Spain after Brexit.

British citizens in Spain after the Brexit: the need to regularize their administrative situation.

On 31st of December 2020, the United Kingdom will in theory leave the EU, without, until now, agreement between the parties on how Brexit will develop.

This situation generates uncertainty, without a withdrawal agreement, which has already been rejected at least three times by the British Parliament, it seems unlikely that its terms will be agreed. The United Kingdom will be, from the mentioned date, a third country for all the countries of the European Union, including Spain. British citizens will cease to be European citizens, and from that moment, they will need a visa and residence permit to enter, move and reside in our country.

However, in order not to harm the rights of our British, that is, the nationals of the United Kingdom and their families who have lived in Spain since before Brexit, the Government of Spain intends to grant a special authorization, the so-called Identity Card of Foreigner (TIE), which will replace the current green card, and whose obtaining will be mandatory if they wish to continue residing legally in Spain after Brexit.

Regarding British citizens and family members who come to Spain after Brexit, it does not seem that they have foreseen a special regime, their situation in Spain will be the same as that of any citizen outside the EU and the Foreign General Regime will apply to them. They will be able to stay in the Schengen area as tourists for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. So to stay in Spanish territory for a longer period of time, they must request and obtain the required extension of stay or residence permit.

From a tax point of view, the taxation of British citizens in Spain will depend on their legal status as residents or non-residents in our country.

For this purpose, from the Iuris Legal Office, we recommend that, if you are a British citizen and are currently residing in Spain without having regularized your situation or intend to live in Spain, it would be advisable that you contact our law firm so that, we can practice the necessary procedures in order to obtain your green card, TIE, or in your case, residence permit. Only in this way can you legally reside in Spain after Brexit. Waiting to see what happens would be inadvisable, because, at the present time, while still being citizens of the European Union, the procedures for regularization would be much easier.

The current pandemic caused by Covid-19 is likely to lead to an extension of the UK’s exit from the EU. So, it is uncertain that UK will leave the EU on the 31st of December of 2020, and it is foreseen, but nothing in writing, an extension minimum till the 31st of December of 2021, which gives the opportunity to obtain your residency in this time with less requirements.

If you have other questions or enquiries regarding the regularization and/or the legal process of buying a property in Spain, contact our legal partner Legal Iuris, an independent lawyer firm with 3 offices located on the Costa Blanca:

  • Office Orihuela: Calle Obispo Rocamora 10, 2º Derecha – Tel +34 966 34 43 46
  • Office Torrevieja: Av. Habaneras 2, bajo b – Tel +34 965 70 48 09
  • Office Algorfa: Av. Antonio Pedrera Soler – Tel +34 27865 75 01 54


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