Just over a year since the Withdrawal Agreement TIE (Tarjeta Identidad de Extranjero) was launched, the latest figures published by the Spanish Government reveal that over a third of UK Nationals in Spain now have the biometric card that explicitly recognises their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
There are an estimated 400,000 British citizens who are officially resident in Spain with either the previous NIE paper certificate or newer TIE identity card.
Commenting on the figures, the UK ambassdor to Spain, Hugh Elliott said: “It’s great to hear that so many UK Nationals now have the TIE and I’m sure that the next set of figures will show an even higher number. Whilst it’s still not obligatory to have one, it has become clear over the last 12 months that the TIE makes people’s lives easier. It’s more durable, more easily recognisable than the green residency certificate and it explicitly recognises your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.
What’s more, it really is a straightforward exchange process and we have a step-by-step guide to what you need to do on gov.uk. My advice would be to do it as soon as you can – we’ve seen instances where the green certificates are not recognised and, whilst we continue to raise such instances with the Spanish authorities, a TIE has proven to be a more reliable option.”
A recent survey carried out by the British Embassy’s facebook page community group found that of the 6,500 responses the “Top Ten Reasons” to exchange the previous NIE paper certificate forthe TIE card where:
- It explicitly recognises your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement
- It’s more durable
- It’s easily recognisable – eg. at border crossings – as it follows the model established at European level
- The process of exchanging your green certificate is straightforward and cheap (12€) (https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/brexit/Documents/GUIDE%20BREXIT%20eng.pdf)
- It is clear evidence of your immigration status
- It will make some day-to-day administrative processes easier (eg. with your bank)
- It should help to ensure you don’t get your passport stamped incorrectly
- It contains biometric information, so is less easy to fake
- There are currently more resources available within the Policía Nacional to facilitate the exchange
- It can fit easily into your wallet – especially for those who have the older A4 green certificate
Further information on how to exchange the green certificate can be foundon the Spanish Governmen´s clarification document here: Gob.es Nota Aclaratoria Green Certificate.
Until the end of the year, the UK Government is funding three organisations to provide support for UK Nationals who may be having difficulties with the residency process, so do get in touch with them if you need any help. Who to contact depends on where in Spain you live.
You can find their details and how to contact them at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/uk-nationals-support-fund-uknsf-applying-for-residency-in-eu-or-efta-countries#spain