Bremain in Spain are proud to work closely with the British Ambassador & Embassy staff to keep you informed about life in Spain.
Throughout the Brexit process, the Embassy have been providing regular updates on our rights in Spain, and the necessary measures to take to ensure those rights are protected. We are grateful for all their efforts on our behalf & for sharing any developments promptly & efficiently.
We will pass on any new information as it becomes available, so please check in regularly for all the latest news.
Right: Chair Sue Wilson with British Ambassador Hugh Elliott
From an article by Bremain Chair, Sue Wilson, in The Local Newspaper, the Ambassador, Hugh Elliott told us:
“I know that, because of the suspension of residency appointments during the current state of emergency, many UK nationals are concerned about their ability to obtain the correct documentation before 31 December. I want to reassure people on two points. If you already have the green residency certificate, your core rights are protected and it remains a valid document, even after the end of the transition period. If you don’t yet have your green residency certificate there is, likewise, no need for alarm. We continue to advise people to get an appointment as soon as you can. However, as long as you are living in Spain and can prove that you satisfy the legal conditions of residence (i.e. sufficient income and access to healthcare) by 31 December 2020, your rights are assured even if you are not able to get the physical document before the end of the year.”
Read the full article “What will Brits in Spain need in order to feel settled?” here
The Embassy welcome direct contact from members of the public, with general or more specific, personal enquiries. Please use this LINK to make direct contact as it will generate an online form & provide a reference number.
You can also contact the consulate in your area – a list of consulates can be found here
You will receive a direct response in due course.
The Embassy provide regular updates, including live Q & A sessions, on their Facebook page here
The Embassy website has a wealth of information on a variety of topics, including details of how things will change after the end of Brexit transition period here
You can also follow them on Twitter: @BritsliveSpain
Need help with applying for residencia?
The British government are funding a number of organisations in Spain to help struggling UK nationals apply for legal residency. The United Kingdom Nationals Support Fund Project (UKNSFP) particularly aims to help the most vulnerable Brits deal with Spanish bureaucracy.
See the table below for details of which organisation to contact for help, support & advice in your area. You can select the logo below to take you directly to their website.
Update from Embassy 21 April
On Tuesday 20 April, our Chair, Bremain in Spain Chair, Sue Wilson took part in a meeting with representatives of the FCDO (Citizens’ Rights department) and British Embassy staff from Madrid and Paris. The meeting was also attended by representatives of citizens’ rights groups from 7 EU countries.
The meeting involved discussions around the misrepresentation in the media of recent coverage of events regarding UK nationals, most especially in Spain. Other topics included communications, information and support being provided for Brits abroad, followed by a question and answer session.
To read more about the meeting, open the PDF
Update from Embassy 16 April
There has been some confusion over the rules for visiting other Schengen countries when legally resident in Spain. We asked the Embassy to clarify how long you are entitled to visit, and whether the rules are different for those with temporary residency to those with permanent residency.
Open the PDF for confirmation of:
- Length of stay for visits
- Requirements for extended stays for work
- Length of time you can be out of Spain without affecting your residency
- Differences between temporary & permanent residency rights (where they exist)
Update from Embassy 4 March
In response to recent concerns our members raised over access to Spain’s vaccination programme, we approached the Embassy directly and received this response:
“The Spanish Government’s Vaccination Strategy sets out that all people living in Spain will be eligible for the vaccine, regardless of nationality or residency status. The Vaccination Strategy is updated regularly to include new priority groups as the number of doses available gradually increases. You might be interested to see this question and answer from the Spanish government’s FAQ website, which highlights that all people in the priority groups, irrespective of their nationality or type of sickness insurance cover, are being vaccinated.
Those UK nationals who are already registered in the public health system should be contacted by their regional health authority to arrange an appointment. The Spanish authorities are asking insurance companies to coordinate with regional health services in order to provide vaccines to their customers. The Spanish authorities are also considering how to contact people who are not registered on the public system nor with a private insurer. Ultimately, our advice to UK nationals living in Spain remains that they contact their local health centre and/or insurer for more information.”
The Embassy will provide further updates as and when further information is available, and the issue will be followed closely by the Embassy communications team.
Update from Embassy 26 February
The Department for Health & Social Care has today provided healthcare updates, and potential solutions to difficulties being faced by UK nationals when registering S1 forms.
Open the PDF HERE for more information on the following, plus some useful links:
- Continuation of S1 scheme
- Sending medication via courier from the UK to Spain
- S1 registration issues
Update from Embassy 16 February
There has been plenty of information available recently regarding applications for Spanish residency. To date, that information has related to those that arrived in Spain before the end of the Brexit transition period.
