British nationals living in Spain have been advised to exchange their residency certificates for a TIE card.
The announcement came via the UK's Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott who said that the Spanish authorities were now encouraging those with the older style residency documents to exchange them to the new biometric card.
Via their Facebook page, the British Embassy in Spain said: “Although it is not obligatory, both we and the Spanish authorities do now strongly encourage UK nationals who have a green certificate, to exchange this for a TIE.”
In a video posted to the page Elliott said: “If you registered for residency in Spain before July last year, the document you’ll have been given will have been a green registration certificate - either the credit card or A4-size version.
“We know that some of you have been having difficulty accessing services. As always said, the green certificate is a valid document to prove your residency and your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement in Spain and that’s not changing.
“However, both we and the Spanish government would now encourage you to take steps to exchange the green certificate for the new biometric TIE.”
Elliott went on to explain the three main reasons that people were now being advised to exchange their existing documents. Firstly, the card explicitly states your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. Secondly, it will make the day-to-day administrative processes far easier. And finally, because the new TIE cards are much more durable than the existing A4 paper documents.
The Ambassador acknowledged that the authorities were aware of the trouble people had been having in securing an appointment due to the pandemic.
He stressed that the Spanish authorities had been working hard to allocate more appointments in regions where there were a large number of British nationals including Alicante, Benidorm and Torrevieja.
How to easily exchange your residency document for a TIE card
The process to exchange your residency document for the new style TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) is very straightforward.
You will then need to produce the following documentation at your appointment at your nearest national police station.
Your fingerprints will be taken during your appointment and you will be given a receipt (Resguardo) with a date to collect your TIE.
Note that if you have been resident for less than five years, your new TIE card will have a validity for five years. If you have been a resident for longer than five years, your new card will say ‘Larga duracion’ and will be valid for 10 years.
There is also no requirement to provide proof of income which is the case for new residency applicants.
Further detailed information on Brexit and the process for Brits living in Spain can be found via the Spanish government website here.
Please share with your friends and family members in Spain to make them aware.
Image Credit: @BritsInSpain