Home U.K 'If you don't consider Spain your home, return to UK' Britons told...

'If you don't consider Spain your home, return to UK' Britons told amid 'deportations'


Due to post-Brexit rules, expats living in Spain are at risk of being deported unless they have the right documentation, with the British embassy warning some residents should expect to return to the UK. With second-homeowners now at threat of being deported to the UK after the 90-day stretch, the British embassy has warned UK nationals to treat Spain as their home. If they do no do so, they should expect to return to the UK immediately as British nationals living abroad can no longer stay in an EU country beyond 90 days without proper documentation.

British ambassador to the country, Hugh Elliott told the Oliver Press ahead of the rule change: “I’m aware that many second homeowners are concerned about overstaying as we reach March 31.

“The Spanish government has been clear that it will take a pragmatic approach to anyone who is stuck in Spain due to circumstances beyond their control, so I don’t want people to be overly worried on that count.

“However, if people do not intend to become a resident here in Spain and see the UK as their base, we do expect them to take steps to return to the UK as soon as they can.”

Despite the potential threat of deportation, the British embassy insisted those who have been living in Spain before the end of 2020, have their rights secured under the withdrawal agreement even they do not have their paperwork secured as of yet. 

Residents are advised to check their registration details and have the right to obtain documentation to evidence their rights.

However, if registering for the first time in Spain, you will be issued with a biometric residence card called a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero.

This card will prove your rights under the withdrawal agreement.

If registered before July 6, 2020, you should have a A4 certificate or credit card-sized piece of paper from Extranjeria or the police which is also valid under the withdrawal agreement.

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As per the rules post-Brexit, UK citizens must apply for residential status or a visa if they intend to become a resident in the country after 90 days from this year onwards.

If they fail to do so, they will be classified as an undocumented migrant and face deportation or a fine.

Amid the wave of coronavirus spreading across the UK, the Spanish government has also brought in regulations to stop anyone returning to the country if the travel is not deemed necessary.

A spokesman for the British embassy in Madrid said: “When making plans to travel from the UK to Spain, a UK national must make sure that they meet both the requirements to leave the UK and those to enter Spain, bearing in mind that they are not the same.

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“Until 6pm on March 30 only those who are legally resident (or have sufficient documentation to prove residency) are allowed to enter Spain.

“From March 31, entry to Spain will only be granted to those passengers who can demonstrate that their journey is essential, as well as those who are already legally resident in Spain.

“Ultimately, the decision on whether to grant entry into Spain is made by Spanish border officials.”

A spokesman for the Spanish interior ministry said: “Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, and in accordance with the Brexit agreement with EU countries and international conventions, British citizens are subject to the same rules as citizens of other third-party countries.

“Like any other third-country citizens, the maximum period they can stay in Spain is three months – unless they have a work, study, or other kind of visa that allows them to stay longer.”


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