A Comprehensive Guide To Moving To Spain

Guide for Moving To & Living in Spain. Best places to live in Spain – where and why. Moving after Brexit – important things to know. Healthcare, Driving, Banking and Finding Job. Coming to Spain with pets. Mistakes to Avoid when moving to Spain and helpful Tips and Hints.

1. Emigrаting tо Spain frоm the UK

Having lived in Spain for at least a week, you will be forever charmed by its beauties, mild climate and slow rhythm. It is impossible not to fall in love with the picturesque Spanish coast, the turquoise sea and majestic mountains of this country.

The apparent slowness of the Spaniards actually hides the wisdom to live and enjoy every minute of life, to enjoy the value of a beautiful window view at breakfast. A huge number of national holidays and how responsibly the Spaniards get ready to them are the best proof that the people of Spain are extremely positive and know how to celebrate life.

It doesn't matter why you are moving to Spain - to study at a university and become a doctor, open your own business, sell real estate or enjoy life after retirement - here everyone may find a comfortable place and integrate in multinational Spanish society.
Why Spain?

  • moderate climate, warm sea;
  • high standard of living, culture and tolerance;
  • developed infrastructure, even in small towns;
  • reasonable prices if compare to other European countries;
  • low crime rates;
  • high level of medicine;
  • affordable education of high quality.

2. Best places to live in Spain

  • Costa Blanca. A highly demanded area: 25% of foreign buyers choose it, and the demand is growing steadily. Costa Blanca offers a wide selection of affordable housing, which cannot be found on other coasts of Spain. For example, in Benidorm, Alicante and Torrevieja it is possible to buy a studio apartment for 50,000 EUR. The southern part of the Costa Blanca offers some popular destinations: El Campello, Elche, Santa Pola, Ciudad Quesada, Guardamar del Segura, La Zenia, Pilar de la Horadada, Torrevieja, Arenales del Sol, La Marina and Santa Pola. The northern part of the Costa Blanca is popular for the following resorts: Denia, Els Poblets, Javea, Benitachell, Moraira, Calpe, Altea, Benidorm. Property here is more expensive than on south. Due to the high demand of real estate in these cities there is a shortage of land for construction, especially in top destination Benidorm.

  • Costa de Valencia (Valencia, Gandia, Mislata, Montserrat). The capital of the coast is the third most populated city in Spain. In addition to excellent beaches and countless attractions, some of the best educational institutions of the country are also located in Valencia.

  • Costa Calida (Murcia, San Pedro del Pinatar, Los Alcazares, La Manga). The coast, popular both for family vacations and for senior tourists. The landscape of the coast consists of mountains and plains, pine forests and sand dunes, as well as protected salt lakes with mud and more than 200 kilometers of sandy beaches.

  • Andalusia (Costa de Almeria, Costa Tropical, Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz). The second most popular region of the country, up to 20% of foreign real estate investors are here. Costa del Sol resorts (noisy Malaga, luxurious Marbella and Estepona) have long been chosen by pop stars, athletes and politicians, so the price of real estate on the southern Spanish coast starts from 200,000 euros.

  • Catalonia (Costa Brava, Costa del Maresme, Costa del Garraf, Costa Dorada). Catalonia is a destination of choice among 15% of foreign buyers. These are mainly French (40%), which is not surprising due to the proximity of the border. Barcelona is a prestigious city to live and study, and therefore quite expensive: in luxurious areas such as Eixample or Sarria - Sant Gervasi, square meter already overcame the mark of 4,000 EUR, while the average for the city is about 3,000 EUR. Also, this region is famous for the coasts of the Costa Daurada and Costa Brava: they offer popular resorts like Lloret de Mar, Playa de Aro, Blanes, Palamos, Sitges, Tarragona, Salou.

  • Madrid. It is the top destination for those who are going to work in this city or make an investment in property. Madrid accounts for 8% of real estate purchase and sale transactions with foreign participation. Housing in the capital is somewhat cheaper than in Barcelona: about 2,500 EUR per square meter.

