As the transition period for the UK’s departure from the EU ends on 31 December 2020, HMA Hugh Elliott and Spain's Secretary of State for Migration, Hana Jalloul, have recorded a joint message for UK nationals living in Spain.
Hana Jalloul recognised that many British nationals have built their homes in Spain and underlined that the Spanish government views them as part of the Spanish family.
She also emphasised that anyone who was legally living in Spain before 31 December 2020 will have their rights protected and recognised in Spain.
“I know that 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. As I said in July, this is, and will always be, your home… my key message is, as long as you were legally living here before 31 December your rights will be protected, and recognised in Spain”.
You can view the video message here.
The message was also to provide reassurance and clarity regarding the new Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) and the continuing validity of the green certificate and residency documents.
More than 50,000 British nationals have already applied for the new TIE card since its introduction in July 2020.
Speaking about the TIE, minister Hana Jalloul highlighted the practical advantages of the new TIE card by saying, “the Spanish Government would like to keep on encouraging British Nationals to exchange their green residency document for the new biometric TIE card as it may speed up administrative processes and, especially in the current situation regarding border crossings.
"Having the new TIE is not obligatory but it will make life easier here in Spain."
The Secretary of State also reminded people of the increased number of people working in police and immigration departments that the Spanish government have put into place to facilitate this process, and that they can complete the first stage of their application for a TIE with a digital certificate or a third party can do so on their behalf. For information on applying for a digital certificate, please see here.
The British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, acknowledged the questions The British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott, acknowledged the questions that people had about the new TIE, and if they needed to exchange their green certificate.
Reminding people of the validity of the green certificate, the Ambassador said, “It’s important to be very clear – if you already have a green residency certificate this document remains valid proof of your residency and of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. It is not obligatory to exchange it. There is no hard deadline to exchange it either.”
To assist UK nationals living in Spain before 31st December 2020, the Ambassador and Secretary of State drew attention to a document that will be created by the Spanish Government that they will share with the relevant authorities and that UK nationals can download, that clarifies the continued validity of the green residency document.
Spain's Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones has also published a comprehensive Question and Answer document (in both English and Spanish) to provide answers to the questions UK nationals may have about their residency status and the new process.