Many UK citizens living in Spain are concerned about how their rights will change in the EU country after the Brexit transition period ends.
About 360,000 British citizens were registered as permanent residents in Spain, although it is estimated that many more lived in the country without registering.
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From January 1, 2021, when the Brexit transition period ends, anyone who wants to move or visit the bloc will have to follow a new system.
This is what you need to know.
Can I still move to Spain?
Yes, it can, but the process may be more difficult than it was before Brexit.
Under the new rules, British passport holders will not be allowed to stay in the country (or anywhere else in Europe) for more than three months out of any six-month period.
British citizens are now treated similarly to non-Europeans, which means that the process of moving and obtaining a residence permit is also more complicated.
Those who wish to move to the sunny country permanently will need to meet certain conditions to obtain residency status, including financial resources and health coverage, among others.
The criteria depend on your condition. For example, it may be different for employees, retirees, or the self-employed.
Anyone wishing to obtain resident status will need to show proof of income, either through an employment contract with a Spanish company or by providing at least £ 2,000 a month, depending on BBCThis number is expected to be higher for families.
You will also need proof that you do not have a criminal record and that you have adequate health coverage.
Those who wish to start their own business in Spain will need to demonstrate that they have the appropriate qualifications to do their job, as well as a business plan.
What changes if I already live in Spain?
The rules are simpler for UK citizens who lived in Spain before 2021.
The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of UK citizens in the European Union (and vice versa) and offers general guarantees that people who already reside can be left with some caveats.
This means that anyone who has been living in Spain before January 1, 2021 will be able to stay, although they will have to register as a resident.
If you are registering for the first time, you will need to apply for a biometric residency card known as a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE) and follow a two-step process.
You will first need to send your residency application to the Immigration Office and provide the following documents:
- Application form EX20
- Documents that prove your residence in Spain before January 1, 2021
- Documents showing that you meet the EU residency criteria related to income and medical care.
You can do it electronically or in person by appointment at the Immigration Office or through an external representative. Find more information on how to submit your application On the government website.
Children must also be registered and apply for their TIE.
Once your residency application is approved by the Immigration Office, you will need to obtain a TIE from the National Police. You must request Cita online.
If you registered as a resident before July 6, 2020 and you already have a green paper certificate of residency, it will still be valid proof of residency and you will not have to present it.
Please note that the Spanish government recommends a TIE as it is more durable and can simplify some administrative processes.
Will I need a visa to visit Spain on vacation?
Once the Covid travel restrictions are lifted, visa-free travel for short trips (stays of less than 90 days) to the mainland, including Spain, will remain indefinitely, although the European Union plans to introduce a visa waiver scheme known as ETIAS from 2022. This will cost € 7 (£ 6.40) and will be valid for up to three years.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months before you can travel to Europe
If you have a second residence in Spain, you can still visit it, but you cannot spend more than 90 days in any six-year period in Europe, which makes long trips to the continent difficult.