  • Canary Islands. The Canary Islands attract 10% of foreigners coming to Spain. The magnificent climate and diversity of the nature make Tenerife and Gran Canaria truly an island of paradise. Canary Island housing is hard to call affordable. Decent apartments in Tenerife cost on average 200,000-300,000 EUR.

  • Balearic Islands. These islands attract to their shores 7% of all foreign property buyers in Spain. Ibiza and Mallorca are especially popular among Germans. Housing in Ibiza, an island of eternal fun and loud music, is quite expensive – from 2,000 EUR per square meter.
Suitcases and direction signs

Spanish Climate

Spain is divided into three climatic zones. The northern part of the country is under the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, which makes winter not so cold (the temperature does not usually fall below +2°C), and summers are mild and moderately hot. This region is considered one of the best in the world for living with children due to the absence of extreme temperatures and dry summers. The sea warms up to 20–22°C in high season.

In the central part of the country the climate is cooler: it is called continental, due to the fact that the movement of warm air masses is difficult. But here you will not experience any below zero temperatures. Of course, it is cold in winter, especially in mountainous areas, but the temperature does not fall below +2°C. The exception is mountains, there may be up to -10, but it should be borne in mind that such a temperature is rare and it does not feel that cold at all.

The climate in the south-east of the country is Mediterranean, mild, with short warm winters and hot and long summers. The temperature in summer reaches +35°C, but most of the time it varies from 25 to 28°C. Winter lasts from December to February, the average temperature in the coldest period here is + 12 ... + 18°С.

The Canary Islands is a tropical paradise with all its benefits. The hot summer, which lasts almost all year round, the temperature ranges from +19°C in the "coldest" months up to + 25°C in the summer. You can swim in the ocean Canary Islands all year round!

We are sure that now you understand why British seniors are looking for a paradise on the shores of southern Europe to enjoy a peaceful retirement!

Local Language

The official language in Spain is obviously is Spanish (Castilian). The Catalan language, which belongs to the Romance group and is closely associated with French, is recognized as the second official language that is spoken in Barcelona and Catalonia. In the autonomous regions, local languages are also considered official: Valencian, Balearic, Basque (Eusquera), Galician, Aran and others. In each of the autonomous communities, its language has the same official status as Spanish, and, unlike other multinational countries of the continent, in Spain the use of regional languages is only growing.

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages of Earth – about half a billion people in all corners of the world speak it. In over 50 countries it is either an official, regional, or interethnic language.

Knowledge of foreign languages in Spain is not the strongest point. In popular tourist areas, the staff mostly speaks a bit of English, but in small towns and in the province almost no one understands it. In the northern regions, many locals speak French fluently, in the western regions - Portuguese, in the Balearic Islands - French and Italian. But on the Iberian Peninsula, you can communicate with a local resident only in Spanish. However, young people mostly speak English quite well.

We believe that fluency in Spanish will be very useful for everyday life, when arranging some documents, as well as for a hassle-free job search.

Popular Areas for British Expats

One of the reasons why the British citizens used to move to Spain is the good weather, but also for being the cheapest country where they could buy a house and spend less money for a pretty good lifestyle.

Nationals of the United Kingdom, representing the third largest group of foreigners in Spain after Moroccans and Romanians, are also the most numerous in some Andalusian villages where foreigners outnumber Spaniards. Today, more than 310,000 Britons live in Spain on a constant basis.

Britons are concentrated in the coastal areas of Andalusia, Catalonia and the Valencian Community and their average age is 53.5, which is above the average age of the population as a whole (43.1 years), of Spaniards (43.9) and foreigners (36 years).

In fact, many of them live in towns of Andalusia, Valencia and the Islands, but most of them ­– in Alicante and Malaga.

