Blog: Moving to Spain after Brexit – Telegraph.co.uk

Moving to Spain after Brexit raises many questions for would-be expats, from visas to buying property and living in Spain

As we adjust to life after Brexit, Britons hoping to move to the continent will have many questions to ask. The attraction of moving to Spain from the UK has always been strong, so in the aftermath of Brexit many Brits are left wondering if the dream to relocate to Spain is still on the table. Potential expats need to know if they still have the right to live and work in Spain, whether they need a visa, and how to go about retiring to Spain post-Brexit.

With its warm climate, lovely beaches and lower cost of living compared to the UK, it’s no wonder that Spain has more than 360,000 Brits registered as permanent residents. However, since the Brexit transition period ended on 1 January 2021, new rules apply for anyone pursuing the dream of  living in Spain after Brexit. 

Can I still move to Spain after Brexit?

It is still possible to move to Spain after Brexit, but changes have been made to the process. These are likely to put many people off, separating those who are serious about relocating to Spain long term from those who fear the commitment it now entails. 

Pre-Brexit, as EU citizens, Brits had the right to visit, live and work anywhere within the European Union, including Spain, without visa restrictions or maximum stay periods. Under new rules, however, options for citizens who want to leave the UK after Brexit and move to Spain are much the same as they are for non-European people. 

For example, there is now a maximum stay of three months for UK passport holders in Spain. Anyone who wishes to stay longer must legally register as a resident, and any non-resident hoping to work in Spain, may need a visa or work permit. In light of this, many UK nationals of the older generation will now be concerned about whether their plans to retire to Spain post-Brexit can still be realised.

Residency in Spain after Brexit 

UK citizens can still move to Spain, but since the UK has now left the EU, those who want to make the permanent move will have to meet certain criteria in order to gain residency. These criteria vary according to your age, employment status and other factors.

However, anyone from the UK wishing to gain resident status in Spain will, as a minimum, need to provide evidence of a clean criminal record and suitable health cover. Brits may also need to prove that they have the financial means to support themselves and any dependents for a certain period of time, or provide proof of income via a Spanish employment contract. Anyone wishing to move to Spain from the UK with the view to starting a business must have the necessary qualifications as well as an adequate business plan. 

Can I continue living in Spain after Brexit?

Any UK citizens already living in EU countries prior to 1 January 2021 are allowed to remain living there as part of the European Union Withdrawal Act. Spanish authorities have agreed with the UK that British people living in Spain pre-Brexit will have the same rights after Brexit, as long as Spanish people residing in the UK are granted the same rights in return. 

In order to remain living in Spain as a UK citizen, you must be legally registered as a resident there, and you must have done so correctly. This includes children, who must be individually registered with their own documentation. Those who are compliant will be issued a residence card, proving their rights under the Withdrawal Act.

Once you have moved to  Spain

While there are more hoops for Brits to jump through to live in Spain after Brexit, it can be done. Whether you wish to retire, work or holiday there, you can still lawfully do so if you meet the requirements above. 

Once you have gained permission, living in Spain will be just as it was before Brexit. British expats can purchase property, have the same rights and  pay the same tax as they would have pre-Brexit. As you consider life in sunnier climes, red tape may be a small price to pay for blue skies.

Get our most competitive currency exchange rates

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Telegraph Media Group has partnered with moneycorp to offer no transfer fees on payments at competitive exchange rates in more than 120 currencies. With Telegraph Media Group International Money Transfers you also have access to currency exchange experts who can personally guide you through the process, as well as a UK-based, award-winning customer care centre, and 24/7 secure online access. Make your money go further with Telegraph Media Group International Money Transfers.

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The above article was created for Telegraph Financial Solutions, a member of The Telegraph Media Group.

For more information on Telegraph Financial Solutions click here.moneycorp is a trading name of TTT Moneycorp Limited which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Service Regulations 2017 (reference number 308919) for the provision of payment services. All customer funds are safeguarded in segregated client bank accounts.

Information correct at date of publication.

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