domingo, 19 de julio de 2020


Last week a EuroCitizens committee member visited a national police station in Madrid to apply for the new third-country-national ID card for UK residents in Spain. Here is a short report of what happened. 

I went today (17 July 2020) to my appointment with the Policia Nacional in Av. Padre Piquer, 18. I arrived an hour early. There was no queue and I was seen very quickly by a friendly senior staff member (she was helping the colleague next to her with system problems).
I was given back my certificado de empadronamiento (registration at local town hall) because it was not needed, as I had not changed address. However it may be worthwhile getting one just in case. However, you definitely need it if you have changed address. My payment of the €12 fee was not queried so, for temporary cards at least, seems the correct one.
The operation for my temporary TIE (ID card for third-country nationals) looked to be basically a straight swap. The page of the EX-23 form where you can list other administrations to give access to your files there, which I had left blank, did not seem relevant to my application for a temporary card as it was given back to me.
My green card and passport were given back. I was told that when I collect the new TIE, I must bring the green card back as it needs to be given in. I was asked if I had photocopies of my green card and passport. I did have a photocopy of the green card but not of my passport. Photocopies are not mentioned in the instructions but it is clearly useful to have them if you can.
I was given a return date for collection of the TIE, and restitution of the green card, of 4 September in the same office. I will get an SMS if it changes. Given we are in both post-Covid lockdown and prime holiday time, the delay is understandable. But you keep your green card for the interim, which therefore covers you.
My photographer did not know if the rules were for photos with or without spectacles. I was told that if you normally wear them the foto should be with them on. Fingerprinting for biometric purposes is done electronically in a similar way to allowing touch access to a mobile phone.
My temporary TIE will be valid until 17 July 2025 - 5 years from today's date. You should clearly keep a record of your green card to have proof yourself of earlier residence, e.g. in the event that you want to apply for a permanent card sooner than the 5 years on your new TIE, as is foreseen in the WA. NB you will not keep the green card for posterity.
I was happy to let the procedure take its course - i.e. towards a hopefully positive outcome.

Conclusions from the visit:
  • The procedure looks to be basically a straight swap, at least for the temporary card.
  •  You need proof from the padrón (municipal registration list) only if your address has changed from that on the green card. But I thought it useful to have a certificate just in case.  
  • For payment with form 790, the code is 012 and, for the temporary card, I paid the €12 fee. 
  • Photocopies of your green card and passport are appreciated. Having them will smooth the process even if copies are not mentioned in the instructions.
· For the temporary card at least there looks to be no need to fill in any information about documents with other Spanish administrations.
  • If you wear spectacles all the time the photo should be with them.
  • Your new card with have a date of validity of (5/10 years) starting with the date of your appointment.
  • Best to keep a copy of your green card for your own records as you will have to give it up when you collect the new TIE.
  • Useful links:  
  •  IOM -  International Organisation for Migration (Madrid, Murcia, Andalusia)
  • Spanish government guide on the registration process (English version)

jueves, 16 de julio de 2020


The Spanish government's guide to registration.
Legally resident UK citizens in Spain, and those who register (or at least get an appointment to do so) before 31 December 2020, will be protected by the citizens' chapter of the Withdrawal Agreement. This is an international treaty that will stand even if there is no trade deal at the end of this year between the EU and the UK. 

For more information, see the British in Europe guides on the WA and another publication on the Guidance Note that explains how the WA will be implemented. There is also a question-and-answer guide produced by the EU Commission on citizens' rights.

On July 4 the Spanish government announced the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement for UK citizens living in Spain. From Monday 6 July it has been possible to apply for the special new third-country ID card covered by the WA. The Spanish government has produced a detailed question-and-answer guide in English to help you. Also see a report of our meeting with the Spanish government on 9 July.

If there is something that you do not understand, if you need advice or if you run into problems during registration, you can contact three organisations in Spain. Through the UK National Support Fund these organisations have been contracted by the Foreign Office to help Britons with the new registration procedures:

1. Age in Spain (Catalonia and Baleares)
2. Asociación Babelia (Alicante province)
3. IOM -  International Organisation for Migration (Madrid, Murcia, Andalusia)

See below handouts from Babelia and IOM. These organisations have helplines where you can get advice and they can even accompany people, when necessary, to police stations and foreigners' offices.

