Brexit makes it harder for Brits to obtain Spanish residency

10th January 2021

We all knew that changes would occur after 1 January 2021 and as there has been no specific agreement between Spain and the UK (yet), then Brits wishing to move to Spain and apply for residency are now treated as Non Europeans.

We all knew that changes would occur after 1 January 2021 and as there has been no specific agreement between Spain and the UK (yet), then Brits wishing to move to Spain and apply for residency are now treated as Non Europeans.

So what does Spanish residency mean? Well if you spend more than 3 months in Spain then you have an obligation to apply for residency. Spend more than six months here and you become a Spanish tax resident and pay tax in Spain on worldwide assets and income. The tax year in Spain runs from January to December.

Pre 2021, Brits moving to Spain had to prove they had sufficient income to live on, medical cover in place and a property that they owned or rented. Residency applications were submitted online and after a couple of trips to the local police station to have finger prints taken and a colour photo dropped off they were rewarded with a shiny new photographic identity card commonly known as the TIE (Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjeros).

So what has changed? Well with Brexit, Brits are now only allowed to spend a maximum of 90 days in an EU country out of 180 days unless they apply for and obtain a visa to reside.

What type of visa can be applied for?

Buy a property for more than 500,000 euros or shares or a bank deposit of 1 million euros or invest in a public debt with 2 million euros and you can get a Golden Visa. This type of visa can be applied for from your home country in which case it is known as a residency visa for investors or if applied for from Spain it is known as an initial authorisation for investors residency. If you already own a Spanish property worth more than 500,000 euros then you can apply for the Golden Visa within 3 years of the purchase.

If your pockets are not deep enough for a Golden Visa then the Non Lucrative Visa may be the visa for you. It is applied for from the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your home country. If you have a family then each of you will require an individual visa. Apart from a negative criminal record, health insurance and the completed application form with passport photos, you have to prove evidence of economic means sufficient to support your stay and that of your family. How much is that you may ask?

For the Non Lucrative & Golden Visa, the main applicant has to prove funds of 2,259.60€ per month and 564,90€ for each family member. 27,115.20€ a year for the main applicant and 6,778.80€ for each dependant. For a family of four this is 47,451.60€ for the first year. Once the first year is up or after two years in the case of the initial authorisation for investors residency, renewals are for two years and the same family has to prove resources of 94,903.20€. Compare this to pre Brexit where with up to a 850 euros a month of income and 9.000€ in a bank account you could obtain Spanish residency.

Once the Non Lucrative Visa is issued, you have to collect it within one month of being notified and it has a validity of 3 months and 15 days with multiple entries and 90 days of stays in Spain. Once you enter Spain you have to apply for the TIE within one month. You can use the visa to visit other Schengen States and stay for a maximum period of three months in a six month period. The Non Lucrative Visa allows you to reside in Spain only and not work however if you wish to work, then you have to apply to the authorities to be have the visa modified.

Other available visas available are work and student visas.

Unfortunately the new financial requirements will put the brakes on a lot of British  people´s dreams about spending more time in Spain. Let us hope that the respective governments can put in place arrangements to make getting Spanish residency easier.

 

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