Life in Spain After-Brexit: Rules for Brits


Navigating the new landscape of life in Spain after Brexit presents a blend of challenges and opportunities for British nationals. With the Brexit transition period having concluded, many Brits are keenly seeking clarity on how this monumental change affects their plans, whether it’s for moving permanently to Spain or residing there for extended periods. This comprehensive guide will explore the pivotal aspects of living in Spain post-Brexit, focusing on the rules for living in Spain after Brexit, and providing essential insights for British living in Spain after Brexit.

Understanding the Post-Brexit Scenario

The culmination of the Brexit transition period has ushered in a new era for British citizens, altering their legal status from EU citizens to non-EU nationals. This shift has profound implications for those aspiring to live in the sun-drenched landscapes of Spain, necessitating a thorough understanding of the new regulations.

1. Moving Permanently to Spain After Brexit

Can I still move to Spain now that the Brexit transition period has ended?

Yes, moving to Spain remains a viable option for British citizens even after Brexit. However, the process now mirrors that of other non-EU nationals, subject to stricter immigration rules and requirements.

Key Steps and Requirements:

  • Residency Applications: Brits must apply for a long-term visa, such as a work visa, retirement visa, or a non-lucrative visa, depending on their circumstances.
  • Financial Solvency: Applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial means to support themselves without relying on public funds.
  • Healthcare Coverage: Private health insurance is a prerequisite for residency applications, given that access to Spain’s public healthcare system is no longer automatic for Brits.

2. Short-Term Stays and the 90/180 Rule

How long can I stay in Spain after the end of the Brexit transition period?

For temporary visits, such as tourism, British citizens are now subject to the 90/180 rule. This rule allows Brits to stay in the Schengen Area, including Spain, for up to 90 days within any 180-day period without a visa.


  • Tourism and Short Visits: Ideal for holidays or short-term stays, but not suitable for long-term residence.
  • Visa-Free Entry: While a visa is not required for short stays, the duration cannot exceed the stipulated 90-day limit.

3. Navigating the Spanish Golden Visa

For those looking to invest in Spain, the Spanish Golden Visa offers an attractive pathway to residency. This program is particularly appealing for Brits post-Brexit, providing a route to not only live in Spain but also enjoy freedom of movement within the Schengen Zone.


  • Investment Threshold: A minimum investment in real estate, public debt, or a significant business venture.
  • Residency Benefits: The Golden Visa grants residency to the investor, their spouse, and dependent family members.
  • Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship: Holders can eventually apply for permanent residency and Spanish citizenship, subject to certain conditions.

4. The Non-Lucrative Visa: A Popular Choice for Retirees

The non-lucrative visa remains a popular option for British retirees and those with sufficient passive income wishing to live in Spain without engaging in employment or professional activities.

Key Features:

  • Income Requirements: Proof of a steady income from pensions, rentals, investments, or other non-employment sources is essential.
  • Renewal Process: Initially granted for one year, this visa can be renewed for two-year periods, provided the conditions are still met.

5. Integration into Spanish Life

Adapting to life in Spain goes beyond navigating immigration rules. It involves immersing oneself in the local culture, learning the language, and understanding the social norms.

Community and Support:

  • Expatriate Networks: Numerous expat communities across Spain offer support and advice for newly arrived Brits.
  • Language and Cultural Integration: Embracing the Spanish language and culture can significantly enhance the living experience and ease the integration process.


Life in Spain for Brits after Brexit undeniably comes with its set of challenges, primarily revolving around the new legal and bureaucratic hurdles. However, with careful planning, adherence to the rules for living in Spain after Brexit, and a proactive approach to integration, the dream of Spanish living remains within reach. Whether it’s through investment, retirement, or other means, the allure of Spain’s rich culture, favorable climate, and high quality of life continues to draw British nationals to its shores. As we navigate this post-Brexit era, staying informed and compliant with the evolving regulations will be key to a successful and fulfilling life in Spain.

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