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Author: Sarah Last updated: Thu 08 Apr 04:06
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Moving to Spain - What do you need to do?

If you were legally resident in Spain before 1 January 2021, your rights will be protected by the Withdrawal AgreementYou should check that you are correctly registered as a resident. You have the right to obtain a new residence document to evidence your rights.

Visas and residency

If you were legally resident in Spain before 1 January 2021, you will be able to stay. You must ensure you are correctly registered as a resident. Children must also be registered with their own residency document.

If you are registering for the first time, you will be issued with a biometric residence card called a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE). This card will prove your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you registered as a resident before 6 July 2020, you would have a green A4 certificate or credit card-sized piece of paper from Extranjeria or the police. This is still a valid document and proves your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you have trouble using your green EU residence certificate, read the Spanish government’s informative note on documentation for UK nationals. This explains which documents you can use to prove your residence and Withdrawal Agreement rights in Spain. You can refer to this informative note when dealing with service providers.

You can exchange your paper EU residence document for the new TIE, but you are not required to.

The Spanish government recommends obtaining the TIE because the biometric card is more durable. It will also simplify administrative processes and border crossings.


Additional information

UK nationals who are resident in Spain, and need help to complete their residence application or registration, can get support from organisations funded by the UK Nationals Support Fund.

This support is only available to people who need additional help to secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. They may include pensioners, disabled people, people living in remote areas or people who have mobility difficulties. Support available includes:

·       Answering questions about residence applications, such as the documents you need and how the application process works.

·       Guiding you through the process, if necessary

·       support if you experience language barriers or difficulty accessing online information and services.

If you, or someone you know, are having difficulty completing residence paperwork or have any questions, contact the organisation that covers the region where you, or they, live.

IOM – The International Organisation for Migration (Andalusia, Castilla la Mancha, Castilla León, Ceuta, Extremadura, Madrid, Melilla, and Murcia)

Contact details:

·       IOM Spain website

·       Email: UKnationalsSP@iom.int

·       Helplines: Andalusia, Ceuta, Melilla: +34 650 339 754, Madrid, Castilla la Mancha, Castilla León, Extremadura : +34 699 581 855, Murcia: +34 648 642 543, all available Mon to Thurs, 3.30pm to 5pm


Babelia (Alicante, Valencia and Castellon)

·       Babelia website

Contact details:

·       Email: info@asociacionbabelia.org

·       Babelia contact form

·       Helpline: +34 865 820 229 available Mon to Fri, 9am to 2pm


Age in Spain (Aragon, Asturias, Balearics, Basque Country (Pais Vasco), Canary Islands, Cantabria, Catalonia, Galicia, La Rioja, Navarra)

Contact details:

·       Age in Spain website

·       Email: residency@ageinspain.org

·       Age in Spain contact form

·       Helpline: +34 932 20 97 41 available Mon to Fri, 9am to 6pm


Moving to Spain

Check the entry requirements for Spain.

You must register as a resident or apply for the appropriate visa if you want to stay in Spain for more than three months. Read the Spanish government’s guidance on moving to Spain (in Spanish).



If your UK employer has sent you to Spain temporarily, your access to healthcare is different. Find out how to access healthcare as a posted worker.


State healthcare: S1

If you have a registered S1 form and were living in Spain before 1 January 2021, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same if you are either:

·       Receiving a UK State Pension

·       Receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’

·       A frontier worker who lives in Spain and commutes to work in the UK.


European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are not an S1 holder but are registered for public healthcare in Spain in another way and are travelling outside of Spain, you must apply for a Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE - a Spanish-issued EHIC) online (in Spanish), or go to your nearest social security office (Insitituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social).

You must also buy comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your TSE, EHIC or for travel to countries outside the EU.

If you were living in Spain before 1 January 2021, you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC if you are:

·       A UK student in Spain

·       A UK State Pensioner with a registered S1

·       A frontier worker with a registered S1

Apply now for a new UK EHIC.

An EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.

Passports and travel

Coronavirus travel restrictions may affect the information on this page. 

You should carry your residence document (the green paper EU residence certificate or the new TIE), as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your document, carry proof you have started the registration process.

If you have not yet applied for a residence document, you should carry evidence that demonstrates you are resident in Spain. This could include a tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.

If you cannot show that you are resident in Spain, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in Spain.


Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You can apply for or renew your British passport from Spain.

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