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How to get Spanish residency for British residents in Spain after Brexit

The Ministerio de Interior, through the Secretaría de Estado de Seguridad, together with the Ministerio de Inclusión Social, Seguridad Social y Migraciones, have signed an Instruction, published today in the BOE, by which lays down the procedure to be followed for the issuance of the residence card following article 18.4 of the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community " also known "The Brexit withdrawal agreement"

This agreement addresses a process of documentation of British citizens residing in a Member State of the European Union to differentiate between those who have exercised their right of free movement by the 31st of December, 2020, and those who arrive after that date. The former will benefit from the rights regarding residence, free movement, and Seguridad Social expressly recognized in the withdrawal agreement. 

United Kingdom nationals living in Spain

Spain, currently the European Union country with the most residents from the United Kingdom already has an EU citizen registration system; As of the 31st of December, 2019, our country had 359,471 nationals of the United Kingdom in possession of a registration certificate. For this reason, when documenting British residents in Spain and taking into account the options of the agreement, through this Instruction, a documentation process based on the current registration system has been chosen, accompanying all the guarantees and incentives necessary for the British who reside in our country and who, for various reasons, have not yet done so, to register.This residence card or certificate will explicitly mention their status as a beneficiary of the Brexit withdrawal agreement and will be valid for 5 or 10 years depending on the time the citizen has lived in Spain.

The relatives of United Kingdom nationals who are beneficiaries of an agreement and who come from a third country are also beneficiaries of the agreement, and therefore may request said residence document. It is essential to underline that the registration certificates and family cards of EU citizens obtained before the end of the transitional period will continue to be valid and will serve to prove their legal residence in Spain afterwards and thus be able to benefit from the provisions of the Brexit withdrawal agreement. However, they may request the issuance of a residence document in which their status as a beneficiary of the withdrawal agreement will be explicitly mentioned.

How to start the process

This new procedure will be operational from the 6th of July 2020 and will distinguish between those who already had a registration certificate or family card of an EU citizen, from those who did not own them for any reasons.

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