As of 6th of July 2020, the Directorate General of Migration and the National Police will issue, upon-application, a new residency card and with it, a new residency status specifically created for the withdrawal agreement, published jointly by the EU and the UK on the 14th of November 2018.
This new residency status sits in between the standard EU-citizens status and the non-EU citizen status and will have its own terms and conditions, in particular in respect to duration of the residency cards (and notably the introduction of a photo on the card).
The most important points to consider are:
- UK nationals residents in Spain prior to the 31st of December 2020 will have the rights to residency, freedom of movement and Social Security as recognized in the Withdrawal Agreement. Applicants for residency after this end date may have others, either those recognized in a future agreement between the EU and the UK or, by default, those recognized by existing Spanish laws and those that may be approved.
- UK nationals (and their family members) will not have to apply for a new status but will be entitled to receive a card that confirms their status as beneficiaries of the rights contained in the Withdrawal Agreement.
- The Instruction refers to various “statuses” and procedures:
- Applicants who have been residents for a period above 5 years and do have a permanent residency certificate, will submit their applications at the Police Station, receiving a permanent 10-year residency card.
- Applicants who have been residents for a period above 5 years but do not have a permanent residency certificate, will submit their applications at the Police Station, receiving a permanent 10-year residency card.
- Applicants who have been residents for a period under 5 years but do have a residency certificate, will submit their applications at the Police Station, receiving a “temporary” 5-year residency card.
- Applicants who do not have a residency certificate will submit their applications initially at the Foreigners Office and once approved, they will need to request the issuance of their 5-year validity cards at the Police Station.
- UK nationals arriving in Spain after the end date of the transition period (31st of December 2020), will have 3 months to apply for residency. Where not, the authorities reserve their right to grant extra time to submit the application.
- Temporary or extended absences from Spain will not affect the rights under the residency cards.
Permanent residency is obtained after 5 years of Spanish Residency through Self-Empoyed Residency or Non-Lucrative Residency or Residency through Investment. This followed by 5 years as a permanent resident and means you can then obtain Spanish Citizenship with a Spanish Passport.