“The green certificate was hugely unpopular but most Brits have kept it...” | T. AYUGA

I was amazed to read that just 36 percent of British citizens in Spain now have the new residence permit TIE cards. These were introduced for the post Brexit period. I would have thought that the figure would have been much higher, especially as the TIE cards are the future and the green certificate residence permits (which are stilll valid) are the past.

I know many expats on the island who have exchanged their green certificate for the TIE card. I thought that this would be standard practice across Spain. But no. The new TIE card is a step forward. It is valid identification unlike the green certificate which, as we all know, doesn´t include a photograph. Even the Spanish authorities say that the TIE card is superior because it is biometric and makes travel easier. But still expats are keeping their green certificates.

I have also heard that some officials at foreign airports are questioning the green certificate. It has always been hugely unpopular, it was even dubbed the useless certificate by many expats who wanted the return of the old-style residence cards which included a photograph. The old style residence permits are similar to the new TIE cards but still there have been few takers.

The Spanish authorities, working alongside their British counterparts, have made the lives of expats easier when applying for the new cards. They even recruited additional staff just for British citizens. But no the green certificate still rules amongst the British.