Do On February 1, 2020 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland withdrew from the
European Union and the Withdrawal Agreement entered into force, which establishes a transitional
period until 31 December 2020, except extension.
Within the competences of the Ministry of the Interior, the procedures and procedures that this new
situation will affect are related to:
• Traffic / Drive License
• Right to vote
• Political parties
• Civil protection
• Weapons and explosives
We focus on the most relevant ones and understand that they fit your situation
RESIDENCE (TIE cards and Transition Period)
The Withdrawal Agreement has provided for the establishment of a transitional period until 31st
December 2020. During the transitional period, your rights derived from the application of Union Law will
be maintained with the following exceptions (in relation to the right to vote in the elections to the
European parliament, and municipal elections):
However, Spain and the United Kingdom have adopted a bilateral Agreement in relation to the
municipal elections, so that Spanish and British citizens will be able to continue enjoying active and
passive suffrage in these elections, now under this bilateral Agreement.
Once the transitional period ended, on 1st January 2021, the Withdrawal Agreement provides that your
rights of residence, work, studies and Social Security will be maintained, provided that you resided in
Spain before that date.
The current registration certificates and family citizen cards of the EU available to British citizens and
their family members residing in Spain are valid documents to prove legal residence in Spain, after the
UK's withdrawal from the EU and benefit from the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement. However, as
of July 6, British citizens and their family members residing in Spain can request a uniform format
residence document (TIE), which will prove the condition of their beneficiary carrier of the rights
contemplated in the Withdrawal Agreement.
The rights of British citizens and their families who begin their legal residence in Spain after the
transitional period will be those established by the Agreement that regulates the future relationship or,
failing that, those established by the general immigration regime
We advise all UK nationals applying for a residency permit in Spain for the first time, to take full
advantage of the transition period and apply now before year’s end. The application
requirements will change drastically as from the 01/01/2021, becoming very stringent, as you will
be treated as a non-EU national. Many will not qualify as from 2021.
Existing residency permit holders: Swap you green cards for new TIE cards
We must distinguish between those who have a residence permit of less than 5 years old, or up
to 5 years or permanent. In all cases, your residency and renewal applications work the same as
before, unchanged until 31/12/20.
They are regarded, for the time being, as EU nationals until the 31st December 2020.
The new TIE card supersedes previous green cards
For the application of the TIE card, it will be necessary to do the process in person at the foreigners
office, along with the form, taxes (12 €), valid passport, and 1 photo
You will get a TIE card:
– With a validity of 5 years (when your residence in Spain at this time is less than 5 years) and when you
reside in Spain for another 5 years you may be eligible for a TIE of permanent validity
– With a validity of 10 years (when your residence in Spain at this time exceeds 5 years) and you may
apply for a TIE of permanent validity
We advise that all UK nationals who are already a residency permit, take full advantage of the transition
period, and apply now for a new TIE card before the end of this year. After 31/12/2020, you only have a
3-month deadline to apply for your new TIE card and you must be able to justify why you did not apply
for it during the transition period.
The departure from the United Kingdom with a Withdrawal Agreement implies that the European
regulations on driving licenses will continue to apply until the end of the transitional period scheduled for
31st December 2020.
Consequently, valid and unexpired driving licenses issued by the British authorities will enable their
holders to drive in our country until that date. From 1st January 2021, the general regulations will apply
and the permits issued by the British authorities will enable you to drive in Spain for six months, from the
entry of its holder in Spain or from the date of obtaining legal residence. .
Persons holding British licenses who are going to remain residing in Spain, after the end of the
transitional period, are advised to exchange their driving license for a Spanish license before the end of
it on 31st December 2020 .
Will Spanish driving licenses be recognized in the UK?
According to the information published by the British Government, you can continue driving with the
Spanish permit in the United Kingdom under the conditions established in the following link:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-the- uk-after-brexit # driving-in-the-uk
Maria Jose Arroyo – Solicitors of Abogados MAR Consultores