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Brexit Questions Answered

The latest information for British homebuyers moving to Spain post-Brexit. 

Travelling to Spain post-Brexit

UK Citizens no longer have the same rights in EU countries as they did before Brexit. However, it is still early days, and there is a chance that an agreement on visas could be reached with the Spanish government in the near future.

For now, if you want to travel to Spain, you must have at least 6 months left on your passport, and will be required to use different lanes to EU – EEA and Swiss citizens when queuing at the airport. 

You can travel to Spain for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. To stay longer you will need to apply for a visa or work permit.  You can apply for this Visa to extend your stay whilst in Spain. If you want to arrange an extended viewing trip in Spain, you can, but you will need to apply for a Visa.

*Please note that travel restrictions are currently in place to limit travel between the UK and Spain due to Coronavirus.

Changes in the Residency Application post-Brexit? 

British passport holders are now required to apply for non-EU residency in Spain. 

To do so, you will have to provide information such as bank statements, that prove that you and your partner have the means to support yourselves.

Additional Residency Requirements:

Proof of a Spanish bank account
Prove that you have no serious illnesses
Prove that you have no criminal record
Private medical insurance
*You can access the most updated information from the Spanish Foreign Office.

Permanent residency can now only be issued for 5 years.  Once you have lived in Spain for 5 years your residency permit will expire and you will have to prove again that you comply with the above requirements.

Do I need to own a property in Spain before applying for residency? 

You do not need to own a property to become a resident; you just need to live in Spain for more than 183 days. You can apply for residency; rent a house; or live with friends while you look for a property. If you are renting, it is likely that you will be required to have a minimum rental agreement of 11 months in place. 

Can I work in Spain post-Brexit?

If you plan to work in Spain for a UK company, you will need to provide proof of your employment status, and apply for a non-profit visa, known as a “permiso de residencia no lucrativa.”

If you are working for a company based in Spain, your employer will be responsible for handling your application.

If you are self-employed, you will be asked to prove that you earn enough to support yourself and your dependents. 

Can I take my pet to Spain post-Brexit? 

UK-issued Pet Passports are no longer valid. From now on, you will need to obtain an animal health certificate for your dog; cat or ferret if you’re travelling from the United Kingdom to an EU country or Northern Ireland. And you will need a new animal health certificate every time you travel. 

To obtain an animal health certificate – you must take your pet to the vet no more than 10 days before you travel.  You will need to bring proof of your pet’s microchipping date and vaccination history. The certificate needs to be signed by an official vet. 

Your pet’s animal health certificate will be valid after the date of issue for:

10 days for entry into the EU or Northern Ireland, meaning you must travel within 10 days of date of issue

4 months for onward travel within the EU

4 months for re-entry to Great Britain

Find out more by reading how to take your dog to Spain post-Brexit and beyond. 

Driving licence

The new rules around driving licences post-Brexit are still uncertain. In the lead up to 31st December 2020, UK nationals already living in Spain were required to exchange their UK driving licence for a Spanish licence, without the need to retake a driving test.

It remains unclear what the new rules will be post-Brexit, but it’s almost certain that Brits will be required to convert their UK licence into a Spanish driving licence. 

Whilst waiting for your residency permit, UK drivers must now obtain a green card, which is an international certificate issued by insurance providers in the UK, that guarantees that the cardholder has all the necessary third party car insurance cover to drive in Spain. This was always a requirement for non-EU nationals. 

Health care

It is strongly advised that if you choose to live in Spain you need to take out private health insurance. If you apply for Spanish residency then you will be covered by the Spanish National Health System. With private insurance, you will be able to see a doctor or a specialist much faster than if you rely on the Spanish National Health Service. 

Do I need to open a bank account in Spain?

Yes, this was always a requirement for moving to Spain. It is very easy to open a bank account. You can do it yourself in any bank branch, or you can do it with a solicitor. You can open a non-resident bank account and then switch to a resident bank account once you are a resident.

Retiring to Spain; pensions and taxes

If you want to retire to Spain after the 31st December 2020, you will need to prove that you are healthy, and that you, or the main breadwinner in your family, and reach the figures and requirements stated above.

If you are in receipt of a UK state pension, you will need to notify the Spanish authorities by filling out an S1 form. If you are eligible for an S1, you can also apply for a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). 

Will tax rates change for expats in Spain post-Brexit?

As UK citizens will be considered non-EU, they will pay the same taxes as non-EU citizens. If you own property in Spain, the taxes that you pay when you buy or sell your property will now be higher as a non-EU resident. Currently, a non-EU national will pay 24% CGT on the sale or transfer of property, whereas an EU national will pay 19%

Is it still worth moving to Spain after Brexit?

Of course! Murcia Villas will be happy to help you find your Dream Home in sunny Spain!  We can offer assistance and advice on your purchase and new life in the sun.

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