Thank you for your enquiry of 29/06/2020.


We understand your need for clarity regarding obtaining Residency in Spain.

Up until now, UK nationals (UKNs) have been issued with the green ‘Certificado de registro de ciudadano de la Unión Europea’ (NIE). This will remain a valid document.

From 6 July 2020, you will be issued with a biometric residence card called a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE). This card will prove your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. If you are living in Spain before 1 January 2021 and register as a resident from 6 July 2020, this is the document you will now receive.

Both the green certificate NIE (A4 or credit card size) and TIE will be equally valid in proving a person’s right to reside and rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

As long as a UKN can prove they were legally residing in Spain by the end of this year, they will have the right to a TIE that states they are a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement, even if they apply for the document after the end of the transition period.

For those who already have a green certificate, more or less, a straight swap will occur. This action is optional and there is no obligation to do so. An appointment is required at a designated police station. The applicant must go in person with their green certificate, passport, photograph and proof they have paid the tax. They will have to provide fingerprints and then return to collect the card once it is ready.

For those who have not yet registered, the following two-step process is required:

1. Presentation of documents to prove the person meets the residency requirements. Online, in person or via a representative (if going in person, cita previa – an appointment – is required). There is no charge. This step is done via Extranjería (immigration office).

2. Once the person has received the resolución, they will have 1 month to apply for the TIE via the designated police station (appointment required – as above).

Please note, importantly, the current green NIE certificate will remain valid and it is not compulsory to exchange it for a TIE. For those who wish to do so, there is no deadline to do so.

UK nationals and their family members that are not yet registered should take action as soon as possible to obtain the new TIE.

Appointments are starting to become available on the immigration portal:

The Ministry of Interior website has been updated to refer to the TIE:

Other Spanish government websites, including the Moncloa site, will be updated in due course:

For details regarding residency and TIE, plus guidance regarding the rights of British people living in Spain, please do visit the GOV.UK “Living in Spain” guide:

The Spanish government will shortly publish further guidance which will confirm the processes UK nationals need to follow. The Living in Spain guide on will be further updated with this information once it is available.

Please sign up for email alerts of updates to our Living in Spain Guide, here:

Also, please follow the British Embassy in Spain on Facebook and Twitter:

We hope this information is helpful and reassuring to you.



Heather H.


Consular Contact Centre