Now that the United Kingdon has officially separated themselves from the EU, many of the citizens living in Spain have begun to wonder what they should do as far as immigrations is concerned. Because of the separation, UK citizens are now considered to be non-EU nationals.
With that, it means that any citizen from the UK will need to apply for Spanish residence through immigrations. The good thing with this is that any UK citizen can still establish a legal status. Like any other residency, choosing the correct one will now need to be established.
The Setting for the UKs Exit
As part of the negotiations and transition for the Brexit, a referendum took place back in 2016 to discuss the dilemma. However, it was in 2017 that saw more forward movement with the process. This was the time where the negotiations really began between the UK representative and the European Union representative.
Because of some minor setbacks, it was decided that there would need to be more time for negotiations to continue in order for an agreement to be reached. This would ultimately require 36 months.
Then, in 2020, the UK made it official that they were no longer a part of the EU.
Following this, many United Kingdon citizens began to worry about their living arrangements within Spain, which saw at least 350,000 citizens of the UK residing within its borders. Not only them but also others who are deciding to move there.
In order to make the process easier, a time frame was set in order to alleviate transitions. This time frame was set to expire at the end of that year (2020). This time allowed current British citizens living as a resident in Spain to make applications for subsequent residency within Spain.
It also permitted those who were in the process of moving to uk after brexit 2022 to continue with their application process as if they were never affected by the Brexit.
This residency process is what the Spanish refer to as a withdrawal agreement, which also came to good use for their family members as well.
The Spanish Permit for UK Citizens to Obtain Residency
When 2020 came to an end, there was a whole new residency type designed by Spain aimed directly at citizens from the United Kingdom.
This new residency permits citizens of the UK equal rights as though they were still a part of the EU as EU nationals, so it is a great choice to make. Under the residency program, it provided two options:
The first permits the residency holder to convert their current residency into the new residency permit.
The second requires the new application to restart the new visa application process if they plan on moving to Spain to live and stay. This lets the UK citizen avoid the permit altogether.
In addition, the immediate family and their parents are also included in these options.
Transitioning to the New Residency Following a 5-Year Stay
On the flip side, UK citizens who have been making Spain their home for at least 5 years were also given two choices:
First, they had already received a permanent residency status following their fifth year of residency.
Or second, they maintain their temporary status although they have been in the country for 5 years.
No matter which option was taken, the new permit is obtainable and good for 10 years.
Making the transition in the first option is simple. However, for the second option, the UK citizen must be able to show proof that she has been making Spain their home for the last 5 years. If proven, then a 10-year permanent residency will be granted.
Residency Choices Involving UK Citizens Following Brexit
By 2021, a UK citizen wishing to obtain Spanish residency must make a choice between the current options that are available.
Proving You Lived in Spain throughout 2020 – When you are able to prove this, you just have to pursue the residency the same normal way because of the agreement for withdrawal. You just need to have your documentation in order and submitted.
However, if you hold a valid green card throughout 2020, then it can be validated and transitioned into a permit for a longer period of residency. If not, then it can be in the course of 2021.
Starting from Scratch – When a UK citizen decides to start from scratch and has never lived in Spain before, then they will be considered as a non-EU visa applicant.
With that said, a non-EU citizen may take advantage of other residency permits that can make it simpler. Below are 3 examples:
Student visa – This can be converted to a work permit following completion of school.
An investor visa or golden visa Spain – This is good if a significant amount of money will be invested in business or real estate.
Residency that is non-lucrative visa – This residency calls for the UK citizen to have the means to sustain themself economically.
Immigration Documents Needed for UK Citizens
When you are able to provide proof that you have been living in Spain before 2021, then you can start submitting the needed immigration documents. Below are the documents needed if you were a citizen of the EU in 2020:
- Current health insurance coverage
- Current passport with copy
- The empardronamiento
- Adequate financial sustainment
- Form EX20
If a UK citizen has family members, there are additional documents needed:
- Proof of relationship between the applicant and other family members. This cannot be more than 3 months old if within Spain and no more than 6 months old if obtained outside of Spain.
