On the eve of January 31st, 2020 the UK officially left the EU and the dust has started to settle somewhat. There has been and will continue to be a lot of confusion on the rights of British nationals but hopefully we can shed some light over the current situation.
So what’s changed?….Almost nothing – since leaving the European Union we as a company have sold a number of properties to UK nationals.
As it stands you are still able to work and live in Spain. Current UK pensioners currently residing and fully registered in Spain are still entitled to lifelong healthcare and pensions will continue to be paid. You will also be able to exchange your current driving licence until the end of 2020 without needing to take a driving test.
We are now in a state of limbo as to what will happen during and after the ‘transition period’ which will last until 31st December 2020. During this transition period UK citizens retain all of their EU citizenship rights and nothing significant changes – you can still travel to Spain, study in Spain, work in Spain and more importantly buy a home in Spain!
Where do we stand once the transition period has ended?…….If you are currently a fully registered resident in Spain then nothing much. After five years of having a permanent residency certificate, you should be entitled to apply for long-term residency status, which entitles you to live in Spain indefinitely.
If you are thinking of moving to Spain on a permanent basis then early registration is recommended before the 31st of December 2020. It is important to register ‘padron’ at your local townhall and you will need to look at registering as a tax resident along with changing your driving license.
What if we are not of retirement age but we want to move over full time?.….. You can still apply for residency but will not be entitled to the healthcare service so you would be required to take out private healthcare. If your spouse is of a pension age, becomes a Spanish resident and can obtain the S1 card from the UK government then you can ‘piggy back’ on their free healthcare.
What will happen if we just want to buy a property In Spain and use it for holidays?…….As with other Non-European countries – you will be allowed entry the country for a certain amount of time throughout the calendar year (Usually no longer than 6 months of the year). It may be the case that is a bit more paperwork required and a few rubber stamps but nothing too troubling.
To date and until the end of the transition period, your current valid passports, pet passports and European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) will still be accepted.
There will be a lot of developments in the weeks to come but if you have any questions about buying a property in Spain please do get in touch.