Over the past few months, we have seen a greatly increased number of enquiries for people wanting Spanish Residency in Alicante – Spain (Residencia). All the relevant Government offices locally have backlogs for Residency appointments currently. Here you have all the information about Residency in Spain after Brexit.
This article is to advise you that it is important that all clients who do not have Residencia and padron and need them should obtain them before 31st of January 2020 . After this date we don’t know how difficult it may be to obtain residencias afterwards.
Why is this? What is the situation with Residency in Spain after Brexit?
If you refer to the GOV. UK website in the UK there is a great deal of information there to read.
What is the agreement on rights for UK nationals in Spain?
At the beginning of January 2019, there was an update by the Foreign Office, on the rights and status of UK nationals living in the EU following the triggering of Article 50.
- UK nationals, as well as their family members covered by the agreement. They are lawfully residing in Spain by 31st January 2020, will be able to continue to reside in Spain.
- Children born or adopted outside of a UK national’s resident State after the 31st January 2020 will also be covered by this agreement.
- Close family members. (spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren and dependent parents and grandparents), will be able to join UK nationals in Spain after Brexit under these rules. This applies where the relationship existed on 31st January 2020 and continues to exist when they wish to move to join their UK national family member.
- UK nationals and their family members covered by the agreement will be able to be absent from their member state of residence for up to 5 years, without losing their right to return. Also, they will continue to have the same access as they currently do to healthcare, pensions and other benefits.
- Where an application is required to obtain Spanish status, UK nationals will have at least two years to submit their applications.
UK nationals who move to Spain after 31st January 2020
For UK nationals who move to Spain after the UK’s withdrawal on 31st January 2020, they can still live, work and study in Spain after the UK has left the EU. How long this period lasts is subject to negotiations, however, it is likely to be around 2 years. Details of the immigration rules for UK nationals who wish to move to the EU after 31st January 2020 are yet to be agreed.
UK nationals in Ireland
( By the way) The rights enjoyed by UK and Irish nationals in the Common Travel Area will not be affected by the UK’s exit from the EU.
Current status of UK nationals in the European Union and specifically Spain.
Until the UK leaves the EU, the UK remains a full member of the EU and all the rights and obligations of EU membership remain in force.
- UK nationals can continue to travel freely within the EU using a UK passport
- There continues to be no visa requirements for UK nationals entering another EU country
- UK nationals can continue to access health care during temporary visits to EU countries using the European Health Insurance Card
- They retain their legal status as EU citizens and can continue to work and live in EU countries
- British people can continue to retire and collect their pensions in EU countries
Post-Brexit and 31st January 2020
The withdrawal agreement is still being discussed but it is looking likely that as the UK loses EU citizenship. Their citizens will no longer be entitled to reside in Spain under the existing status.
We are registered in Spain as EU citizens. Therefore, it is possible that Spain could take the option provided for them in the joint report where they could ask that UK nationals make an application to replace our present residency certificates for a new residency document in line with our new status.
We should expect that we will have two years to change our status.
The current joint report says that to obtain status in Spain, those already holding a permanent residence document issued under the EU law at the specified date will have that document converted into the new document. It will be free of charge, subject only to verification of identity, a criminality and security check and confirmation of ongoing residency.
(This information is taken from the CAB Spain website where you can find a great deal more information).
The point of this post is: although those of you living here now without a Residencia should be able to apply for a residency certificate by proving you are residing in Spain, by other means than a certificate, it makes sense that you should apply for Residencia (Residency) now. Do it before the January 2020 trigger date, when they can make things a lot more difficult for you.
Currently, we understand EU citizens applying to become a permanent resident in the U.K. need tap their passport against their phone, answer 3 questions and pay £6 to cover postage. The process is than entirely automated and extra information is only requested if their social security record etc does not cover the full 5 years.
On this side of the water, over here in Spain, things are getting tougher. Not only are we hearing stories of people being asked to produce more documentation than previously for new Residency certificates, the whole process seems to be becoming more and more complicated. At a recent meeting on the Orihuela Costa attended by the British Consulate and local councillors, all were urged to get their paperwork in order before January 2020. We are struggling to get appointments for Residencias for months ahead and it is only going to get worse.
If you are Resident spending more than 183 days per year in Spain, then the advice of the British Consulate was that you should get your Residencia and your padron (being registered on the electoral roll) now. We can help you with this.
One big problem everyone is aware of is that there are many people from the UK who live between the two countries. For example, some British residents spend up to six months a year in Spain and don’t register themselves with the local authorities, which could mean they don’t meet the requirements to qualify as permanent residents. They could find themselves with problems with the amount of paperwork and legal requirements if the final withdrawal agreement is very strict. Additionally Spain may start to match what the UK is doing in terms of applying to become a permanent resident of the country. People really need to be legally Resident where they are actually Resident according to the law.
If you are here for a total of 183 days (not consecutive) then you are classed as being a tax resident of Spain. You should be getting your Residency (Residencia), your padrón and a SIP card (Health card) or private medical insurance, and investigating paying taxes in Spain. If you are living here permanently but as a non-resident of Spain still going back to the UK for hospital treatment, driving the UK registered car etc. you are likely to find that this situation cannot continue.
Requirements for spanish residency
Requirements change depending on your circumstances. As a pensioner, an early retiree or if you are working in Spain, there will be different documents needed.
In the Orihuela Costa these are currently:
As a pensioner in Spain to apply for residencia you need;
- Your NIE
- Tax number for Spain (or it will be done at the same time)
- The form S1 from the UK Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999
- Padrón (no more than 3 months old)
- Bank statements showing the number of the account and your name
- Proof of pension (bank statement and the letter from the pension service).
If you are not a pensioner and not working in Spain:
You must have private medical insurance with the policy in Spanish.
You will need 8,000€ in a bank account in Spain plus the private health insurance. You basically have to prove you can afford to live here.
If working, you need evidence of you working in Spain (a vida laboral).
If you need more information click to read all the documents needed for Spanish residency.
What about other issues, free movement etc?
Theresa May said just before Christmas that she is aware that “there are more issues to be addressed such as rights to move within the EU. But the EU was not ready to discuss them in this phase of the negotiations. We will continue to raise these issues with the EU in the New Year.”
Update, December 2019: The Boris Johnson led British government, intends to speak to Spain “imminently” regarding protecting their British citizens in Spain!
This link is helpful on where you should pay tax if you work in the UK but live in Spain. https://www.citizensadvice.org.es/faq/working-in-uk-resident-in-spain-where-do-i-pay-tax/
Spanish Solutions advises our clients;
If you are from the UK and are currently living more than half a year in Spain, consider whether your paperwork is in order pre-Brexit. We can help you obtain Residencia and a Padron.
If you already have the relevant documents, then please do not be concerned. In due course, we will advise what will be required to update your status.
We will keep you informed. But, if you have been delaying getting Residencia … our advice is, don’t delay any more… Contact us to get your residencia sorted.