EuroCitizens is a campaigning group which is part of the British in Europe coalition. We lobby for your rights and try to provide quality and up-to-date information for UK citizens, but we are not in a position to provide personal guidance and advice. However, if your approach to one of the UKNSF organisations has been unsatisfactory, you can write to us at:

See below handouts from Babelia and IOM:

martes, 14 de julio de 2020


Spanish Foreign Ministry in Madrid
On Thursday 9 July four EuroCitizens representatives had a most productive meeting with three senior officials at the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Europea y Cooperación in Madrid. We raised a series of questions related to the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in Spain and the registration of Britons for the recently announced third-country-national ID card under the WA. For example, we asked about the length of validity of our existing documentation from 1 January onwards and the situation of Britons who will also be EU family members - as well as mentioning the need for requirements for first-time registration as residents to take into account the financial impact of the COVID emergency.

The Foreign Ministry officials took note of our queries and said that they would get back to us with specific answers. The Spanish Government is currently working on a detailed guide for Britons in Spanish and English and has proposed that an inter-ministerial committee should be set up to coordinate the implementation of registration. On the issue of previously unregistered Britons, they stressed the importance of getting an appointment to apply for residence before the end of this year, as this would help citizens establish their right to be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Ministry officials also stressed that, while everyone who is already registered has had the right as from 6 July to apply for the new TIE (third-country-national ID card), their current documents confirming residence (green cards, A4 sheets, etc.) will remain valid. Thus everyone is free to decide when to apply and there will be no imminent deadline requiring an immediate application. We mentioned the need, in these circumstances, for the Spanish authorities to ensure that other EU Member States also were aware of this.

The Spanish Ministry and EuroCitizens agreed on the importance of proactive communication, both to British citizens and relevant Spanish authorities and administrative bodies, as a key factor of smooth implementation. EuroCitizens will inform the Spanish administration of further doubts or issues and both sides agreed on the need to maintain the current dialogue on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, in the same way as was done for the no-deal preparations throughout 2019.

Our next meeting to discuss these issues will be held in September or October.

martes, 7 de julio de 2020


The EX23 form.
Under the EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement, UK residents living in the EU lost our condition as European Citizens when the UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020, though most of our rights will stay the same until the end of the transition period which finishes on 31 December 2020. 
After some delay, caused notably by the COVID emergency, the Spanish Government has published its plans for registering Britons under the new status of third-country nationals. To do this, Spain has chosen the more benevolent route (WA 18,4 - declaratory) which involves the confirmation of status for legally resident Britons rather than having to re-apply for it (as in 'constitutive' countries like the UK or France).

From yesterday, 6 July, legally resident Britons in Spain can apply for an ID card establishing our status as third-country nationals (TCN) protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. Under the declaratory route this will not be compulsory and there is no 'legal cliff edge' but, in practice, having the new ID card will avoid any possible problems whilst travelling abroad and carrying out day-to-day transactions in Spain.

Those UK citizens who arrive in Spain after 1 January 2021 will be treated as pure third-country nationals and face exactly the same requirements as others from non-EU 'third countries' unless free movement is included in any future agreement between the UK and the EU, something which currently looks highly unlikely. However, new arrivals before 31 December will still be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement if they apply for residence, meet the requirements and demonstrate proof of residence before that date.

The Boletín Oficial del Estado (Official Gazette) of 4 July 2020 published detailed ‘instructions’ as to how we will be able to change our EU residence certificates for the new ID cards.

It outlines the steps that each of these groups will have to take:

i- Existing long-term EU residents.

ii- Temporary residents who have completed five years legal residence.

iii- Temporary residents with under five years residence.

iv- New arrivals without certificates.

v- Family members of registered or unregistered Britons.

For legally resident Britons the procedures should be fairly straightforward, involving visits to police stations, the filling in of a form, the paying of a fee and the presentation of a valid passport plus photos. The permanent resident card must later be renewed after ten years, which is in line with the duration of the Spanish DNI and Spanish and UK adult passports. The temporary residents' ID card can be changed for a permanent resident card as soon as you have completed five years legal residence.  

