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How To Move To Spain From UK?

Property Saviour » Moving » How To Move To Spain From UK?

The end of the transition period in December 2020 has changed the moving process to Spain. It now takes longer to complete than before Brexit, when British people could move to Spain without a visa or residency permit.

In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about booking European removals to Spain and how the process has changed post-Brexit. We’ll cover all the details so you can be sure your move is as smooth as possible.

Table of Contents

Procedures for Moving from the UK to Spain After Brexit

With the expiration of the withdrawal agreement, the free movement of individuals from the UK to Spain is no longer allowed. Stricter regulations have been put in place for UK citizens hoping to visit Spain, whether it be for a short or long period.

Short-Term Visits

If you’re planning to visit Spain for a short time before settling there permanently, then you don’t need to apply for a visa.  British citizens are allowed to stay in any country in the Schengen area (including Spain) for up to 90 days in 180 days without a visa.

However, this will change in 2024 when a new ETIAS visa waiver system will be introduced for non-EU travellers. This will cost €7 per person.

How to emigrate to Spain from UK after Brexit
It's best to start the application process around 3 months before you move to make sure it's finished on time. Visa fees will vary depending on the type of visa you're applying for and currency exchange rates.

Long-Term Visa

If you’re planning to stay in Spain for an extended period, you’ll need to apply for a Spanish visa. The type of visa you’ll need will depend on the purpose of your stay.

It’s best to start the application process around 3 months before you move to make sure it’s finished on time. Visa fees will vary depending on the type of visa you’re applying for and currency exchange rates.

The Schengen visa eligibility checker can tell you if you’re eligible to apply for a Spanish visa. For the latest info and requirements, you can visit the Spanish Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Europea y Cooperación website. All visas must be renewed every two years to stay valid.

That is until you can apply for permanent residency in Spain. The long-term visa application form can be found here.

Biometric Residence Card

Once living in Spain, you’ll need to visit your local immigration office to receive a Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE), a biometric residence card. This card is essential as it confirms that you can legally live and study in the country.

Obtaining an NIE Number

When moving to Spain, getting a Spanish NIE Number is essential. This number is necessary for tax purposes and enables you to work, study, and access essential services.

Documents Needed For Spain Visa Application
Other issues that could affect your visa application include not having a clean criminal record, being banned from entering Spain, or not having a regular residence in Spain.

Documents Needed For Visa Application

You must apply for a Spanish visa through the Spanish Consulate in London. Fill out the relevant application forms and provide all the necessary documents for your appointment.

This includes:

  • A valid passport,
  • Criminal record checks from the past 5 years,
  • Documents proving that you meet the requirements of the visa,
  • A medical certificate,
  • Proof of financial stability,
  • Health insurance,
  • A residence permit (for long-term visas),
  • Standard photos, and a passport photo.

To book an appointment at the Spanish Consulate, email [email protected].

What Can Affect Your Visa Application?

If you make mistakes on your visa application, it could lead to delays and your application may be denied. To avoid this, make sure you have provided accurate information and the necessary documents.

Other issues that could affect your visa application include not having a clean criminal record, being banned from entering Spain, or not having a regular residence in Spain.

Moving for Employment Purposes

The application process may differ depending on your employment status. Rewording it, it can be said that the way you apply for a job depends on your employment type.

Moving to Spain to Join a Spanish Organisation
If you work for a non-Spanish company, you must provide evidence of your employment contract and payslips.

Moving to Join a Spanish Organisation

If you’re relocating to Spain to join a Spanish company, the employer is responsible for ensuring you have a valid Spanish work permit. They will need to provide all the necessary documents and take care of the application process on your behalf.

This application is sent to the ‘Elegación Provincial del Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración’ (Ministry of Labour).

The process of obtaining the permit can take up to 8 months, so it is important to plan. The Spanish Embassy in the UK also needs to be sent a copy of the application.

Employed by a Company Based Outside of Spain

If you work for a non-Spanish company, you must provide evidence of your employment contract and payslips. This is to ensure that you have a stable job and enough income to support your relocation to Spain. You’ll need to apply for a non-lucrative residence permit to do this. 

Self-Employed Workers

If you’re self-employed, the application process requires additional supporting documents. To apply for a self-employed visa, you must submit:

  1. A clear business plan that meets Spanish approval criteria;
  2. The necessary qualifications for your role;
  3. Proof that your business is legitimate in Spain;
  4. Details of your funds and investments; proof of age (18+);
  5. A medical certificate and private health insurance.
Moving to Spain unemployed
An unemployed person needs a permiso de residencia no lucrativa (non-lucrative visa). To be eligible, you must provide proof of funds to cover living costs.

