The British Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott recently took to the Embassy’s ‘Brits in Spain’ Facebook page to clarify the rights of British citizens looking to become resident in Spain before the end of 2020.
In the video, Mr Elliott stressed the importance of getting an appointment to obtain your residency certificate before the December deadline, just six months away.
He also took the opportunity to stress the importance of obtaining the correct health cover for residency requirements as well as satisfying the sufficient income requirements to permanently reside in Spain.
On rights, he said, "Please remember that citizen’s rights are already protected by the withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU, which came into force at the end of January.
"This guarantees your rights, and as long as you’re legally resident here by the end of 2020, you can continue to live your lives, broadly as before.
The Ambassador said that his key advice for those currently living in Spain and wishing to become legally resident before the transition period ends is to register as soon as you possibly can.
He then acknowledged the situation with making residency appointments due to Coronavirus lockdown but asserted that appointments were now becoming available despite a backlog.
He said, "Appointments are now opening up across Spain and while there may be a backlog due to COVID, do keep trying via the government’s public administration website".
If you apply now for residency, you will be issued with a green credit card-sized residency document, however, soon, you will be issued with a TIE or Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero.
The TIE will be a photocard which will explicitly mention your rights under the withdrawal agreement. It is understood that the new TIE documents will most likely start to be issued in July, although this is yet to be confirmed.
Elliott said, "This is a very important point. Whether you have the green A4 certificate, the green credit card-sized version, and whether these say ‘permanente’ or not, or whether you get a TIE in the future, all remain equally valid in demonstrating your rights as a beneficiary of the withdrawal agreement, even after the transition period.
"It’s also worth bearing in mind that ultimately, your rights as a UK national in Spain will be guaranteed, not by the possession of the residency document itself, but by you being legally resident in Spain before the end of the transition period.
"That means, living in Spain and satisfying the current residency requirements of sufficient income and healthcare cover by the 31st of December".
For those that hold the older style residency documents, these can be exchanged for the newer TIE at a later date, however, it is not currently obligatory to do so.
If you require the correct health cover for residency, you can get a quick quote via our residency insurance page.
Image Credit: Brits in Spain/Facebook