UK Foreign Office shares new travel advice for Brits resident in Spain

UK Foreign Office shares new travel advice for Brits resident in Spain

Date Published: 13/05/2024

People who still hold on to an old ‘Green Certificate’ style paper residency document could face lengthy delays at airports this year


Specifically, the Foreign Office has new information for British residents in Spain on the introduction of the EU’s Entry Exit Scheme (EES) in Autumn 2024 and the documentation required to be exempt from registration.


As of this autumn, the EU will be rolling out its new Entry/Exit Scheme to electronically monitor who is passing across borders of countries in the European Union and the Schengen Area.



The rules apply to people who are not residents in a country in the European Union. British nationals and other non-EU citizens who have residency status in Spain will have to present “a biometric ID card” in order to pass into European territory without registering, according to the UK Foreign Office.


“Most British residents in Spain hold a TIE. It is a biometric ID card with ‘Articulo 50 TUE’ printed on it, which shows that you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. It is more durable and widely recognised across Spain and the EU than the Green Certificate. It also simplifies administrative processes and border crossings, because it is listed in the EU’s Schengen Border Guard Handbook, whilst the non-biometric Green Certificate is not.


“To be exempt from registering with the EU’s Entry Exit Scheme (due to start in Autumn 2024) British residents in the EU will be required to show a uniform-format biometric card which is listed as a residency document under the Withdrawal Agreement. For residents of Spain, that card is the TIE. It is expected that Green Certificate holders may face significant delays and difficulties at borders if they do not have a TIE. Contact the Spanish Government’s ‘Extranjeria’ offices for information on how to apply for the new TIE.”


So, while the Green Certificate is still a valid residency document, it is highly advisable, if you have not done so already, to exchange it for a TIE card.



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