The top cities in Spain, chosen by British citizens as a main or a second home in Spain are the following:

  • Province of Alicante. Orihuela, Torrevieja, Rojales, Javea, San Fulgencio, Benidorm.

  • Province of Malaga. Mijas, Benalmadena, Fuengirola, Estepona, Marbella.

  • Province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Arona, Adeje, Santiago del Teide, San Miguel de Abona.

  • Province of Balearic Islands. Calvia, Palma, Santa Eulalia del Rio, Alcudia.

  • Province of Murcia. Mazarron, Cartagena, Murcia, Los Alcazares, San Javier, Torre Pacheco.

  • Province of Almeria. Albox, Vera.

  • Province of Las Palmas. Tias, La Oliva, Teguise, Antigua, Mogan, Yaiza.

  • Province of Barcelona. Barcelona, Sitges, Sant Cugat del Valles, Castelldefels.

  • Province of Valencia. Oliva, Valencia, Lliria, Ontinyent, Gandia.

  • Province of Madrid. Madrid, Alcobendas.
The Street of Valencia

3. Visa Requirements for Spain

This information is necessary for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland residents, as they need visas and permissions to live and work in Spain. Perhaps soon this information will be relevant for UK citizens. For now, pre-Brexit UK nationals only need to make a European residence green card. You can read more about it here.

In case you are a citizen of a country that is not listed above and your stay in Spain does not exceed 90 calendar days in total, you need to apply for a Schengen short-term visa. It can be issued for different purposes: tourism, sport, visiting relatives, short-term training, language courses, business trip, etc. The easiest way is to ask for a regular tourist visa. But if you plan to spend more than 90 days in Spain without leaving the country, then you should consider obtaining a residence permit.

Residence permit of Spain is also called "residence", which, in fact, is simply an analogue of the Spanish word residencia. The process of obtaining a residence permit in Spain begins in the country of residence of the foreigner. The purpose of submitting documents is to obtain a Spanish national visa. Why visa? Because at the embassy you will be given a visa, as confirmation of the approval of your application for a residence permit, and you will receive the very card (tarjeta de residencia) in Spain, in the municipality in which you intend to stay.

Types of Temporary Residence Permits in Spain

  • For property owners, this is the easiest way to get a visa for a year (90 days stay per every 6 months, as well as travelling across Schengen countries).

  • Without the right to work – an option that requires only confirmation of solvency.

  • With the right to work – you have to have a contract with the employer for a period of at least one year.

  • "Student residence" – in case you study at school or university, you will have to make this residence.

  • "Golden visa" – issued for investments (more than 500 thousand EUR) in the Spanish real estate, the purchase of shares of a Spanish companies or making a bank deposit in a Spanish bank of at least 1 million EUR, or the possession of Spanish public debt in the amount from 2 million euros.

  • Other options, such as family reunification, sedentary, research, etc.

A permanent residence in Spain is issued for a period of 5 years or more and gives the right to reside and work throughout Spain. You are entitled to such a permit after 2-5 years of living in Spain, it all depends on your background. Read more about this and how to obtain Spanish citizenship here.
Golden Visa

How to Obtain a NIE Number

Those foreigners, who plan to buy property, study or perform any kind of economical operation, need to obtain a NIE number that is a personal identity number of a foreigner. You will provide this exclusive number on all documents issued or processed in Spain.

To get a NIE, you need: arrange a visit, complete an application, take a passport and a copy of it, two 3x4 cm photos, 10 EUR, power of attorney (if needed). If a NIE is requested in Spain, the applicant must have a valid visa (if necessary) and a return ticket. In accordance with the law, a NIE is assigned within 5 business days, but in reality, there may be delays in high seasons.

You can read in detail how to obtain a NIE here.

