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Essentials of becoming Spanish resident before Brexit

If you are a British citizen moving to Malaga and willing to obtain Spanish residency before the end of the Brexit transition period in December 2020, as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement – this article is for you! With the new procedure introduced by the Spanish Government in July 2020, and with numerous successful applications under our belts, we have tried to put together the absolute MUSTS for you to obtain your Spanish residency and the TIE card in time. 

Firstly, about the new procedure. Although the requirements for UK citizens applying for Spanish residency before December 31st, 2020 are still similar to those for EU citizens, the procedure has changed and now is the one applicable to non-EU citizens. It is a longer one and consists of two main steps: 

1) application personally or through representation in the Provincial Foreign office in Malaga. The application processing time can be up to 3 months, although most applications are reviewed faster. Once the application is registered, the applicant’s status in Spain is legal until the resolution is received. Foreign office may come back requesting additional documents, which would have to be submitted within the period of 10 days. Failure to submit those will result in rejection of the residence status. 

2) once the above application is resolved positively, the applicant within a period of 30 days needs to apply personally for the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad Extranjero) card in the department of the National police. This step will require two appointments, one to apply for the TIE card and the second (approximately 30 days after the application) to collect it. 

Now let’s look at the essential requirements for British citizens willing to become Spanish residents before Brexit, as although the conditions are supposed to be similar to the ones valid for EU citizens, there have been some modifications since the new procedure has been introduced. Please note, below is valid for the province of Malaga, other areas of Spain may have own specifics. 

1. First, and what has become one of the most important requirements, and the main change to what was valid before, is the need to prove the actual residency in Spain. It is no longer possible to apply without living in Spain and having sufficient proof of it. This means that the time of your move to Malaga is of essence, as to create the above proof you need to be physically in Spain actively using local services. You also need time to collect sufficient proof of above before you can submit your residence application. 

2. Permanent or semi-permanent address and your registration on municipal padron. Airbnb address of a holiday apartment which you have rented for 2 weeks will not be good enough, as you need to be registered on this address in the local Town Hall. Remember, this address will go on to your TIE card and every time you change it, you need to inform the police about it and change the card

3. Proof of funds through regular income/pension and/or savings. Unless you are applying as employed with a properly registered Spanish contract, or self-employed in Spain, you would need to present proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and your family members who are applying with you. The proof of savings may also be valid in case of a newly registered self-employed (Autonomo). Pensioners will have to provide the proof of pension being received.

4. Comprehensive health insurance, public or private. Employed or self-employed applicants will be covered by the public health insurance, same as state pensioners (by means of S1). Those who are not covered by the public health will have to make sure they have a correct and comprehensive private health insurance


Please note, each case is different and needs to be assessed individually, and although the main requirements are the same for everyone – the means to prove and present those may vary from case to case. In some cases, several documents would have to be obtained and prepared while you are still in the UK, as once you have moved to Spain, it would be much more difficult to get those documents. 

Our general advice for you is to initiate the process as soon as you can! Do not delay it, as the time runs out quickly - book your personal consultation with us now by sending us an enquiry! We can review your individual situation and advise you on the best way forward, as well as mutually develop the best strategy to approach your personal Spanish residency application within the required timelines.

Finally, please remember, that each case is individual and is reviewed by individuals, and although we have an immaculate track record in obtaining successful results, no guarantees can be provided!

However, with our vast experience, meticulous approach, hard work and endless commitment, you will be in best hands to apply for your Spanish TIE card before the end of the Brexit transition period on December 31st, 2020.  



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