawal Agreement.

What if I already have a green residency certificate?

Then you have a valid document for living in Spain after Brexit. We want to make clear that the green document is still valid. However, we recommend you change it for the new TIE card, Spain, as soon as possible.

Why change your green residency paper to a TIE?

Because we don’t know when the authorities will require you to swap to the new Spain TIE card and how easy it will be to get it once it is made compulsory. I am sure all of you know how quickly the Spanish administration changes its requirements.

At the moment the process is easy. What is difficult is to get an appointment in the Alicante office because so many people are trying to get one. We can help you with this.

How long does a TIE last in Spain?

The new TIE document will be valid for five years. However, if you have a green residency document with the word “permanente” on it, you will get a TIE valid for 10 years.

What are the consequences of living in Spain without the TIE?

If you do not have the TIE or green residency document, you cannot be in Spain for more than 90 days in any 183-day period. Please, be aware that this is the rule for non-European countries. It seems logical to think that, after Brexit, the UK will be considered a non-European country.

On the other hand, if you have the TIE you cannot be out of Spain for more than six months in a calendar year, otherwise you will lose the residency status and the TIE card.

How can you get the TIE card, Spain?

We can help you get the TIE card for British expats in Spain. Get in touch for further information.