Spain: Alerts On Employment Issues In Spain

Spain has enacted several regulations with regard to the legal situation and the procedures to follow for UK citizens who will be working or living in Spain after Brexit. We summarise below the key practical points in the regulations.

1. To whom do these regulations apply?

UK and Northern Ireland citizens (and their relatives) who are living in Spain before the Brexit exit date (Brexit Day) and, especially, cross-border employees (Citizens).

2. What do Citizens need to do before Brexit Day?

Apply for a special Citizen's work and residence permit (but this does not affect their eligibility to apply for other kinds of work and residence permits in accordance with Spanish immigration regulations).

3. When should Citizens apply for this authorisation?

At the latest, 21 months after Brexit Day. After that, Citizens will no longer be able to apply for this authorisation.

4. What is the legal situation for Citizens between the day they apply for authorisation and the day it is granted?

They will keep their current status in Spain according to their existing residence/work permit. The new authorisation will take the place of the previous one.

5. What is the first step Citizens must take?

It depends on whether or not the Citizen has a temporary certificate evidencing that he/she is registered in Spain as a foreign EU citizen: 

Citizens with temporary certificate evidencing registration as foreign EU citizens Citizens without certificate evidencing registration as foreign EU citizens
  • The Citizen must attend a police station in person to request a foreign EU ID card.
  • The following documents must be filed: application form requesting the foreign EU ID card; full copy of passport; official documents evidencing the payment of taxes; a photograph.
  • The ID card granted will state that it is a "Citizen's temporary work and residence authorisation".
  • The card is valid for a period of five years, but may be extended after the expiration of five years (long-term residence permit). However, if the Citizen already has a certificate dated more than five years ago, he/she can apply for a long-term ID card.
  • The Citizen must request the temporary work and residence authorisation at his/her local immigration office.
  • The application must be filed within 21 months of Brexit Day and the certificate will be granted within a maximum period of three months. During this period, the Citizen will be allowed to live in Spain.
  • The following documents must be filed: documents evidencing that the Citizen was living in Spain before Brexit Day; full copy of passport.
  • In addition: (i) for an employee: documents evidencing that he/she is an employee duly registered with the social security system; (ii) for a self-employed Citizen: documents evidencing that the Citizen is registered with the Spanish authorities as self-employed; (iii) for a self-sufficient Citizen who is living in Spain: medical insurance policy and evidence that the Citizen has sufficient financial stability to live in Spain; and (iv) for a student: documents evidencing that he/she is studying in Spain, medical insurance and financial evidence.
  • Once a Citizen receives the certificate, he/she can apply, within one month, for a "Citizen's temporary work and residence authorisation" ID card.

6. What will Citizens' relatives have to do?

If they do not have a relative ID card, they will have to follow the procedure described above. They will also have to evidence that they are a relative of the Citizen and that they live with him/her. The card is valid for the same period as the Citizen's ID card.

7. What is the situation for cross-border employees?

They will have to apply for a special work permit as cross-border Citizens, at the latest 21 months after Brexit Day. This permit must be filed with the local immigration authorities. The work permit is for one year, but it may be extended for additional one-year periods, provided that the Citizen can evidence his/her situation. In the case of temporary employment contracts or services contracts, the authorisation will be limited to the length of the temporary contract. The documents to be filed will be: full copy of passport as well as documents evidencing that the Citizen is a cross-border employee or a cross-border self-employed Citizen.

8. What is the situation if the Citizen has already filed the documents to be registered as a foreign EU citizen or has requested an foreign EU ID card?

If the authorisation is filed before Brexit Day, the procedure will continue in accordance with the application. However, if the authorisation is granted after Brexit Day, the Spanish administration will adapt the authorisation process to that stated above.

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