What are the requirements for those moving to Spain from 1 January 21?
UK nationals moving to Spain post Brexit (and who are not joining close family members under WA family reunification rules) will need to meet the same requirements as other third country nationals.
In most cases, this will require starting the process via the Spanish consulate in the UK, before traveling to Spain. The requirements will differ depending on the visa/residence permit the person is applying for (e.g. a residence and work permit, a non-lucrative visa, etc).
UK nationals requiring further information about visas/residence permits should consult with the competent authorities for Spain:
For the Spanish Consulate in the UK visa FAQ page, click here
For the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration page, click here
Update from Embassy 10 February
The Embassy has produced an essential guide explaining your citizens’ rights as covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. The guide contains information of the following topics, as well as many useful links:
- Living & working
You can view/download the guide HERE or click on the image below. Hard copies are available from the Embassy directly.
Update from Embassy 27 January
On Wednesday 27 January, our Bremain Chair, Sue Wilson & Vice Chair, Lisa Burton attended a meeting with British Ambassador, Hugh Elliott & his Embassy team.
The Ambassador & his team spoke to a number of issues – many of which are being compounded by both Brexit & Covid. Prior to the meeting, our members raised a number of important concerns with us.
The topics covered were:
- Vaccination programme in Spain
- Stamping passports
- S1 registration delays
- Driving licences
- Lack of appointments for TIE
- Authorities holding your documentation (while waiting for residencia)
- Increased bank charges
- Buying property in designated military areas
For answers to all of the above issues, & to access many useful links to additional sources of information, read our PDF here
Thank you for bringing these important issues to Bremain’s attention, and to the Embassy for their knowledge, support and efforts on behalf of all Brits in Spain.
Update from Embassy 23 January
Spanish Bank accounts & the TIE
The Spanish government has produced a public document which explicitly confirms the continuing validity of the green residence certificate as proof of a person’s rights under the Withdrawal Agreement and therefore their residence rights/status in Spain.
In a recent article, it was suggested that banks in Spain would require all British customers to be in possession of a TIE. Whilst a bank may well be within their rights to ask that customers keep their details and personal identification documents up to date (e.g. their passport), they should not insist that a holder of a green EU residence certificate exchanges it to a TIE in order to prove their residence rights and continue banking with them. If you are asked by your bank to do so, please direct them to the above document.
Update from Embassy 4 January
In response to the recent travel issues experienced by British nationals returning to Spain, the Spanish authorities, in conjunction with the British Embassy, have issued a statement clarifying the position.
An example of the accepted residency documents can be found here
For details on entry requirements into Spain please see the Consulate General of Spain update here
Update from Embassy 2 January
The Spanish Ministry of Migration have updated their website to include two really helpful pieces of info:
- An updated version of the FAQ document, which includes many of the questions we supplied to the Embassy and which they have been feeding into them on our behalf. These include what to do if you’ve exchanged your green residence certificate for a TIE but want to change it to a permanent card before the original TIE expires – see p.37
- A bilingual, informative note on the documentation that UK nationals can use to evidence their residence status and that they are a beneficiary of the WA. Notwithstanding the Spanish government’s clear recommendation for UK nationals to get the TIE, this confirms the validity of the green certificate, even if it is older than 5 years and doesn’t say ‘permanente’.
The Embassy and officials at the Spanish Migration ministry hope that UK nationals will be able to print off or point to this second document should they have any problems in exercising their rights or accessing services in Spain.
The English version of the ministry website and the Embassy’s own Living in Spain guide should be updated with this information shortly.
Update from Embassy 15 December
Bremain joined other stakeholders for an online Embassy conference call, to discuss current issues affecting Brits in Spain.
We raised a number of issues that our members brought to our attention beforehand, & you can read full details of those in our PDF here
Topics covered included: travel, residency/TIE, EHIC, driving licences & more.
Update from Embassy 25 November
Bremain held its first webinar in conjunction with Lorna Geddie from the Embassy. The 63 Bremain members attending raised questions on a wide range of topics, including travel, visa requirements, pensions, banking, residency, healthcare/EHIC, swallows rights, driving licences & dual citizenship.
Many thanks to Lorna for her valuable input & to all those that took part.
