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Brexit TIE

How We
Can Help

It is safe to say that British nationals are not accustomed to having to follow processes and procedures to obtain the correct documents to enable them to reside, work or travel freely and frequently to a European country such as Spain, where many of us have holiday homes or have become accustomed to living large parts of the year as Swallows from the weather in the UK, but thanks to Brexit we are now all obliged to do so.

In mid July 2020 the Spanish government issued a legal Bulletin outlining a set of requirements to obtain a special residency card “TIE: Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero” for British nationals that will allow British nationals to retain their rights as EU citizens as they continue to reside, own property or travel freely in Spain. We call it the BREXIT TIE.

Any British nationals who have not been able to   demonstrate permanent residence before 31 December 2020 or who have not registered with a BREXIT TIE card are being treated like any other non-European foreigner and are required to complete a longer and more complicated process to apply for residency to frequently visit, live and work in Spain and unfortunately are subjected to a harsher tax regime on their property assets held in Spain

The importance of residency documents

A residency card such as the Brexit TIE therefore is a very valuable document, allowing British Passport holders to retain their current rights under the Treaty of Rome and the employment, social security, health benefits and tax treatment that entails, as well as circulate around the Shengen zone. These rights will be guaranteed for their immediate family members, even those from non-EU countries, as long as they can show a formal relationship before December 31st 2020. Additionally those British citizens are not be required to give up their British passports.

Many British nationals have already completed the requirements and have their TIE cards. However if you still haven´t started the process or have doubts of whether you meet all the criteria then all is not lost as its not too late to process a Brexit TIE application and there are alternative solutions that allow you come and travel freely in Spain if you don´t fit those Brexit TIE criteria.

Go through the following questions to see what you best next move should be.

  • If you have or have had (but have lost it) a green NIE certificate then you can still apply for the Brexit TIE card directly, but you will need to have a current Padron certificate.
  • If you have a white NIE certificate or have never been issued with an NIE number but you have been registered at a town hall prior to 31st December 2020 and continuously after, then you can still apply for a certificate of residency and then a Brexit TIE card with a reasonable expectation of success. It is important that you have not left Spain for any significant amount of time since 1 January 2021.
  • If you have a white NIE certificate or no NIE number but have three pieces of evidence to prove that you were a resident in Spain (e.g. a property deed, an affidavit from a Spanish resident, original rental contracts, utilities in your name, work contracts, a bank account with movements, a health insurance policy, or a mobile phone contract) then you can also still apply for a certificate of residency and then a Brexit TIE card but your probability of success is diminished.

Document you will need

  1. Proof of Appointment: You need to book an appointment at your local assigned police station and present your application in person where they will take fingerprints.
  2. An original Green NIE residency certificate (either A4 or credit card sized) or a Certificate of Residence issued by the department of immigration. If you don’t have an original Green certificate but have a white one like the example on the right then you will need to apply for a Certificate of Residency (LINK).

If you had a Green NIE certificate but have lost it or had it stolen, you will need to obtain a National police report registering the loss.

3. A Certifcate of Empadron “Certificado o Volante de Empadronamiento” no more than three months old when you go for your TIE appointment: The Empadronamiento is the registration of your residence in the local town hall and you need to obtain a certificate similar to the examples below for:

4. A fully completed and signed EX23 Form

5. Passport sized photograph: There is normally a photo shop or booth near the police station where you will present your fingerprints, however please note that the Spanish requirements are larger than British passport photos.

6. Paid up nominal tax 790-012 form: The form is available for the national police web page https://sede.policia.gob.es/Tasa790_012/ImpresoRellenar

Certificate of Residency

If you’ve never had a Green NIE certificate, which probably means you have a white NIE paper or have never been issued an NIE then there is an additional process you need to complete to obtain a Certificate of Residency involving supplying proof of actual residence prior to 31st December 2020, the Brexit cut off date, proof of sustainability moving forward and a clean criminal record.

While it is possible to try and complete this process yourself it’s not something we recommend as there are four possible outcomes once an application has been submitted:

  • Approval and issue of a Certificate of Residency
  • Acceptance of the Application and a request for additional proofs of continued residence or sustainability.
  • Non Acceptance of the application, normally on the grounds of insufficient proof of continued residence or sustainability or an application incorrectly presented. Non acceptance however means an application can be resubmitted through another process or with additional proof of continued residence or sustainability.
  • Rejection which results in the applicant being in a position of not being legally resident in Spain and may lead to them being asked to leave within a certain time period.