4. Finding a Job in Spain

The requirements you must meet to work in Europe will vary depending on whether or not you are a citizen of the European Union. If so, the principle of free movement and residence of workers will be applied and, therefore, you will not need a visa to work in a European country. However, if you are not a citizen of the European Union, you will need to obtain residence and work permits. Citizens of the European Union have the same rights of employment as Spanish ones.

Among the professions of the high demand are:

  • doctors;
  • sales managers;
  • telecommunication engineers;
  • IT specialists;
  • programmers;
  • specialists in planning and business analytics;
  • power plants workers.

Here you can check out the current list of demanded professionals (updated every 3 months) according to the chosen province. To see the list, download the first file (catálogo completo de ocupaciones de difícil cobertura).

If a foreigner does not speak Spanish and is not a professional of a high level in one of the popular fields in demand, it will be difficult for him or her to count on a prestigious high-payed position in Spain.

In case you are from the country which a visa citizens are required to have a visa, then a work visa to Spain is issued only if there is an official offer from the employer and under the condition that he will prove the necessity of hiring a foreign citizen. The employer must show negative search results for a specialist in the public employment service. After providing evidence of the impossibility of hiring such a specialist in Spain, the State Employment Service within 15 days prepares a certificate stating that the need for such a specialist cannot be met through the use of a national work resource. As a rule, large companies have this opportunity. Small firms cannot afford such a time consuming and sometimes expensive procedure. Based on this, it can be assumed that it is easier for a highly skilled foreigner to get a job in large companies rather than in small firms.

5. Banking and Taxation

Opening an account in one of the Spanish banks is not an easy procedure. Moreover, it can be dramatically different in different regions. And even in the same city, the same bank, but in different branches, you can experience noticeable differences in relation towards a foreign customer.

For residents the situation is more straightforward. When opening an account, the bank will require you to present a resident card, an employment contract, nómina (payroll), and the latest income statement. Residents without the right to work while receiving income from other sources, will be required to submit supporting documents: certificates of employment (for remote work), declarations, statutory documents (for income from dividends), etc.

It is most often necessary for a non-resident to open an account in Spain in the following situations: when starting a business, or when buying a property. And in such cases, you will need to get the NIE number ­– the foreigner's identification number that is your tax number in Spain.

Opening an account in Spanish bank is half the battle. In the future, you will need to top up it. More often now Spanish banks refuse to accept cash. Moreover, it is impossible to deposit money either via an ATM or by bank transfer from a third-party account: account top up is allowed only by bank transfer from the client's own account in the country of his fiscal residence.

Also, once a year, Spanish banks will demand from a non-resident to submit documents confirming the source of his income. Be sure to ask which documents you should submit and how frequently, how you can top up your account, and what fees you are required to pay for banking service.

Non-resident accounts are subject to additional charges. Get ready for the fact that the bank will begin to impose additional services on you as a prerequisite for opening an account like health or home insurance.

We recommend that you contact several banks before opening an account in Spain and compare their requirements. Be sure to read the terms of the contract to avoid unpredicted surprises. Pay attention to commissions relating to both the account and cards: cash withdrawal at ATMs, terms of use outside Spain, payment for purchases in foreign currency, payment for on-line purchases, restrictions on the number of transactions per month, etc. You can read more about Spanish banking system here.
Spanish bank
Concerning the taxation of income from Spanish property, it depends on the status of the owner (resident or non-resident of Spain). Spanish tax resident is a person who stays in the country for more than 183 days per year. The tax burden applies to all residents' income received from sources around the world. For non-residents, only the income received in Spain is taxed. You should apply for tax return before June 30 of each year.

  • Income tax rates (Impuesto sobre la Renta) for tax residents of Spain and EU starting in 2016 - from 19 to 45%. The rate for non-residents is 24%. In case you are employed resident of Spain, you will have to pay a tax on a progressive scale, if your annual income is over 22.000 EUR.

  • When renting out a real estate, non-resident income is taxed at a rate of 24% (for EU residents - 19%). This tax is paid quarterly.

