Without a Residencia you are not legally entitled to stay in Spain more than 90 days without returning to the UK or home country or applying for a Temporary Residence Permit. (This seems to be largely ignored but it is the law and applies even if you have bought a property and moved in.) Here for over six months and the law says you must apply for a full Residential permit. It is initially for two years then in 5 year periods.
Benefit or not? Only you can decide if it is good for you. Personally I think so.
Applying for Residencia does not lose you any of your rights as a British Passport holder. It does mean that if you have your Residencia you don’t pay Capital Gains Tax if you sell your property. Likewise if you sell your property it is easier to take your money out of the country if returning to the UK or other home country. If you are stopped for a traffic offence without a residencia, the car can be impounded until you pay. Pensioners holding a confirmed Residencia who join the Pensionista Club are also entitled to the same benefits as Spanish Nationals, reduced rail and bus fares, reduced cost holidays in good hotels etc.
Go to the Comisaria de Policia Nacional in Marbella and say you wish to apply for Residencia
You will need :
Certifica de Empadronamiento. This is a card sent to you by the local Town Hall which proves that you are on the Electoral Register
Passport and one photocopy
Four passport size photographs.
Each individual must apply personally with all the relevant documents. Once applied for, it can take several months to process. In our case it has taken nine months. We received a letter with a further form to fill in and take back to the main Police station with a fee of €6.75 we were then advised our Residencia would be available to collect within 4 weeks and we collected it on the given date. Once it is issued it is good practice to carry it with you.
Who doesn’t need to apply for a residence card?
UK nationals who are Employees, Self-employed, Students.
Dependants of an EU or Spanish national.
Pensioners who receive their pension from the Spanish Social Security system.
Who must obtain a residence card?
UK Pensioners who have retired to Spain.
Non Pensionable Persons of independent means residing in Spain.