Spain has recently published a rule on the procedure for obtaining the TIE for UK citizens. This is the Resolution of 2nd June 2020, determining the procedure for issuing the residence permit provided for in Article 18.4 of the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, but there is still a lot of confusion about the TIE cards and at Imont we are here to help you through the process.
What is a TIE and what will it include?
A TIE is a “Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero”, an identity card that is the sole and exclusive document designed to provide documentation to foreigners who are legally resident in Spain.
This card accredits the legal stay of foreigners in Spain, their identification and that, in accordance with current regulations, they have been granted authorisation or recognised the right to remain in Spanish territory for a period of more than six months.
This rule states that the TIE card issued to UK citizens in Spain will contain distinctive points such as their status as a beneficiary under the Withdrawal Agreement and whether they were a holder of a previous green residence document before.
Do I need to get a TIE?
For UK citizens who have registered as residents in Spain and are already in possession of a green A4 residency certificate or a small green residency card, the TIE card is optional.
This latest BOE bulletin by the Spanish government also confirms this by stating that Brits who are already registered in Spain “will not have the obligation to apply for a new resident status nor, therefore, undergo a new documentation process, but they will have the right to receive a residence document that expressly reflects their status as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement”.
UK citizens who have not registered as residents in Spain but intend to carry on living in the country after December 31st (for more than 90 days over a 180-day period) will have to get a TIE.
After July 6th 2020, any UK citizen registering for residence in Spain will be issued this biometric TIE card.
When do I have until to apply for a TIE?
If you want to ensure all your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you should aim to get an appointment before December 31st.
You will still be able to apply for a TIE residence card after Brexit but these rights will not be automatically guaranteed and the set of requirements needed to be issued with the card are likely to be stricter and closer to those for third-country nationals in Spain.
However, immigration offices will assess the circumstances and the reasons for this non-compliance, and will grant the UK citizen an additional period long enough to submit the application if the reasons for the non-compliance are well founded.
UK citizens who intend to register in Spain after Brexit will have to apply within the first three months of their arrival, in accordance with the provisions set out in the Withdrawal Agreement.
What if I’ve registered as a resident in Spain but I’m not there when Brexit officially happens?
TIE cards will be valid for either five years or ten years, depending on how long the UK citizen has been living in Spain.
Registered foreign residents of Spain can apply for permanent residency after five years, which means that if you’ve been living in Spain for that time or more, your TIE card will be valid for ten years.
How long will the TIE residency card be valid for?
The Withdrawal Agreement does not require the physical presence of UK residents of Spain at the end of the transitional period on December 31st.
Any temporary absences that do not affect the right of residence outside Spain must be accepted, in accordance with article 11 of the Withdrawal Agreement.
These absence thresholds are, in most cases, 6 months for temporary residents who haven’t lived in Spain for more than five years and 2 years for permanent residents who’ve lived in Spain for more than 5 years.