With Brexit coming into effect on 1 January 2021, relocating to Spain during this time can seem chaotic and unsure. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for those relocating to Spain to get ready for the impending Brexit transition, and successfully settle into their new home.
You may be thinking, “How does the UK’s decision to leave the European Union affect my transition to Spain?” While the UK officially left the EU on 31 January 2020, this year has been a time of transition for the UK and its citizens and this transition process will end on 1 January 2021.
How this affects you is found in the basics behind how the European Union functions. The EU allows people to move freely from country to country, whether they want to live or work there. Now that the UK has parted from the Union, travelers leaving Britain will need to take note of reformed customs regulations, travel stipulations, and reformed citizenship and residency laws. This adjustment also applies to UK residents who spend vacations or work in Spain.
During this transitional period, the UK has been drafting formal agreements with all countries, including Spain, outlining how travel will change due to their succession. Until those clear changes are public knowledge, residents of Spain and UK residents who plan on moving to Spain can take their own action.
How to get ready for Brexit if you will travel to Spain:
If you’re planning on holidaying in Spain for less than 90 days during a six-month period, your travel plans will resume as normal. But if you plan on spending more than 90 days in Spain over a six-month period, there will likely be significant changes to typical travel plan components like visas, passports, and customs regulations.
How to get ready for Brexit if you already live in Spain:
If you currently live in Spain, you need to ensure that you have the correct paperwork so that your rights remain the same. While you have many rights as a UK citizen living or working in Spain, the core pillars of your newly protected rights are as follows:
- Those who are simultaneously British citizens and legal residents of Spain will be free to continue to live and work in Spain
- Those who have pensions in the UK will still have access to healthcare if they continue to live in Spain.
- UK citizens living in Spain will be able to exchange their current driver’s license without having to retake a driver’s test. Additionally, their Spanish license will be accepted in the UK.
The question of Spanish citizenship has been raised numerous times by UK citizens. There are two routes to ensuring that you can legally stay in Spain after Brexit: citizenship and residency. If you choose to remain a British citizen and a Spanish resident, you will be held to the rights and responsibilities of the UK as if you still lived there. You will be free to come and go as you please between the UK and Spain with your UK identification.
On the other hand, if you choose to go the route of completely changing your citizenship to Spain, you will need to go through this documentation process, and you will be held to the same rights and responsibilities as people who were born and raised in Spain.
Overall, the impact that Brexit will have on other EU countries will include large transitions, so the better you can prepare for these changes, the better. Thankfully, the UK is working hard to outline how travel between countries will change, and once this information is solidified, your transition to Spain can still be smooth and painless.
If you need some help relocating to Spain, Perez Legal Group can help. We have a comprehensive package of services. Trust our team to apply for your NIE number, swap your driving license, apply for residency and more. For more information, see our brochure by clicking this link.