Do I Need a Visa to Move to Spain After Brexit?

In the world of post-Brexit Britain, a number of things we once took for granted have now changed. If you are considering moving to Spain from the UK and are unsure of what the new rules are on visas for UK citizens, our guide is here to help.

What Are the New Rules for Moving to Spain from the UK After Brexit?

The main thing that has changed for UK citizens since Brexit is that they are no longer classed as European citizens. This means that the free movement of citizens across the European Union is now slightly more restricted. Any UK citizens now wanting to move to an EU country, including Spain, must now make sure that they apply for the correct documents to allow them to live in that country. Those travelling to Spain on a temporary basis, for example, to view potential property in Spain will need at least 90 days remaining on their passport after their scheduled return from Spain and this must fall within the ten years since the passport was issued. The UK government website is always a good place to look to check current entry guidance for Spain.

Do I Need a Visa to Move to Spain?

One of the biggest questions those moving to Spain from the UK now have is, do they need a visa to move to Spain from the UK? From January this year, those staying in Spain on a temporary basis of less than 3 months in a period of 180 days or 6 months will not need to apply for a visa. However, if you are planning on moving to Spain permanently, you will need to apply for a long-term visa and residence permit in Spain. You can apply for a visa to move to Spain if you will be working for a Spanish company, retired, studying in Spain, self-employed with an income of at least £2,000 per month or a family member, spouse or dependent of a Spanish resident.

I Already Live in Spain, Do I Need to Apply for a Visa?

If you moved to Spain before the 1st January 2021, you should be allowed to stay in Spain under the Brexit withdrawal agreement. However, it is important that you are correctly registered as a resident in order to have access to your rights as a Spanish citizen. Those registering for the first time will receive a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE card) or residence card to prove they have the right to live in Spain. Those who registered before the 6th July 2020 will hold a green A4 certificate or credit card-sized piece of paper from Extranjeria or the police that provides the same proof. You can also exchange your green card for a TIE in order to simplify things.

What Has Changed for Brits Living in Spain After Brexit?

For those moving to Spain after Brexit, the world may seem a bit different to how it was before. UK citizens moving to Spain are now classed as non-EU-citizens meaning they are not automatically entitled to the same benefits as Spanish citizens without applying for the correct permits and visas. Another thing to consider when moving to Spain is that EHIC cards are no longer valid for UK citizens and expats so you will no longer be entitled to free or reduced healthcare. It is important you arrange the relevant healthcare cover if you are planning on moving to Spain to ensure you are covered in case anything should happen. You will not be eligible for healthcare on the same level as a Spanish citizen until you apply for permanent residency in Spain so it is important you have the appropriate medical insurance to cover you until that time.

How Do I Apply for a Spanish Visa?

When moving to Spain you should ensure you have the correct visa for your residency. For example, a student would require a different visa to someone who would be living and working in Spain as a UK citizen. Study visas, work visas and residence visas will all need to be applied for in advance of moving to Spain to ensure you have the correct paperwork to facilitate your move. Long-term work visas will differ from those such as au pair visas and Spain also allows seasonal work visas for those moving to Spain on a short-term basis for seasonal work.

To apply for a Spanish Visa, you will need to apply through the Spanish consulate. The type of visa you will need in order to move to Spain will depend on your circumstances. You can find out more about the different types of visa and the requirements of the Spanish visa application process through the Spanish consulate website. One important thing to note about applying for a visa to live in Spain or the Schengen area is that you will need to be able to prove that you have comprehensive medical cover before you apply. You will also need to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents whilst living in Spain.

What Else Do I Need to Know About Living in Spain Post-Brexit?

The good news is that despite the UK’s exit from the EU, the right of UK citizens to buy property in Spain is unaffected. British citizens will still be able to buy and use property in Spain as long as it is for no longer than 90 days in a 6-month period without a visa. You will also be able to let your property out on a short term or long-term basis in Spain. However, you may notice that as a non-EU citizen, your tax may increase. If you are moving to Spain after Brexit and will be accessing a pension, the good news is that this will not be affected and you will still be able to receive your UK pension whilst living in Spain.

How do I Find a New Home in Spain?

If you are thinking of moving to Spain or are looking for a holiday home, there are a number of property agents available across the country. If you do not speak fluent Spanish, it is important that you choose a Spanish property company that speaks your language. This is to ensure you understand every aspect of your purchase to ensure it is all done legally. English-speaking Spanish property companies such as Welcome Estates have a wealth of experience with the nuances of UK nationals buying property in Spain and will be able to navigate any possible obstacles with confidence.

With 25 years on the Costa Blanca, Welcome Estates have a range of properties for sale for both permanent residence and holiday homes. Our portfolio includes coastal, town and country properties to fit every need and budget with an experienced team that can help guide you through the process of buying a home in Spain as a UK citizen.

To find out more about buying a home in Spain, contact our team now or take a look at our current Spanish properties for sale.


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Our highly skilled team will be able to guide you through the process of buying and selling in Spain, answering any questions that arise along the way. All our staff have an excellent knowledge of the area and the current market. The team is here to help make your life as comfortable and easy as possible.

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