Certificate of residence process

Application through the Brexit rules are made through an EX20 or EX21 Form obtainable from https://extranjeros.inclusion.gob.es/es/modelossolicitudes/mod_solicitudes2/

  • You will need to substantiate the following:

This is primarily demonstrated through historical and up to date Empadron Certificates or an Certificate of Empadron History obtainable from your Local town hall. You will also have to now submit a copy of every page of your passport to show no lengthy absences from Spain.

If you’ve not been Empadroned it is still advisable to do so and obtain an up to date certificate. However you will now have to supply at least three additional pieces of evidence of residency. The following are examples of acceptable evidence if dated or referring to prior to 31st December 2020:

  • A property title deed,.
  • An affidavit from a Spanish resident, typically the property owner or holder of the tenancy agreement of where you have been staying and signed before a Spanish notary.
  • Original signed rental contracts.
  • Utilities or a mobile phone contract in your name.
  • Work or work placement contracts.
  • A bank account with realistic movements such as card payments or cash withdrawals in Spain.
  • A health insurance policy or medical or hospital visits.

Sustainability under the Brexit rules can be substantiated with any of the following.

  • A bank certificate of statement showing at least €7,500 in funds on account for an individual adding €3500 for each family member in the same application..
  • Proof of earnings of at least € per month for an individual adding €600 per month for each family member in the same application.
  • A Spanish permanent work contract demonstrating earnings of at least € per month for an individual adding €600 per month for each family member in the same application.
  • Self employed (Autonomo), registration
  • Assets

where applicants are not registered contributors to the Spanish social security system then applications must be supported by a certificate of full medical insurance.

Police checks are carried out by the immigration department and anybody with a criminal record either in Europe or UK an outstanding arrest warrant or an ongoing court procedure will most likely be rejected, even if bail or parole conditions allow them to live in Spain.

Residency and freedom of travel within a European country is not an issue that British nationals are too accustomed to but it is now a serious issue and post Brexit, Brits need to have their documents and permits in order.  Immigration in any European country is carefully controlled and follows strict and carefully mapped out rules and processes.

A well presented application, with the right application form correctly completed and clear accurate scans of documents go a long way towards a successful outcome.

It is important therefore that forms, statements and certificates have the name of the applicant, the issuing entity and the purpose of the document clearly visible. Photos are rarely approved with scans and pdf always preferred, and if a photo is the only option they should be on a white background with no glare or fingers or edges missing.

“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay” By Zamora

plan of action

if you start from scratch

If you don’t have enough evidence or you are starting from scratch to move or purchase a property in Spain or start a business then there are four principle options available to you and for each you will need to provide a clean criminal record report, a clear medical certificate and full medical insurance.


Golden Visa

€500.000 investment in property or approved investment products.


Non Lucrative Visa

€26,000 in cash or assets or monthly income of €2400.  or more per applicant.


Student Visa

Physical attendance course for at least 6 months and proof of sustainability €8,000 in cash or family support.


Economic visa

Investment through a business or as self employed

What can go wrong?

Anybody with any experience of living in Spain knows that the administrative system can be complicated and confusing especially if you don’t speak the language. If you’re not prepared You can end up wasting time and going round in circles.


Anybody with any experience of living in Spain knows that the administrative system can be complicated and confusing especially if you don’t speak the language. If you’re not prepared You can end up wasting time and going round in circles.

It is critical to have all the correct documents and requirements prior to your appointment and failure to do so will likely result in you being turned away and having to start the process from scratch.

If you don’t you’ll go to the wrong office and be turned away. The Spanish Government has gone to great lengths to set up special offices to deal with the extra demand, short time frame And COVID, so the usual offices for NIEs or the residency may not be the relevant one for British Passport holders or the BREXIT TIE.

Alternatively have help on hand by phone, if you don’t speak Spanish. It is rare that Spanish administrative offices are staffed by English speakers especially outside of the larger cities and they are unlikely to be sympathetic to those who don’t speak their language.

Remember we are guests in Spain and quite reasonably officials get very upset if people turn up to a government office in flip flops or demonstrate aggressive behaviour. You will likely be turned away.

Get started early! There isn’t a lot of time to get the process started and most people will need to get their situation up to date, renew certificates and book appointments. In July 2020 the BBC reported that “UK passport application backlog reaches 400,000”

You must have your original Green NIE card or certificate to start the BREXIT TIE process, but don’t worry if you have a white certificate or have lost your green one or have never had one. You can still register through for a special intermediate residency certificate but you need to start quickly.