Registering as a Resident

Prior to 1st July 2020, in order live in Fuerteventura (or any part of Spain) British Citizens were required to register as a resident foreigner. Being in the EU, this was a simple matter of obtaining a green residencia, the “Certificado de Registro”, at the National Police station. The whole procedure took just 2 or 3 working days.

However, in preparation of the EU/UK transition period ending on 31st December 2020, on 1st July 2020, the Spanish Government stopped issuing these residencias to British Nationals, and on 6th July began issuing them a TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjeros) instead. You can read the official BOE here, which details the rules of the new system.

So, what does this actually mean to those applying for residencia?

First off, the whole procedure may now take up to 3 months, and will require a photograph and fingerprints. Click here for the full process.

Until the 31st December 2020, the requirements in order to apply for a TIE remain the same, except that if health insurance is required (ie you are not contributing to the national system and do not have your S1) a basic health insurance will no longer be acceptable and your insurance now needs to cover emergencies and hospitalisation, with no excess and also covers any existing health conditions.

If you already live in Fuerteventura (or Spain!) and have a green Certificado de Registro, you can apply to change it to the newer TIE, however, at this current time you are not obliged to do so.

If you are living here, or will be moving here prior to 31st December 2020, you must ensure that you have applied for a TIE as soon as possible, and definitely before the end of the year. If you have the older green residencia, or have at least applied for a TIE before 31st December, then your right to live and work here will be protected under the Withdrawal Agreement.

One thing that I feel must be pointed out, is that if you have registered as a resident, in the first 5 years from your date of registration, you must not leave the country (Spain) for more than 6 months in any 1 year. When you have had your residencia for 5 years or more, you may leave the country up to 2 years. If you are out of the country more than the alloted time, you may lose your right to residencia, and may not be allowed to apply again.

So, what about AFTER 31st December?

Unless you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement , United Kingdom nationals entering Spain after 1 January 2021 will be considered third-country nationals. Therefore, the general immigration regime will apply to them, unless a future mobility scheme is negotiated in the future between the UK and the EU. However, there are currently no plans for negotiations concerning immigration for the British.

Currently for third-country nationals, the main difference is the amount required for proof of funds, which is a lot higher than for EU nationals, and is based on IPREM. The IPREM rate changes slightly each year, but are currently about 26,000€ per applicant, or 32,000€ for a married couple.

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  1. We are a married couple, and have bought a property in Fuerteventura this year and were cash buyers so have collateral. Do you still have to have separate cash funds to take residency, or is the property taken into account.

    Your website is very informative and helpful.

    Many thanks.

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