Unregistered Britons will first have to apply at a foreigners' office (oficina de extranjería) for residence as a UK citizen protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. This must be granted before you can then apply for a temporary residence card as a third-country national (WA). So two steps are involved.

EuroCitizens welcomes this information from the Spanish government, which gives some clarity about what Britons in Spain will have to do over the next few months. We are also happy that the new Spanish ID card will specify the status of ‘Permanent Residents’ which grants longer periods of absence.

However, we will be looking for clarification on various issues:

i- How Britons will be informed of the registration procedures, what measures will be taken to ensure that implementation is carried out uniformly and smoothly throughout the different autonomous regions and provinces (particularly those like Alicante and Málaga with large British populations) and what help will be given to vulnerable groups.
ii- The situation of Britons who will also be EU family members as well as third-country nationals protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and thus stand to lose some of their rights if they opt for one or another status.

iii- What steps will be taken to ensure that existing documentation for Britons in Spain (as EU citizens) is still valid for international travel and in-country transactions for a reasonable ‘grace’ period.

Tomorrow morning EuroCitizens will be taking part in a 'catch-up call' with staff at the UK Embassy. On Thursday we will be having a meeting in Madrid with officials from the Spanish administration. 

martes, 30 de junio de 2020


As an association our brief is to defend the citizens' rights of Britons who are legally resident in Spain - and who stand to lose key rights on 31 December. Even though protected by the Withdrawal Agreement in our host country, the end to EU-wide freedom of movement and cross-border service provision could  jeopardise the jobs and businesses of many. Here is a short explanation of how the end of the transition period (31/12/2020) might affect another group- UK second-home owners in Spain. It appears that they will not have the same mobility as now and will be subject to Schengen length-of-stay restrictions and possibly the need for visas.

The mobility rules for UK second-home owners in the EU, who are not legal EU residents (and therefore not covered by the EU/UK Withdrawal Agreement), will probably depend on the freedom of movement clauses of any future agreement between the UK and the EU. 

Until 31 December (the end of the transition period), British second-home owners will still have the option to apply for Spanish residence status covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Under Spanish No-Deal contingency plans (March 2019), allowances were made for Britons, who had been unable or unwilling to register before, to apply for residence after the UK had completely left the EU - if they could demonstrate proof of prior residence. So we think that the same could happen now, though no legislation on the Spanish implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement has been published yet.

If freedom of movement for EU/UK citizens is not covered by the future relationship agreement, which seems highly likely, Britons who do not fall under the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement, because they are not resident in the EU, will probably be subject to a rolling restriction of 90 days in any 180-day period within the Schengen Zone.

Case study:
Sarah and Paul used to go to their villa in Spain every September and stay until the middle of May. Now they can go from mid-September to mid-December and then they can go back from mid-March for another three months. However, any other time that they spend elsewhere in the Schengen Zone (for business or pleasure) will reduce the length of time that they will be able to stay in Spain.

It is worthwhile pointing out that, under EU freedom of movement rules, EU citizens are obliged to register in a Member State after only three months residence. Some countries (like France) do not require registration. Others, like Spain, require registration as EU citizens after three months but, in practice, do not strictly enforce this for the large community of EU citizens in the country.   

What is the outlook now for UK second-home owners? It appears that the UK is not in favour of Freedom of Movement being included in the Future Agreement. A recent European Parliament resolution urged the EU and the UK to strive towards a high level of mobility rights in the future agreement and regretted the fact that the UK has shown little ambition with regard to citizens’ mobility, which the UK and its citizens have benefitted from in the past;

The worst-case scenario for UK second-home owners in Spain is a complete breakdown in EU/UK talks and a 'no trade deal Brexit' (though the Withdrawal Deal protecting UK and EU residents will still remain in place). A 'no deal' could mean the need for visas to travel to EU countries (as required for many other 'third countries'). According to the Political Declaration (agreed before the UK's exit), visa-free travel for UK citizens requires there to be a 'Future Relationship' in place.

Case study:
Sarah and Paul used to go to their villa in Spain every Easter from mid-March and stay until the middle of October. In the case of a No Deal, every time they go to Spain they will need to apply for a visa at the Spanish Embassy which will stipulate the maximum length of time that they can spend in the country. 

