In January 2020, the United Kingdom withdrew itself from the European Union after a highly publicised referendum, which resulted in an almost 60% of the population voting in favour of leaving. At the time, most voted believing that the European trade benefits did not outweigh the strain the country was under from mass immigration. There was very little discussion in the lead up to the referendum of how this monumental decision, may also affect British Nationals and their freedom to move between European states. In this article we hope to cover some of the main queries you may have about moving to Spain post-Brexit.
How has Brexit affected those who are already living in Spain?
Pre-Brexit, residents of the United Kingdom were free to live, work and move to Spain or any of the other countries in the European Union as and when they wished, without visa requirements. Post-Brexit however, British citizens lost EU citizenship and their free movement rights. For Spain, the UK is now added to the list of Visa-exempt countries which enables Britons to stay 90 days within a period of 180-days in the country. Seasoned travellers who look to enjoy the winter months in their holiday homes here in Spain are grateful for this, as the restrictions could have been made much stricter.
For those who have been living in Spain lawfully for five or more years, they have been able to apply for an indefinite residency permit.
Why Moving to Spain is a Popular Choice
Spain is a great country to live and work in and it has attracted many ex-patriots over the past decades to move over and start a new life. Of course, the obvious and main attraction for this influx of British and Northern Europeans is the weather! With over 320 days of sunshine a year, residents can enjoy lower energy costs in the winter season, more time outside and an improved general well-being.
Another attractive factor of moving to Spain is the cost of living, which is on average 22.6% cheaper than in the United Kingdom.
Spain, and Marbella in particular boasts everything one may need for a new life abroad: Being just 2.5 hours flight from the UK, Marbella is easily accessible for visiting family and friends and short trips back “home” for residents are easy and hassle-free. As well as offering what has been voted “The Best Quality of Living” in Europe; the Costa del Sol also offers a wealth of International schools, for children of all ages to continue their studies in their own language, many public bi-lingual infant and primary schools and for those looking to retire to Marbella, there really is no limit to it’s offerings: World class golf courses, miles of beaches and promenades and of course every type of restaurant you could ever wish for.
Moving to Spain Post-Brexit
Britons moving to Spain after Brexit who have spent less than five years there before Brexit will need to continue to remain in Spain legally until they have fulfilled the full five years, at which time they can apply for an indefinite residency permit.
British Citizens who are looking to move to Spain after Brexit with no intention to work will need to apply for the “permiso de residencia no lucrativa” this is a non-lucrative permit which entitles you to live in Spain without the right to work.
If you are looking to move to Spain with the intention of working here, a residence card must be applied for from the immigration office, before applying for a working visa. You must demonstrate that you have adequate health insurance, have no criminal record and have no serious illnesses.
Once accepted, you will then receive a visa valid for 3 months. If you have permission to work and do not register with the local social security office within three months of your arrival, you may be fined and lose your right to remain.
If you intend on moving to Spain and becoming self-employed in Spain, you will be asked to demonstrate that you can comply with the laws currently in force concerning your business activity and provide evidence of any qualifications that hold, as well as evidence of sufficient funds to invest in your business activity, as well as an indication of the number of employees you may hire, if any. The government will request evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself and invest in your activity.
Digital Nomad Visa
Due to a surge in the number of remote workers in Spain post-Covid, the government has recently announced a Digital Nomad visa which may make it easier to live and work in Spain.
Under this new visa, workers outside the European Economic Area will be able to obtain a maximum of 20% of income from Spanish firms. They will need to demonstrate that they have been working remotely for a minimum period of a year and also possess a contract of employment, or if they are self-employed, must demonstrate that they have regular employment from a company outside of Spain that allows them to be financially self-sufficient.
The visa may entitle family members such as spouses and children to join the visa holder in Spain.
The Golden Visa
To be eligible for a Spanish Golden Visa, you must make one of the following investments:
- Purchase real estate in Spain worth at least €500,000. The real estate can be one single unit or several, with an overall worth of no less than €500,000.
- Make an investment in the Spanish public debt of at least €2,000,000.
- Buy shares in a company or make a deposit in a Spanish bank of at least €1,000,000.
- Invest in a new business that will offer employment opportunities, contribute to scientific and/or technological innovation and have a relevant socio-economic impact in the area where the business will be undertaken.
In addition to the investment, you must also fulfil the following requirements:
- You must be of legal age (+18 years old).
- You must have no history of criminal records.
- You must not have been refused a Schengen Visa in the past.
- You must have health insurance in Spain.
We hope you found this article helpful, and welcome you to share it with anyone you know who may be conisdering moving to Spain to “viva la vida”!
For more information on properties currently available for over 500,000€ which would make you eligible for the golden visa, please click here. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you’d like a more personalised service.