The Transition period is over, and the UK has officially left the EU. Whilst this means that many of the questions asked by Britons living in Spain have been answered, there are still many uncertainties surrounding what the break between the UK and Europe will actually mean. How will Brexit impact those Brits currently living in Spain, travelling to Spain regularly to stay in their holiday home, letting holiday homes, or planning to move to Spain in the future? What do we know, and what don’t we know yet?
Here we will outline the latest information about how living in Spain after Brexit will be different, and how the shift may (or may not) impact on your way of life:
A Note on : Taking Holidays to Spain
Regardless of how you feel about Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, on 31st January 2021 it has happened. And for the vast majority of British people this will have very little impact on their visits to wider Europe. If you are a British person who spends your holidays in Spain, or otherwise visits the country for short periods of time then very little will change about the way you enter or exit the EU: if you spend less than 90 days in Spain over the course of 6 months then you will not be impacted by entrance or exit visa requirements and you can continue to enjoy your holidays as you always have.
This same rule applies to individuals who own second homes in Spain, but only visit for relatively short periods of time. Provided you spend less than 90 days in Spain in each 180 day period, you will still be able to enter and leave the country as you always have, without any extra paperwork. When you are clearing immigration at your Spanish arrival airport you will need to enter the non-EU passengers queue rather than the passengers arriving from the EU line.
Other good news to immerge from the most recent Brexit agreements is that British travellers will retain free healthcare across Europe, including in Spain. Your current EHIC card will remain valid until it expires, when you can apply for a GHIC card instead. This card is valid only in EU countries, rather than the wider Schengen area, and full details of what will be covered haven’t been released yet. But it does mean some health protection will be afforded, which is more than many travellers expected. It is also recommended that you ensure you have robust medical travel insurance (this has always been the recommendation, although many travellers chose to ignore this advice).
If you are living in Spain though, or spending longer than 90 days in each 6 month period in the country, then you are likely to experience some dramatic changes, and these will be the focus of this piece.
Prepare Your Passport
It’s worth noting that, whether you live in Spain or are just visiting for a short trip, you will need to have at least 6 months validity remaining on your passport in order to enter Spain. Time is running out, so check your passport now, and if it is due to run out before or around 1st June 2021 then you won’t be able to use it from 1st January 2021, now that Brexit has officially taken place . If this is the case, then now is the perfect time to make a new passport application, otherwise you won’t have the freedom to make future travel plans. You can apply for a new passport online, or request a paper form here.