Yes, you can. Spain is one of Britain's favorite holiday hotspots for an escape to the sun located just hours away by plane. British holidaymakers have long been flocking to the sun-drenched Costas since the advent of holiday packages first began in 1957.
Before Brexit, the British enjoyed forty-eight years of freedom of movement and residency rights in the EU. Since the UK departed from the European Union on the 1st of January 2021, those rights have changed. In this article, we delve into the most frequently asked questions about retiring and moving to Spain after Brexit.
Will I Be Able to Retire in Spain after Brexit?
Definitely yes. You will be among the thousands of non-EU citizens who have been retiring to Spain long before Brexit first existed. There are 195 countries in the world - of which - only 27 countries are EU members. That means if you are thinking of retirement in Spain and you are a UK citizen, you will follow the same procedures as the majority of the other 168 countries.
How Long Can You Live in Spain without Residency after Brexit?
UK citizens can travel to Spain (and any country in the Schengen area) for up to 90 days in any 180 days without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training.
If you intend to stay longer than three months, you will need to apply for residency in Spain. We’ve previously covered how to apply for residency in Spain - but for quick reference - here’s a recap:
Residency in Spain for Non-EU Citizens
There are several paths to residency in Spain:
Temporary Residency Permit
If you wish to stay in Spain for the long term, this is the visa you want to apply for first. The reason why: temporary residency is a prerequisite to permanent residency. That is, you will need to apply for your temporary residency to qualify for permanent residency.
Your temporary residency permit grants you the right to legally live and work in Spain for one (or two) years. Before expiry, if you still meet the initial requirements, you can renew your temporary residency visa for an additional year (or two). After five years of permanently living in Spain, you’ll become eligible to apply for your permanent residency.
This visa allows you to live and work in Spain indefinitely and is your gateway to Spanish citizenship. Because of the past 5-year track record of living permanently in Spain (via your temporary residency permit), the process is relatively easy with little paperwork other than your passport, valid temporary residency permit, and completion of the permanent residency form and fee.
There are many paths to permanent residency. You can read all about the different kinds of permanent residency options on the page of Residence Permit in Spain.
I’m British, Do I Need a Visa to Travel to Spain?
No. In compliance with EU Regulation 2018/1806 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 November 2018, British passport holders traveling to Schengen countries for holidays, business or visit family does not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days in 180 days, provided the visit is not for gainful activity. Please note that the 90 days will start counting from the date you enter any of the Schengen countries, including Spain.
Note that all travelers from the United Kingdom to Spain (including children of all ages) must fill in a Health Control Form (FCS).
Can I Move to Spain Permanently after Brexit?
Absolutely yes. Your optimal immigration path to a permanent life in Spain will vary depending on your unique situation.
If you have never been to Spain before, you can enter with your 3-month tourist visa British nationals receive on arrival. This visa is granted at the airport. It is just a stamp in your passport that shows your entry date and the name of the airport.
If you are like the tens of thousands of other happy resident Brits who love Spain, you can still apply for your residency permit during your 3-month tourist visa (depending on which path you choose.)
Note: Not all visa options allow you to apply while you are in Spain. Be sure to check in advance.
There are 15 different pathways to residency visas in Spain:
- Non-lucrative residence
- Highly qualified professional
- Investors and entrepreneurs
- National and EU researcher
- Employment work
- Employment work with fixed-term contract
- Working permit exemption
- Intra-corporate transfer
- Work under a transnational provision of services
- Self‐employment work
- Family reunification under general regulation
If you are applying outside of Spain, contact your local Spanish consular in your home country.
How Much Money Do You Need to Retire in Spain from the UK?
The Spanish government uses an economic indicator called “IPREM” to define the number of sufficient funds you require to live comfortably in Spain (and qualify for residency).
In 2021 the IPREM value is set at 400% of available funds in your bank account (required every year). Currently, 400% IPREM is €2,260 per month in income (or €27,120 in savings).
Generally speaking, you will need to provide proof of monthly income of at least €2,260. Additionally, you will need to show that you make an extra €533 per month for each dependent on your Spain’s retirement visa application. Alternatively, showing €27,120 in savings for each annual renewal period will be enough money to retire in Spain.
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