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Moving to Spain from the UK after Brexit in 2024

What’s on this page?

  1. Visas and residence permit
  2. Documents for moving
  3. Buying property in Spain
  4. Healthcare
  5. Jobs in Spain
  6. Education in Spain
  7. Taxes
  8. Pensions
  9. Driving in Spain

The UK's exit from the European Union officially ended on December 31, 2020, after which the process of moving to Spain from the UK has undergone some changes.

Spain has always attracted the inhabitants of foggy Albion with its warmth and hospitality, unique history, architecture and culture, high standard of living, well-developed infrastructure and relatively low prices. The British are impressed by the unique nature, more than 300 sunny days a year, delicious cuisine with a lot of locally produced vegetables and fruits, cheap and high-quality wines. Today, over 370,000 Britons live in Spain.

City view in Spain

Moving to Spain from the UK after Brexit became somewhat more difficult due to the fact that the period of stay for UK citizens without a visa was limited to 90 days over 180 days, which is different for citizens from EU countries. This procedure will be valid until May 2023. Starting from May, based on the introduction of the ETIAS visa-free regime, 72 hours before entering Spain, the Britons will need to apply for a permit.

If a longer stay is planned in Spain, then a British citizen needs to obtain a visa corresponding to the purpose of the visit.

Visas and residence permit

Moving from the UK to Spain is possible if you:

  • work in a branch of a British company located in Spain;
  • work in a Spanish company by invitation;
  • plan to find a job in Spain;
  • plan to become self-employed, open your own business, do freelancing;
  • are invited to study or plan to enter a Spanish university;
  • want to be reunited with a family member permanently residing in Spain;
  • do not plan to work in Spain but have sufficient financial resources for supporting yourself;
  • would like to retire in Spain.

Spanish visa on the map

Depending on the purpose of your relocation, you will need to obtain one of the following types of visa:

  1. work visa;
  2. job seeker visa;
  3. student visa;
  4. entrepreneurial visa;
  5. non-lucrative visa;
  6. golden visa;
  7. family reunification visa;
  8. permanent resident visa.

When applying for a visa, you need to check with the Spanish Consulate in the UK as to what type of visa you need. You must apply for a visa prior to moving while still in the UK. Only after obtaining a visa, can you pack your things and book your tickets.

If you have been living in Spain legally for at least 5 years, you can apply for a residence permit, and after 10 years of residence, for citizenship.

Documents for moving

In each individual case, a certain list of documents may be required, so it is important to check with the Spanish consulate in the UK as to the requirements for documents for moving. This is especially important when moving to Spain from the UK after Brexit, as the UK has become one of the third countries and document requirements have changed significantly.

In particular, you need to find out:

  • whether the documents must be translated into Spanish;
  • whether an apostille or notarization is required;
  • whether documents must be original or copies can be submitted;
  • whether only handwritten signature is accepted or it may be electronic;
  • the date of submission of documents.

When deciding to move, it is advisable to take a short trip to Spain to study the situation on the spot. This way you can first look into the possibilities of finding a job, decide whether to rent or buy housing, choose an area that is comfortable for you to live in, etc.

In this case, when crossing the Spanish border, you may be required to show the following:

  • travel document for the return trip;
  • medical insurance;
  • confirmation of the accommodation agreement;
  • the necessary amount of money for the period of stay in Spain.

Let us look at what documents you need to prepare in order to obtain certain types of visas:

Type of visa Purpose List of documents
Family reunification visa If your family member has lived in Spain for at least 1 year and plans to continue to live there, he/she is a Spanish citizen, or has a residence permit, or he/she has a "blue card*". 
Eligible for reunification - spouses, children under 18, parents over 65
an application for a residence permit;
original and copy of your passport;
a copy of the family member's passport;
a copy of the residence permit of a family member;
document confirming family ties (marriage certificate, birth certificate);
A statement from the spouse that he does not live with another partner;
a document confirming that your family member can support you financially;
medical insurance;
confirmation that you have a place to stay
Student visa Note. If you have received a student visa for a period of study of 180 days, then you will not be able to get a TIE* card and you will not be able to work in Spain For a study period of more than 6 months:
application for a student visa;
proof of a student residence permit or TIE card;
an invitation from an educational institution;
medical insurance;
confirmation that you have a place to live;
proof of financial resources for the period of training
Entrepreneurial visa If you are planning to do business or you are a freelancer a visa application;
business plan (if necessary);
proof of your skills, experience and knowledge;
proof of financial means to invest or support yourself

TIE - an identity card, which indicates the owner's address, place of work, study, NIE number.