  • If a non-resident does not rent out the property, he is also taxed with Non-Resident Income Tax (IRNR - Impuesto sobre la Renta de No Residentes) which is 2% of the cadastral value or 1.1% if the cadastral value was changed after January 1, 1994. A rate of 24% applies to this 2% (or 1.1%).

  • If the value of the assets exceeds 700 thousand euros, you will also have to pay a wealth tax (Impuesto sobre el Patrimonio). It is paid in June for the previous year and is calculated on the basis of the net asset value on a progressive scale: rates vary from 0.2 to 2.5%. It refers to real estate, incomes, bank deposits, sources of temporary income, luxury goods, art and antiques.

  • The equivalent of corporate income tax is Impuesto sobre las Utilidades de Sociedades. Its standard rate is 25%, for newly created companies - 15% (this rate is valid for 2 years from the moment the company makes a profit). Companies with profits over 1.000.000 EUR must also pay the municipal tax (IAE). Tax rates depend on the type of economic activity and other features established on the municipal level. Typically, the amount of mandatory payment is from 1.000 to 4.000 EUR per year.

If you live in Spain permanently and receive income there, and since Spain has a "double taxation agreement" with the UK, you can claim a UK tax exemption to avoid being taxed twice.

To do it, you need to fill in SI form and and send it to HMRC to state that you are fiscal resident of Spain from now on. Before that, you should take the paper stating that you are fiscal resident of Spain from the Spanish tax authorities.

There are some taxes, that you will only be paying in the UK. For example, Capital Gain Tax, income tax from renting out your home in the UK, etc. We strongly suggest that you use the help of a tax advisor in Spain, as the tax payment for a resident of 2 countries at a time is not simple and each case must be considered individually.

6. Healthcare in Spain

If you are an EU citizen residing on a temporary basis in Spain, you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). But the EHIC only covers only emergency cases. Planned procedures are usually not covered by it. Since compensation and conditions are different for each insurer, we recommend that you check them out in advance.

People who have reached retirement age in their home country and are residents of the EU/EEA or Switzerland are entitled to free medical care in Spain. The only thing they need to do is get the S1 form in the country of residence.

In case you are employed/self-employed or study in Spain, you can sign up for public health care. To do it, you should follow some steps:

1) Get a social security number in Tesorería General de Seguridad Social (TGSS), if you have not done it before. You can find your local office here or you may apply online in case you already have a NIE, click on a green circle on your right (Tu Seguridad Social) and follow the instructions.
You will have to print out this application, take your NIE and passport and visit the closest security office.

However, the social security number is not enough.

2) Visit Instituto Nacional de Seguridad Social (INSS) to get a paper confirming that you are entitled for a free health care. To do it, make an appointment here. To get this confirmation, you need to take your ID/passport, NIE, certificate of empadronamiento (statement of being registered as a resident at your local town hall) and security number paper from the previous institution (TGSS).

3) Get the Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual (TSI), a public healthcare card. All you have to do is take your social security number, ID/Passport, NIE, a document from the INSS and a certificate of empadronamiento and visit the nearest issuing authority that is a health centre (Centro de Salud). The TSI card is valid for 4 year.

Please note: each time you visit public health institutes or buy prescription drugs, you need to show your TSI card.
Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual
Unfortunately, public healthcare does not cover a dentist, and therefore you must find private dental insurance or cover everything yourself. Dental insurance ranges from 10 to 20 EUR per month.

Private health insurance is a good thing to consider in Spain. The main advantage of it is the waiting time (in the case of a state clinic, the queue to visit a doctor is on average 65 days, and the waiting time for an operation is 4 months!). In addition, in private clinics you can find specialists who communicate in English and even other languages. Monthly insurance will cost you from 30 EUR, depending on your age and things that it covers. You can read out complete guide on Spanish healthcare system here.

