A message to Brits in Spain from the ambassador and Spanish authorities

The British Ambassador to Madrid and the Spanish secretary of state for migration launched a joint message for UK nationals living in Spain about the new residency card.

A message to Brits in Spain from the ambassador and Spanish authorities

HMA Hugh Elliott and Hanna Jalloul sought to provide reassurance about the new card which came into operation last week. 

You can view the video here .  

They said the green residency certificate (whether A4 or credit card sized) remains valid proof of residency status under the Withdrawal Agreement, even after the end of the transition period. 

HMA Elliott reminded British residents of their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. 

“You will be able to continue to live and work in Spain,” he said.

“UK state pensioners will continue to have lifelong healthcare access as long as they remain living in Spain (this also applies to residents who claim a UK state pension in the future) and your UK state pension will continue to be uprated. That’s why it is so important that you register as a resident as soon as possible.”

Speaking about the introduction of the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) Hanna Jalloul said: “If you already have a green residency certificate, you don’t have to apply for a new status as a resident in Spain, and the documents you already have as an EU resident in Spain remain valid.

“And most importantly, as long as you are legally resident in Spain before 31 December your rights are guaranteed. . . I encourage anyone who does not yet have your residency certificate to apply to the immigration authorities as soon as you can.”

The Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones has published a comprehensive Q&A document (in both English and Spanish) to provide answers to the questions UK Nationals may have about their residency status and the new process.

You can find the document here. The British Embassy is updating its Living in Spain guide ( to reflect the new residency process and will be providing further information on

Member comments

  1. Hello,

    I have been in Spain for 6 years but I don’t have the green certificate or card, but I do have NIE (number). It’s a long story which I won’t bore you with now. I have made an appointment to get the TIE on Tuesday as from what I understand, without one of the ‘green’ documents, I need a TIE. Anyway, as always, I don’t understand the form! Under “DATOS RELATIVOS A LA SOLICITUD (7) – 4.2 SITUACIÓN EN ESPAÑA
    I believe I’d be one of the following two. Do you know? I really do not want to F it up this time.
    □ RESIDENCIA INICIAL (sin certificado de registro o TIE previas)

    I’d really appreciate your help.

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For members


Banking giant Barclays to close all accounts of Brits living in Spain

UK nationals living in Spain have begun to receive letters from their bank telling them that their accounts will be closed, in an apparent post-Brexit change. Have you been affected?

Banking giant Barclays to close all accounts of Brits living in Spain

Customers of Barclays Bank who are living in Spain and other EU countries have been receiving letters telling them that their UK accounts will be closed by the end of the year. 

A number of readers of The Local’s network of news websites have contacted us to report receiving either letters or messages in their online banking telling them that their accounts would be closed because of their residency in Spain or in other countries in the EU.

A Barclays spokesperson told The Local: “As a ring fenced bank, our Barclays UK products are designed for customers within the UK.

“We will no longer be offering services to personal current account or savings customers (excluding ISAs) within the European Economic Area. We are contacting impacted customers to give them advance notice of this decision and outline the next steps they need to take.”  

Customers are being given six months to make alternative arrangements. The changes affect all personal current accounts or savings accounts, but do not affect ISAs, loans or mortgages.

During the Brexit transition period Barclays closed Barclaycard accounts of customers in Spain, but did not indicate any changes to standard bank accounts.


Around the same time several other British high street banks began closing accounts of British customers who live in the EU, although with the exception of Barclaycard customers in Spain who were largely spared.

Many UK nationals who live in Spain maintain at least one UK bank account – in addition to a Spanish account – sometimes just for savings but others use their accounts regularly to receive income such as pensions or income from rental property or – for remote workers – to receive income for work done in the UK.

Not having a UK bank account can make financial transactions in the UK more complicated or incur extra banking fees.

READ MORE: What are the best UK banks for Brits in Spain?

Since Brexit, the UK banking sector no longer has access to the ‘passporting’ system which allows banks to operate in multiple EU countries without having to apply for a separate banking licence for each country.

And it seems that many UK high street banks are deciding that the extra paperwork is not worth the hassle and are withdrawing completely from certain EU markets. 

When British banks began withdrawing services from customers in the EU back in 2020, a UK government spokesman told British newspaper The Times that “the provision of banking services is a commercial decision for firms based on a number of factors” so Brits in Spain probably shouldn’t hold their breath for any help from that direction.

READ ALSO: Premium Bond holders in Spain may have to cash in if no UK bank account