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Brexit – For thousands of UK nationals in Spain there is still time to act.

At midnight on 31 December the transition period following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union came to an end. However, many nationals living across Spain still need to complete the process of formalising their status as resident in Spain. Those who can demonstrate that they were legally living in Spain before 31 December 2020 can still apply for residency and their rights will be protected under the terms of the UK’s withdrawal agreement. “Legally living” means that someone was living here before the end of last year and they met the EU residence conditions, such as being a worker, self-employed, a student or someone who is self-sufficient. They also need to be able to provide documentation to show that they met those conditions. If they meet these requirements but have not started the residency application process, there is still time to do so.

In a recent joint statement from the Spanish government and the British Embassy in Spain, Hana Jalloul, Secretary of State for Migration, said:

“I know that many of you have built your homes here and we want you to stay. You are part of the Spanish family. You are part of us. As I said in July, this is, and will always be, your home… my key message is, as long as you were legally living here before 31 December your rights will be protected and recognised in Spain”.

This means for UK nationals, who were unable to begin or complete the process of applying for residency in Spain and the new TIE card, there is still time to act.

There is free help out there

The UK Government has established the United Kingdom Nationals Support Fund (UKNSF). Age in Spain, Asociación Babelia, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), under the UKNSF, are supporting UK nationals who are struggling to complete the paperwork required for residency applications. This support continues in 2021. These organisations have put out this joint message:

“Now really is the time for UK nationals who lived here before 31 December 2020 to secure their rights to live in Spain. There is still time but please don’t delay. If you are struggling with your residency and need support, then contact the UKNSF organisation that deals with your area, to maintain your rights!”

The UKNSF specifically support those who may find it harder to complete their application, such as elderly people, people living with disabilities, those living in remote areas or who have mobility difficulties, and those facing language or technological barriers.

Responsibility for the Spanish autonomous regions is divided between the three UKNSF organisations as follows:

Age in Spain covers Catalonia, the Basque Country, Aragon, Navarra, La Rioja, Cantabria, Asturias, Galicia and the Balearic and Canary Islands.
Asociación Babelia covers the Region of Valencia (Alicante, Valencia and Castellon).
IOM covers Andalucía, Madrid, Murcia, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla León, Extremadura and the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

The services offered by these organisations are free of charge.

IOM Spain, has been raising awareness among UK Nationals living in the above-mentioned regions, sharing accessible information on residency requirements, and providing direct practical support to complete applications for those individuals in situations where access to information and application processes is difficult.

Here, you can find our contact details:
IOM – –Madrid, Castilla La Mancha, Castilla León and Extremadura: +34 699 581 855/ Andalusia and Ceuta and Melilla: +34 650 339 754 / 616 825 704/Murcia: +34 648 642 543

If you, or someone you know, are having difficulties completing their residency paperwork, you can contact the persons below to discuss how they may be able to help you.

Age in Spain:
Christopher Knighton
+34 674 547 420
Asociación Babelia:
Brahim El-Habib
+34 722 14 62 67
International Organization for Migration (IOM):
Alicia Garate
+34 699 581 855

Featured image: UK & EU flags/Elionas 2 from Pixabay; Benidorm/Nikolovskii, CC BY-SA2.0
Residency Help/Age in Spain website, Fair Use