On the 1st of January 2021, the UK officially left the European Union. The question on everyone’s minds is ‘can I live in Spain after Brexit?’, and the answer is yes, you can. However it is important to be aware of the different conditions and criteria in place that will enable you to gain a resident status there.
With a beautiful climate, picturesque beaches and a far lower cost of living than the UK, it is no surprise that Spain houses more than 360,000 Britons as permanent residents. With this number only expected to grow, it is important for potential expats to know how the moving process will differ post Brexit.
Spain is very much still open, and are still welcoming Britons into the country, but there are still many unanswered questions. In our recent article we outline the latest information about how living in Spain after Brexit is different, and how the shift out of the EU will impact your way of life in the country.
Criteria for living in Spain
There is a list of certain requirements that must be met by British citizens that wish to move to Spain:
- Pay processing fees for the residence and work permit
- Present a contract signed by your employer that guarantees continuous activity to reside and work in Spain
- Possess the training and qualification/s that are legally required for you to work
You should not:
- Be in Spanish territory irregularly
- Have a criminal record
- Be prohibited from entering Spain
Residency in Spain after Brexit
It has recently been revealed that any British citizen moving to Spain after Brexit will now be given a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE) residence card; a card of identification that is currently issued to residents living in Spain that are not originally from countries in the EU. The TIE card proves your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. Please note, the TIE card issued to British expats differs slightly to the one given to other nationals.
Read the Spanish government’s guidance on how to apply for the new TIE.
Do you need a visa to move to Spain?
Under the Freedom of Movement Act, if you’re from the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland, you don’t need a visa to visit, live, work or study in Spain. If you live in a country outside of these areas, you will require a visa and often a work permit too. There are three different types of visa:
- Airport transit visa – allows you into the international transit zone in a Spanish airport.
- Short-stay Schengen visa – allows you to stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days
- Long-term visa – allows you to stay in Spain for over three months
Future key dates after Brexit
Britain may have already left the EU, but there are still some important dates to bear in mind moving forward for British citizens moving to Spain after Brexit.
June 2021 – If you submitted your driving license exchange application before December 30th 2020 and it has since been verified, you can exchange your licence before June 30th 2021. If you decide to move to Spain after December 2020, you will not be able to exchange your British license and will have to get a Spanish one.
October 2021 – This marks the date when Spanish or other EU national identification cards will no longer be valid to enter the UK.
March 2022 – This marks the final date that British nationals can move back to the UK with family. There will be some strict criteria to be met if they wish to do so.
Find out more about passing a Spanish driving test here.
Can I continue living in Spain after Brexit?
Any UK citizens that were already living in Spain prior to January 1st 2021 are allowed to continue their residency in Spain under the European Union Withdrawal Act. British expats already living in Spain will have the same rights as before Brexit, as long as Spanish people residing in the UK have the same right in return.
Once you are living in Spain
While moving to Spain after Brexit may have slightly more challenges than before, it can be done. Whether you decide to retire, work, or holiday in the country, you can still lawfully do so if certain criteria are met.
Once you move to Spain, living there will be just the same as it was before Brexit. As a resident, you will be able to purchase property, obtain the same rights and pay the ame taxes. There are definitely more hoops for Britons to jump through if they choose to move to Spain, but the red tape may be just a small price to pay for the desirable weather and idyllic beaches.
If you require any further guidance on moving and/or living in Spain, take a look at the GOV.UK website.