Do you intend to move to Spain after 1st January 2021?
You will need a visa to spend more than 90 days in any 180 days period in Spain to live or on business. Getting a job in Spain or study also requires a visa. You need to apply for these from the UK before you settle in Spain. You cannot apply if you are in Spain.
It is still possible to become a Spanish resident as a UK national, and acquiring residency will give you rights to support and welfare benefits and protection in the future, although the income requirements are higher to get residency and the benefits less generous and immediate than for those who lived in Spain before 31st December 2020.
Country Fincas can put you in contact with local companies dedicated to Visa applications and these companies can provide up to date information of the requirements for each Visa type.
Even if you move to Spain after 1st January 2020, you must ensure you are legally resident as you are at risk if something goes wrong, such as loss of work or a sudden health problem.
What stays the same?
Under the trade agreement between Britain and the EU approved in December 2020:
· EHIC (the blue EU health cards) for temporary or short stays in Spain are still valid for UK nationals who are on holiday or short business trips. As these expire, the UK government will issue a differently designed card that will still be valid in Spain, called a GHIC. If you are resident in Spain you cannot use a EHIC/GHIC for treatment, it is only for holiday makers.
· The UK and Spanish government are coordinating part of their social security systems still, even after Brexit. This means, for example:
· A UK state pensioner retiring to live in Spain after 1 January 2021 can still register for and use Spanish state healthcare, as before Brexit, paid for by the UK government. (But they cannot return to use the UK’s NHS for routine/non-emergency treatment as those qualifying pensioners who were living in Spain before 31st Dec 2020 still can).
· A British national who came to work in Spain with a contract either before or after Brexit can combine those years worked with any years previously or subsequently worked in the UK in order to qualify for a state pension or improve the amount of final state pension they can get.
· UK driving licences can still be used by visitors to Spain after Brexit. There is no need for an International Driving Licence. However, if you live in Spain you must change your UK licence to a Spanish one otherwise you could receive a large fine.