What do the latest Brexit developments mean for those buying property in Spain?

Understandably for many people considering buying a property in Spain the outcome of Brexit has likely been a cause for concern. So, the deadline being postponed until October 2019 may not have been welcome news. While we may still be none the wiser what the Brexit deal will be, there is good news too!

The extension means that for those looking to move to Spain on a permanent basis and/or those who intend to spend at least 90 days a year in Spain, have longer to apply for residency in Spain.

In addition, when it was looking like there might be a no-deal Brexit, the Spanish Government rushed through a Royal Decree ahead of the previous March deadline, which essentially protects the rights of British citizens living in Spain, meaning they will continue to retain their Spanish residency and access to healthcare in Spain. It’s positive news for British citizens who have chosen to make Spain their home or intend to do so in the near future.

For those looking to buy a property as a holiday home, the situation remains the same, essentially the outcome of Brexit is unlikely to make much different at all. In addition, the Spanish Royal Decree means that British tourists using the EHIC scheme for free or reduced medical costs if they need to see a doctor or nurse in Spain will continue to be able to access these services for free.

As it stands, if the UK leaves the EU with a deal, UK nationals arriving in Spain before 31 December 2020 will be able to register as resident in Spain and will continue to have the right to residency in Spain protected for as long as they remain living in Spain.

However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK nationals living in Spain before the date the UK leaves will be considered legally resident for 21 months, regardless of whether they have a current residency document.

With or without a deal though, UK nationals living in Spain will be required to obtain a Foreigner’s Identity Card (TIE), to retain their residency in Spain, which can be obtained in person at designated police stations. If the UK leaves the EU with an agreement, you’ll have until 31 December 2020 to apply for your TIE, but if we leave without a deal, you must obtain your Foreigner’s Identity Card within the 21-month transition period.

Contrary to popular belief you do not have to have spend a specific amount of time in Spain before you can apply for residency. Technically, as soon as you step foot off the plane you can make an application for Spanish residency, providing you have the intention to live in Spain of course.

The current advice is that if it is your intention to move to Spain, doing so before the 31 December is advisable as obtaining residency is likely to be a more straightforward process. It’s also advisable for those living in Spain for at least six months of the year to register on the local Padrón.

The issue of currency exchange rates (and the possibility of it being affected by the ups and downs of Brexit) remains, although the rate has been fairly steady for some time. With that in mind it’s always a good idea to a speak to a currency exchange specialist to discuss how they can help you get the best bang for your buck. Not only do currency exchange specialists offer a much better rate than the high street banks, they can also help you ‘fix’ a rate to help you avoid being negatively affected by currency rate fluctuations, whatever the politics has in store!

If you’re considering buying a property in Spain or its islands contact the team at Total Buying abroad to find out how we can help you buy you dream Spanish property safely and efficiently – call 01244 478 911 or email info@totalbuyingabroad.com.


Article published: May 29, 2019