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Calling British Parents - are your children registered?

Bradley De Abreu, regional coordinator for Catalonia for Age In Spain has written this post specifically for British families living in Spain. To get in touch with him directly, please find his details at the end of the post.


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Are your children registered?


Many British parents took a deep breath and let out a sigh of relief at the end of the transition period, thinking “Thank god it’s over, I’m glad I got all the paperwork sorted.” Unfortunately some of them were under the impression that they didn’t need to register their children as residents in Spain. But, unfortunately, children need to go through the process, too.


As of 1 January 2021, UK Nationals are considered third country nationals and need to have valid residency documents to remain in the country. This includes all UK nationals, no matter their age. Third country nationals are only allowed to stay in the Schengen Zone for up to 90 days in a 180 day period. The clock was reset for those UK Nationals that were already in Spain on January 1st but now all Brits needs to make sure they have started the residency process, have a valid residency documents or an appropriate visa before 31 of March or else they face a fine or risk being banned from returning to the country when they next leave Spain.


Okay, so the Spanish government is not a soulless entity (or at least we hope not), that is going to remove children from their parents and deport them back to the UK if they don’t have a proper residence document. But it could have an impact on your child’s ability to access services in Spain if they are not properly registered. Let’s say your child needs to see a local doctor, they can’t register at a local medical centre without having a proper residency document. Just because they go to a Spanish school and they speak Catalan it does not mean they are legally registered in Spain.


But don’t worry. There is still time to get your children registered and as long as you can prove they were living in Spain before the end of 2020, children and adults alike can still apply under the protection Withdrawal Agreement.


What is considered sufficient proof that your child was living in Spain before the end of 2020?


The Spanish Government's Brexit Guide states that : Padron registration certificate, rental contracts/property ownership, employment contract/registration at a school and other supporting documents (expense bills, medical appointments, other) are acceptable forms of proof. So, if you or your children have one or more of these documents you can still apply in the same way as in 2020.


What do you need to do to get your child registered?


Children need to follow the same process as adults to apply for residency. They need to go through the two-step process to apply for the TIE. The first step involves proving that you meet the requirements for residency which requires healthcare coverage in Spain & sufficient means to support yourself and your children.


Obviously children are not going to be able to present these documents so the parent or legal guardian will need to show proof of this. If the parent or guardian is working in Spain they simply need to present their work contract and affiliation with social security. Usually children are covered by their parents’ social security contributions and have access to healthcare in Spain, but you should check this with your local medical centre before applying for residency. If they are not covered you will need to have private health insurance for the child. Having a job and regular income in Spain is considered sufficient means to support your child!


Those parents not working in Spain will need to demonstrate that they have sufficient economic means to support themselves and their child/children. There are two ways to prove this. Firstly, by having a lump sum in the bank of at least 5600€ per person. Alternatively, if you are working in another country or have income from another source you need to show at least 950 euros per month per person of regular income.


What else do you need?


In either case, you will need to present at least three months worth of bank statements showing the regular income or that the lump sum has been in your bank account for that time. If you don’t completely meet the sufficient means requirements then you can also show proof of other assets to support your application - eg. deeds to a house in Spain or the UK, savings, investments etc.


When you are filling out the forms you need to list yourself as the representative and make the application on behalf of the child. For the first step you will need to complete the EX-20 form. Section 1 should be the child’s details and section 2 should be your details. You also need to present the Representative Designation document.


This first step can be done without the child being present but you will need to book an appointment with your local Extranjera office before you can present the documents. You also need to present a certificate of empadronamiento for the child dated within the last three months and a copy of all the pages of the child’s passport along with the documents previously mentioned. Once you submit the paperwork it can take up to three months for your application to be assessed and you will receive a “favourable ruling” upon successful completion of the application. Once you have the favourable ruling you can move onto step two.


The second step is the completion of the residency process and getting your child’s TIE card. This step requires the child to be present as they will need to have their fingerprints taken.. For Step two you don’t need to provide any further proof of sufficient funds or healthcare coverage you just need to complete two forms and pay the 12€ fee before going to the appointment.You will also need to provide a passport sized photo and a copy of your child’s passport. After the appointment you need to wait 30 days then go back and collect the shiny new card.


It sounds reasonably easy but if you need any help or assistance please don’t hesitate to contact Age in Spain. We are a not-for-profit organisation funded by the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. We provide a free residency service to UK Nationals in Spain who need additional support.

You can contact us on +34 932 20 97 41, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm or you can visit Age in Spain's website to submit an enquiry.

You can also follow our Facebook Page and sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date on the latest information for English speakers in Spain.



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