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Moving to Spain after Brexit

Added by Berlad Graham
February 21, 2022

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Unless you are beneficiary of The Withdrawal Agreement already living in Spain then most British nationals wanting to come and live in Spain will require a visa.  There are many different types of visas which can be applied for but the most common one is the ‘Non-Lucrative Visa’ (NLV).  This does not allow the applicant to work but allows those with sufficient funds to reside in Spain.  You do not need a visa for short trips of 90 days in a 180-day period but cannot overstay without a visa in place.

The requirements for a NLV are as follows:

  • Proof of funds of around €27,000
  • Private health cover from a company operating in Spain or an S1 form for state pensioners.
  • Health certificate stating that the applicant does not suffer from a disease which is a threat to public health. This requires an official translation into Spanish and apostille stamp.
  • Criminal Records check together with an official translation and apostille stamp.

Regarding family members such as spouses or minor children these can also be included in the application however the amount of funds required increase by around 6000€ per dependent.   The next stage involves making an appointment at the Spanish consulate or Embassy.  There are consulates in Manchester and Edinburgh as well as the Embassy in London.  It depends on where you live in the UK as to where you apply for your visa.  You need to check that you have all the required documentation and have completed the various forms prior to attending the appointment.  There are several administrative fees charged for visa applications and these vary depending on which visa you choose.   After attending the appointment at the consulate or embassy they will consider the application and contact the applicant either to request further information or to inform them if they have been successful or not.   On a successful outcome the applicant must travel to Spain within 3 months from the date of issue of the visa.

The second stage requires that within one month of entering Spain an application to be made for the residency card known as a TIE card (Tarjeta de Identidad Extranjero).  This stage involves attending at the police station along with your passport, visa and passport photo and relevant application form.  It normally takes a few weeks for the TIE card to be ready for collection.   It is important to note that the residency period is one year and to be able to renew you need to have been in Spain for at least six months.   The renewal can be made within 2 months of the expiration date of the card or up to 3 months after expiry.  It is not required that you return to the UK for the renewal process.  It is important to note that the renewal period is for two years, and you are required to show double the amount of funds to the visa application.  Another criminal record check and health certificate is not necessary on renewal, but you do need to show that you continue to be covered for health insurance in Spain.  After the expiry of two years another renewal is made for a further two years.  After 5 years of residency in Spain an application can be made for permanent residency, but you can only have been out of Spain for a maximum of 10 months in the last 5-year period.

It is also worth mentioning the other option of obtaining residency via what is commonly known as ‘The Golden Visa’ or ‘Investors Visa.’  This requires the purchase of a property of a minimum of 500,000€ without a mortgage and in sole ownership.  Residency through investment does not require that the applicant resides in Spain.  It provides the freedom for third country nationals to spend longer than the 90 days in a 180-day period.

The process of British nationals applying for visas for Spain is new as it only came into being on 1st January 2021 after the end of the transition period.  The application process can be complicated, and it is advisable to seek legal advice prior to embarking on this route.

If any of the issues discussed are, or are likely to be, a concern, please do not hesitate to contact Victoria Westhead: / 0330 175 5655.