‘Made life so much easier’ British expats share ‘brilliant’ residency tip to avoid issues

Brexit: British expat discusses difficulty of living in Spain

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On the official British Embassy Facebook page ‘Brits in Spain’ the Embassy posted: “We know that some of you have yet to exchange your green residency certificate for the Withdrawal Agreement TIE.” The TIE is a biometric card that contains the identity details of a foreigner who lives in Spain.

Some British expats have recently claimed their passports have been stamped in Spain despite the fact they have residency.

According to the British Embassy, registering for a TIE could avoid any passport stamp issues for expats.

Brits in Spain shared a video with expats Robert and Andrew who recommended Britons make the change straight away.

They said: “We live in the lovely village of Ojen near Marbella in beautiful Andalucia.

“And since February this year, we’ve had shiny new TIEs, which have made life so much easier.

“Absolutely brilliant. I definitely recommend anybody to apply for it. Very straightforward, you do practically everything online.

“Sort out your appointments online. Download the application form and fill it in online and just turn up with that, proof that you’ve paid the tax, take your green card, your passport, your padron certificate.

“They do things in the computer and take your fingerprints. And then six weeks later you get one of these.

“And really it has made travel an awful lot easier. If you, for example, if you leave or enter Spain, make sure that you present this together with your passport and you shouldn’t get your passport stamped.

“So definitely recommend that. And if you come back into the Schengen Zone, this just looks so much more official than the green card.

“It says residence permit in three different languages. On the back it says that we’ve got our right reserved under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

“So a win-win. Yeah, definitely win-win. It’s also a lot more durable than the old green card or A4 paper certificate.

“It’s credit card sized, so it slips into your wallet or purse. Yeah, definitely recommend it. Go for it.”

British expats need to apply for Spanish residency if they want to live in Spain for more than 90 days out of 180.

Since Brexit, British people are allowed to visit the Schengen Zone for 90 days in every 180 which has impacted some expats without residency.

Seasonal expats, sometimes known as ‘swallows’, used to visit Spain for the winter months to escape the UK’s cold weather.

Swallows without residency will not be able to visit Spain for more than 90 days at a time without breaking the law.

British expats now need to apply for Spanish residency from the UK after the deadline to apply from Spain passed in December.

They will need to prove they had healthcare in place as well as demonstrate they were living in Spain in 2020.

This can be difficult and proof can include bank statements, restaurant receipts and medical bills.

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