Residency (TIE) for expats in Spain after Brexit and a No-Deal


Posted and filed under Brexit and Spain, General Articles of Interest, Legal Paperwork (NIE, Residencia, Padron), Spanish Residency.


Our suggestions for expats in Spain after Brexit

We wish to make it clear that we only provide our advice on the legal and tax issues in Spain as we see it. We are not giving any personal opinion on Brexit or deals or otherwise.

We only wish to assist and advise on this subject.

Should a “No-Deal” Brexit scenario arise, then the Spanish government have already published their plan for this.

British Nationals will become residents in Spain from a “third country”. As such new residency documentation may be required but there will be a grace period (of almost 2 years; 21 months) to arrange the new paperwork. (Which is called a TIE).

EU citizens have freedom of movement in the EU and EEA. But others need authorisation to live and or work in Spain. However for those already with residency (TIE) it will be far easier to obtain this authorisation.

Everyone who registered as an EU resident before 31st January, plus those who can prove they have been residing here will be seen as legal residents (and also allowed to work).

How can expats in Spain after Brexit prove they are residents?

Well firstly, the most important document is a Residencia certificate or card (now a TIE). It does not have to have “character permanente” on it.

We strongly urge anyone who is a Resident and has not got a Residencia document to follow the British Consulate’s advice and obtain a TIE before the end of January. Our office can advise what is needed. Contact us please to learn more about requirements for Residencias/TIES.

All British living in Spain after Brexit will have the grace period to obtain a document. This document is known as a “Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero”, or Foreigner’s Identity card or TIE for short.

Saving Inheritance Tax Prior to Brexit

Our other recommendations are to consider a donation in the Valencia or Murcia region of your property to your children. This is because we have been advising clients to gift property in local regions before Brexit, explaining inheritance and donation taxes may increase as a result of Britons becoming non-EEA and thus no longer eligible for the good inheritance tax allowances used by the Valencia and Murcia regions.

Recently, the Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a difference in tax treatment between Europeans and non Europeans. However we predict Tax Office will continue to apply taxes and we will need to appeal them, which may take time and expense and carries a risk. Given the Valencian regional government also have stated they intend to alter/erase taxes this year, we continue to recommend a donation of Spanish properties to your adult children as soon as possible.

Other Recommendations of Paperwork pre-Brexit

Finally, we would also recommend that you ensure (if Resident) that you have your Spanish driving licence and Spanish car on Spanish plates. Matters are only going to get more complicated with bureaucracy after it happens. The same goes for Spanish Wills. At the risk we sound as if we are promoting services, if you have Spanish assets a Spanish Will is already highly recommended, simply because without one you need a Grant of Probate apostilled from your home country, which takes time and can be costly.

Just because a simple Spanish Will was not made, as if the deceased has one no Probate from another country is needed. After Brexit, cross border probates are only likely to get more complicated so a simple Spanish Will is a must.

This is the time to get your affairs in order, before paperwork becomes a little more complex and expensive in Spain for the British. Please contact us if you have any specific questions about Residency for expats in Spain after Brexit. We are happy to help, that is what we are here for.


  • Lucy Kinnison

    We live in near Girona and have 2 properties, a business and 2 children under the age of 18 living with us here.
    I think that we need to draw up a simple Spanish will before Brexit happens.
    Are you able to do this at distance or do we need to come into your offices?
    Thank you

    • Nicola Ryan

      Good Morning Lucy,

      Anyone with assetts in Spain (property, car, bank accounts with funds)should have a Spanish Will. The Will should also have the clause stating it follows the law of your own country, if not your estate will automatically go to the children with the remaining spouse having full use of the property until such times as they pass.

      To make a will, here in Spain, you must attend the Notary. We would be more than happy to help you with your Spanish will but as we are a 6.5 hour drive from you, it may be easier for you to contact a Solicitor in the Gerona área. We hope this helps.

      Kind regards

  • Denise taylor

    Hi I wish to apply for my residency, I have a S1,padron,nie number. Can I use my uk bank statement S to prove I am in receipt of my pension

    • Jane

      Hi Denise

      Yes you can but you should also take your pension award letter along.

      Kind Regards


  • Moira Gordon

    I have filled up all the paperwork for residencia but I do not want to give up my rights of living in the UK. I am retired and I stay with friends in Spain during the winter months but less than the 186 days mentioned. If I proceed with the residencia does this mean I give up my UK rights.

    • Jane

      Hi Moira

      You will still be a UK citizen. If you are not looking to have Spain as your main residence then you should not really be applying to be a resident. You will be able to stay 90 days in every 180. If you become resident and leave for 6 months in first year could have residency revoked.

      Kind Regards


  • David

    I am a Telecom Consultant and for the past few years moved between Spain and England. I love Spain and would love to live there more than 186 days per year. My question is as my contracts are all UK but the contract covers Global Customers, which I assist via Broadband only not face to face meeting, does this mean I am working in Spain or UK and would I get taxed by Spain and UK.

    • Jane

      Hi David

      If you are a Spanish resident you would pay your taxes in Spain, we cannot comment on individual circumstances but we can set up a consultation with our advisors if you wish.

      Kind Regards


  • Chris

    Hi i am a British citezen married to a thai national, over the past 6 years i have devided time between Spain and Thailand (my brother lives in Spain). Intending to settle in Spain i applied for a residence certificate which i recieved 13th December 2019 . On 29th January my wife and i returned to Thailand as per condition of her tourist visa, myself intending to return in a month or so . Unfortunately the covid 19 situation accelerated and over the past year due to various emergency conditions, travel restrictions, health advice ( iam 65 and have a heart condition) i have not felt able to risk the flight back to Spain i have now been out of spain for over a year and fear my residence certificate will no longer be valid. i had no intention of invalidating my residence certificate. Can you advise on how i discover if my residence certifcate is still valid. ( the spanish embassy just advised me to travel and speak to immigration which seemed a bit risky not wanting to find myself stranded at Madrid airport unable to return to Thailand due to Thailands travel resrictions.

    • Jane

      Hi Chris

      If you want to contact us at we can check this for you but will require copies of documents etc.

      Kind Regards


  • Magda Green

    We are currently resident in France and have the new post Brexit Carte de Sejour having been here since 2006. This proves we are EU residents and would like to know if this will make our planned move to Spain easier as your sentence above seems to imply
    ‘Every­one who re­gistered as an EU res­id­ent be­fore 31st Janu­ary, plus those who can prove they have been resid­ing here will be seen as legal res­id­ents (and also al­lowed to work).’
    Please can you confirm that this is correct – anyone with EU residency as opposed to citizenship has the right to free movement.

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