Instruction on the procedure for issuing residence documents to UK nationals resident in Spain
Spain post-Brexit: The departments of Home Affairs and Migrations sign the Instruction on the procedure for issuing residence documents to UK nationals resident in Spain.
The Ministry of Home Affairs, through the State Secretary for Security, together with the Ministry of Social Security and Migrations, through its State Secretary for Migrations, jointly signed an Instruction published on Saturday in the BOE (Spanish Official State Gazette).
The Instruction lays down the procedure to be followed in issuing the residence documents under 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.
The Agreement covers the process of documenting British citizens resident in a Member State of the Union in order to differentiate between those who have exercised their right to free movement prior to 31 December 2020 and those who arrived after this date. The former will benefit from the rights of residence, free movement and Social Security expressly recognised in the Withdrawal Agreement.
UK nationals resident in Spain
Spain is currently the EU country with most residents from the UK. It already has a system for registering EU citizens: as of 31 December 2019, our country had 359,471 UK nationals with a registration certificate.
For this reason, when documenting British citizens resident in Spain and taking into account the options under the Agreement, the decision has been made under this Instruction to set up a process of documentation based on the current system of registration, and including all the guarantees and incentives needed for British citizens resident in our country and who for a number of reasons have not yet registered to do so.
This residence document will explicitly specify their condition of beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement and be valid for 5 or 10 years, depending on the time that the citizen has lived in Spain.
Family members of UK nationals who are beneficiaries of an agreement from a third country are also beneficiaries of this Agreement, and may therefore apply for this residence document.
It is important to stress that the registration certificates and cards of family members of EU citizens obtained before the end of the transition period will continue to be valid.
They will serve to certify their legal residence in Spain in the future and thus to benefit from the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement. Nevertheless, they may request the issue of the residence document that explicitly specifies their condition of beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement.
New procedure (since 6 July)
This new procedure is already operative (since yesterday 6 July 2020). It will distinguish between those who already had an EU citizen’s registration certificate or family card from those who did not have them for a variety of reasons.
The Instruction, signed by the Directorate-General for the Police and the Directorate-General for Migrations, aims to guarantee the provisions of the Agreement and allow British citizens to exercise their right to apply for a residence document that accredits them as beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement.