Today, hundreds of thousands British citizens call Spain home. However, the uncertain future of the relation between the United Kingdom and the European Union is causing some people to have reservations about their intention to relocate. If there is a possibility you might want to move to Spain after Brexit, this guide will help prepare you for what will be expected of you. As always, this article is not a substitute for advice from an attorney on your specific personal circumstances.
Can I move to Spain from UK after Brexit?
Since we still do not have a clear idea of what the Brexit “deal” between the UK and the EU will entail, the answer is: it will depend. A good way to gauge your situation is to consider the requirements on citizens of other non-EU nations who want to move to Spain. Worst case scenario, you will be able to move to Spain after Brexit as long as you meet those same criteria.
Of course, there is always the possibility that there will be some sort of preferential treatment for UK citizens in the EU. Only time will tell.
Move to Spain after Brexit: think like an American
Or a Canadian, Australian, New Zealander, etc. In other words, take a look at the worst case scenario described above. Would you be able to move to Spain from UK without a comfy exit deal?
First, let’s consider the simplest option. Citizens of certain countries are allowed to stay in the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period with no visa at all. If Brexit doesn’t grant special privileges to Brits, they will still almost certainly have this same option. What this means is that you could buy a second home in Spain and split your time between the two countries in such a way that you never exceed that 90-day limit. If you time it right, you can spend nearly half the year in Spain using this strategy without ever having to apply for a visa.
UK citizen moving to Spain after Brexit
But what if your intention is to permanently relocate? In this case, you’ll need to be eligible for a long-stay visa. These can broadly be broken down into three categories: non-profit (i.e. retirement, pensioner), worker, and student. In addition, there is the so-called “golden visa” which is designed to encourage foreign investment in Spain. This grants a residency visa to a person buying real estate property worth €500,000 or more, among other situations.
For visas which do not give you authorization to work (retirement and student), you need to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself without a job in Spain. For a work visa, you need to have a formal job offer, and the prospective employer will need to submit an application on your behalf for a work permit while you apply for the visa.
Note that, in all cases, the visa application must be initiated in the UK at the Spanish embassy or consulate; it cannot be started in Spain if you’ve entered as a tourist.
Other documents typically required for long-stay visas include: passport whose expiration date is no less than six months from the application date; medical letter certifying you don’t have any communicable diseases; background check from your home country’s authorities; and documentation supporting your particular type of visa, such as proof of acceptance into a university program or bank statements showing sufficient income.
As a UK citizen moving to Spain after Brexit, the process and its associated red tape could feel daunting. But with a qualified legal expert to help you, you should be able to move with minimal headaches.