British Passport holders who are would like to reside in Spain now that they are no longer in the European Union encounter several different forms of official identification, which can cause some confusion.

Firstly, a NIE Certificate is assigned to any foreign citizen who needs to carry out formalities with the Spanish government e.g. purchasing a property or a vehicle, even if they don’t have permission to reside in Spain. Therefore, having a NIE does not imply that you are a legal resident in Spain. This number never changes, even if the status of its holder does, i.e. if you do become a resident in Spain. It identifies the person in all areas; for example, it appears on the driver’s licenses or health insurance cards and is required to be able to pay the required taxes in a purchase for example, but does not necessarily imply that you will automatically get Spanish residency.

Secondly, that which is often referred to as A Residence Card / or a Residence Certificate, actually is only for European residents,  you will notice that the title on the actual document is “Tarjeta/Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Union” which is the document issued to European Citizens resident in Spain, and shows the NIE number, but no photograph, and now for British Passport holder’s it is only valid until the end of the transition period (31st December 2020).                                 .

Therefore, once the transition period is over, any British Passport holder who wishes to reside in Spain will require a TIE card to remain in Spain as a legal resident. This can be applied for before the end of the transition period, although to date the process of application for the TIE card is still unclear as it will vary depending upon your present status, although the Spanish administration assure us that they will implement a simplified process for residents that already have a Residence Card/ Certificate stating that they are permanent residents (i.e. the document must show the following – “residente comunitario con carácter permanente”). The TIE card is a requirement for all non-European residents and is similar in appearance to the Spanish National Identity Card. (D.N.I.). Among other information, it shows a photograph of the holder, their NIE number, information on their status in the country, etc. The TIE card has a restricted period of validity and must be renewed periodically.

Once you become a Spanish resident, you must then begin to present your tax declaration annually to the Spanish Tax offices declaring all your world-wide income and remember that you must apply for a Spanish Driving Licence too.

If you require assistance with this or any other matters, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Jose M. Lopez-Avalos – Solicitor
Tel. 952 901 225mail@marbellasolicitors.com

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