In response to all the issues raised, Lorna has kindly put together a PDF especially for Bremain in Spain members. (Last update: January 2021)
“I am very grateful to Sue and the Bremain in Spain team for setting up the webinar and it was great to see so many members on the call. It is so useful for the Embassy to hear and understand the questions and concerns of UK nationals in Spain, as it helps us with our citizens’ rights work going forward. I would urge anyone who hasn’t already done so to check out the information available via the Living in Spain guide on gov.uk and to sign up for email alerts to ensure they keep up to date with all the latest developments.”
Lorna Geddie, British Embassy
“My thanks to Sue, Matt and Lisa for organising the webinar, and very especially to Lorna who was clear, knowledgeable and very generous with her time” – Richard Lander
”Thanks very much for organising an excellent meeting & to all involved” – Mel Slater
“A wide range of topics were covered. Very interesting, informative & inclusive” – Sue Scarrott
”Thank you to everyone at Team Bremain for making this happen” – Jacqueline Davison
Update from Embassy 17 November
The Embassy have provided us with updates relating to:
- British bank accounts for Spanish residents
- DGT latest protocol re driving licences
To read the latest information re banking, click on the PDF HERE
To read the latest information re driving licence applications, click on the PDF HERE
You will also find a post on the subject on the Embassy “Brits in Spain” Facebook page here
Update from Embassy 11 November
The government have introduced a new portal to improve the process of applying for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
If you are eligible for a new card, for use after the end of the Brexit transition period, you can apply using the link below.
Update from Embassy 6 November 2020
The Embassy’s dedicated healthcare team have provided an update on exportable benefits. The policy review – which applies to those wishing to make a new application for an S1 form from 1/1/21 only – affects those who are in receipt of:
- Personal Independence Payment
- Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer’s Allowance
NB. this policy change does not affect the following groups:
- those who qualify for an S1 form on the basis of another benefit, such as a UK State Pension
- those receiving benefits from an existing S1
To read the Embassy update on exportable benefits in full, click on the PDF HERE
The healthcare team have also responded to your queries regarding EHIC cards. You can read their update PDF HERE (Updated 9/11/2020)
If you have any further questions, you can contact the dedicated health team by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update from Embassy 16th October 2020 – Your questions answered
Bremain in Spain members submitted a number of interesting questions to the Embassy, regarding residencia, driving licences, Withdrawal Agreement rights & much more. Open the PDF for your questions & the Embassy’s answers HERE or select FAQs image right. Further questions on healthcare have been submitted to the specialist team & will be answered in due course.
The Embassy also provided some useful Spanish authority links for further information:
- La Moncloa Citizens’ website – landing page – in English and in Spanish
- La Moncloa Citizens’ website – section on residence – in English and in Spanish
- FAQ document detailing the new TIE system – in English and in Spanish
- Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security & Migration – section on residence in English and in Spanish
Update from Embassy 9th October 2020
The Embassy has been in touch with the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) regarding the difficulty in getting driving licence appointments. The Embassy are working with the DGT to improve the process for British citizens resident in Spain. For all the latest details, open the PDF, where you will also find updates regarding registration issues.
Specialised Committee on Citizens’ Rights (SCCR)
The SCCR met on 8 October for the 3rd time – the agenda included social security coordination, registration and support for the most vulnerable. You can read the joint statement from the UK and EU, issued following the meeting here
For details open or download the PDF HERE or select image above.
Update from Embassy 23rd September 2020 HMA video for UK Nationals
With 100 days until the end of the Transition Period, HMA Hugh Elliott has recorded a message for UK Nationals – providing reassurance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement and reinforcing the importance of being legally resident.
Updates from Embassy on 22nd September 2020 re potential bank account closures
Thousands of British citizens living in the EU have been contacted by UK banks warning of potential account closures due to Brexit.
Following concerns raised by members, Bremain contacted the Embassy for an urgent update.
Please open or download the PDF HERE or select image right for the Embassy’s swift response.
To receive the latest updates direct from the Embassy, we recommend you sign up for the Embassy email alerts. You can select your preferred frequency of alert here
Updates from Embassy on 18th September 2020
Read updates from the British Embassy regarding:
- The Internal Market Bill
- Driving Licences
- Dates for LIVE Facebook events
On Friday 11 September, Bremain in Spain Chair, Sue Wilson took part in an Embassy Stakeholder meeting. Topics discussed included:
- Internal Market Bill
- TIE applications
- Stakeholders input
- UKNSF government funded support programmes
For more information, download the PDF HERE or select image right.
A few outstanding queries have yet to be answered, but on receipt of any further updates from the Embassy, we will pass on any additional information.