Spain: Country-Specific Brexit Information

December 16, 2020 Lucy Halse

UK nationals who have been legally living in Spain before December 31, 2020 when the UK withdraws from the EU may continue to live, study, and work in Spain through rights established through the Withdrawal Agreement. UK nationals who are residents of Spain by the end of the Brexit transition will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and their rights will be protected if they remain a resident. UK nationals should make sure they are registered as residents.

Entry and Residency Requirements

UK nationals will be able to stay in Spain if they were residents before December 31, 2020.

Anyone who plans to stay in Spain for more than three months must register as a resident. Children must be registered with their own residency document.

UK nationals who have registered as residents of Spain after July 6, 2020 and are living in Spain before January 1, 2021 will receive a biometric residence card called the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (TIE). The card proves residency rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. UK nationals who registered as residents before July 6, 2020 will have a green A4 certificate or a residency document from the police or Extranjeria. This card is considered a valid proof of residency under the Withdrawal Agreement following the Brexit transition. UK nationals who have a TIE may exchange it for a new TIE, but it is not mandatory to do so.

The Spanish government recommends applying for a biometric card following the Brexit transition.

The government will provide more information when available for UK citizens who move to the country after the Brexit transition.

Starting on January 1, 2021, travel is permitted in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa to visit family or friends; attend business meetings, sports events, or cultural events; for tourism, and for short-term study or training. Travelers should note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days also count towards the 90-day maximum stay. Any days spent in Spain before January 1, 2021 will not count towards the 90-day limit.

Working in Spain

UK nationals who are residents of Spain before December 31, 2020 will retain their rights to work in the country if they remain residents.

To apply for a job, UK nationals may need to provide an employer with the following information:

  • UK criminal records certificate
  • Spanish criminal records certificate
  • Certificate from the Spanish sex offenders registry
  • Record of employment history in Spain (from the Seguridad Social)

Individuals who live in Spain and commute to work in another EU/EFTA country may need a permit proving that they are a frontier worker starting in January 2021. The Home Office will provide further details when guidance is available.

Passports

Travel rules will remain the same between Spain and the UK after the end of the Brexit transition. Rules on travel within the EU will stay the same through December 31, 2020. During that time, UK nationals may travel to countries in the EU and Schengen area with their UK passport. UK nationals should ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their trip.

Starting on January 1, 2021, travel is permitted in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in a 180-day period without a visa to visit family or friends; attend business meetings, sports events, or cultural events; for tourism, and for short-term study or training. Travelers should note that visits to other Schengen countries within the previous 180 days also count towards the 90-day maximum stay. Any days spent in Spain before January 1, 2021 will not count towards the 90-day limit.

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