7. Driving in Spain

Cars in Spain are left-handed, and you drive on the right side of the road – this is probably the most significant difference between Spanish and UK driving. That is why we strongly recommend you think twice before bringing to Spain your right-handed UK car, which may be not safe to drive here. For this reason, UK commercial vehicles are prohibited in Spain. All in all, it is hard to overtake and to pay toll roads in a right-handed car and almost impossible to sell such a car in Spain.

Concerning the question of driving licence: your UK licence allows you to drive in Spain till its expiration date. You may also change this document for a Spanish one in one easy step. In case it expires while you stay in Spain, you will need to go through a medical check to renew it. To escape this headache, we recommend you to be up to date with your UK licence before moving over.

Importing a Car to Spain

Those who live in Spain more than 183 days per year consider its residents, so are allowed you drive the car registered in another country less than 6 months a year. So in case you decide to register your car in Spain, you have to do it within 30 days from importing it at the nearest office.

Your car should have an insurance and MOT (in Spain it is called Inspección técnica de Vehiculos, ITV) plus you should pay a road tax on it: 21% in case of a new car and from 0 to 14,75%, according to CO2 emission). This tax should be payed in your local townhall.

We advise you to use a service of a Gestor in order to make everything in accordance to law not to have problems with Spanish road police and their fines.

You should bear in mind that the process of UK car registration in Spain rather expensive and time consuming. Instead we advise you to look at the Spanish automobile market. You may buy not only used car for a reasonable money here, but choose a new ex-demonstration car in a salon with a great discount!

Public Transport

The public transport in Spain is developed quite well, except for some residential areas with private villas like popular Ciudad Quesada, where everyone has its own car. Buses in Spain are strictly scheduled, they are spacious, new and equipped with air conditioning. This type of transport is the cheapest there. If you use a bus, always check the timetable. The return bus can stop at the same place, the difference is only in time. Night buses are marked in dark, usually blue or gray colors.

If you travel to another city in Spain by bus, try to buy round trip tickets (ida y vuelta) as they are often cheaper than separate ones.

If you often use transport, it is cheaper to purchase a monthly pass, which costs 40-50 euros, depending on the city. A single trip costs around 1-1.5 EUR. In some cities, especially in large ones, a good alternative to public transport is a bicycle.

Spain has a well-developed system of fast trains. You can access almost any place via the renfe trains. In major cities of Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia) there is a metro which is usually the most convenient transport there.

In small coastal towns and in residential areas transport is rather poor and taxis are quite expensive, which is why tourists always rent cars. And those who live here on an ongoing basis have a personal car.
The public transport in Spain

8. Moving to Spain with children

To move to Spain with children, first of all, it is necessary to arrange a visa if you need one. In order to be able to take the child to a public kindergarten or school, registration on the padrón (in your local townhall) is required.

In Spain you can choose between public and private nurseries. Many private kindergartens introduce English language, which helps in future admission to an international school. The cost of private kindergartens can be on average from 200 to 500 euros per month, while public ones – up to 100 EUR.

Regarding school education, in Spain there are 4 levels:

  • Children's school (4-6 years)
  • Elementary school (6-12 years old)
  • High School (12-16 years old)
  • Bachillerato High School (16-17 / 18 years old)

A children's school is optional, but most parents take their children there. Primary and secondary schools are compulsory. The law obliges all parents (both Spaniards and foreigners) to place a child in primary and secondary school, which is also a mandatory requirement for a residence permit in Spain. Graduation from Bachillerato High School is required for higher education in Spain.

There are 3 types of schools in Spain:

  • State schools
  • Semi-public schools that are partially funded by the Catholic Church or local authorities.
  • Private schools, primarily international private schools in Spain. The most popular are English or American schools, as well as Spanish schools, which provide the opportunity to receive an international baccalaureate diploma (A Level, IB).

In public schools, children are distributed, taking into account the place of residence and the "workload" of an institution. So, it's better to choose it in advance. It is in March that they begin to hold "open days", which can last until May.

