Spain is still the top destination for British expat retirees. If you’re an expat living in Spain, and wish to remain there, or are moving over soon, here is some recent information taken from the UK government website.
With regards to Brexit, here are some of the initial preparatory moves that you are advised to make:
- Register as a resident in Spain
- Attend a citizen outreach meeting
- Read the Spanish Government’s website on how to prepare
Registering as a resident is something you need to do anyway if you want to stay in Spain for more than three months, and you can get the certificate from ‘Extranjeria’ or the police.
If the UK negotiates a deal with the EU, UK nationals who arrived in Spain before the end of the implementation period will have the right to register in Spain under the current rules and will retain their right to remain resident there.
If there’s no deal, any UK national residing in Spain before the Brexit leave-date will be considered legally resident for 21 months, regardless of whether they currently hold a residency document or not.
These factors will, of course, make it an attractive destination for those who are deciding last minute to move away from the UK.
In some areas of Spain, if you have been unable to register as a resident because of lack of appointment availability, you are advised by the Spanish government to ensure you have proof of residency such as a rental agreement and to keep checking online for new appointments.
In any case, UK expats resident in Spain will need to change their registration document for a new card post-Brexit whether there is a deal or not.
Regular events organised by the British Embassy and Consulates are held across Spain to update British citizens on the departure from the EU. You can find out more about these here.
With regards to healthcare post-Brexit, if there is a deal and you are resident in Spain, your current rights to healthcare in Spain will stay the same.
If you are a registered resident there and there’s no deal, the Spanish Royal Decree states you will be able to continue to access healthcare. This will apply until at least the end of 2020, provided the UK reciprocates for Spanish nationals in the UK.
Here is the Spanish government’s information site on access to Spanish healthcare and Brexit.
The Spanish government also has a page with useful information on how to prepare for Brexit which you can consult here.
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