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I'm british: Brexit and the right to reside in Spain

Relevant information for British nationals in Spain

Until the date on which the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union takes place, nationals of the United Kingdom will remain citizens of the Union and will therefore be able to reside (and work, study) in Spain in accordance with Union law. Similarly, their family members, irrespective of their nationality, may accompany them and, as such, obtain a Residence card of a family member of a Union Citizen.

However, from 00:00 on the day following the date of withdrawal, the United Kingdom will become a third country and nationals of the United Kingdom will therefore no longer be regarded as citizens of the Union.

On 14 November 2018, the United Kingdom and the European Union reached a draft agreement on the terms of withdrawal  This agreement addresses the issue of citizens' rights and guarantees, in addition to the existence of a transitional period, the possibility of continuing to live and work in Spain after Brexit under the same conditions under which they were doing so.

To date, the agreement for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union has not yet been signed and the terms of the agreement will not be final until it is approved by the United Kingdom and the European Union.

It should be remembered that, in Spain, citizens of the Union, including British citizens, must, when they wish to reside in Spain for more than three months, register in the Central Register of Foreigners.

This application must be submitted within three months from the date of entry into Spain, and a registration certificate will be issued immediately stating the name, nationality and address of the registered person, his/her foreigner's identity number (NIE), and the date of registration.

Given that it is not known whether there will be a withdrawal agreement and that this process depends on decisions by the United Kingdom, it is recalled that when the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union becomes effective, the fact of having a valid registration certificate will guarantee the recognition of your rights as a resident in Spain. In the event of departure with an agreement, this certificate will allow you to prove that you are a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement. In the event of departure without agreement, this document will allow you to continue residing in Spain and obtain the documents corresponding to your status as a third-country national.

In case you do not yet have a registration certificate as a citizen of the Union, it is advisable to obtain this certificate before the date of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union by requesting an appointment for the “EU Certificates” process at the Police Stations in your province. NOTE: not all Police Stations have appointments available to carry out this procedure before the aforementioned date.

If you cannot obtain this certificate before the date of withdrawal, you may access the new procedure established for this purpose through the “procedure for documentation of nationals of the United Kingdom” provided that you can prove, among other things, your status as a resident in Spain on the date of withdrawal (for example, through your registration certificate).