But, unfortunately, it is not promised that your wishes to attend a chosen public school will be taken into account. Spain has a high standard of living and a high flow of emigrants, so that the "competition" for a free educational place is growing every year.

The level of English is especially important if you plan to enroll in an English or American private school, as training is conducted only in English. Spanish is taught as a foreign language in such schools. The cost of studying in private schools in Spain starts from 500 EUR per month. English private schools are the most expensive. The boarding schools are not popular in Spain.

You will need to prepare the following documents:

  • Two photos 3x4 cm
  • Document on registration in Spain (padrón from your town hall/Ayuntamiento)
  • Copies of foreign passports of parents and child
  • A copy of the birth certificate of the child
  • Copy of N.I.E. of parents
  • Vaccinations certified by a Spanish pediatrician

All this you bring to the local education center (Concejalía de Educación del Ayuntamiento) along with your wishes about the place of study. Probably you will get the following answer: "Sorry, there is no free place in this school now" and will be distributed somewhere several kilometers from the house. In this case, you can use as an argument that your relative studies in this school (or a friend's child who may appear to be your cousin), but if this option does not suit you, we recommend that you make an appointment with the school principal and give him or her arguments why your child should study here.

9. Bringing a pet to Spain

In order to bring your pet to Spain from the UK, you should get a veterinary passport and put in a microchip (or have made a readable tattoo before July 3, 2011). The animal must also be given a rabies vaccine, made at least 21 days ago or later (but not later than a year). Your pet must be over 12 weeks old when traveling.

When the UK leaves the European Union, additional documents may be required, as for example, a health certificate, a rabies antibody test, worming treatment against Echinococcus multilocularis and a declaration that the animal will not be used for commercial purposes – these documents are now necessary for traveling to the EU from third countries, some exceptions may apply.

Choose carefully how to bring your pet to Spain, as only certain airlines allow pets in a cabin. Unfortunately, your pet's way back to the UK is only possible as a checked-in baggage.

Among pet-friendly airlines from the UK to Spain are the following: Iberia Express, Vueling (not always), KLM, Air France, Lufthansa. We recommend you calling these companies in advance to plan your trip with an animal and learn about connecting flights in case it suits your situation better (if you want your pet on board, for example).

It would be easier to travel by car of by ferry, which will require to pay a fee of around 20-40 UK pounds.
Cat on the mountain

10. Moving to Spain After Brexit

Since the 1st of February with the exit of the UK from the EU, the Withdrawal Agreement came in force. It provides for the establishment of a transitional period until December 31, 2020 (subject to extension). During this period the rights of the UK citizens derived from the application of EU Law will be maintained with the following exceptions:

  • Voting rights in elections to the European Parliament and municipal government. However, Spain and the United Kingdom have adopted a bilateral Agreement in the matter of municipal elections, so that Spanish and British citizens may continue to vote in these elections;

  • Exercise the EU Legislative Initiative.

Once the transition period is over, the Withdrawal Agreement provides that the UK citizens' residence, work, studies and Social Security rights will be maintained.
If you currently reside in Spain for more than 3 months, remember to register in Spain as a foreign EU citizen and obtain a green card, that will be a guarantee of your Spanish residency after Brexit!
Which steps should take the UK citizens, already residing or moving to Spain?

  • If you have already obtained Spanish citizenship, you are free to continue enjoying life in Spain.

  • In case you already reside in Spain or are moving to Spain in transition period (from now until the 1st of January 2021), and if you want to reside more than 3 months in Spain, you must register with the Central Foreigners Registry, where you will immediately receive The European Union Citizen Registry Certificate stating the name, nationality and address of the registered person, your foreigner identity number and the date of registration. This certificate will be very useful after the end of the transitional period as it allows you to prove your status as beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement. To apply, you must go to the immigration office of the province where you intend to reside or to the corresponding police station.

