UK Citizens in Spain and Spanish Residency

By 9th November 2020 No Comments

Timing is everything: UK Citizens in Spain and Spanish Residency

The UK is about to leave the EU and, it is not impossible that we will do so without a deal. Everyone will be affected due to the consequences of ” Brexit” by the end of 2020.

Now that political and social tensions in the UK are at all-time high, many citizens are considering moving to another country in the EU. European immigration lawyers received a lot of enquiries from UK citizens all over the world who wish to relocate to Spain, for example. Many have had a history with this beautiful country and value its mild climate and welcoming community.


The million-pound question is: “How can a UK citizen get a Spanish residency and take advantage of being treated as an EU citizen?”

After 31 December 2020, any UK citizen who wants to live in Spain will be considered a non-EU citizen. Since there is no other agreement between Spain and the UK, they will likely fall under the general immigration regime of Law 4/2000, and they will have to go through a lengthy and complicated application process to get a work and residence permit. This immigration route is not only tricky but also may be close to being impossible for some applicants.

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

The most efficient and easiest way would require the UK citizen to show that he/she has resided in Spain before the end of the deadline of 31 December 2020, and has had been a resident in Spain before the end of the year. Therefore, it is highly advisable to get a place of residence in Spain, register with the Town Hall, and get the “empadronamiento” (registration with the local census).


What this means is that if you want to apply for a Residence Card as a UK Citizens before the end of the year, you will have to rent a place or buy a property and move to Spain to get registered as soon as possible. Please let us know if you need help with your immigration situation. We can provide assistance to you with finding a place to stay, buying property etc. and especially with the presentation of your online application for a Spain residency

Pina Espinoza from the Artemis Law is a Spanish attorney at law and is a specialist in Immigration Law, experienced in advising expats and professionals who want to emigrate to Spain. You can get in touch with her at www.artemislaw-europe.com or at +34 622 677 294.

If you have any other UK or EU related immigration questions, please get in touch and we can help you to find out your options on 020 7427 5970 or [email protected]

You can also get in touch or follow us for similar content on our social media accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Weibo.