Since the United Kingdom left the EU and Britons lost the freedom of movement that they had previously enjoyed, moving to Spain as a Briton is more difficult than it was before. But it is still possible to move to Spain as a Briton if you want to start a new life in the sun. So how can Britons move to Spain in a post-Brexit world? What kind of problems might they face and how can these problems be overcome? And is the process expensive? Here’s everything you need to know:
Securing a Non-Lucrative Visa
There are several different visa options available for Britons moving to Spain, but by far the most popular of these is the Non-Lucrative Visa (NLV). This is initially a one-year visa, but it can be renewed, enabling you to stay in Spain indefinitiely. The most important term of this visa is that you must be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial means to support yourself during your time in Spain and, if applicable, to support your family too. You cannot work in Spain if you are living in the country on a non-lucrative visa, but you can earn an income from a passive source (such as renting a property, or dividends from investments) in your home country.
You will need significant financial means to secure a non-lucrative visa, because its financial requirements make it one of the most expensive ways to move to Spain. The amount of funds you will need to demonstrate changes each year, but in 2023 you will need to show that you have savings of at least €2,400 per month to be eligible for the visa. This figure will increase if you are moving with family members. If you meet the financial eligibility requirements to secure a non-lucrative visa then you may be wondering how long it will take to secure this visa type. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this can vary wildly. Whilst the average application timeline is between four and five months, some applicants have found the process took more than six months, whilst other lucky applicants have secured their non-lucrative visa within one week of completing their application.
You can either apply for a non-lucrative visa yourself or use the support of a lawyer. Using a lawyer will not increase your likelihood of securing the visa, but it may make the process less stressful and more straightforward. A lawyer can help to ensure that your paperwork is completely correctly, and that your supporting documents are in place. However, you should expect to pay between €2,000 to around €3,500 in legal fees if you go down this route, so if you are able to complete your application yourself, this will save you money.
If you Have Family in Spain
Not able to secure a non lucrative visa because you don’t meet the financial requirements? That doesn’t mean you have to give up on your dream of living in Spain. If you have family members already living in Spain then you could also use this family connection to secure a visa and move to Spain. The family reunification visa allows non-EU nationals already living in Spain to bring their family members over to the country to join them. Whilst if your family member is an EU citizen then you could use this family relationship to secure a Spanish residency card.
To be eligible for a family renunification visa, your non-EU national family member must have been living in Spain for at least a year. This application process is relatively straightforward, but it’s important to note that it only applies to immediate family members such as spouses, partners, dependent children, and dependent parents. If you are a more distant relative then you are unlikely to be eligible for this visa type. Whilst completing the paperwork to apply for this visa can be tricky, just as it can to apply for a non-lucrative visa, you’re likely to find it easier to closer the relationship is between the applicant and the Spanish citizen.
Can You Secure a Visa if You Want to Work in Spain?
Working visas are the most desirable types of visas in Spain, for obvious reasons, but they are also the hardest to secure. If you are a highly skilled worker and your skills are in demand in Spain then you may be able to apply for a visa via your existing company, but these visas tend to be short term, lasting six months or less. They are also very expensive and time-consuming to secure. Securing a working visa in Spain is considered the most difficult to secure in the post-Brexit world: if you wish to move to Spain but need to work whilst you are living in the country then you could consider a Digital Nomad visa. This visa allows freelancers and remote workers to live and work in Spain for up to 12 months.
If you need to work during your time in Spain then understanding the best visa for you might be tricky, and you are advised to secure the services of a reputable lawyer who can complete your application on your behalf. Take the time to conduct as much research as possible before you begin the application process: the more you know, the easier the application will be.
Are you thinking of living and working in Spain? Does the idea of a nomadic lifestyle appeal to you? Whether you dream is to buy a property in Spain or rent a property in Spain, Right Casa Estate Agents is perfectly placed to help you find the home of your dreams with offices in Calahonda and Alhaurin de la Torre, we have over 2000 properties on the Costa Del Sol for sale! Get in touch today to find out more about how we can help you.