With the Brexit transition period almost at an end, it is most important than ever to ensure that you have either applied for Spanish residency for the first time, or switch your old residency card for the new TIE Spanish residency card. Without this residency card in place, your right to remain in Spain may be placed in jeopardy, so it’s important to apply for this sooner rather than later: after all, time is running out. With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about applying for the TIE Spanish residency card:
What is the TIE Spanish Residency Card?
TIE stands for (Tarjeta de Identidad Extranjero.) This is a new type of residency card that was introduced for British citizens in July 2020; it is a biometric credit card-sized photo ID card that will ultimately replace the previously issued green residency A4 certificate or small green residency card.
However, if you already have one of these green residency cards, you don’t have to apply for a TIE card right now if you don’t want to: provided you have some form of official Spanish residency card, at this point these remain optional. That’s because, under the current Withdrawal Agreement, the right for British citizens to remain in Spain has already been guaranteed if they are in possession of either of these documents, regardless of whether they are temporary (less than 5 years of residence) or permanent (more than 5 years).
If you don’t already have Spanish residency then you will need to apply for a TIE Spanish Residency Card, and you will need to do this fast, in order to benefit for the rights being afforded to British citizens under the rights of the Withdrawal Agreement.
Applying for your TIE Card If You Already Have a Green Card
Though it is not compulsory to apply for a TIE card if you already have a Green Card, there are several benefits of choosing to do this now, rather than waiting for until it is obligatory. The process is relatively simple: Visit the cita previa website, and then select the province which you live in. You should then see an option that is entitled: “POLICIA-EXP. TARJETA ASOCIADA AL ACUERDO DE RETIRADA CIUDADANOS BRITÁNICOS Y SUS FAMILIARES (BREXIT)”. It is here that you will fill in all of your personal details, and make your appointment to apply for your TIE card.
Before you can attend this appointment, you will be expected to:
- Fill in a “modelo 790” (code 012) form, print it out and pay the processing fee at a bank. They will stamp the form to prove that you have paid: you will need to take this proof of payment along with you to your appointment.
- Fill out the EX-23 TIE application form in full, print it out, and take it to your appointment with you
- Remember to bring your passport. If your passport is lost, stolen, or has expired then a copy of it and proof that you have submitted a renewal application would be accepted instead.
- Take your existing green card. This will be called either your Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión or your Certificado de Registro Comunitario)
Other top tips to help your appointment run smoothly include:
- If you have changed your address since your received your original green card, get a ‘padron’ certificate (that has been issued within the past three months) showing your new address.
- Take a passport photo with you. This should meet exacting requirements, so have this done at a shop or photography studio that meets Spanish DNI (Spanish National ID) photography standards
You then have to wait to be contacted and told that your application has been approved. Holders of a green temporary registration certificate with less than five years of residency will receive a TIE valid for five years, whereas holders of a permanent residency certificate will get a TIE valid for ten years, meaning that you have nothing to lose by making your TIE application sooner rather than later.
Applying for Your TIE Card If You’re Not Currently a Spanish Resident
Registering as a Spanish Resident for the first time is a two-step process, and provided you have completed the first step before the end of the Brexit transition period, you will still benefit from your Withdrawal Agreement rights.
This first step is to complete your residency application form, and then make an appointment at your local immigration office (Oficina de Extranjeros): this office must be based in the province where you live. You will need to make an appointment, and present several documents in person (both to identify yourself and prove that you meet the criteria to remain in Spain). These include proof that you have:
- Health cover
- The financial means to support yourself whilst living in Spain (this could be a work contract, business accounts, pension accounts, or savings accounts).
You will also need to show your:
- Valid passport
- Application form EX20
- Documents that show you have been residing in Spain before 31 December 2020
Once you have collated all of the information you need, it’s time to submit your application. You can do this electronically (if you have a digital signature ‘firma digital’), in person by appointment at the immigration office or via a third party representative who can submit your application, electronically or in person, on your behalf.
After Your Application Has Been Submitted
There is no specific time frame for how long it will take to decide whether your residency application has been accepted, but this should be processed within 3 months (but hopefully much sooner). Whilst you’re waiting for this answer, the receipt from your residency application will allow you to remain in Spain temporarily.
If your application is accepted then you will be able to start step two of the residency process, and request that you are issued a TIE card. You have 30 days from receiving your response to complete this step.
At this point, the steps are the same for both new residents and already registered residents, as outlined above. By preparing for your appointment thoroughly, it should go much more smoothly and ultimately leave you receiving your TIE residency card much faster.
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