The UK's ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, and the Spanish Secretary of State for Migrations, Hana Jalloul, have sent our a joint message this week to British residents in this country.
The video message comes one week on from the introduction of a new residency document for UK nationals protected by the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement and some changes to the application process.
With the aim or providing clarity and reassurance, the representatives of both governments acknowledged the many questions from UK nationals about the new system. They made it clear that the green residency certificate (whether A4 or credit card-sized) remains valid proof of residency status and rights under the Withdrawal Agreement for the UK's exit from the EU, even after the end of the transition period.
Speaking about the introduction of the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero, TIE, Hana Jalloul said: “If you already have a green residency certificate, you don’t have to apply for a new status as a resident in Spain, and the documents you already have as an EU resident in Spain remain valid. And most importantly, as long as you are legally resident in Spain before 31 December your rights are guaranteed."
She stressed, however, that anyone already resident, or who is coming to live in Spain before the end of this year, and does not already have the green document must take action.
"I encourage anyone who does not yet have your residency certificate to apply to the immigration authorities as soon as you can,” said Jalloul.
The ambassador has also reminded UK nationals of the rights protected by the Withdrawal Agreement: “You will be able to continue to live and work in Spain. UK state pensioners will continue to have lifelong healthcare access as long as they remain living in Spain (this also applies to residents who claim a UK state pension in the future) and your UK state pension will continue to be uprated. That’s why it is so important that you register as a resident as soon as possible.”
The Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones (the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations) has published a comprehensive Q&A document (in both English and Spanish) to provide answers to the questions UK nationals may have about their residency status and the new process.
To end the video, Hana Jalloul said: “Many of you have built your homes here and we want you to stay. [...] You are part of the Spanish family. You are part of us. The Spanish Government is here to support you in this new phase and we want to send you a very clear message: this is, and will always be, your home.”
The video can be viewed here.