If you have Spanish residency, and were legally living in Spain before the new Brexit policies regarding residency came in to place on 1st January 2021, then the Spanish government have released an important update on the documents you will need to provide in order to demonstrate your residency status when you re-enter the country.
This is particularly important news for Britons that are in the UK right now and hoping to return to their Spanish residencies during the current Coronavirus crisis, whilst there are entry restrictions in place on entering the country.
The Spanish government outlined much of this information in a Facebook post, and if this applies to you then everything you need to know is outlined below:
Updated Documentation Rules
The information outlined below was released on the 13th May in a Facebook post added to the page of the British Embassy in Madrid. The post was given the title Documentation for UK nationals living in Spain before 1 January 2021 to enter Spain during current restrictions and it stated that: “The Spanish Government has informed the UK Government that it has updated the list of documentation that UK nationals who were legally residing in Spain before 1 January 2021, and as such are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, can use to prove their residence status when entering Spain while entry restrictions remain in place.” This information has been confirmed by a signed and stamped document that was released by the Spanish Embassy in London.
If you were legally residing in Spain before the withdrawal agreement was completed then you will need to present at least one of the following documents, as well as your valid passport and any coronavirus tests or other medical documentation required:
- Residence card issued under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement (the TIE residency card) – ‘la tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (TIE)’
- Temporary or permanent EU residence certificate (green certificate) – ‘el certificado de registro de ciudadano de la Unión’ (tarjeta verde)
- Residence card as a family member of an EU citizen – ‘la tarjeta de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión’
- Receipt of application to exchange an EU residence certificate (green certificate) or residence card as a family member of an EU citizen for the new TIE (residence card issued under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement) – ‘el resguardo de expedición de la tarjeta de identidad de extranjero (TIE) o de la tarjeta de familiar de ciudadano de la Unión’
- Official confirmation of the positive outcome of your residence application from the Immigration Office – ‘la resolución favorable de reconocimiento como beneficiario del Acuerdo de Retirada emitida por la Oficina de Extranjería competente’
Easing Arrival for Britons
The aim of these new documentation requirements, and of this public statement, is to make arriving into Spain much easier for eligible Britons. In recent months, as a result of coronavirus travel restrictions, some Brits have found themselves turned away on arrival in Spain by either the border police or the airport staff, because the rules on allowing Britons with Spanish residency into the country weren’t clear, so even if Britons did have the correct documentation on arrival, they still weren’t being permitted to enter the country. This new list of documentation has been shared with all airlines and other transportation operators to ensure that this problem does not arise again.
Demonstrating that you have a rental contract, property deeds, utility bills or work contracts (all showing that you have residency ties to Spain) will not be sufficient to allow you to enter Spain under these residency rules at the current time. If you don’t have the documents listed above, therefore, you are advised
Entering Spain For Tourism
The good news is that, if you can’t enter the country as a Spanish resident, you can consider entering as a tourist. The UK has placed the whole of Spain on the ‘amber list’ as part of their international travel traffic light system. This means that Britons are technically permitted to enter the country, but that they must take two PCR tests and quarantine at home for ten days on their return to the UK. In conjunction with this, the tourism authorities in Spain have also announced that, from the 20th May, Spain will welcome back British tourists and that, under the current case numbers and circumstances, they will not have to demonstrate proof of vaccination or a negative covid test in order to enter Spain.
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