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UK Nationals living, working and retiring in Spain on deadline to get residency in order, say authorities

“Many of you have built your homes here and we want you to stay . . . You are part of the Spanish family,” these are the words of Spain’s Secretary of State for Migration and Social Security, Hana Jalloul.

She continues, “You are part of us. The Spanish Government is here to support you in this new phase and we want to send you a very clear message: this is, and will always be, your home.”

The Minister’s videoed message comes just days from the introduction of a new residency document for UK Nationals protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and some changes to the application process.

UK Ambassador HMA Hugh Elliott also joins Jalloul in the video message for UK nationals living in Spain to clarify the deadline to get residency papers in order.

The Ambassador and Minister acknowledged the many questions from UK nationals about the new system in a post-Brexit world, and sought to provide clarity and reassurance.

The transition

They were clear that the green residency certificate (whether A4 or credit card-sized) remains valid proof of residency status and rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, even after the end of the transition period.

Speaking about the introduction of the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero, Secretaria de Estado Hana Jalloul said: “If you already have a green residency certificate, you don’t have to apply for a new status as a resident in Spain, and the documents you already have as an EU resident in Spain remain valid. And most importantly, as long as you are legally resident in Spain before 31 December your rights are guaranteed. . . I encourage anyone who does not yet have your residency certificate to apply to the immigration authorities as soon as you can.”

HMA Hugh Elliott reminded UK nationals of the rights protected by the Withdrawal Agreement: “You will be able to continue to live and work in Spain. UK state pensioners will continue to have lifelong healthcare access as long as they remain living in Spain (this also applies to residents who claim a UK state pension in the future) and your UK state pension will continue to be updated. That’s why it is so important that you register as a resident as soon as possible.”

The government has published a comprehensive Q&A document (in both English and Spanish) to provide answers to the questions UK Nationals may have about their residency status and the new process.

The British Embassy is updating its Living in Spain guide to reflect the new residency process and will be providing further information on www.facebook.com/britsinspain

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