As you all know the UK has now left the EU and there are many different pieces of information out there on where this leaves the thousands of British residents living and working in Spain. Many of our long-term rental tenants are asking us about this issue, so we wanted to share information from the British Embassy on what you need to do and when, to ensure you are protected and can continue living in Spain.
What happens now?
There is a year long transition period where nothing really happens in practice. This gives the politicians and also British nationals living in Europe time to get everything in place for when the new rules apply, on the 1st of January 2021.
What do I have to do if I’m in Spain?
Nothing immediately! You can continue to live and work as normal in Spain for the whole of 2020 and as long as you are officially resident by the end of the year, your rights will be protected. So, this means you need to get your residency and all the official paperwork in place over the course of this year.
There is very detailed guidance about how to become a Spanish resident on the British Embassy website, including a summary of the documents you need to bring. You will need to book in for an appointment at your nearest Foreign Residents Office or Police Station and ensure you have all the relevant paperwork depending on your situation. The paperwork generally includes; evidence of where you live, proof of healthcare cover and proof of income. You need to have three key documents to ensure you are properly registered to stay; your NIE, your Residency Certificate and the Padron certificate, or registration with your local council. Here’s a great video from the British Embassy in Madrid which explains this very clearly and what you need to do.
Changing your driving licence from UK to Spanish
As the UK left the EU with a deal, you also have until the 31st of December 2020 to exchange your UK driving license for a Spanish one. Book an appointment on the website www.dgt.es to change your licence over at some point this year. The advice is to do it sooner rather than later to avoid problems as we approach the end of the transition period.
Healthcare cover for pensioners
There has been a lot of concern on whether UK state pensioners, which are referred to as S1 form holders, will be covered for healthcare moving forward. In January the British Embassy in Madrid stated that “S1 form holders who have moved to Spain before 31st December 2020 will continue to have life-long healthcare rights provided they remain registered as resident in Spain. This means access to healthcare in Spain will not change for those S1 form holders for as long as they remain resident in Spain and if you visit the UK you will still be able to access free NHS care when temporarily visiting England, Scotland and Wales, as you can now.”
If your passport runs out during the transition period, you can still renew your British passport from Spain as before. During this period, you will also be able to travel as before throughout the EU using your UK passport.
Help from HomeRentalontheWeb
We’re here to help our tenants to find the right long-term rental property on the Costa del Sol and can also offer advice and information about living in Spain. Our helpful team have all lived and worked here on the coast for many years, bringing up families and integrating into the Spanish lifestyle. You can find information about education, healthcare and bringing pets to Spain on our website. If you have any questions about making the move over to Spain and renting long-term, or staying here once the transition period has come to an end, please get in touch.