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Exchanging your green card/A4 residency certificate for a TIE

Updated: May 16


Exchanging your Green Residency Certificate for the new TIE

The UK Foreign Office and the Spanish Government recommend any UK national in possession of a green Residency Certificate, to exchange it for the biometric TIE card (that was introduced in July 2021) as soon as possible.

Many British nationals have reported that they have been denied support or access to a variety of services in Spain, because they did not hold the most up to date document for UK nationals living in Spain. This can affect access to health and social care as well as benefits.

The Entry/Exit (EES) Scheme - Expected October 2024

The European Union (EU) is anticipated to implement a new border control scheme that will impact all non-EU citizens, including British nationals, entering an EU country for a temporary visit. This scheme, known as the Entry/Exit Scheme (EES), is scheduled to be launched in October 2024, albeit this timeline is subject to potential modifications.

The EES will register travellers via an automated system in the port or airport when they arrive in Spain. It will replace the current manual stamping of passports at the border. British tourists will be required to provide their name, passport details, biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images) as well as the date and place of entry and exit upon entering Spain.

British Residents residing in Spain will be exempt from this requirement provided they can show a valid uniform-format biometric card, which in Spain is the TIE.

Although the Green Residency Certificate (Card) remains a valid residency document is not a biometric card. It was established prior to Brexit and as a result, is not included in the Withdrawal Agreement or the Schengen Border Guard Handbook document. Holders of the Green Residency Certificate may encounter challenges and delays at the border once the EES is enforced.

Therefore, the British Embassy and the Spanish Government strongly advise all British residents in Spain to acquire the TIE before the implementation of the EES to prevent any disruptions at the border.

We have formulated this guide to assist you step by step throughout the process.


To exchange your green EU residency certificate for the new UK-specific TIE, it is necessary to make an appointment online with the Oficina de Extranjeros -cita previa-, which can be done by clicking this link.

You can find details of your nearest office here:

Click on “Actualizar” or click on the link at the top that says: Ir a la versión HTML accesible to locate your nearest office on the map.

Select the province where you live and the option “POLICIA - TOMA DE HUELLA (EXPEDICION DE TARJETA) RENOVACION DE TARJETA DE LARGA DURACION Y DUPLICADO” -Trámites Cuerpo Nacional de Policía tab-, and follow the further instructions. Completing this process will arrange an appointment at an Immigration Office or your local Police Station for a specific date and time.

Documents to present

When filling in the EX-23, make sure to choose the option "Tarjeta inicial" (section 4.1) and the option "Residencia con Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión" (section 4.2).

  • Passport (original and copy).

  • Proof (printed) of payment of the tax 790 code 012. You can complete and download the form here. Also, find the list of institutions associated with the payment of fees by direct debit system here.

When filling in the tax 790 code 012 form, choose the option "Certificado de registro de residente comunitario o Tarjeta de residencia de familiar de un ciudadano de la Unión".

  • Passport-size photograph 32x26 (ID photograph).

  • Padrón (if you changed your address). Original and copy, issued within the last 3 months.

In the case the police don't inform you about how to pick up your new TIE, you will be able to pick up your card by booking an appointment here. Select the province where you live and the option “Policia-Recogida Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero” -Trámites Cuerpo Nacional de Policía tab-.

This process cannot be done by a representative. If you have mobility concerns, and do not feel you can attend an in person appointment please contact us with details of where you live and we will research the local procedure.

The new TIE will be valid for a period of 5 years and you will be allowed to leave Spain for up to 6 months without losing your residency. After its validity is expired, it can be renewed to a permanent-type permit, which will have its validity extended to 10 years and the allowed leave extended to 5 years.

If you are still hesitating, here are a couple of helpful videos:

Sue Wilson shares her experience on the exchange and why we should exchange our documents.


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