Does anyone know what issue date is used on the UK TIE cards?. Is it the date you submit your online application or the date they process your application? . I will have been in Spain for 5 years at end of August so want take sure I have a permanent card as I wish to return to UK but as I have children in Spain I wish to retain my WA rights- which means I have an option of still being a resident if I return ( 5 years). So I need to know when I can apply at the earliest for a permanent card.