Well, actually it’s not really – although the green residency documents are still theoretically valid, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that the TIE card is now the “residency proof of choice” for increasing numbers of Spanish processes – from banks, to Trafico to Health Centres.
True – There is no deadline to exchange in Spain
Misleading rumours on social media don’t help – Spain is a “declaratory” country for the purposes of residency status for UK passport holders under the Withdrawal Agreement, which means that residency status is automatic if you meet the WA conditions, regardless of any paperwork you possess.
A “constitutive” country means that residence status is only granted on completion of an actual application – and this is where the “deadline of 30th June” has probably come from.
Several constitutive countries have set a deadline of 30th June 2021 for UK passport holders to apply to regularise their residency status (France, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta and Holland) while others have deadlines of 30th September 2021 (Finland and Sweden), and still more of 31st December 2021 (Denmark, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, Romania).
But – “boots on the ground” are asking for the TIE card
It’s fair to say that while the Spanish Government can issue BOEs setting out the law, what actually happens in practice in the various autonomous communities can vary enormously. Also, to be brutally honest, most workers in Spain don’t care much about the fine print of the Withdrawal Agreement – they will have seen the headlines about Brits now being issued with a TIE card and so that’s what they’ll ask for.
We are seeing more and more instances where the TIE card is essential to complete administrative processes, whether it be exchanging a driving licence, registering a vehicle at the ITV, applying for a mortgage and even getting a job contract.
After many months of saying it’s not obligatory, the British Embassy and the Spanish government now “strongly recommend” that people exchange to the TIE card.
Why would you not exchange when it’s such a simple process?
At the moment, exchanging to the TIE card is probably one of the most straightforward bureaucratic processes out there – you don’t need to prove income, health care again. Admittedly, earlier this year appointments at the National Police were hard to come by but there are more and more available all the time (some even in the evening – unheard of !!). Even better, the TIE cards are being produced in less than 4 weeks now, a vast improvement on the 6-8 weeks seen at the beginning of this year.
Word to the Wise – Green A4 documents
Not to scaremonger but we’ve had a couple of instances where people in possession of a very old A4 Certificate (pre-2012) went to exchange to the TIE, only to be told that their residency status had been “revoked” and they had to start from scratch. Anyone still in possession of an A4 Certificate should be automatically eligible for a 10 year/permanent TIE.
But – I don’t want a document that has to be renewed
When your TIE card comes up for renewal, it’s not because your residency status has expired, it’s simply to update the photograph – just like for a passport or Spanish DNI (national identity document). You don’t think twice about having to renew your passport every decade, so why would the TIE card be any different?
Are there any circumstances where we’d advise you to wait?
Yes, one – if your green EU card only has a few months left (say 4 months maximum) until you reach the magic 5 years to transition to permanent residency status, then it would make sense to hang on for little while in order to get the 10 year TIE card.
How Upsticks Can Help
Let’s face it, not all of us have the time (or inclination) to faff about making appointments and all the rest of it. Why not let Upsticks take away the stress and take care of everything for you. We complete the application form, pre-pay the taxes, make sure your documents are all present and correct AND go with you to both the fingerprint and collection appointments.
With prices starting at €95 per couple (+VAT/IVA and taxes) you sit back and relax and we’ll take care of everything for you.