Brexit has not dulled the desire of British citizens to move to Spain, with many thousands of Britons continuing to move to the country each year since Brexit halted the Freedom of Movement between the two nations. If you’re considering your own move to Spain, then you may be wondering the best way to do so. The good news is that it is still possible for Britons to live in Spain, though the process can be time-consuming and frustrating at times. But what is the best way to move to Spain? What types of visa do you need to secure? And what advice do recent ex-pats have for those Brits thinking of making the move? Here’s everything you need to know:
The Non-Lucrative Visa
The most popular way for Britons to move to Spain post-Brexit is by securing a non-lucrative visa. A non-lucrative visa is a one-year visa that can renew, and which allows non-EU citizens (including British citizens) to live in Spain, provided they can demonstrate that they have the means to support themselves in the country without seeking employment or government support. To secure a non-lucrative visa you will need to have significant financial means, which can be difficult for many would-be ex pats. And because you cannot work whilst you are in Spain on a non-lucrative visa, this means that your income must come from passive sources. So how much money do you need to secure a non-lucrative visa in 2023? As a single applicant, the rate as increased and you must be able to demonstrate savings of €2,400 per month for the twelve month duration of your visa. This figure will rise if you are moving with a spouse or any additional family members. For this reason, the non-lucrative visa is considered one of the most expensive ways for Britons to move to Spain, but it is also one of the most straightforward, with non-lucrative visas being relatively easy to obtain. Anecdotal evidence from recent British ex pat applicants suggests that you can obtain a non-lucrative visa in between three and six months, with some lucky applicants receiving theirs in a much shorter time frame.
You should expect to spend between €2,000 to around €3,500 on the application for a non-lucrative visa, including all the lawyers’ fees and paperwork. Some applicants choose to secure the services of a lawyer to complete their application on their behalf, whilst others do not, which accounts for the wide price range here.
Utilising Family Connections
If you wish to move to Spain and are lucky enough to have family connections in the country, then this is another popular way to move to the country post-Brexit. If you are the family member of an EU citizen then you are able to apply for a Spanish residence card. If you are not, but have a family member living in Spain on a different visa type then you may be able to join them using the family reunification visa process. Although it is not very well known, the family reunification visa is a process that allows non-EU nationals to bring family members to live with them in Spain, provided that they have already been legally resident in Spain for at least one year. The paperwork for this can be tricky, but with the support of a good lawyer who understands the system, it is relatively easy to put in place.
If you are the spouse, partner, dependant child or dependant parent of an EU citizen, then you are able to apply for an EU residence card. This will also give you the right to live in Spain, and elsewhere in the EU. However, the application process for this can also be time consuming, particularly due to misconceptions that are still in place about Britons and their rights in the post-Brexit world.
If you wish to live and work in Spain then you will need to secure a working visa but, unfortunately, these are the most difficult to secure as a Briton in the post-Brexit world. If you are a highly skilled worker then you can occasionally secure a visa via your current employer to work in Spain, but these tend to only be temporary visas lasting up to six months. As a general rule these will be organised by your company, but they can still be very difficult and time-consuming to secure. This is because there is a huge amount of paperwork to complete, all of your documentation and certificates of qualifications must be translated into Spanish, and in most cases, it is impossible to complete working visa applications online.
So, what top tips will make the process of securing a visa to live in Spain as a Briton easier? Anecdotal evidence suggests that securing the services of a lawyer is the best way to simplify the visa application process. They will ensure that your application is completed fully, doesn’t include any errors, and that all of the supporting documentation is correct and completed in full too. Completing as much research as possible before you submit your application is also important to ensure that you understand the process and don’t miss any vital steps: forums used by other ex pats and websites such as our own can be particularly valuable resources.
Are you thinking of moving to Spain with your family? Looking to escape the cold and rainy weather in the UK and make an escape to the sun? Then why not get in touch with our local property experts, who are perfectly placed to help you find the Spanish home of your dreams. We’re excited to help you make your next move your best move!