More than a third of the British expat population in Europe live in Spain. But gone are the days when you could freely move, live, work, study, or retire in any EU country of choice. Since 2021, all Brits are now classified as non-European citizens.
From an immigration perspective, this clearly has an impact on entry requirements to Spain, your duration of stay, and what kind of activities you’re legally allowed to do. To help you through this, we’ll go over the new rules for living in Spain after Brexit. We also recommend our previously published blogs: A british in spain: first tips and Moving to Spain from UK: 5 mistakes to avoid
What changed for UK people after brexit
Main consequences after Brexit, in three points
• End of freedom of movement: You can continue to travel without a visa, but only for short stays.
• Visas to work: the United Kingdom will implement a new system based on points and the EU will apply the rules for third countries.
• Exit from the single market: There will be no additional tariffs between exports and imports, but customs security controls will be imposed that could delay the fluid exchange of goods.
Can UK citizens live in Spain?
Can I still move to Spain now that the Brexit transition period has ended? Yes, you can still apply for residency in Spain like other non-EU nationals.
UK citizens can continue living in Spain after Brexit; as agreed upon in the European Union Withdrawal Act.
The Withdrawal ACT (WA) included a transition period during which UK citizens who’ve moved to Spain prior to January 1st, 2021 could register as a resident to get a special residence permit. This residence permit ensures that all UK citizens, and their dependents, can continue enjoying the same rights as pre-Brexit.
Under this Act, British citizens who’ve lived in Spain for 5 years or more had the opportunity to exchange their existing residence permit and get a long-term residence permit (permiso de residencia de larga duración) valid for 10 years. Those who’ve yet to complete 5 uninterrupted years of residence in Spain can still apply for this long term residence permit after 5 years of legal residence.
Moving to Spain from UK for work
If you are an employee then the company employing you is likely to take care of your application to remain in Spain.
If, however, you want either to begin living in Spain post Brexit, or you need to extend your period of residence as without permission to work to five years to be able to apply for indefinite permission to reside there, you will need to apply either for (a) a “permiso de residencia no lucrativa”, or permission to reside without the right to work there, whether by working for oneself, or for someone else, or (b) permission to reside in Spain as a self-employed person, whether in your own name or as an owner and manager of a company, working for yourself.
Moving to Spain as a self employed person
If, on the other hand, you intend to work for yourself in Spain, then as well as complying with the same requirements for permission to reside as are applicable to someone without permission to work, you will need to demonstrate that you are able to comply with the Spanish rules currently in force in relation to the commercial activity in question, including evidence of any qualifications that entitle you to carry out that activity, that you have sufficient funds to invest in the activity to make it viable, and an indication of the number of people you may employ, if any.
You will also need to show that in addition to the funds available for investment in your economic activity you have sufficient funds to support yourself, which will be the same as those required for people applying for indefinite permission to reside, as set out above.
Get a job and live your dream
One of the biggest blows for British people as a result of Brexit is finding a company that sponsors a work visa. Finding a job in Spain isn’t as easy anymore as you would need a Spanish company to convince the government that they couldn’t find any EU citizen suitable for the job. In other words, say goodbye to jobs like bartending, event planner, or office assistant because those employers won’t sponsor a visa.
To find a job that will get you a visa, you’d be better off by applying for jobs that either require highly skilled migrants or jobs that are on the government’s official job shortage list.
Another important point to take into account for a person who wants to work in Spain is the language, getting by day-to-day without any Spanish is possible in some areas. Major cities and tourist areas offer many services in English, but you do miss out on a part of life without learning the local language.
This is one of the main reasons that explain the success of Tiekom, becoming a specialized provider of telecommunications and other services for expats
In all cases, we seek a value offer that is adapted to the sensitivity and needs of each client, facilitating through our commercial channel a personalized attention in inglish.
The main services that we recommend making your stay in Spain more pleasant are:
Fibre Optic: We have the most varied broadband offer with the speed and price you need for your home.
International mobile plans: We offer you the possibility of contracting mobile plans with different GB and 600 minutes in international calls to keep in touch with your relatives in the UK.
Energy: If you want to save on your electricity bill, Tiekom Energy offers you the best solution.
IP TV for UK and DZAN: We also suggest that you hire the best TV offer in your country with the main channels, more than 150 channels from UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, and the Nordics.
Security systems: If you want to be completely safe when you are at home in Spain or when you are in the UK, we recommend that you hire our latest generation security systems.
Spain is a fantastically well developed country with an excellent standard of living. The cost of living there is very low compared to other European countries, the locals are friendly and the lifestyle is cheerful.
So if you are thinking of a nice sunny place to work, you might want to live in Spain.