Are you a UK national whose residency application has been rejected? These are some of your options

Did you submit an application for residency that has been rejected? This is our guide for alternatives to explore.


This article is only for orientation purposes and it does not represent any official sources of information. Please bear in mind that criteria may be different from an Immigration Office to another. For specialised advice on this matter, you may wish to seek individualised legal advice from an expert lawyer in the immigration field, or from the immigration department at your local town hall, at different organisations providing legal advice to third-country nationals, or at the Immigration Office (Oficina de Extranjería).

Applying for residency in Spain can be a stressful, complex, and also frustrating process. The difficulty of this process has increased significantly after the Transition Period ended on 31st December 2020.

Please be aware that Asociación Babelia is gathering information through this anonymous survey on residency applications that have been rejected, to raise with the British and the Spanish authorities. Please help us by completing it.

If your application for residency under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement (EX20, EX21, or EX22) has been rejected, you may wish to explore one of the following three options:

  1. Submitting a new application with additional supporting proof.
  2. Appealing the Immigration Office decision.
  3. Submitting an application under the Immigration General Regime instead of the Withdrawal Agreement option.

1. If you choose the first option, to re-apply, you need to make sure that you fulfill one of the two following conditions:

  • You are a UK national covered by the Withdrawal Agreement because you met the residency criteria before the end of the Transition Period and you continued living in Spain afterwards. OR,
  • You are a recently-arrived, first-degree dependent relative of a UK national who is covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and with whom the family relationship started before the end of the Transition Period.

To get a general idea of whether you fall under the Withdrawal Agreement or not, please take a look at our post on ‘Applying for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement after 2020‘.

2. If you choose the second option and decide to challenge the Immigration Office decision:

  • first, you need to understand the reasons behind the rejection of your application; please see our post on ‘Why has my residency application been rejected?‘.
  • Second, you need to make sure to provide a clear and schematic explanation of the reasons why you disagree with that rejection, along with official proof supporting each and every one of your arguments. Bear in mind that there are two ways or stages to appeal an immigration office resolution. You can do the first one yourself, however, we would strongly advise you to seek legal expert advice. The second stage can only be submitted by a registered solicitor through the court.

If you are willing to appeal the Immigration Office decision, please read our step-by-step guide on ‘how to submit an appeal against the rejection of your residency application‘.

3. If you would rather choose the third option and submit an application under the Immigration General Regime:

For more information on this option, please visit our post on ‘Applying for residency in Spain under the ‘Immigration General Regime’ for UK nationals and their family members‘.


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