Brexit For Members

Moving to Spain after Brexit: Everything Brits need to consider before deciding

The Local
The Local - [email protected]
Moving to Spain after Brexit: Everything Brits need to consider before deciding

Moving to Spain since Brexit came into force has become considerably harder for UK nationals, with everything from visas, to healthcare, taxes and other matters to weigh up before deciding whether it’s worth it. Here are 24 detailed articles that will help you decide.


Is it possible to move or retire to Spain after Brexit?

Yes, but it’s become increasingly complicated and it’s not possible to do it on a whim anymore. 

Since the beginning of 2021, Britons who have wanted to move to Spain have had to factor in that, as they are non-EU nationals now, they have to abide by more stringent rules, just like Americans, Indians, Australians and other third country nationals. 

As a result of Brexit, UK nationals no longer have the freedom of movement, access to jobs, guaranteed healthcare and other perks of the EU framework that give Europeans flexibility and ease when moving to another EU country. 


What paperwork and requirements do Brits need to move to Spain after Brexit?

Before Brexit, UK nationals could move to Spain without hassle, even if they had few savings, no job waiting for them and if they hadn’t set up their healthcare yet.

Now they have to get a visa at the Spanish Embassy in London if they intend to spend more than 90 out of 180 days in Spain. 

Visas such as the non-lucrative visa and the golden visa (€500K property purchase) are good options for those with considerable financial means to cover their life costs, private healthcare and possibly a property. 

Spain also has a work visa and a business visa for those who intend to work for a company or become self employed, but Britons need to be aware that these also have tough criteria, such as there being no EU candidate for the job or a comprehensive business plan and job creation.

A student visa is also available for UK nationals who want to enrol at a Spanish university or educational institution.

The following articles will help you to decide which visa is best for you.

Do Brits moving to Spain after Brexit need to get a Spanish residency card?

Yes. Whichever visa Brits obtain will entitle them to enter Spain and effectively make them residents, but they must still apply for Spain’s Foreign Residency Card for non-EU nationals, the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) within the first month they’re in the country. 

Britons who were living in Spain before Brexit are now also being encouraged to get this biometric card even if they have the old green residency documents. 

You can find out more about the TIE card here and how to apply in the links below.


What do Brits need to know about healthcare if they move to Spain after Brexit?

UK nationals moving to Spain for the first time in 2021 and onwards have to have total healthcare coverage in Spain, with no co-payments or shortages. This can be through public or private healthcare, depending on your situation. 

The following articles should help you decide on the best option for you.

Roda de Berà in Catalonia. Photo: Alberto Frías/Unsplash


What other important matters should Brits moving to Spain after Brexit consider?

UK nationals need to know that when they take up residency in Spain, they are also becoming fiscal residents in Spain and ceasing to be a resident of the UK. 

There are other matters to consider from the lack of dual nationality available to them, the reasons for losing Spanish residency and other questions which we’ve covered in the articles below.


If Britons move to Spain after Brexit, can they drive with a UK licence?

Yes, but as things stand only for a period of six months, just like other non-EU nationals in Spain. 

The UK and Spain are having ongoing discussions about whether they’ll allow the exchange of all British licences for Spanish ones after Brexit, talks that have gone on for over a year and with the latest extension to UK licence validity in Spain set to end on February 28th 2022.

As things stand Britons who didn’t register their intent to exchange their UK licences will have to sit their driving test again in Spain, unless a deal is finally reached.  The following links cover what you need to know in more detail. 


What do Brits moving their belongings to Spain after Brexit need to know?

Brexit has ushered in a host of extra rules and restrictions on imports to Spain from the UK, but Britons moving to Spain in 2021 can bring belongings into Spain duty free. Here's what they need to know about this and the different paperwork and processes.


Is it worth it for Brits to move to Spain after Brexit?

That really depends on your personal assessment of the pros and cons that are covered in the articles we've linked to, and in many cases whether you can meet the visa requirements.

Spain consistently ranks amongst the highest for quality of life in expat surveys, with fantastic weather, food, people, history, nature and more. It's also an integral part of the EU, to which you'll have easier access as a Spanish resident. 

Ultimately it's up to you and your circumstances, but our recommendation is that a move to Spain after Brexit is certainly still very much worth it.



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

marinamedina524 2021/08/28 23:37
Hi again Dreana I just saw this link: - given in one of the articles ( in the Local's newsletter yesterday (27/8/21). They may be able to help you. Good luck. Marina
marinamedina524 2021/08/25 23:50
Dreana If you don't qualify for the non-lucrative visa then I don't think you'll be able to get full residency now (assuming you're both retired and not looking to work). Such a shame that you weren't able to start the residency process before the end of last year as things were totally different then. You may have to settle for the 90 days in 180 rule, but it's expensive running two homes. Hope it all works out for you. Best wishes. Marina
d_windebank 2021/08/20 20:04
We have had our property in Spain now for 15 years and until COVID we would fist 5/6 times a year . We have not been able to visit our Casa for two years now again due to COVID .We pay all the Taxes etc due to owning our property what are our chances of getting full residency. My husband is 68 and I am 64. Can anyone advise Please . DREANA.

See Also