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Urgent Advice from British Embassy Ahead of E.U.’s New Entry/Exit System

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels

The British Embassy is urging all British citizens living in Spain to make sure they have a TIE identity card before the European Union’s new Entry/Exit System (EES) is introduced – probably this autumn.

In a news release issued in Madrid, the embassy noted that the biometric TIE (“Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero”), which came into force in 2021, proves that the holder is a “Withdrawal Agreement” beneficiary with the right to reside and work in Spain.

Most British people living in Spain already have the TIE, having abandoned the formerly issued paper “Green Certificate” following Brexit, and the embassy is advising those still using the certificate to follow suit and obtain a TIE as soon as possible.

“It’s really important that any British person who lives in Spain gets the TIE,” said Britain’s ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott, “not only because it is the most durable and dependable way to prove your rights in Spain, but also to avoid disruption at the border when the E.U.’s Entry/Exit Scheme comes into force.

“We are working with the Spanish government and the E.U. to prepare for the implementation of this new scheme and we have requested that more TIE appointments are made available. Please keep checking our Living In Guide and social media pages for more information.”

Photo by Caspar Rae on Unsplash

What is the EES?

According to the embassy,  the EES will require all non-E.U. short-stay travellers to register via an automated system at the border. They will need to provide their name, passport details and biometric data (fingerprints and captured facial images), as well as the date and place of entry and exit upon entering Spain. This will replace the current passport stamping at the border.

“These details will be held on file for three years, meaning Britons making repeat visits to Spain within a three-year period will not have to go through the same registration process each time. To be exempt from registering with the EES, British residents in the E.U. will need to show a valid uniform-format biometric card, which in Spain is the TIE.

“The non-biometric Green Certificate, though a valid residency document in Spain, was issued prior to E.U. exit and does not feature in the E.U.-UK. Withdrawal Agreement or in Annex 22 of the Schengen Border Guard Handbook. Therefore, it is expected that Green Certificate holders may lose out on the chance to be exempt from registering. As a result, they may encounter difficulties and delays at the border, especially when entering other E.U. countries where the Green Certificate may not be recognised.”

Comprehensive information about the new requirements can be found in the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office’s Living in Spain, Living in Europe and travel advice pages.

The process for securing a TIE appointment and the card itself is run by the Spanish government:

Click here for Spanish residency guidance and here for the Spanish TIE application.
Additional E.U guidance is available here.

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