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Applying for Residency Under the Withdrawal Agreement - Individual

Updated: May 30, 2023



If you are a British national who has been living in Spain since before 2021 you can register your residency in Spain as a beneficiary of the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement. There is no time limit for making the registration.


This will enable you to benefit from guaranteed EU citizens’ rights which includes

  • the ability to remain indefinitely in Spain

  • access the same social security, healthcare, education and employment opportunities as any EU citizen

  • less onerous financial critera than people moving to Spain from the UK from 2021 onwards.

There are strict requirements in respect of the evidence you need to show in order to confirm your eligibility. Please read on to help you decide whether this option is available to you.


If you live in Alicante, Castellon and Valencia, there are additional information resources specific to your region provided by our partner organisation Babelia Association in Alicante: https://asociacionbabelia.org/en/applying-for-residency-in-spain-under-the-withdrawal-agreement-after-2020/

and a full list of their guides : https://asociacionbabelia.org/en/uk-nationals/

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Am I eligible to apply for the TIE under the scope of the withdrawal agreement?


To apply for residency using the process listed below (under the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement) you must be able to prove that you were legally living in Spain before December 31st, 2020. To prove this you must provide official documentation such as:


  • Padrón registration certificate,

  • Rental contracts/property ownership,

  • Employment contract/registration at a school.

  • Other supporting documents (utility bills, medical appointments, other)

  • Proof of healthcare cover. See below

The Immigration Office will do an overall evaluation of your case based on the documents you present. What they are looking for is that Spain was your home in 2020, and you complied with all the requirements to become a resident before the end of 2020. This includes:

  • being registered in your Town Hall (empadronamiento) and

  • having sufficient healthcare cover (for example,

    • private medical insurance

    • the S1 for pensioners

    • or if you were working in Spain, social security registration.

If you cannot demonstrate that you had sufficient healthcare cover before 2021, it is possible that your application will be rejected and you might have to appeal. The interpretation of this requirement iappears to vary in different regions and it is currently being addressed in the European courts.

You must be able to provide the supporting documents for the above requirements.


The Immigration Office considers residency on a case by case basis and can reject your application unless you have conclusive documentary evidence that you were living legally in Spain before 1st January 2021 and you continue to do so.


How do I get the TIE?

Since 6 July 2020 the Spanish government has introduced a new residency document aimed to substitute the current EU Residency Certificate previously issued to UK Nationals. This document is a foreigner’s identity card (TIE, or Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) which confirms that the holder is a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and the EU, and therefore may reside in Spain and continue enjoying their rights after the end of the transition period in the same way as before.


The process to acquire the TIE can be a 2-step process depending on whether you already hold a residency certificate. If you don't have the EU Residency Certificate, you will first have to complete Step 1 and Step 2.


Step 1 - Registering your documents (only if you don’t have a Green Card - EU Residence Certificate)

If you don't have an EU Residence Certificate (green card), the first step is to submit the documentation that shows that you have been legally resident since before 2021and apply for residency (similar to the former EU Resident Certificate application process) at the designated Immigration Office of your region.


You need to make an appointment in advance (cita previa), in your province, which is done online. Here is the link to make your appointment. Select the province where you live, then select the option Trámite para la documentación de ciudadanos del Reino Unido (Brexit) -Trámites Oficinas Extranjería tab -. If this option is not available, select "Solicitud de Autorizaciones" option instead. Then, follow the instructions. (If you do not have any of the above options, you may need to contact your local extranjeria office directly to organise an appointment.)


Once completed, this process will give you a specific date and time for your appointment at the Immigration Office.


If you have a Digital Certificate, you can upload your documents through the sede electrónica via this link. To find out how to obtain a digital certificate, see our guide. To view a step by step guide to uploading your documents online click here.


The documents you will have to present for the first step are as follows (for more information, you can also refer to our Routes to Residency guides:

  • Completed Model EX-20 form (original and copy) - view an unofficial translation of the form here if you need help to understand it

  • Passport (copy of all pages).

  • A document stating when you started living in Spain. (applicable documents listed above)

  • Empadronmiento certificate

  • If employed, provide any of the following documents:

    • Certificate of employment with the name and address of the company, as well as the tax identification and contribution account, or;

    • Work contract registered at the Public Service of Employment -Servicio Público de Empleo-, or the contracting confirmation and its conditions through the CONTRAT@ platform, or;

    • Social Security affiliation document.

  • If self-employed, provide any of the following documents:

    • Registration in the census of economic activities, or;

    • Inscription in the Mercantile Registry, or;

    • Social Security affiliation document.

  • If not employed, provide both documents:

    • Public or private health insurance with coverage in Spain equivalent to that provided by the National Health System, dated within the first 90 days of arrival. (Pensioners: the authorities and the Foreigner's Office should accept the S1 form as proof of health coverage.) EHIC cards are not sufficient for residency.

    • Proof of sufficient means (usually in the form of a bank statement and certificate). More information here.

Step 1 of the application process can be performed by a representative of the applicant. The representative will need to present the documents in person together with a Representative Designation document signed by the applicant.


After completing this process, you will receive a formal receipt that you have submitted your application, which will allow you to legally stay in Spain until the result or resolution is issued (this usually takes up to 3 months, but can take longer in some regions).


If the resolution is marked as “favorable”, you will be able to request the TIE with the EX-23 form. If you receive a “requerimiento”, you will have 10 days to provide the missing documents to the Immigration Office. If the resolution is marked as "No favorable", your application has been rejected, and you must review your resolution letter.


You can find how to track your application using our guide HERE.


Step 2 - Applying for the TIE

Once you have obtained a favorable resolution after presenting the EX-20 application, you can then apply for the TIE. To request the TIE it is necessary to make an appointment online with the Oficina de Extranjeros -cita previa-, which can be done by clicking this link.


Currently, the Spanish administration has created a special option for the new TIE. Select the province where you live and the option “Policia-Exp. Tarjeta Asociada al Acuerdo de Retirada Ciudadanos Británicos y sus familiares (Brexit)” -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.


Once the appointment is arranged, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Residence certificate//Resolution of Extranjería (if presented model EX-20).

  • Filled Model EX-23 form (original and copy) - unofficial translated form

  • 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.

  • 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-.


Unlike Step 1, this process can't be done by a representative and the applicant must present the documents and pick up the card in person. If you have mobility concerns, and do not feel you can attend an in person appointment, you could look to request a mobility unit to be dispatched. Please contact us for more details on this process.


The new TIE will be valid for a period of 5 years. and you will be allowed to leave Spain up to 6 months per year 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 your allowed leave will be extended to 5 years.


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