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Timing is everything: UK Citizens and Spanish Residency

Who would have thought that we would find ourselves in this situation? The UK is about to leave the EU and, if no miracle happens, they will do so without a deal, everyone suffering the so-called "hard Brexit" by the end of 2020.

Now that political and social tensions in the UK are at their all time high, many citizens are considering moving to another country. We get a lot of enquiries from UK citizens all over the world who wish to relocate to Spain. Many have history with this beautiful country and value its mild climate and open people.

The million Pound questions is: How can a UK citizen get Spanish residency and still take advantage of being treated as an EU citizen?

What happens is, after December 31st 2020, UK citizens who want to live in Spain will be considered Non-EU citizens. Since there is no other agreement between Spain and the UK in sight, they will fall under the general immigration regime of Law 4/2000 and they will have to go through lengthy and complicated application process and getting a work permit will be close to impossible.

Before December 31st 2020, UK citizens can still apply for residence cards with the same requirements as any EU citizen. The only difference is that they have to follow a two step process where they first apply for the permit (can be done online) and then get an appointment at a police station to apply for their residence card (in person).

In order to apply the easier way, the UK citizen has to show that they have resided in Spain since before the end of the deadline, being a resident in Spain before the end of the year. The best way to go about this is to get a place in Spain and register with the Town Hall, getting the "empadronamiento" (registration with the local census).

What this means is that if you want to apply for a Residence Card for UK Citizens before the end of the year, you have to rent a place or buy a property and come to Spain to get registered as soon as possible.

Let us know if you need help. We can assist with finding a place to live, buying a property etc. and especially with the online presentation of your application for residency.

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