The UK has finally left the European Union. And it has done so with an agreement that will certainly affect you. No matter if you are a UK citizen or the relative of one, your legal status in Spain is about to change.
That is why, in this article, we gathered all the latest news and some recommendation in regards to what will happen to UK citizens in Spain after Brexit. You may want to take action as fast as possible, so keep on reading!
Basically, Brexit is the process related to the UK exiting the European Union.
As we are talking about relationships that were previously regulated under the Europea Union regime but now won’t anymore, it involves the implementation of new laws. And, especially, negotiations and new treatments between the EU countries and the UK.
After months and months of negotiations after the final decision, the UK finally left the European Union on the 31st of January of 2020.
And, the most important thing, it had done so with an agreement.
What is the Brexit agreement about?
The exit agreement has been ratified by both the UK and the European Union. Even though the UK is finally out, this agreement established a transitory period that went from the 1st of February until the 31st of December.
During that time, both UK citizens and their non-EU relatives kept the same rights they had before.
Nevertheless, residency cards were different: they had to move to a new transitory one.
Now, from January 2021 onwards, they are regarded as non-EU citizens also for any kind of immigration procedure in Spain (even though there’s still the possibility of obtaining your residency card easily as a EU citizen provided that you meet certain requirements).
Will UK citizens keep their residency status in Spain?
As we have mentioned, until the 31st of December of 2020, both UK citizens who registered in Spain and all non-EU citizens who got their family member of an EU citizen visa through them kept their residency card along with the rights that it grants.
So the European regime still prevailed.
Nevertheless, they were granted a special type of TIE that regulated their situation while keeping the same rights they possess up till that point.
A special type of residence permit was introduced, and both UK citizens and their family members who wished to obtain a Community card could do so from the 6th July to the 31st of December 2020.
In addition, if they already had a green card, they must make the transition to this special permit.
Nevertheless, a new instruction published recently makes it possible for them to still move to this new special type of permit (really easy application) or to validate their green card as long as they can prove they were in Spain before 2021. And this also applies to their relatives.
Residency in Spain After Brexit
Let’s assume you are a British citizen who hasn’t yet moved to the Spanish territory, but would like to do so.
If that is the case, and you are starting from 0, obtaining Spanish residency will mean going through the same process any non-EU citizen should go.
And that is complex and tedious.
From the 1st of January next year, and in order to live over 3 months in Spain, any UK citizen will need to request a valid residence permit: the EU registry certificate wouldn’t be an option anymore.
They will need to start considering other options like the non-lucrative visa, the golden visa or a regular work permit. Now with a more complex list of requirements.
This, again, as long as you can’t prove you were already living in Spain before the beginning of 2021.
Getting your Family Member of an EU citizen card
There is another group of people who are not from the UK but who can experience the same consequences of Brexit while living in Spain.
We are talking about the relatives of UK citizens, who can get their residency card as an EU relative easily in the Spanish territory through them.
This situation applies to:
- Those married to a UK citizen.
- Those who have registered a civil partnership (pareja de hecho) with a British citizen.
- Those who have a child together.
Again, if they are relatives of an UK citizen who was in the Spanish territory during 2020 already, they can also benefit from that and get their residency easily.
Legal advice for Brexit immigration consequences
As you can see, the current situation makes it possible for you to regularize your situation easily even though we are already in 2021.
More information can be found in the government’s website. But if you have any other doubts and need personalized legal assistance from our expert lawyer team, do not hesitate to reach out to us.
We work with UK citizens on a daily basis, so we really understand you!