Barcelona Expat Life Brexit Guide
If you are already a legal resident in Spain, or you obtain residency before the transition period ends on 31st December 2020, then you will have the right to stay. All Brits living in Spain must ensure that they have a NIE (foreigner identity card) before the transition period is over to prove their legal residency status. So far, there doesn’t seem to be the necessity of an additional visa.
What is it?
The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of UK nationals and their family members who live in EU countries provided you meet one of the following residence conditions:
- You are a worker or are self-employed in the country where you’re living.
- You are a student and can prove you have enough money to live on and have comprehensive sickness insurance.
- You are a self-sufficient person and can show you have enough money to live on, and have comprehensive sickness insurance.
- You already have permanent residency.
British expats and holidaymakers are all asking the same question “Will Brits living in the EU still have access to healthcare after Brexit?”. If you’re a British expat living in Spain, you are entitled to healthcare if you meet one of the following requirements:
- you receive a UK State Pension or some types of long-term sickness benefit
- you are a working or self-employed resident in Spain and paying Spanish social security contributions
- you receive a Spanish state pension or benefit
- you are a permanent resident in Spain
- you are a child resident in Spain
- you are a UK posted worker in Spain
- you are under 26 and studying in Spain
- you pay directly into the public health insurance scheme (Convenio Especial)
Remember that these current healthcare conditions are guaranteed until the Brexit transition period ends. If you’re living in Spain before the end of 2020, your rights to access healthcare in Spain after this period will stay the same as long as you remain a legal resident.
During the transition period, those who are already residents in Spain prior to 31st January 2020, will need to replace their NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero), with a definitive residence document, commonly referred to as a TIE (Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjeros). If you arrive in Spain during the transition period, a TIE card will be issued to you directly. With this, you’ll officially be a certified resident in Spain.
One of the biggest doubts for expats living in Spain is what will happen regarding driving licences and if international driving permits will be needed.
If you are resident in Spain and have not yet exchanged your UK licence for a Spanish one, your current UK licence will continue to be recognised until 30 June 2021. If you were a resident in Spain before 01 January 2021 and registered your details with the DGT (Spanish Traffic Authority) before 30 December 2020, you must make an appointment with the DGT to complete the exchange of your UK licence by 30 June 2021. You will have to bring proof that you are registered as a Spanish resident at the appointment. They will then provide you with a temporary driving permit (autorización temporal para conducir) to use until your Spanish licence is processed. Your temporary licence is only valid in Spain and not in any other country.
You can still use your Spanish licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.
If you have further questions regarding pensions, voting, pets, births/deaths/marriage, check out the GOV.UK website for more information.