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Once the transitional period is over, on 1 January 2021, the Withdrawal Agreement provides that the rights of British nationals in terms of residence, work, studies, and Social Security will be maintained, provided that they were resident in Spain before that date.

What is the legal status of British citizens after Brexit?

  • British citizens who were already resident in Spain before 1 January 2021 and, therefore, are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement (With or without EU Certificate).
  • British citizens who want to establish their residence in Spain from 1 January 2021.

The former will have the rights of residence, free movement, and Social Security that the Withdrawal Agreement grants them. They maintain their Spanish residency as British citizens post-Brexit. And although their EU Certificate (green card) is valid to prove that they are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, it is recommended to apply for the residence card for British nationals in Spain after Brexit.

If you did not have an EU certificate but you can prove that you were effectively resident in Spain before 31 December, you must apply for Spanish residency for British citizens after Brexit. This is done electronically at the Foreigners' Office corresponding to your place of residence.

In the second case, you must apply for a visa or residence permit, of those established in the Ley de Extranjería or the Ley de Emprendedores, which suits your personal, economic, social, and family circumstances. This is because British nationals in Spain after Brexit are considered third-country nationals.

If you need help with the processing of residency for British nationals after Brexit, please contact our team as soon as possible. Remember that each case has its own particularities so it is very important that you seek professional advice.

At ExpatFeliu we will evaluate your case and we will do everything necessary so that you do not have to worry about your status in Spain after Brexit.

Contact us for further information.

Montserrat Feliu Costa

Managing partner, ExpatFeliu