Spain has been attracting sun-seeking Brits to its sandy shores for years, and it’s easy to see why. When the EU granted its member nations citizenship in 1992, Britons could make themselves at home in the Med with ease. In this article, we’ll go through all you need to know about moving to Spain post-Brexit. From acquiring residencies for you and your family to retiring in Spain.
But the UK public’s decision to leave the European Union has left many current and future expats scratching their heads about life in Spain.
The new rules that came into force on 1 January 2021 have certainly shaken things up. But there’s still plenty you can do to follow your dreams of a sunny Spanish abode.
Can I move to Spain after Brexit?
The short answer is, yes. Moving to Spain after Brexit is still very possible. There are, however, a few changes to the process that need addressing.
Before the UK departed from the European Union, its residents were granted all the freedom of movement and residency rights that came with EU citizenship.
This meant Brits could visit, live and work in Spain or any European member nation without any time restrictions to their stay or the need for a visa. Now, UK citizens looking to make the move to Spain are treated the same as their non-European counterparts.
As one of the most documented developments to the rules, UK passport holders are now only permitted to stay in Spain (or any other EU country) for a maximum of three months in any six-month period.
Those intending on extending their stay must apply to become a legal resident of Spain. Similar changes have been made to the worker rights of UK citizens in Spain; many employment opportunities now require a work visa or permit.
This has caused significant disruption for many UK nationals looking to set up residency in Spain whether for work or retirement.
Residencies in Spain post-Brexit
UK citizens hoping to extend their stay in Spain or make the move permanent will now have to overcome a few hurdles to secure their residency. Because Spain now views UK residents as third-country nationals, a new set of criteria must be met.
To meet these criteria, UK citizens may need to display the following:
- A stable income or proof of a strong financial situation (to prove they can support themselves and/or their family).
- A valid passport with at least one year remaining before expiry.
- A police check certificate.
- A health insurance policy.
- Proof of address in the UK (this is only a maybe), and more.
The criteria may change depending on factors such as employment status and age.
Can I live in Spain after Brexit?
Fortunately, UK citizens currently residing in Spain have their residency rights protected by the European Union Withdrawal Agreement.
The agreement means UK expats can continue living in their European country of residence providing they have been legally registered in that country before 1 January 2021. The application of the Withdrawal Agreement varies from country to country, but UK citizens registered in Spain before January 2021 will receive all the same rights regarding work, study and access to benefits and service as before the UK left the EU.
The governments of Spain and the UK agreed that British citizens living in Spain and Spanish citizens living in the UK will continue to receive all the same rights as before Brexit. For these rights to apply, UK nationals living in Spain must ensure they have registered correctly as a resident.
You should also note that families need to provide individual documentation for all members, including children.Book a chat with a currency specialist
Can I buy property in Spain after Brexit?
Brexit may have thrown a spanner in the works in many ways regarding a move to Spain, but buying property is one that has dodged the bullet. Regardless of whether you are an EU citizen or not, you still have the same rights to buying property in Spain.
One of the major draws for Brits looking to move to Spain is the more affordable cost of living. House prices in Spain are generally much cheaper than those in the UK and this is likely to remain unchanged, despite the effects of Brexit.
The same applies to land to be built on too. If you are set on building your own dream home in Spain, you have the same rights as anyone else to buy available land and get cracking with construction.
Retiring in Spain after Brexit
UK citizens looking to put their feet up for good are still able to do so in Spain after Brexit. Brits set on retiring in Spain will have to apply for residency to stay for longer than three months.
The application process differs slightly from that of a family looking to live and work in Spain. Retirees will have to show a considerably higher disposable income for the first year they live in Spain, whether that be in monthly pension payments or the equivalent of a year’s income in a lump sum.
A nominated lead family member must prove a monthly income of €2,130.04 and an additional €532.51 for each family member they represent. These figures are true at the time of writing.
Additionally, UK nationals applying to live in Spain without permission to work must show significant evidence that they possess no health risk to the public. This may require medical information to prove a UK citizen does not suffer from health conditions such as smallpox or infectious respiratory diseases.
Relocating to Spain with a family after Brexit
UK citizens can move to Spain after Brexit with their whole family, regardless of its size. Each family member must apply for their own residency. The criteria to sufficiently meet the demands of the residency varies depending on age and employment status, so an application for a working adult will be different to a child looking to go into education in Spain.
All family members will receive the same rights and must live in the country for five uninterrupted years to obtain individual permanent residency. Any family member may be at risk of losing their long-term residency card if they leave Spain for more than 12 consecutive months or 30 collective, short-departure months over a five-year period.
Sending money to Spain after Brexit
Since January 1st 2021, some expats have found that their international payments to the European Economic Area (EEA) have cost more than they did prior. This is because a number of beneficiary banks in Europe now charge higher fees to receive the money than they did before.
However, one way you can be sure you won’t be charged any hidden fees when you send money from the UK is to use Privalgo.
Not only this, but you can benefit from our market-leading exchange rates and several other smart solutions. These include minimising the risk of market movement by adopting hedging strategies. Or using market volatility to your advantage by targeting a favourable rate.
To save money and time when moving your assets from the UK to Spain, get in touch with one of our currency specialists today. We can discuss your requirements, give you a pound-to-euro quote, and take you through our solutions.Book a chat with a currency specialist