What will happen with British residents in Spain after Brexit?


Since the United Kingdom voted in favour of abandoning the European Union, British citizens must have been wondering about many unknown facts. 300.000 Brits are residents or live on a regular bases in Spain. This number doubles the amount of Spaniards that migrate to England.

At the moment, Brits are protected by their Community citizens status, which allows them to move around freely and to work in EU countries. Its exit would mean these two rights would stop existing immediately.

Will British residents become ‘undocumented immigrants’ once the exit is made official and definitive?

In the worst case scenario, if the United Kingdom exited the EU without agreeing to any internal or bilateral treaty with Spain, every British citizen would be able to change their type of residency. Taking into account all the administration period, procedures and requirements it would include.

A British citizen that has lived in Spain for more than 5 years will be able to change their EU registration certificate for the long-term residence permit. Whoever has lived in the country less time could ask for a temporary permit that allowed them to work. If, on the other hand, they had a Spanish relative, they could ask for a Community Card that gave them the same legal rights.

Is there any possibility that Brits will enjoy the same rights and freedom they have now in Spain after Brexit?

Countries like Norway, Island or Switzerland are not part of the EU, however, they benefit from a statute that allows their citizens to live and work in Spain as Community citizens. The United Kingdom could be included in this statute if they allowed Spanish citizens to have these same rights in their country. This is something that does not agree with some of Brexit’s goals.

If you still have any doubts, contact a trustworthy associated administrative agent which you can easily find here.