The details of moving abroad are changing thanks to Brexit. From January 1, 2020, Britain will have removed itself from the EU and this will have some effect on those that want to live or work abroad.
The UK Government has provided some guidance for anyone who might be affected by the change. There you will find ‘official information for UK nationals moving to or living in Spain, including guidance on residency, healthcare, passports and the Withdrawal Agreement’.
The guidance includes topics like ‘what should you do’, ‘the Withdrawal Agreement’, ‘visas and residency’, ‘healthcare’, and ‘passports and travel’ to name but a few.
Moving To, Or Living In, Spain
As with all areas where laws are changing getting the advice of a solicitor is always going to be advantageous. Solicitors In Spain is a company which has solicitors who are based in the UK and Spain and can therefore provide some insight into the complications that Brexit may bring.
“Of the many issues for Brits to consider as a result of the Brexit vote is their ongoing right to spend time in Spain, whether on holiday, simply without working, in retirement, as a base from which to run a business, or for any other reason,’ they said.
“Spanish immigration rules currently provide for people from countries outside of the EU to apply for permission to reside in Spain for one of a number of reasons. “It follows that whatever terms the UK government manages to negotiate after Brexit, it will still be possible for Brits to continue to spend short or extended periods in Spain provided they comply with the rules.”
“Upon the UK’s exit from the EU if you have been living in Spain lawfully for at least five years, you will be able to apply for indefinite permission to reside there, what is termed “permiso de residencia de larga duración”, they added. “You will only be able to apply for indefinite permission to reside in Spain once you are no longer a citizen of an EU Member State, so you will need to wait until the UK has finally left the EU in order to apply.”
As there will be a number of people living in Spain after Brexit who have been there less than five years what they need to do is slightly different. Many real estate agents in spain are optimistic the property market will remain buoyant even after Brexit.
“They will be able to rely on the time they have spent there and will need to continue to remain in Spain lawfully until they have resided in Spain for five years, at which time they will be able to apply for indefinite permission to reside,” said the solicitors. “The basis on which Brits extend their permission to stay in Spain will depend upon what they are intending to do.
“Prior to Brexit, UK citizens, as citizens of an EU Member State, are able to undertake any lawful economic activity they wish without applying for a visa to do so. “Once we leave the EU that will not be possible without first applying for permission, unless one already has indefinite permission to reside.
“Hence, in the post Brexit world it may be necessary to make an application to reside in Spain for the greater part of the year without permission to work (as a retiree for example), or with permission to work, unless all you want to do is to holiday in Spain in chunks of no more than three months, in which case there ought to be no problems whatsoever.”
Obviously, given the ongoing Brexit debate, there could possibly be further changes ahead and any advice here may be subject to those changes. Always check for up-to-date information and seek advice where you can get it.