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Iris Gruenewald

Moving to Spain after Brexit

Written by ®Property-Lawyers.com

If you’re from the UK, post-Brexit rules and regulations mean travelling abroad has changed. British citizens are now usually treated as third-country nationals in Spain (i.e., non-EU citizens), but that doesn’t mean moving to Spain after Brexit is out of the question.

With careful planning and preparation, you’ll be able to find the right solution for you. Remember, if you’re thinking of moving to, or buying a property in Spain, it’s always best to seek professional advice.

How long can you stay in Spain?

British holiday makers can stay in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. The rules cover several shorter stays or one long stay. You won’t need a visa for tourist trips in Spain that fall into this category.

If you need to stay longer or are considering moving to Spain permanently, you’ll need to plan carefully before you leave and check all travel requirements. For more information, visit the UK Foreign Office website.

It seems things might change slightly by 2023, when citizens will need to complete a form and pay a €7 fee to get travel authorisation which usually lasts three years. This is done through the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (commonly known as ETIAS).

Practicalities of moving to Spain after Brexit

If you decide to move to Spain, it’s important to research thoroughly and find the right advice, making sure you apply for the correct visa or permit, with all the right documents, in the necessary timeframe.


You will also need to think about healthcare coverage. In many cases, this might mean having private healthcare coverage, at least at first.

Information on the above, as well as driving abroad, collecting pensions, taking pets, and more can be found on the UK Government website. The Spanish government website also lists useful information.

Visas for British citizens

As a British citizen moving to Spain, you will most likely need a visa, and the right one will depend on your circumstances. For example, you might plan on working for yourself or another company, investing in areas such as property or business, or retiring. These factors can affect your application.

Whichever type of visa or permit you need, you will likely also have to apply for a TIE residency card. It’s important to make sure you do this within the right timeframe.

Examples of visas

Below, you can find examples of different visas that might apply to you. This list is not definitive and should not be taken as legal advice.

None-lucrative visas
If you can provide evidence that you can support yourself, and you don’t wish to work in Spain, a non-lucrative visa might be the answer. This visa may be the right option if you were planning to retire in Spain, for example. There are specific documents to complete and financial minimums to be met.

Working in Spain
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer for visas and permits if you want to work in Spain. Different types apply depending on factors such as the type of job you’re doing, where the company is based, and duration.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office has published information to help you work out which type of visas and permits you need for your work.

Long-term residency (like a Spanish national)
It is possible to be granted long-term residency that means you can reside in work in Spain indefinitely, like a Spanish local. However, you’ll need to match specific criteria, including (but not limited to) having lived in Spain for five years or having contributed in a large way to economic, scientific, or cultural progress in Spain or to Spanish people abroad.

This is unlikely to be the type of permit you need if you’re moving to Spain for the first time.

The Golden Visa
Spanish golden visas can be granted for a number of reasons to non-EU citizens. One route is by buying a property that costs €500,000 or more. If you plan on bringing a spouse or dependent, you may be able to add them to your visa, but this depends on the legal status of your relationship.

A newspaper report from El Pais showed that there were 681 golden visas granted for real estate investments by foreigners in 2019.

If you’re looking to invest in property in Spain, we can help. Our team specializes in property across Mallorca from our local offices. We provide a full range of services and speak several languages.

To get started simply get in touch with one of our team members or browse our portfolio of properties of sale in Mallorca.

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