New Residency Applications accepted from July 6. | Jon Nazca/Reuters


The General Directorates of Migration and the Police have approved an instruction which allows British nationals who were resident in Spain before Brexit on 31 January to apply for the new Residence Document from 6 July.

The instruction was published on Saturday in the BOE and sets out the procedure for issuing the Residence Document in Article 18.4 of Title II of the Agreement on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union.

The article states that each EU Member State may choose to allow UK nationals, their families and any other persons residing in their territory before 31 December to apply for a new resident status.

“UK nationals residing in Spain shall not be required to apply for a new Resident Status or to submit, therefore, to a new documentation process, but shall be entitled to receive a Residence Document that expressly states their status as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement,” the instruction states.

Temporary Residence Documents will be valid for 5 years and Permanent Residence Documents for 10 years.

In accordance with the instruction, British Nationals can apply for the Residence Document under the conditions set out in Title II of the Agreement from July 6, 2020.

In accordance with Title II of the Agreement, persons whose right of residence in Spain begins after the end of the transitional period, can submit an application three months after they arrive in Spain.

If applications are submitted after this period, the Immigration Offices will assess the circumstances and reasons for the non-compliance and will grant the interested party extra time to submit their application if the reasons for the non-compliance are substantiated.

The Withdrawal Agreement does not require physical presence in Spain at the end of the transitional period. Temporary absences and longer absences that do not affect the right of residence must be accepted in accordance with Article 11 of the Agreement of Permanent Residence.

According to the Commission Implementing Decision the Residence Documents issued must have a minimum validity of five years and applications for Permanent Residence will be accepted when the requirements set out in Article 15 of the Agreement are met, which includes 5 years legal residence in Spain.

If the first Residence document issued has not expired it will be presumed that the start of legal residence in Spain occurred on the date of issue of the Temporary Registration Certificate.

The 14-page instruction explains in detail the procedure and documents that must be provided with Applications for Temporary and Permanent Residence.