Why should you exchange your green residency document for a TIE?

Are you the holder of a Spanish green residency document? These are some of the reasons why you should exchange it for the new TIE ASAP.


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).

If you are a UK national and have a green certificate as your residency document, otherwise known as CUE (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión), you may be aware that the official message from the Spanish government is that this document is currently still valid to prove your residency status.


we are aware that for some specific administrative procedures, the authorities are asking for the biometric TIE, as it has the advantage of including your photograph and a specific support number for identification purposes necessary for any third-country national. Some banks are even starting to ask UK nationals to provide the TIE for proper identification, otherwise, they would proceed to cancel their bank accounts.

  • CUE A4 fromat
Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión
  • CUE card format

Another important and more concerning factor is that for some reason, some CUEs are being cancelled by the Spanish authorities, and the affected UK nationals may not realise this until they try to do the swap for the TIE card. This will mean they will have to apply for residency from scratch. And given that the Transition Period ended on the 31st of December 2020, in our experience, the later a residency application is from that date the more complicated it is to get a favourable response from the Immigration Office (see our article on Applying for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement after 2020).

Having all of this in mind, we highly recommend that you try and exchange your green residency document as soon as possible. We also recommend you photocopy or digitally scan the original document before you try exchanging it, in case the authorities determine it has been cancelled and keep it.

If you have serious mobility issues that prevent you from going in person to the police station to apply for the TIE, please take a look into our post on the Police Mobile Unit for the TIE in Alicante.

To find out more about how to complete this procedure, please visit our article on how to exchange your green residency document for the TIE card. If when you try to do the exchange you find out that your CUE has been cancelled, please check our article on applying for residency under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.


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