MORE than 50,000 Brits have applied for the new TIE residency card since it was introduced in July of this year.
According to the British Embassy in Madrid, tens of thousands of Britons have taken the necessary step to hold onto their rights after the Brexit transition period ends in the new year.
The rush in registrations suggests thousands of Brits were previously never registered, while many have been switching their green residency cards for the newer document.
In a joint press release and video with the Spanish Secretary of State Hana Jalloul, British Ambassador Hugh Elliot sought to ‘provide reassurance and clarity’ on the continuing validity of the pre-existing residency certificates.
“It’s important to be very clear – if you already have a green residency certificate this document remains valid proof of your residency and of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. It is not obligatory to exchange it,” he said, “There is no hard deadline to exchange it either.”
But Jalloul added that the TIE card would make life easier for Brits living in Spain.
She said: “The Spanish Government would like to keep on encouraging British Nationals to exchange their green residency document for the new biometric TIE card as it may speed up administrative processes and, especially in the current situation regarding border crossings, having the new TIE is not obligatory but it will make life easier here in Spain.”
The minister also had a message of solidarity and hope for the hundreds of thousands of Brits who call the country home.
“I know that many of you have built your homes here and we want you to stay,” she said.
“You are part of the Spanish family. You are part of us. As I said in July, this is, and will always be, your home… my key message is, as long as you were legally living here before December 31 your rights will be protected, and recognised in Spain.”
Jalloul reminded people of the increased number of workers in police and immigration departments that the Government has put in place to facilitate the TIE process.
She said Brits can complete the first stage of their application for the card with a digital certificate or a third party can do so on their behalf.
Information on applying for the TIE can be found here.
The Ambassador and Secretary of State drew attention to a document that will be created by the Spanish Government which they will share with the relevant authorities and that UK Nationals can download, that clarifies the continued validity of the green residency document.