NIE is an identification number that all foreigners staying in Spain for more than 90 days are required to obtain.

The EU Blue Card entitles highly qualified professionals to live and work in Spain.

You may also need to submit a certificate of no criminal record, contagious diseases, drug addiction.

Buying property in Spain

Moving to Spain from the UK involves the acquisition of real estate. The process of buying property in Spain is relatively simple. You need:

  1. to decide on the property. Information can be obtained from numerous sources on the Internet or by contacting specialized agencies;
  2. to obtain an identification number of a foreigner NIE to be able to legally conduct various kinds of formal transactions in Spain;
  3. to open an account in a Spanish bank for payments. To open a bank account, you will need a passport, NIE number, personal and financial information, pensioner identity card;
  4. to book the selected property by signing a preliminary contract;
  5. to pay the purchase price, sign the sales contract, and take ownership.

Property in Spain

The real estate market in Spain is extremely diverse and dynamic. It is characterized by a high level of supply and demand, and, accordingly, fierce competition. This type of the market can ensure that virtually any customer request and requirement can be met.

Luxury villas or modest one-bedroom apartments can be found in almost every corner of the country. Naturally, real estate prices in big cities and seaside resorts will be much higher than in the rural outback of the central regions.

If in the town of Belmez (province of Cordoba) the cost of 1 sq. m of housing is € 370, then in Madrid and Barcelona prices can be up to € 6000 per 1 sq. m. m.

You can find a property with fairly modest financial resources. However, when buying and wanting to save some money, you should consider other costs too.

A significant part of the costs can be the cost of transport. Spain is a country with a developed transport infrastructure. There are transport links between all towns and it will not be difficult to get from the place of residence to the place of work, the beach or the shopping center. However, the travel fees or petrol costs can be significant.

Traveling in the city by bus one way will cost € 1,5, a monthly pass - € 35-45, by high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona - € 65-128. Therefore, when buying real estate, you should also think about minimizing transportation costs.

Healthcare

The Spanish healthcare system is ranked 8th in the world among the best systems. The high quality of medical care is one of the arguments for citizens of many countries of the world, including UK, to move to Spain permanently.

The British can use the Spanish healthcare system in the following cases:

  • in case of official employment and obtaining the right to medical care;
  • when they become eligible for UK funding for your health care;
  • if they have lived in Spain for at least 5 years and have a residence permit;
  • if they directly contribute to the public health insurance system;
  • if they have private health insurance.

Hospital in Spain

Health insurance in Spain entitles you to a free visit to the doctor, significant discounts on prescription drugs (60-90%), i.e. is financially beneficial. It does not cover certain specialist services, such as non-emergency dentistry.

If you are studying in Spain on a student visa, then you need to apply to be able to receive medical care for the period of study free of charge or at a reduced cost.

Jobs in Spain

A successful relocation to Spain for permanent residence in most cases is associated with employment opportunities. The main condition for successful employment in Spain for an immigrant from a country that is not a member of the EU is that he has unique knowledge, skills and abilities. Knowing Spanish will also help a lot in finding a job.

It is wise to start your job search while still in the UK. There are branches of many British companies in Spain, and it makes sense to start looking for vacancies there. Also, many Spanish employers are willing to hire Britons.

Most often, immigrants from the UK find work in the areas of hotel and restaurant business, tourism, and teaching English.

Office building in Spain

If you have found a job with a Spanish company, then that company must complete the visa application on your behalf. After receiving a visa for the right to live and work, you can move to Spain. Upon arrival, you must apply for a TIE Alien Identity Card and register with Social Security.