When a UK citizen Works within Spain after Brexit
Because of Brexit taking place, the work permit for a UK citizen may not be as easy as it was before. In fact, it may seem very overwhelming to even try. However, for an EU citizen, the permit process is simple and they can be working in Spain in under a day or two.
For the United Kingdom citizen, they will need to apply for a visa that authorizes them to work.
In order to apply, they need to have the completed documents, which may seem very monotonous. The Spain visa for UK residents looking for this work option is known as the highly skilled professional. This is often a lot easier to get than the normal work visa.
A good thing about this is that if a United Kingdom citizen has swapped their residencies by withdrawing, they will be able to continue working in Spain after Brexit.
Residency for EU-citizen Family Members
Another easy way to obtain Spanish residency and authorization to work is by being a family member of an EU-citizen. Fortunately, many citizens who are not from the European Union take this route in order to obtain a work permit. Most commonly this is conducted through marriage.
Although this path through marriage works, it is no longer necessary because their spouse and other members of the family can take advantage of the withdrawal agreement. With this method, the family member only needs to satisfy the same prerequisites as before.
Apart from that, having the card showing relation will no longer be needed, as the family member will be required to submit for the normal residence card for residency.
Dealing with Taxes as a UK Citizen
Taxes may become another issue if a United Kingdom citizen lives in Spain. If they continue with their current residency, they will not need to fulfill the time required in order to maintain their residency status.
If the UK citizen is non-EU and has their residence permit, then they will need to be living in Spain for 6 months to fulfill the 180 day time requirement in order to keep an active residency.
As part of that, the UK citizen will need to pay taxes just like everyone else in Spain regardless of where the income source is.
When a UK citizen obtains their permit for residency in 2021, they will be considered a resident because of the taxes they pay when the residency needs to be renewed, which will include applicable tax requirements.
Many may wonder if they can still buy property in Spain after Brexit as a UK citizen. The good thing is that property or real estate can be obtained in order to stay in Spain. There will also be no difference in price whether you are an EU-citizen or UK-citizen.
You may want to keep an eye on the price fluctuating as the exchange rate will fluctuate between the Pound and Euro.
Be that as it may, there may be distinctions to be aware of such as a higher property tax due to non-residency, which is 24% instead of the resident tax of 19%.
Status of Driving Privileges
Another issue that many UK nationals may need to keep in mind is their ability to drive validly within Spain. Questions of automatic renewal may be warranted or will the British license be unrecognized in Spain after Brexit.
There may be a way that the Spanish government allows for exchange to take place for the driver´s license outside of the EU countries.
FAQ: Uk Citizens In Spain After Brexit
How long can I stay in Spain after Brexit?
Now that the Brexit is complete, UK citizens will be allowed to stay in Spain for up to 90 days as a tourist or the time period for each type of visa that Spain issues to non-EU citizens.
How long can I holiday in Spain after Brexit?
UK citizens can stay in Spain for 90 days as a tourist on holiday.
Do I need a visa for Spain from UK?
Yes and no. Citizens who are non-EU citizens can come and go to Spain as a tourist without a visa. If you choose to stay longer than the 90-day tourist stamp then you will need to apply for a visa for residency purposes.
Can I work in Spain after Brexit?
Yes. You can easily secure a job from a Spanish company who will sponsor you. You can also get a work permit if self-employed or a student visa while teaching English.
Is travelling to Spain after Brexit permitted?
Yes, and a short stay of up to 90 days is permitted.
Do you need a visa for Tenerife after Brexit?
Yes and no. If the UK citizen is not a legal resident and does not have a visa, they are required to leave Tenerife. They will then need to obtain a visa in order to return.
Can i live in spain after brexit?
Yes, but for only a 3-month period.