Moving Unemployed

An unemployed person needs a permiso de residencia no lucrativa (non-lucrative visa). To be eligible, you must provide proof of funds to cover living costs.

According to My Spanish Residency, the amount is €2400 per month for the applicant and an additional €600 for each family member they are responsible for.

Moving as a Student

To study in Spain, you’ll need to get a student visa.

To apply, you’ll need to provide the following documents: your university or college registration, private health insurance, proof of your accommodation, and proof of your ability to financially support yourself during your stay in Spain (at least €600 per month according to Lingua Schools).

Moving For Family Reunification

You can apply for family reunification if you have direct family members living in Spain. This covers spouses, children, parents, and parents-in-law. To be eligible for family reunification, the person living in Spain must have renewed their Spanish residence permit.

Searching for a house in Spain
Some of the most affordable places to live in Spain are Gran Canaria, Alicante, Seville and Valencia.

Searching For a House

Buying property in Spain is very affordable. The Spanish property market is renowned for its low mortgage rates, so it can be competitive.

Some of the most affordable places to live in Spain are Gran Canaria, Alicante, Seville and Valencia. Barcelona and Madrid, being the most popular cities in the country, are more expensive.

Other popular areas include Costa del Sol, Costa Blanca, and Catalonia. For more information, check out A Guide to Buying Property in Spain.

Applying For Permanent Residency

After Brexit, UK citizens can apply for permanent residency in Spain by either obtaining a long-term residence permit or becoming a Spanish citizen.

EU Long-Term Residency for UK Citizens (Post-Brexit)

If you’d like to keep your UK citizenship but stay in Spain for a long period, you can apply for a permiso de residencia de larga duración, also known as an EU Long-Term Residence Permit.

This permit can be applied for after you’ve been living in Spain for five consecutive years. With a residence permit, you are allowed to work in Spain and have access to the country’s national healthcare system, Sistema Nacional de Salud (SNS).

To be eligible for a long-term residency permit, you must have the following:

  1. A valid passport,
  2. Legal residence in Spain, documentation (including proof of rental),
  3. A clean criminal record, and a medical certificate (Certificado medico).
Spanish Citizenship for UK Citizens Post Brexit
It's important to note that to obtain Spanish citizenship, you must give up your current UK citizenship, as dual nationalities with the UK are not allowed in Spain.

Spanish Citizenship for UK Citizens (Post-Brexit)

After living in Spain for ten years, UK citizens can apply for Spanish citizenship. This comes with several benefits, such as the ability to travel freely within the EU, a Spanish passport, free movement across the EU, the right to vote, and access to some of the benefits the UK had before Brexit, like a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

It’s important to note that to obtain Spanish citizenship, you must give up your current UK citizenship, as dual nationalities with the UK are not allowed in Spain.

The criteria you need to meet, and the documents you need to submit for your application include:

  • A clear criminal record, the ability to speak Spanish,
  • Being part of the Spanish culture and social activities,
  • 10 years of residency in Spain, a Spanish citizenship form,
  • Your current passport and three photographs.

For more information, visit the Spanish Ministry of Justice website.

Why Are People Moving from the UK to Spain?

There are lots of reasons people are choosing to leave the UK and move to Spain. Statista estimates that there are around 293,171 British expats currently living there, highlighting how popular it is. Most of the country is on the Mediterranean coast, providing a pleasant climate.

Unlike in the UK, Spain doesn’t experience unpredictable weather during the winter months.

Plus, it has a better work-life balance, with family life and time off given equal importance. What’s more, Spain has a great quality of life, and its property market is reasonably priced.

Cost of Living

The cost of life in Spain is much lower than in the UK, with a difference of 31%. Although some items may be more costly, the majority of them are cheaper, even when compared to other nations in Western Europe.

To give you an idea, here is a breakdown of the living expenses in Spain:

Hospital in Spain
Residents of European countries can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

Healthcare

Spain’s healthcare system is well-organised and efficient. Spanish citizens have access to the Sistema Nacional de Salud (SNS), which is similar to the UK’s NHS.

Most services are free, but some require residents to pay a portion of the cost, funded by Social Security contributions. The Spanish regional health authorities also offer a pay-in scheme for services.

Unemployed British citizens need to have been a resident in Spain for 12 months before they can access the Convenio Especial (public healthcare scheme). Many expats opt for private medical care, particularly for dental treatment.

Residents of European countries can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). However, due to the UK no longer being a part of the European Union, previous EHICs are no longer valid.

Removals to Spain from the UK

Our research on international removal costs shows that, on average, it costs £3,015 to ship household items to Spain. The price of shipping will depend on the type of shipping used and the weight of the items.

Services, such as packing, will be charged separately and will cost, on average, £250.

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