Upon the end of the transition period the rights of British citizens and their families who will move to Spain after the 31st of December 2020 will be those established by the future Agreement that will regulate this matter or, failing that, those established by the general immigration regime.

Source: http://www.interior.gob.es/en/web/servicios-al-ciudadano/brexit

Permanent Residence

Currently more than 370,000 British citizens live in Spain permanently. If at the time of Brexit, you have lived in Spain legally (registered as a EU resident in Spain!) for at least 5 years, you will have a right to apply for a long-term residence (permiso de residencia de larga duración). You can only apply for it after you have ceased to be a citizen of an EU.

In case you will not have been residing in Spain for 5 years on a lawful basis, you will have to receive a permission to reside on any basis like working, studying, living as a retiree – all these conditions depend on an agreement the UK and Spain will draw up.

But for sure, to receive an unlimited permit to stay in Spain, UK citizens will have to show no criminal record, buy a private health insurance, and prove funds/income of a sum required in the year of application.

Working in Spain

If you are an employee, your employer should deal with your papers so you can stay in Spain on a legal basis.

In case you are a self-employed person, you will have to apply for a residence of this kind, or if you do not work ­– non-lucrative residence. For self-employed: you will need to prove that you have sufficient funds to set out a business, support your living and create jobs for residents of Spain.

Retiring to Spain

When remaining in Spain after Brexit as a retiree, keep in mind the possible difficulties with determining who should pay a pension – British or Spanish government. It will depend on the clauses of the agreement or non-agreement.

In case you have not been working or residing in Spain before the UK will have left the EU, you will have to get either a non-lucrative visa, showing decent funds on your account in the amount required on a date of applying for visa, or via family reunion, being dependent on your husband or children, who are Spanish residents.

Concerning healthcare for now, you should register S1 form in your home country to be eligible for Spanish healthcare. In case of non-agreement Brexit, if there will be a reciprocal step of UK government, the Spanish government will provide healthcare for UK retirees.

11. Biggest Mistakes When Moving to Spain

Unfortunately, many of those who move to Spain skip some important steps, not only violating the law, but also infringing on their own rights. Therefore, we decided to give you 5 most important tips that will help you reside in Spain without running into fines and protect your own rights after Brexit.

1) Register in Spain as a foreigner (get a "green card"). As long as you decide to live in Spain on permanent basis, visit a local police station or foreign office to get a registration certificate of a European citizen in order to get access to social security services.

2) Register on padron (in a local town hall) in order to access free healthcare, school for your children, pension and other social services of the country.

3) Transfer your money to a Spanish bank account with a help of a currency broker so you get the best exchange rate. Read more on how to open a back account in Spain here.

4) Don't forget to register your car if it's not in Spanish plates! To do it, you have a month after applying for residency.

5) Think about your healthcare. Determine what is more important to you and decide whether you can wait for a long time to see a doctor. Be sure to get S1 if you are retired, as with it you can access free medical assistance.
The first tip is not only obligatory by law, but also an official recommendation of a British government to make before the BREXIT, so you won't have any problems with staying in Spain and ensure your rights there!

12. Conclusions

Well, moving to another country is not easy. Whatever reason for leaving for Spain you choose, remember that it will put new responsibility on your shoulder.

So, moving to Spain for permanent residence will mean that you will be living in this country most of the time (more than 183 days a year). Estimate in advance whether it will be convenient for you and your family. After all, permanent residence in Spain is inextricably linked with the topic of taxes.

As you probably already understood, moving to Spain is not that hard, but no matter what method of moving you choose, it will require serious preparation, and each case requires an individual approach.

For it you can always contact us, and our experts will help you with all the paperwork, which requires experience, knowledge of the language and laws of Spain.
Thank you for your attention! For more information please contact the managers of our agency. It is our pleasure to assist you on a way to your dream!
Follow us on social media so as not to miss future articles!

Read more articles

Up