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Do I still need a passport?

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

There has been recent debate on Facebook pages about whether UK nationals resident in Spain still need a valid passport to travel – even if they are in possession of a TIE. The answer is – YES.

Citizens of EU countries can travel to Spain if they have a valid passport or National Identity Card. An expired passport is not a problem if the National Identity Card is valid. (Though the length of time that the passport can have expired varies by country.)

But third-country nationals, such as British people, are subject to other restrictions. Even if you live in Spain, and have a TIE or other residency certificate, you must have an up-to-date passport if you want to travel and re-enter Spain. Your TIE is not valid for travel outside of Spain – it only proves you have the right to live in Spain. So if your passport is out of date, you cannot use your residency card instead. You can, however, use it for travel within Spain.

And if you are a British national living in Spain and having rights under the withdrawal agreement, the Embassy in Madrid has clarified that you can enter and exit Spain without any additional validity on your passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling. But for other travel, “normal third country rules apply, so you will need to have a passport that is valid for at least three months after the day you plan to leave the Schengen Area, and is less than ten years old.”

For more information about passports and travel if you are a UK national and live in Spain, go to


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