BEFORE Brexit, British nationals resident in Spain were given two types of residency cards: a green A4-sized certificate, or a green credit-card-sized version of the same document.
After the Withdrawal Agreement was signed however, marking the UK’s exit from the European Union, a biometric residence card called a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) became available.
Brits who registered as residents in Spain before July 6, 2020 will have received one of the green cards, which are still valid as a residency document. They do not legally have to be exchanged for the new TIE, but the British and Spanish governments both strongly recommend that you make the swap.
“The TIE biometric card is more durable,” reads the official UK government advice on the gov.uk website. “It will also simplify administrative processes and border crossings.”
While valid, the green certificates are sometimes not recognised by Spanish officials. To assist with this problem, the British embassy has made a letter available in Spanish and English that makes clear that the green certificate remains valid, also providing links to official documents such as the Spanish Official State Gazette (BOE) stating this fact.
You can download the letter here.
The advice of the British embassy in Spain is, however, crystal clear.
“We advise all British people in Spain to get the TIE, the most reliable way to prove your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement,” a recent post on the embassy’s Brits in Spain Facebook page reads.
“But we know that lots of Brits still have a Green Certificate and – although it is valid proof of the right to reside in Spain – are encountering difficulties with its recognition. That’s why we’ve created this letter to help overcome any challenges you may face,” it continues, with a link to the aforementioned letter.
“However, the best and most reliable way to prove your right to reside in Spain is with the TIE,” the embassy adds. “So don’t delay, get the TIE today!”