For many British citizens moving to Spain means better quality of life with a different climate, cultural and social environment. It is no surprise that Spain ranks near the top of most Expat satisfaction surveys.
In this blog we will give you some information and recommendations about the situation to live in our country after Brexit and the legal procedures you need.
Living in Spain
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. As the transition period has now ended, UK nationals continue to be able to to spend short or extended periods in Spain provided they comply with the rules.
Many Brits buy property in Spain with the intent to move to Spain, or to retire to Spain. As a result of Brexit, moving to Spain requires some considerations and procedures.
Moving permanently to Spain
At a conservative estimate there are 370,000 UK nationals residing in Spain. If you are one of them and you have been living in Spain lawfully for at least five years, you will be able to apply for indefinite permission to reside there, in Spanish “permiso de residencia de larga duración”. That will mean that you will be able to remain in Spain indefinitely provided you renew your residency card every five years (or 10 years in the event that you are a UK national or the spouse of a UK national to whom the 10 year “permiso de residencia de larga duración” applies).
If you have not completed the 5-year period in Spain?
You 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.
Moving to Spain – Working
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 – Retiring
In addition to the requirements for indefinite permission to reside, those applying for a right to live in Spain without permission to work need to show that they do not suffer from any illness that may be a serious public risk, and also be necessary to show a significantly higher disposable income than that required for indefinite permission to reside, in that the head of the family will need to show monthly income of at least €2,259.60 and for each dependent a further €564.90.
They will have to show that they have sufficient funds to live in Spain at that level of income for one year
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.
Proof that your business proposition is viable
Your business needs to make sense to you and to the Spanish authorities in order for you to be granted permission to work for yourself in Spain.
The procedure to be followed
When you make your application for a visa to work for yourself in Spain, you will need to show that you have:
1. sufficient health insurance.
2. that you do not have a criminal record.
3. that you are not suffering from a serious illness.
If all is in order then you will be issued with a visa within a month and will be able to enter Spain within three months, as would be the case for those collecting visas for permission to reside without permission to work. All non-EU foreign nationals residing in Spain will need to apply for a residence card from the immigration office closest to wherever you are living in Spain.
Moving to Spain – collecting your visa, or applying for it…
Once either the Spanish government office, or the government office of the relevant autonomous community that receives your documentation from the Spanish Consulate decides to allow you permission to reside, the consular staff will either ask you to attend at the Consulate to collect your visa (within a month if you are applying for a right to reside without permission to work), or will ask you to submit within a month your application for a visa if you are applying for a right to work for yourself in Spain (again, within a month ).
How long the permission lasts for; renew it
Those applying for permission to reside, whether without permission to work, or to work for themselves, will obtain permission to reside for one year, extendable twice for a further two years on each occasion, by which time they will be able to apply for indefinite permission to reside.
Once you are in the system, via whichever lawful route you choose, life will be just as it would be were you to live in Spain as a citizen of an EU member state. The taxes will be the same, your rights will be the same, and your children’s rights will be the same as those who were born with the right to be Spanish and are living in Spain.
We hope that this blog has helped you to clarify the procedures to apply for residency in Spain and the different options depending on your personal situation. Remember that it is important that you consult the legal procedures with a lawyer so that you can have the clearest and most up-to-date information.
If you finally decide to move to Spain at Tiekom we are happy to help you and to make your life easier here. You can find all the information about Tiekom on the Tiekom website or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org