New Entry & Residency Requirements into Spain

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Ministerial Order
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Entry requirements

If you are a British Citizen or British Subject with Right of Abode in the United Kingdom, you do not require a visa to enter Spain. Other British Nationals should confirm the current entry requirements with their nearest Spanish Embassy.

A valid British passport must be held for entry to and exit from Spain. There is no minimum passport validity requirement but you should ensure that your passport is valid for the duration of your visit.
Residence requirements

From 28 March 2007, Royal Decree 240/07 requires that all EU citizens planning to reside in Spain for more than 3 months should  register in person at the Oficina de Extranjeros in their province of residence or at designated Police stations. However, you will no longer be issued with a residence card with a printed photograph. Instead you will be issued an A4 printed Residence Certificate stating your name, address, nationality, NIE number (Número de Identificación Extranjeros) and date of registration.

If you are an EU citizen with a valid residency card, you do not need to do anything until your card expires. On expiry you must register at the Oficina de Extranjeros or designated police stations.

More details can be found on the Spanish Ministry of the Interior website (information is in Spanish) and follow the links for extranjería.

On 10 July 2012 the Spanish Government introduced details of the new residency requirements for all EU citizens, including British nationals.

Under the new rules, EU citizens applying for residency in Spain may be required to produce evidence of sufficient financial means to support themselves (and dependants). Applicants may also be asked for proof of private or public healthcare insurance.

The Ministerial Order sets out the new residency requirements and some of the documentation applicants may be asked to present. We have created AN UNOFFICIAL TRANSLATION OF THE MINISTERIAL ORDER.

Please note: This translation is provided by the British Embassy with the intention of assisting English-speaking EU citizens to understand the new residency requirements. The British Embassy can take no responsibility for any errors or differences between this and any future official translation, nor for any inconvenience or expense caused by any error or difference

All EU citizens planning to reside in Spain continue to need to register in person at the Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigners Office) in their province of residence or at designated Police stations. More information is available on the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

Where to apply

You should apply in person within 3 months of entry into Spain at the Oficina de Extranjeros in your province of residence. You will be asked to present a valid passport, complete an application form and pay a fee.

Spanish bank accounts

If you have a Spanish bank account but do not live in Spain, you must register with the Spanish authorities. Residencia (registration as a non-resident) needs to be renewed regularly.

Non-EU family members

There is also provision for non-EU family members, who have entered on valid passports and visas (where required), to reside with EU citizens, providing they too register in person at the Oficina de Extranjeros or designated Police Stations within 3 months of entry. They will be issued with Tarjetas de Residencia de Familiar de Cuidadano de la Union (Residency cards for family members of EU citizens). Additional documents will be required.

Further information

You can obtain further information from either:

• The Ministry of the Interior’s webpage on procedures for EU citizens; or
• By calling the Ministry of the Interior’s Immigration Directorate helpline on any of the following numbers:  (+34) 91 363 9071,  (+34) 91 363 9069 or  (+34) 91 363 7108.

Withdrawal of Residence cards in Spain

The decision to withdraw the Residents Card is in line with the EU Directive 2004/38/EC on the freedom of movement within the EU. We are aware that this has caused inconvenience to British Citizens living in Spain. We can assure you that we have raised the matter with the relevant authorities both in the UK and Spain however ultimately this is a matter for the Spanish government.

At present the only legitimate form of ID for British Citizens that is recognised by the Spanish Authorities is the British passport.  For making payments at shops and stores you may find that a photo driving licence or certified copy of your passport is accepted. However, please bear in mind that there is no obligation to accept either of these forms of ID, and you may be asked to show your passport instead.
UK Identity Cards

The Identity Card Bill received Royal Assent on 21 December. This means that identity cards ceased to be valid from midnight on 21 January 2011. If you are currently travelling overseas using an identity card and don’t have access to a valid British passport, you will need to make arrangements to obtain a passport to continue your travel. You can either renew your last passport or, if you need to travel quickly you can apply for an emergency travel document at your local British Embassy or Consular Office. If you cannot access the internet from your home, office, hotel or internet café, then please contact your nearest British Embassy or Consular Office for further advice.

If you have travel plans and don’t currently have a passport, we advise you to apply for a passport now by phoning the Passport Service’s advice line on  +44 300 222 0000 between 7am – 11pm seven days a week or visit their website.

If you are currently in Spain for a long period using an identity card and don’t have a valid UK passport, please visit our passport section for further information.