Residency rights in Spain after Brexit



The British Government and the European Union have agreed the date for withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. The date to be noted down in our diary is the 29th of March 2019.

As a result of this, negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement which will have direct consequences on the rights of many citizens have started.

As you may be aware, last 14- 15th of December, the negotiators of the European Union and the UK government set out a jointly report that shall be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement in full detail.

This first agreement was published on the TF50 website on the 8th of December 2017. You can have access to this document pressing this link:

This document gathers the guidelines that the European Union and the United Kingdom Government will follow in the negotiations under Article 50TEU on the United Kingdom arranged withdrawal from the European Commission.

Both parties have agreed across the following three areas under consideration in the first phase of negotiations:

a.- Protecting the rights of Union Citizens in the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom citizen in the European Union

b.- The framework for addressing the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland; and

c.- The financial settlement

The objective of the Withdrawal Agreement is to provide reciprocal protection for Union and United Kingdom citizens’ rights.

A new settled status scheme will be created for European Union citizens living in United Kingdom, and United Kingdom citizens living in Europe before the official date on which United Kingdom will disconnect from the European Union.

United Kingdom citizens living in the European Union territory and European citizens living within the United Kingdom territory for more than five years on the 29th of March 2019 will obtain the settled status.

Residents in one or other territory for less than five years will be able to stay until they have reached the five years threshold.

Family members of the citizens that will be benefited from the agreement are the following: spouses, unmarried partners, children, dependent parents and grandparents, children born or adopted after the 29th of March 2019.

The right to be joined by other family members will be subjected by national law.

As per the agreement reached in December, 2017, Citizens with a settled status scheme will keep their residence, healthcare rights, pension and other benefit provisions as they are today. The European Union and the United Kingdom government will co-ordinate rules for future contributions.

Citizens with a residency document will receive the new status automatically. Citizens holding a permanent residence document issued under Union law at the specified date will have that document converted into the new document free of charge, subject only to verification of identity.

However, if a citizen has not got the residence document, it is possible for him to be entitled to the rights under the Withdrawal Agreement if the citizen is able to proof his continuous residency in the territory by any other means of proof. In addition, persons covered by the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement will obtain recognition of their professional qualifications.

Furthermore, persons who acquired permanent residence rights can absent from its territory for up to five years without losing their settled status. This period is longer than the one contemplated in many national law of countries of the European Union.

There are also good news for people in cross-border situation such as tourist and students: they will get an European Health Insurance Card which will cover them in case they need to use the Health Care System.

The Withdrawal Agreement will be based on reciprocity and the national law of the different countries will have the possibility to improve the Withdrawal Agreement.

Based on the agreement reached, we will recommend British citizens living in Spain to review their residency status.

  • For those that obtained their residency card before the 29th of March 2014, living in Spain since then, it will be easy to obtain a permanent residency card if they do not have one yet. Please, check if your residency card is named as “residente comunitario” (EU citizen resident) or “residente comunitario permanente” (Permanent EU citizen resident).

Below you will find examples of “residente comunitario permanente”, in the two current formats.


Residency Spain





If you have “Residente comunitario permanente” in your residence card, this means that you already have permanent residence and no further action is required.

On the contrary, if your card is not a permanent one, we highly recommend that you start your application as soon as possible.

  • For those that do not have a residence card yet, we would recommend to start the registration process, and collect all evidence of your stay in Spain before obtaining residence card, specially if you arrived before March 29th, 2014. (eg. Padron certificate from Townhall, Health Insurance in Spain, ownership or rental of property, showing utilities consumption…)
  • Those married to or dependent of European Union citizens will have residency rights covered under the family links.

If you wish more information about the residency process, you can get it here:

Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further information.

Copyright 2017- Lextax Consulting, S.L.P.

Article 50brexitbritishcitizensEuropean UnionOwnerPropertySpainUk

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