Q&A: Post-Brexit residency for Brits in Catalonia

Bradley de Abreu from Age in Spain answers questions from Catalan News readers 

Person wears EU hat, as they wave the UK flag (by the EBS)
Person wears EU hat, as they wave the UK flag (by the EBS) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

January 25, 2021 11:43 AM

The Brexit transition period came to an end on December 31, 2020, and with it, British nationals' automatic entitlement to live and work in EU member states.

Catalan News asked Brits living in Catalonia for their questions on maintaining their residency rights post-Brexit, and we put them to Bradley de Abreu from Age in Spain.

Below is a summary of the questions tackled, or watch the video in full or listen to the podcast.

Q: Have you had many enquiries from British nationals?

Yes, we've been quite busy, particularly in the last month with the race to get everything done before the end of the transition period. Since we've been running this project, from June 2020, we've had about 1,300 people get in contact with us. In particular for Catalonia, we've had around 500 enquires.

Q: John asks: Do I need a work visa to continue working 8 months a year in Catalonia?

If he can prove that he was living in Spain before the end of the transition period then he can apply for residency as an EU citizen would, under the same requirements and processes as UK nationals were applying last year. If he's not able to prove that, then, yes, he would need to get a work visa.

Q: How can he prove he was already resident before Brexit?

The best way to prove you were living in Spain before the end of 2020 is to be registered on the Padrón/Padró and to have a valid empadronamiento/empadronament certificate. Other official documents may be accepted too, such as a rental contract or employment contract. The Spanish government has published a guide here.

Q: Gareth asks: What is the difference between a TIE and NIE? Do I need both?

My advice is that if you've been living here before the end of the transition period, then the process that all UK nationals need to go through now is applying for the TIE card. The NIE is a tax number, not a valid residence document. The TIE is a valid residence document used by all non-EU nationals. The green EU residence certificate is a valid residence document that has your NIE number on it.

Q: Claire asks: How do I get an appointment to get my TIE?

If you're struggling to book an appointment, and you have an NIE number, you can submit your documents online, using a Digital Certificate, or someone else can do it for you. There's also an app called Cita Previa.

Q: Richard asks: Is the TIE valid for EU travel?

I would recommend checking with the UK embassy. The TIE card is valid for travel within Spain, but given that the UK is no longer a member of the EU, it's always best to have a valid passport from your country of citizenship whenever you travel.

Q: Can he apply for a Spanish passport? And his children?

I would recommend checking with the Spanish government as there are various different circumstances and conditions that can impact on that.

Q: Do you need your TIE to re-enter Spain if you travel abroad?

The best thing to do is check the latest travel restrictions with the UK and Spanish governments, also in regard to Covid-19. Age in Spain recommend that people travel with their valid residency documents whenever they're leaving the country, along with a valid passport.

Q: How can people get in touch with Age in Spain?

Phone the residency helpline on 932 20 9741 Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Or visit the FAQs or fill in a contact form on www.ageinspain.org.