This is not legal advice and, if you are worried about the situation, we suggest that you consult a lawyer.

jueves, 13 de febrero de 2020


Update 14/02/20
Camilla has kindly updated the information about what to do when you are notified that you have been granted Spanish nationality. After the experience with her daughter, she has added important information about Britons born in Spain (whose births are thus registered here). She has also included more on UK birth certificates if people want to keep the original, giving advice to provide a duplicate.

This information has been drawn up based on the website of the Ministerio de Justicia and given out by Registros Civiles, as well as on the experiences of members of EuroCitizens who have completed the process. Since some details vary according to the Registro, we strongly recommend that you contact your local Registro (the town hall can give you the number if you don’t have it) to confirm what they require you to take along and the exact steps.

The four main steps are the following:

11  Notification

22  “Pre-jura”: preparation for the “jura”

33  “Jura” ceremony

44  Final notification and appointment for DNI, followed by updating all documents with your old NIE

Note:Jura” and “prejura”. At the Registro Civil Central c/ Pradillo 66, they do prejura and jura, but in other registros civiles outside Madrid, they may do it in one go, depending on the registro.

We cannot give exact timeframes since timings have varied significantly between individual cases and do not appear to be directly related to whether the applicant lives in a big city or small town. Expect the process to take several months.

1.     Notification.

You receive an email telling you that you have a communication from the Ministerio de Justicia, or a letter at your address (if you did not do the electronic application).

It informs you that you have been given Spanish nationality and gives you 180 days to get it. It is essential that you keep this notification.

Ask for the appointment as soon as possible, since you may well have to wait several months.

2. Appointment for the “prejura” preparation of the “jura”.

a. This appointment is to prepare for the jura, though you do not actually swear or receive nationality yet, this is about paperwork. It is extremely important that you take the correct documents on the day, otherwise you may have to wait longer.

b. First, find out which is your “registro civil”, where you need to make the appointment; this depends on where you are “empadronad@”.

·       If you / your child were born in Spain and the birth was duly registered in Spain, you should check if this is the same Registro Civil where you/ your child are now empadronad@ and in which Registro Civil you need to do the whole procedure.

·       Since the procedure seems to vary from one place to another, check with your registro civil what you need to take; this information is also online (see 2g ).

c. You can make the appointment online or in some cases on the phone, calling your registro civil to make an appointment; at some registros they will just ask you to turn up. The website for online appointments is For other autonomous communities / provinces, enter in your search engine “Cita previa registro civil + name of the province”.
d. You need to fill in a form “hoja de datos/”hoja declaratoria de nacimiento” which you can download from declaratoria nacimientos  It is classified under the “Sección de nacimientos” , presumably because you are “born again”!  It is best if you fill out as much as possible before the appointment, and check with your registro civil that not 100 % of the information is essential to processing your nationality. Even if you/ your child were born in Spain and are already registered, it is best to fill out this form as it is specifically used for nationality applications.

    The form asks for information that you may not have e.g. the date and place of your parents' wedding, your grandparents’ given names, etc., as well as the inscription of your parents’ wedding and your birth. This is not essential, but again, it’s worth confirming this with your registro civil.

·       If you complete the form online, print out a copy and take it with you.

·       When you are told about a Certificado de Nacimiento, it means that you are going to be registered at the Registro Civil Español, every Spaniard has to be in the Registro Civil, they open a page, and record your name, where and when you were born, and the name and surname of your parents.  Without this Certificado de nacimiento en el Registro Español, you can't get a DNI or a Spanish passport.

e)     Remember that as a Spanish citizen:

·       Everyone needs a second surname, and this should be your mother’s maiden name.

·       If you have 3 given names, you have to choose 2 for the Spanish Registro

·       For married women who took on their husband’s surname, they will now have two new surnames (father’s and mother’s), following the Spanish system.

f)      They will give you a typed version of all the information and you need to carefully check the spelling of names and places.

g)     Documentation required: This may vary depending on whether your application was online or you already handed over the physical documentation. On the Ministry’s website it specifies that you need to show the following documents

·       Letter of notification of nationality being granted from Ministerio de Justicia, the “Resolución”

·       The original of your green certificate or the card with your NIE Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión

·       Your passport (original). You show this but they return it to you.

