As of January 2021, UK Citizens in Spain are regarded as non-European Union nationals for immigration purposes. In this scenario, what will happen to more than 300.000 British Citizens who are living in the Spanish territories or to those planning to do so?

Here David Buxó of Alliott Global Alliance law firm member in Spain, Abbantia Law Firm, gives an update of the current situation following Brexit.


Also Known as the Withdrawal agreement residency, that least until December 2020, permitted that those British Citizens who were already resident in Spain could change to a new type of residency or obtain their registration certificate as if they were still an EU citizen, and those who already started their application to live here could continue with it.


If you could prove where you were living in Spain before December 31st, 2020 you can still obtain your residency in Spain by following the usual EU route thanks to the withdrawal agreement. Also, if you have a registration certificate or a green card, obtained during 2021, you can still exchange it for the new type of residency or validate it.

If you arrived in Spain after the 31st of December 2020 or have not arrived yet even though you will have to apply for a regular residence permit, there are many options to suit according to an individual’s situation and on behalf of your interests. The options are:

STUDENT VISA: Works if you want to do your post graduate studies in Spain. You can also modify it work while studying (residence for professional internship) or to look for a job after you finish your program (job search visa), in this case you will have 12 months to do so.

VISA FOR TEMPORARY RESIDENCY AND RESEARCH WORK: For foreign researchers, whose stay in Spain is solely for the purpose of carrying out research projects, with an outlined hosting agreement signed by the institution of research.

NON-LUCRATIVE VISA: This residence permit is the perfect fit for those who would like to stay in the country without conducting any kind of economic activity. The main requirements will be, to have sufficient economic funds, a private health contract and submit the right documents. The benefits include being able to bring your family members, have free movement within the Schengen area, work remotely from Spain and no need to invest in the country.

GOLDEN VISA (RESIDENCY VISA FOR ACQUISITION OF REAL STATE): This visa is for those who can prove the acquisition of real estate in Spain and investment value equal to or more than 500.000€. For doing so the applicant must complete a certificate containing information of the dominion and taxes of the Land Registry which corresponds to the property. It is important to note that the applicant must prove availability of an investment in real state for 500.000€ free of all charges and encumbrances.


A.- HIGHLY SKILLED EMPLOYEE: Allows for Residence and Work Authorization in Spain of highly qualified staff, with previous Government authorization. To know if you are suitable for this kind of visa, we will have to look at your profile, check that the company that wants to hire you fits this residency permit, and make sure that the tasks you will be doing for the company are regarded as highly skilled or you are going to hold a managerial position. There is also a salary requirement.

B.- INTRA CORPORATE TRANSFER: This visa allows the transfer of foreign workers to Spain, as part of their employment, professional work or professional training with a company or corporate group established in Spain.

C.- Residency Visas for Entrepreneurs and Business Activities (REM): This section covers all investors, including a consideration of a business plan that is of general interest and that is to be developed in Spain with the intention of entering and staying in Spain for a period of one year for the sole or primary purpose of carrying out the preparatory work to develop an entrepreneurial activity.

The applicant must present a favorable report from the Commercial Office in geographical demarcation where the investor presents the visa request, to confirm that the business plan presented is considered as a general interest.

In the case of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial activity is understood as that which is innovative in nature with a special interest to Spain and is supported by a favorable report from the Commercial Office where the investor presents the application for the visa.

Let our Abbantia Global Mobility Desk help you after Brexit and find the best option according to your case.

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David Buxó.

ABBantia  Global Mobility Desk