News on Residents Rights and Freedom of Movement for Holiday Home Owners.

The UK will exit the EU with a Withdrawal Agreement on Friday January 31. 2020.

United kingdom nationals (UKNS) and their non-EU family members who are legally residing in Spain before the end of the transition period of December 31, 2020 should maintain the right to reside and work in Spain.

The green registration certificates and family members photo cards, will serve as proof of residency.

Please note that children must also be in possession of a registration certificate 

As drafted into “Citizens Rights” in the Withdrawal Agreement, the Spanish government have the right to ask resident UK nationals to update their residency status”.

update July 6:  The Spanish government have chosen to choose the declaratory residence scheme. New residency status is not a requirement.

It appears that the Spanish government will not insist on a change of residency documents for those holding the green certificates and card size registration documents.  They are  encouraging the updating for TIE ( Foreigners Card) which will be provided evidencing  that they have been issued under the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Spanish government does though advise that  “All British nationals and their family members will be well advised to have a TIE format document,  as they may benefit from a TIE format document that explicitly states that they are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement”. That “the TIE may be requested during the transitional period, although a planning of the applications may be established in order to avoid all of them being submitted at the same time”.

The TIE Card is not available to date.

Those UKNS who apply for residency post exit date (January 31) were to be issued with the TIE. The latest information is that the Spanish government is preparing the particular TIE so until available, applicants  may request the green EU registration certificate and/or family cards of citizen of the EU at Extranjeria. The application can now still be made at the foreigners offices or the Policia Nacional.

Update: TIE available on July 6.

Permanent residents (have resided in Spain legally for five years or more), have the opportunity to update their registration certificates to have the wording ‘permanent’ included. This is likely to facilitate an easier procedure if wishing to update for the new foreigners ID card (TIE).

Update July 6:  Permanent residents with and without the status written on their greed certificates, will be entitled to use the same procedure to update for a TIE.

Residents who are in possession of a UK driving licence can change these for a Spanish permit up till the end of the transition period. Those who have been resident for two years should exchange the permits as soon as possible.

Up until today CAB advisers did not have at hand the explanatory details on the future freedom of movement for UK nationals who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. This includes those who own holiday homes or spend long holidays in Spain. Yesterday late afternoon we contacted the European Commission by telephone and today received the information which we have posted below:

“Thank you for contacting the Europe Direct Contact Centre.

On 13 November 2018, the Commission proposed to include the United Kingdom (UK) in the list of countries whose nationals should enjoy-visa-free access to the EU for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

On 10 April 2019, the legislative process came to a positive conclusion. The legislation will become applicable once EU law ceases to apply to the UK. This will take place either:
– as of the date of the UK withdrawal from the Union in case of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, or
– after the end of the transition period (end of December 2020) provided by the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the Union and the United Kingdom’s government, if it enters into force.

Until either of this occurs, British citizens nationals remain EU citizens or continue to be treated as EU citizens for the duration of the transition period and thus maintain the full right of free movement within the EU in line with Directive 2004/38/EC”.

So basically the 90 days in any 180 days, unless there are future changes, commences on January 1 2021.


During the transition period the UK/EU are to negotiate the future relationship. When further information becomes available members will be notified.


Update:  July 9, 2020


Please note: The information provided is based upon our understanding of current legislation. It is not legal advice but is provided freely to enable you to be properly informed. We recommend that if you are considering taking action, you should seek professional advice.

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