·       Certificado de empadronamiento (remember it must be within the last month)

·       Original, apostille and sworn translation of “antecedentes penales” in the UK (ACRO document that you had to get for your nationality application). It should not be necessary to provide your Spanish “certificado de penales” as in your application, you just tick the box in the application (solicitar penales españoles)

·       Original, apostille and sworn translation of your birth certificate from the UK. IMPORTANT: at least in some Registros Civiles they will keep the original birth certificate “for the archives” (sic), so if you have an official duplicate, hand that over; make sure you keep a scanned copy. Otherwise you can write a letter to the Registro Civil asking for your original birth certificate to be returned, or you can write to the UK to ask for a duplicate.

·       If you are told that you need your parents’ birth certificates (there have been cases), tell the civil servant that you don't need it because in your UK birth certificate, they can see the name of your mother, father and even the maiden name of your mother.

You should also take

·       The ”hoja declaratoria de nacimiento” that you completed with your details for the Registro Civil (see point 2d).

·       The email/ letter giving you the appointment.

·       If you/ your child were born in Spain, you will already be registered in the Registro Civil, so you should take along the original document of the inscription in the Registro Civil. In this case you/ your child may not be asked for your UK birth certificate, but take it along in any case – and you should still fill out the “hoja declaratoria”.

h)     You then ask for an appointment for the 'jura'. This may be several months after the second appointment for the paperwork.

i)      For minors (over 14 and under 18)

The minor should be accompanied by both parents. If the child is under 14, s/he does not need to be present. Both parents should be present, or in the case of one being absent, the other should have “poder notarial”. They should complete the same “hoja de datos”.

3.      “Jura” ceremony

a)     Take all your documents along to the “jura”, which is a very brief ceremony (10 minutes). If you have already presented the documents at the “prejura”, in theory you only need to take your passport (the original), the original NIE and the letter granting nationality, as well as the form with personal details of yourself and your parents, that you were given to fill in at the “prejura”. If the civil servant at the “prejura” requested any other document, you should take that along too.

b)     You will be asked to jurar or prometer the Spanish constitution and say that you renounce your British nationality. Remember that as far as the British government is concerned, you have not really renounced your British nationality.

c)     You just need to reply “sí“ to both and you are away!

You will not be requested to hand over your British passport, either in this ceremony or in the previous paperwork appointment.

Once the jura is completed, the 6-month period you are given when nationality is granted, is cancelled. You can ask for a copy of the “Acta de Juramento” if you wish (it isn’t necessary).

4.     Final notification and appointment for DNI

a)     After the “jura” you will need to wait until you get a notification via SMS from the Registro Civil that your certificate is ready; again, waiting time varies, so it is best to ask. This is the “Certificación Literal” which is your inscription in the Registro Civil (with your NIE and the rest of information you gave) and you need to pick this up in person from the Registro Civil; it is specifically and exclusively for you to get the DNI.

b)     You will then need to get an appointment with the Policía Nacional to get your DNI and passport. You can ask for an appointment on the phone 060 o online At the police appointment you need to present:

·       The Certificación Literal  (the original the Registro Civil gave you)

·       The Certificado de empadronamiento (the Policía Nacional will accept one within the last 3 months)

·       A recent photo (“hard copy” in paper)

·       42 euros in cash for the DNI and passport; they do not accept cards.

If you need more information on this, look at             

c)     When you get your DNI, you should also ask the police for a certificado de concordancia which proves that the person with the NIE is the same as the person with the DNI.

d)     When you have done this, you will need to change all your documents to include your new name and DNI number. The DNI number has no relation to the NIE. Examples of documents: driving licence, Hacienda, health card, registration at the town hall, bank accounts, will, accounts with Iberia/ other airlines, and all contracts e.g. work, insurance, utilities, phone, etc.

e)     If you want a Spanish passport, you need to apply for this. When you get it, remember to use your Spanish passport when travelling, including airline reservations etc, (rather than your British one) as there have been cases of people being told by the Spanish administration / police that they will have the Spanish passport taken away if they continue to use their British one.

You may find this link useful