Brits in Spain: what the future holds for you
What does the end of the Transition Period mean for you?
Here are some key questions and answers prepared by the British Embassy in Spain.Please note that the information is accurate as of December 29th. To keep up to date with the latest information, it;s recommended that UK Nationals sign up for email alerts to www.gov.uk/livinginspain and https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain, and follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/britsinspain.
End of Transition Period
Q&A for UK Nationals living in Spain
Information correct as at 29
What happens if I am not
registered as resident by 31 December?
you are unable to complete the registration process before 1 January, you will
still be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, as long as you were legally
living in Spain before the end of 2020.
means that you were living here and meeting the EU free movement conditions of
working, being self-employed, or having sufficient income and comprehensive
healthcare cover to support you during your retirement or studies. For
information on the citizens’ rights elements of the Agreement visit: https://www.gov.uk/…/withdrawal-agreement-explainer-for….
rights come from your living legally in Spain before 31 December, not from
possessing the residency card itself. We recommend you have as much
documentation in place to demonstrate that you were legally living here before
the end of the Transition Period as possible. That might include, but not be
limited to, a padrón certificate, utility bill, healthcare policy, work
contract or flight ticket.
you are having difficulties with your residency application, there are three
organisations, who have received funding to support UK Nationals with this, so
please do contact them for help. You can find their details here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain#visas-and-residency
What should I do if I can’t get an
restrictions have meant that there are fewer appointments available in some
areas, but you should keep trying. You should also remember that you can
complete the first stage of the residency process by submitting your documents
electronically if you have a digital certificate.
You can find out
how to get your digital certificate here: https://www.sede.fnmt.gob.es/en/certificados/persona-fisica.
If you do not have a digital certificate you can also use a third-party
representative to submit your documents for you.
you should make sure you have as much documentation in place to demonstrate
that you were legally living here before the end of the Transition Period as
possible. That might include, but not be limited to, a padrón certificate,
utility bill, healthcare policy, work contract or flight ticket.
Is my green certificate still
valid or does it need to be exchanged for a TIE?
green residency certificate – both A4 and credit card-sized – remain valid
documents to demonstrate your status as a resident and your rights under the
The Spanish Government emphasises that the
biometric TIE is more durable and may simplify some administrative processes
and border crossing. If you decide to exchange your green certificate for the
TIE, there is no deadline for doing so. See https://www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/brexit/howtoprepare/Paginas/190108residence.aspx
Will I still be able to
access healthcare in Spain?
People who have settled in the UK or EU before 31 December 2020, will
continue to have life-long reciprocal healthcare rights provided they remain
covered under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. That
means if you live in Spain or moved there before the end of 2020, your rights
to access healthcare in Spain will stay the same for as long as you remain
resident. Visit gov.uk/healthcareinspain for more
Is my EHIC valid after 31
new EHIC has been developed for those eligible under the Withdrawal Agreement
to protect the existing healthcare rights of people living, working and
studying in the EU prior to the end of the transition period.
who have a registered S1 form and students will need to get the new UK-issued
EHIC which will be valid from when they receive it and for travel from 1
January 2021. They can apply on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/apply-for-a-free-ehic-european-health-insurance-card/
The Withdrawal Agreement also protects UK and
EU nationals who find themselves in a ‘cross-border situation’ over 31 December
2020 (for example, someone whose holiday begins before but ended after the 31
December 2020). These people will be able to continue to access ‘needs-arising
treatment’until they leave that country by travelling to another EU MS
or returning to the UK. If treatment is needed people will need to
contact NHS BSA (https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/contact-us) for a Provisional
Replacement Certificate (PRC) which shows that they are entitled to treatment
in the EU. They may need to provide evidence that they travelled to the Member
State before 31 December 2020 and did not leave the country before they required
The Government always advises that anyone travelling overseas, whether
to the EU or elsewhere in the world, should take out comprehensive travel
insurance. This remains our advice.
UK residents visiting Spain should visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-for-uk-nationals-visiting-spain
for the latest information.
Can I still exchange my driving
licence from 1 January?
All valid UK driving licences will be recognised for driving in Spain
until 30 June 2021. We have consistently advised UK nationals to exchange their
UK licence for a Spanish one. As long as you registered the details of your
licence with the Spanish traffic office and the licence was verified by 30
December 2020, you have until 30 June 2021 to complete the exchange.
If you were
not able to start the process before 30 December you should sign up to email
alerts on gov.uk/livinginspain to be informed of the latest developments on the
future exchange of driving licences. In the meantime, you can use your valid UK
licence until 30 June 2021.
If you have exchanged your UK licence for a Spanish one you will not
need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in the UK. If you move to
live in the UK, you can exchange your UK licence without having to take a test.
Can I continue to claim my pension
If you are legally living in
the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get
your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue
to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or
after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained
in the new
State Pension guidance.
For more information visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-spain#pensions
I have a second home in Spain. Can
I still come and stay there in the same way?
UK business visitors and tourists will still be
able to travel to the Schengen area for stays of up to 90 days in every 180-day
period. From 1 January you will require permission from Spain for any stay
longer than that and this may require applying for a visa or permit. You should
contact the Consulate General in the UK for further information. This will limit the time you can spend in your
property, but your property rights will not change.
Can I still travel back to the UK
with my dog?
There will be no change to the current health
preparations or documents for pets entering Great Britain from the EU from 1
From 1 January 2021 onwards, the UK will have Part
2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, meaning that people travelling
from England, Wales or Scotland with their pets and assistance dogs will need
to follow new requirements in order to travel to Spain.
For further information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-from-1-january-2021,
where you will also find contact details for the pet travel hotline.
Will there be changes at the
border when I come into Spain? Do I need to do anything differently?
live in Spain, you should always travel with both your valid passport and proof
of your residence status (TIE or green EU residence certificate). From 1
January, UK Nationals will not be able to
use the passport lanes for EU/EEA/EFTA/Swiss citizens and should use the lanes
for Third Country Nationals (TCNs).
The COVID situation is evolving and travel restrictions
can change quickly, so you should sign up for alerts to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain,
so that you are kept up to date with the latest information.
Can students continue their
studies in Spain?
UK nationals who are
resident in Spain by the end of the transition period will continue to be
treated on an equal basis to Spanish students in terms of eligibility for
student support if they wish to go to a Spanish university, even if that is
after the end of the transition period. UK nationals who move to Spain to study
a full degree from 1 January 2021 must apply for the relevant visa before
travelling and may have to pay the fees applicable to non-EU citizens.
Are there any changes to
mobile phone roaming?
If you have a UK mobile phone, you should be
aware that there may be new roaming charges from 1 January 2021. You should
check with your provider for details.
can I find more information?
For the latest information on living in Spain, including
on residency, driving and pensions visit gov.uk/livinginspain
For the latest information on healthcare visit
For the latest travel advice for Spain visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/spain
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