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Living in Spain After Brexit

Brexit has left Brits with many unanswered questions about moving to Spain. From changes to visa requirements and access to healthcare, there are lots of things to consider as a result of the UK’s departure from the EU. We’ve put together this guide to assist you with everything you’ll need to know about living in Spain after Brexit.

Can I Travel to Spain After Brexit?

Current rules for British citizens mean that you are only able to stay in Spain for a maximum of 90 days within 120 days on a Schengen visa. To move to Spain from the UK, you must first ensure that you have a suitable visa and/or residence permit in place that will allow you to stay for longer. The options include:

  • Student visa
  • Work permit (self-employed or as an employee of a Spanish company)
  • Non-Lucrative visa
  • Golden visa
  • Family regrouping visa

Regardless of the visa you choose to apply for, some of the documents that you will be required to provide are:

  • A valid passport
  • A record of your criminal background (a five-year history)
  • ID photos
  • A completed application form for your chosen permit or visa

Other documents that you’ll need to provide are dependent upon the permit or visa which you are applying for. Further information about the paperwork and requirements can be found on the Spanish Immigration Portal.

Aerial view of the sunset in Madrid, Spain

Working in Spain after Brexit

Post-Brexit regulations mean that it is now harder for British people to find a job in Spain, but it is still possible provided you take the right route. Brits and other Non-EU citizens need to secure a job in Spain before moving to the country. In order to find a suitable role, you should first explore the official job shortage list to find an occupation with vacancies which the Spanish government deem as difficult to fill.

Once you have determined an occupation which is right for you and successfully found a role, your prospective employer will need to seek a work permit by showcasing that there are no Spanish citizens readily available and qualified to take the job and that you are the most suitable candidate.

If you are looking to register as self-employed in Spain, you will first need a detailed business plan that demonstrates your suitable qualifications for the role and how your business will make money. This plan will need to be approved by five departments within various Spanish institutions before you can apply to the Ministry of Labour and Immigration for a work permit. Initially, this permit will be valid for just 12 months and will need to be renewed annually for five years, when you can then apply for a five-year work permit.

Man filling in a paper form on a desk

Healthcare in Spain after Brexit 

Access to healthcare in Spain following Brexit is dependent upon your visa and working situation. Publicly funded healthcare coverage is available to those who are living and working in Spain, provided you are making social security or voluntary contributions. You will need your social security number to register at your local health centre. Although basic services will be covered by the Spanish healthcare system, you should expect to pay additional fees for many treatments and prescriptions.

Once you have been living in Spain for five or more years, or if you are over the age of 65, you will be able to access the same state healthcare that is available to Spanish citizens. Over 65’s will first need to apply for an S1 healthcare entitlement certificate from the UK, this is only available to those that receive a UK pension and means that the UK will fund the healthcare you receive in Spain.

healthcare professional using a laptop with a stethoscope beside the keyboard

Can I retire to Spain after Brexit?

Retiring to Spain is an idyllic dream for many who long to relax in the warmth and enjoy a slower pace of life. The good news is that even after Brexit, it is still possible to retire to Spain, but you will still need to find a suitable visa.

Upon retirement, many will opt for the Golden visa, whereby you will need to make a self-funded investment in the country, or the Non-Lucrative visa, whereby you will need to prove that you have a reliable source of long-term income.

Aerial view of an older couple on a bench in Spain

Whether you’ve got your eye on Barcelona, Madrid or maybe even Valencia, living in Spain after Brexit is still a wonderful opportunity to change your life.  Take a look at our international moving guide for helpful checklists and information that will make your relocation easier.

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