2nd March 2021
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UK nationals travelling to Spain now have alternatives to prove residency

Latest: Coronavirus in Spain figures (1 Mar)

An update has been provided by the British Embassy in Madrid on travel to Spain for UK nationals. It concerns those who were already legal residents of Spain before the UK left the European Union and the Brexit transition period came to an end on 1 January 2021.

Travel restrictions that were put in place on 22 December on passenger travel from the UK by air and sea are still in place until 2 March. However, Spanish nationals and legal residents from the UK may still travel to Spain, providing they have the required documents.

In a statement, the Embassy recognised the difficulty that some people – who were legally living in Spain before 1 January – faced on attempting to return to the country from the UK. Difficulties arose for those who were not yet holders of a residence document (green certificate or Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero – TIE), many of whom were denied boarding in early January.

In the absence of a green certificate or TIE, British nationals may now use alternative proof of residency. The Embassy stated:  ‘If you are not in possession of a residence document, the Spanish government has formally confirmed to the UK government that UK nationals who were legally residing in Spain before 1 January 2021, and as such are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, can present other documents to prove their residence status when entering Spain.’

The following documents will now be accepted as proof of residency in Spain:

  • Residence card issued under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement (the TIE – Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero)
  • Temporary or permanent EU residence certificate (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadanos de la Unión)
  • Receipt of application for the TIE (Resguardo de presentación de la solicitud de la tarjeta de residencia)
  • Confirmation of the positive outcome of your residence application (Resolución favorable por la que se concede la tarjeta de residencia)
  • In the absence of any of the above documents, other documents that credibly evidence your legal residence in Spain before 1 January 2021, such as a padrón certificate (issued by your town hall), a work contract, a rental contract, or proof of property purchase
  • In the case of students, documentation that demonstrates enrolment in an on-site or in-person course and proof of accommodation

The Embassy confirmed that the new list of acceptable documents has been sent to airlines and other travel operators to ensure that passengers are not denied boarding due to confusion over this issue.

Arrivals library image. (Aena.es)
Arrivals library image. (Aena.es)

Further to carrying an original copy of one of the listed documents, travellers must also hold a valid passport and comply with any further requirements, such as proof of a negative Covid-19 test.

As the UK is currently included on the Covid ‘risk’ list in Spain, a reminder has been issued that, ‘Additionally, all passengers (excluding children under the age of 6 years old) travelling to Spanish airports from risk countries, as determined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention & Control, are required to present a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test’. The test has to be taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival into Spain. Also read: Spain extends flight arrivals from UK until 2 March

ALSO READ: What’s next for Anglo-Spanish relations in the post-Brexit era?

ALSO READ (3/1/21): Q&A for UK Nationals living in Spain, with the end of the Brexit Transition Period

ALSO READ: UK and Spain reach ‘principle of agreement’ over Gibraltar

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