A prerequisite for staying and working in Spain for a Briton is to have at least £2,000 per month in a bank account. If the employee's family also moves, then for each family member they need to have an additional £500 per month.

The average salary in Spain varies from region to region. So, in large cities in 2022, the average salary was about € 2700, and in the regions of Murcia and Alicante - from € 1600.

You can apply for an EU Blue Card if you have the high professional qualifications your employer needs.

Education in Spain

Some Brits are thinking about moving to Spain from the UK to get a Spanish education. The main advantages of studying in Spain include the following:

  • the probability of being admitted to a university is higher than in the UK;
  • the possibility of constant communication with representatives of different countries. This is due to the greater openness of the Spanish educational system;
  • significantly lower cost of education and living in Spain compared to the UK.

Polytechnic University in Spain

For education in Spain, as well as for advanced training, educational activities, research, participation in a student exchange program, etc. you need to get a student visa. The basis for obtaining it is a document for your enrollment in an educational institution. It is also necessary to provide evidence of the availability of a place of residence and sufficient financial means for the period of the training.

If a foreign student stays in Spain for more than six months, it is necessary to apply for a foreign student card.

The cost of studying in Spanish universities varies depending on the location of the educational institution, its prestige, and other factors. If in some public universities this amount is € 1000, then in private universities it can reach € 20,000.

Foreigners staying in Spain on a student visa have the right to work, but not more than 20 hours a week. This way you can earn up to € 500 per month. For a comfortable residence in Spain, an international student needs about € 1000 per month.

Taxes

The main tax for immigrants in Spain is income tax. If you are not a resident, it will only be tax on income earned in Spain for you. Tax rates:

  • from the main income - 24%;
  • from financial investments, for example, renting out real estate - 19%.

For residents, income tax is set at a progressive rate depending on the amount of income and is 19% if your income is up to € 12,450, and 45% if your income is over € 60,000.

Even if you are not a resident of Spain, there is a number of taxes for the following:

  • the inheritance you received - inheritance tax;
  • possession of significant assets in Spain - wealth tax;
  • the sale of assets in Spain, as capital gains tax

The UK has a double tax treaty with Spain, so you will not have to pay tax on the same income in two countries.

Pensions

Moving from the UK to Spain is often considered after retirement. This desire is dictated by spending the "autumn of life" in a country with a favorable climate, low prices, developed infrastructure and friendly locals.

For such a move, you need to obtain a non-lucrative visa that will allow you to live in Spain without working or doing any activity. To obtain such a visa, you must prove that you have sufficient financial resources to live in Spain. Today, this amount is considered to be € 2500 per month.

Elderly couple

If you continue to receive a UK pension, public or private, then you need to register in Spain as a tax resident and pay UK income tax.

Driving in Spain

If you have a British driver's license, you can use it for up to six months. After that, you need to exchange your British license for Spanish. Otherwise, you will no longer be able to drive a car.

To obtain a Spanish driver's license, citizens of non-EU countries need to pass a theoretical and practical driving test.

Cars on the street in Spain

Moving to Spain from the UK 2023-2024 can and should be done if you carefully study the information regarding the living conditions in this country, the rules for moving and their strict implementation.

FAQ

Can I move to Spain from the UK?

Moving to Spain from the UK is easy, just obtain an appropriate visa and follow immigration rules.

How easy is it for a UK citizen to move to Spain?

Moving to Spain from the UK after Brexit has become somewhat more difficult as the UK is no longer a member of the European Union. In order to move there, you need to apply for a Spanish visa that suits your purposes.

A UK citizen can move to Spain for the following reasons:

  • employment;
  • doing business or freelancing;
  • getting an education;
  • family reunification;
  • retirement.

How much income do I need to move to Spain?

The amount of financial resources required for relocation depends on its purpose. If you are invited to work, then you will pay for your accommodation with your income. In general, a prerequisite for staying and working in Spain for a Briton is to have at least £2,000 per month in a bank account. If the employee's family also moves, then for each family member they need to have an additional £500 per month.

Can I move to Spain without a job?

Yes, you can. To do this, you need to obtain a non-lucrative visa and prove that you have enough financial means to live.

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