I want to move to Spain but how will Brexit affect me?
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Only until recently it was thought that Brexit was the one major historical event happening during our lifetimes. The arrival of the Coronavirus pandemic has since shaken the world to its core and where once Brexit dominated it has now been put very much on the backburner. Life before the pandemic involved people planning their futures and important life events such as marriage, buying their first home and indeed moving abroad to sunnier climes. These dreams are still very much in the hearts and minds of people they are only on ice for now.
The Withdrawal Agreement was finally agreed and approved by the British Parliament and the UK left the European Union on 31st January 2020. Having a Withdrawal Agreement in place means we have a transition period until 31st December 2020 allowing those British nationals who wish to come and live in the EU during this time under the same conditions of EU nationals. For some it has meant that plans have been brought forward as after the end of the transition period it is likely to be much more difficult for a British national to reside in an EU country.
The transition period was designed not only to protect citizens rights but also to enable talks to take place on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.
It remains to be seen if the transition period is further extended due the time lost during the Coronavirus crisis. Currently we are still looking at the 31st December 2020. This means that those UK nationals who were planning on moving to the continent during the transition period have less time, but it is still very possible for those in a position to do so. For those wanting to apply for residency in Spain the Spanish government is fast tracking British nationals though the system. Appointments for residency are made online and there is a separate category dealing only with British nationals.
Prior to applying for residency in Spain the applicant will require an address in Spain either by purchasing a property or a long-term rental.
The rules on applying for residency in Spain are the same as for EU nationals during this transition period. An application for residency must be done in person and a power of attorney cannot be used as you are supposed to be residing principally in Spain. The applications are dealt with at the relevant national police station in the area where you live or foreigner’s Office. You will need to prove income or savings which is significantly lower than that required for a third country national and can be in a UK bank account. Further requirements are private or public health insurance. If you are in receipt of a state pension, then your pension certificate and S1 form which is the reciprocal right to healthcare in the EU can be used. Those beneficiaries of the S1 form receive their healthcare in Spain or other member state and the British government are responsible for payment of this service. In addition, you will need a valid passport and completion of the relevant forms. Sworn translations are required for documentation which is not in Spanish apart from the S1 form.
For those concerned about being out of time to come and live in Spain during the transition period because of the Coronavirus pandemic there is still time to do this.
You can keep ahead with developments and a reliable source of information is the living in Spain guide via the following link https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain
Finally, It is complicated to navigate the bureaucratic systems in Spain, and it is advisable to contact with a local English speaking lawyer as early on in the process as possible.