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Returning to Spain from the UK
24 February 2021 @ 12:31

The UK Embassy in Madrid has published an update on travel to Spain for British nationals who were already legal residents of Spain before January 1, 2021, when the Brexit transition period came to an end and the UK definitively left the European Union.

Being aware that some travellers who were legally living in Spain before January 1, 2021 faced difficulty returning to Spain from the UK, as they didn't yet have a residence document (green certificate or Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero - TIE), the embassy has shared a list of alternative documents that UK nationals without either one of these two proofs of residency may use instead.

“If you are resident in Spain, you should carry your residence document (the green paper EU residence certificate or the new TIE), as well as your valid passport when you travel,” notes the embassy. “If you are not in possession of a residence document, the Spanish government has formally confirmed to the UK government that UK nationals who were legally residing in Spain before January 1, 2021, and as such are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, can present other documents to prove their residence status when entering Spain.”

The list of acceptable documents, which have reportedly been communicated to airlines and other operators, is as follows:

1. Residence card issued under Article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement (the TIE – Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero)

2. Temporary or permanent EU residence certificate (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadanos de la Unión)

3. Receipt of application for the TIE (Resguardo de presentación de la solicitud de la tarjeta de residencia)

4. Confirmation of the positive outcome of your residence application (Resolución favorable por la que se concede la tarjeta de residencia)

5. In the absence of any of the above documents, other documents that credibly evidence your legal residence in Spain before January 1, 2021, such as a padrón certificate (issued by your town hall), a work contract, a rental contract, or proof of property purchase.

6. In the case of students, documentation that demonstrates enrolment in an on-site or in-person course and proof of accommodation

In addition, travellers must show a valid passport and comply with the other documentation requirements, such as a negative COVID test within 72 hours of arrival.


On December 22, Spain introduced travel restrictions on passenger travel from the UK by air and sea, after a new and apparently more contagious strain of the coronavirus was identified in the UK. These measures have been extended repeatedly, and are now set to last until 6pm mainland Spain time on March 2.

The embassy said that the new list of acceptable documents has been sent to airlines and other travel operators to ensure that passengers are not denied boarding due to confusion over this issue.

The UK government has also reminded travellers that international transit through Spanish airports by passengers on flights departing from the UK is permitted on presentation of a negative PCR, TNA or LAMP test taken within no more than 72 hours prior to arrival into Spain.

Overland travellers to Spain are exempt from these entry requirements and are therefore not currently required to present a PCR, TMA or LAMP test, or Health Control Form on entry by road or rail.

Like 0


Martin said:
27 February 2021 @ 10:49

I called Iberia who said unless i was a citizen or a resident i would not gain entry. I got in touch with consulate in Alicante who said same so what exacly is the real deal. Looks like airport staff, customs and even the embassies aint a clue so what chance has anyone got. May as well toss a coin at customs to see if they let you in or not, its so badly organised

Rob_j1 said:
27 February 2021 @ 11:11

Martin, I think you're right. Because of the changing rules (almost weekly), I've decided not to bother flying. I've made the trip now there and back twice by driving + ferry. It's a lot longer, but at least it's simpler, with less chance of something going wrong.

Rj said:
27 February 2021 @ 11:25

Was the ferry Portsmouth to Santander after jan 1st and did you have any issues with customers. What documents did you show was it your deeds or other thanks in advance

Stuartpoll said:
27 February 2021 @ 12:12

Sorry but I just wanted to check if what I read is correct. Are you saying that I could drive from the UK via Ferry to France into Spain and onwards to my property in Murcia which I have owned for 3 years without having a Spanish passport or TIC ? Would I need to carry with me my deeds of ownership to enter Spain / France ?
Only my property is left currently with no power to my camera system and am unable to monitor its safety. I am happy to have a Covid test before commencing my drive if this would help my passage. Help please - Thanks

Michael said:
27 February 2021 @ 14:19

Stuartpoll - I drove through France and into Spain, around Santandar region, still no actual border. Was not stopped anywhere. No one to check the forms etc. I used the motorway. Its the UK thats causing the isues in my opinion.

Stuartpoll said:
27 February 2021 @ 16:03

Michael thank you so much - was this recently ? i.e. since Jan ? Did you go Dover to Calais ? And sorry did you have a test done pre travelling to France ?
Just want to be sure that if I can get to France I should be able to get down to Murcia x thank you

Stuartpoll said:
27 February 2021 @ 16:03

Michael thank you so much - was this recently ? i.e. since Jan ? Did you go Dover to Calais ? And sorry did you have a test done pre travelling to France ?
Just want to be sure that if I can get to France I should be able to get down to Murcia x thank you

pumpkin said:
27 February 2021 @ 16:08

Stuart poll, you must have been a resident of Spain before the 1st January 2021 to enter Spain at present using any of the listed documents. Also, remember it is currently against the law to travel from the UK for a non essential reason. Holidays or visits to holiday homes are not classed as essential travel.

Martin said:
27 February 2021 @ 18:57

The way it can also be read is that if you are not in possession of a residence document (because you are a non resident) you will also be allowed in if you can prove you were legally residing in Spain prior to Brexit by means of producing paperwork, Padron, Bills etc etc but admit it is not clear and definately open to interpretation. Hopefully one of the consulates will bother there arse and clarify also informing border control and airlines but i don't hold out much hope

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