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  • Writer's pictureRissana Shytu

Brexit and my life in Spain. What do I need to do?

Based on the recently published Spanish royal decree, all UK passport holders that live in Spain will have a transition period to get their affairs in order. We’ve had a look at few most probably scenarios and will try to outline them for you.

1. You have been living in Spain for over 5 years and you have a residency certificate* that says “permanent resident”. You’re all set, no need to do anything, until they figure out the process of exchange of those certificates to TIE (foreigners ID cards). Keep an eye out for our page, or better yet, subscribe to our newsletter and we will keep you updated as soon as we know!

2. You have been living in Spain for over 5 years and you have a residency certificate that does not say “permanent” on it. Get yourself an appointment and get a fresh certificate that says those magic words. In most places you will be asked to provide proof of really living here all this time. Vida laboral, historical padron, Spanish tax returns, whatever else you might have to prove you’ve actually been in Spain for those 5 years will be helpful. Once you got that, refer to scenario 1!

3. You’ve lived in Spain for under 5 years and do have a residency certificate! Make sure your actual address matches those on the certificate and that you have a fresh padron. Especially if you moved since becoming a residen. If anything has changed, get yourself an appointment and update all those things. Once you have this sorted, sign up for our newsletter and we will let you know how and when to exchange that for a TIE

4. You’ve lived in Spain for weeks, months, YEARS , but never registered yourself to become a legal resident and your have NOT received the residency certificate. Do not despair. Make sure you have an up to date padron and hurry up and get that residency appointment. No matter your situation or how long you have been here we can help you, so book a consultation with us to find out what paperwork you need to receive that coveted green card!

5. You’ve had a residency certificate, but something happened to it. It got stolen, lost, washed, eaten by your dogs… you will need to first go to the police and file a denuncia, in other words get a report confirming you HAD said certificate and something happened to it. After that hurry up and get an appointment to apply for a duplicate. Depending on your location, it might go either way smooth and they just issue a duplicate or rough, where they will require all initial paperwork to prove you have health cover and means to live.

Residency certificate* can look different, depending on when you first received it. One thing remains unchanged through last decade or so, it's GREEN. It can be an A4 piece of paper or credit card size laminated on one side.

A NIE number is issued on WHITE paper and while is part of residency and very useful for living in Spain, is not limited to residents (someone can get one to say buy a car in Spain one weekend but never live here) This means it has NO grounds for being used as proof of legal residence. It will help you along the process but it is not all you need to be legally residing here in Spain. This is true both now as EU members and after any changes that may happen involving Brexit in a few weeks.

If you have specific circumstances or don’t fit any of these situations, reach out to us and let’s see what can be done to ensure your can remain in Spain legally with no issues.

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