Preparations for British Nationals living in Spain

Maintaining the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and correspondingly the rights of UK citizens living in the EU, is an integral part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

In the context of British citizens living in other EU member states, each country may have slightly different procedures for applying as a resident and thus being able to live, work or study as they currently do.


Estimates suggest that as many as 500,000-700,000 UK nationals who are living in Spain have not registered as residing in Spain.

  • All EU/EEA Nationals living in Spain longer than three months should have the residence certificate called ‘Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Union’.
  • You should register in person at the Oficina de Extranjeros(immigration office) or designated police station in the province where you live.

The Spanish authorities will issue you with a credit-card-sized residence certificate with your:

  • name
  • address
  • nationality
  • NIE number (Número de Identificación Extranjero)
  • date of registration

After you have been registered as a resident for five years, you can apply for a certificate of permanent residence in Spain. You will be issued with a similar credit card size Residence Certificate, but it will additionally state that you are a permanent resident (residente permanente).

GOV.UK contains insightful information for moving to each EU member state. Registering your residency in Spain is HERE

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