Brexit update. New guidelines

Following the latest guidance from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office regarding Brexit, there have been updates and changes that affect British citizens living in Spain.

In this article, PSI Consultants will simplify what has been stated in the article, with an overview of the most important facts & details for British citizens.

A quick disclaimer, information provided in this article has been simplified from the GOV.UK living in Spain article. Definitive information should be clarified by the Spanish authorities.

For more information, please read the original article.

Residency and visas.

  • Residing in Spain for than 3 months will require you to register as a Spanish resident.

  • You’ll receive a green A4 or credit card sized certificate from Extranjeria or your main local police station.

  • You must update this registration document once the UK leave the EU.

Passports and travel.

  • British nationals can apply or renew passports within Spain.

  • You can obtain an emergency travel document or passport if required.

  • Post-Brexit, double check that your passport is still valid.

  • There will be new travel rules if a no deal Brexit occurs.

  • A minimum of 6 month minimum left on a passport prior to the date of travel.

  • Possibly, short-term visits within the Schengen area may not require a visa.

  • You may visit up to 90 days in any EU country, within an 180 day period.

  • If there is a Brexit deal, there may be no changes until the end of 2020.


  • Non-native Spanish residents will need to registered in the healthcare system.

  • British residents in Spain cannot use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

  • Spanish residents travelling outside of Spain will require a a Tarjeta Sanitaria Europea (TSE).

  • Apply for the TSE online or in a social security office.

  • S1 form holders travelling within the EU should apply for UK-issued EHIC.

  • Purchase comprehensive travel insurance for added protection, not provided by TSE & EHIC.

  • Healthcare will be protected if there is a Brexit deal and you are a resident of Spain.

  • Healthcare access may change if there is no Brexit deal for British residents living in Spain.

  • If there is no Brexit deal, the Spanish Royal Decree allows for Britons who are Spanish residents and registered for healthcare to continue to accessing the healthcare until 2020.

Working in Spain.

Money and tax.

  • UK & Spain have a double-taxation agreement that prevents paying tax on the same income in both countries.

  • You may receive a double taxation relief.

  • Spanish residents must declare global income to the Spanish authorities.

  • If you are not a resident, you will only pay tax on income that came from Spain.

  • Declaring overseas assets will require filing an annual declaration of overseas assets called a Modelo 720, otherwise there are severe penalties.

  • Possibly, you can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

  • Post-Brexit, the double taxation agreement with Spain will not change.

  • If there is no Brexit deal, it may be more expensive to use bank cards in Spain.

Pensions in Spain.

  • When moving & retiring abroad, you must notify the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax.

  • You can claim UK state pensions.

  • If you have worked in Spain, Spanish and UK state pensions can be claimed from the Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social.

  • Pensions can be claimed from working in other EU countries.

  • When you receive a Life certificate form in the post, you must fill it in promptly otherwise your payments may be suspended.

  • After Brexit, the UK government will continue to pay the UK state pension to eligible UK nationals.

  • Upon a Brexit deal, if you work and pay social security contributions in Spain, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Spanish pension.

  • Upon a no deal Brexit, the Spanish government will take into account periods of work in the UK prior to the UK leaving the EU when calculating Spanish pensions.


  • Britons living in Spain will be able to claim some UK benefits, including child and disability benefits.

  • Being abroad for more than 4 weeks will halt income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit.

  • Spanish benefits may be claimed, you can:

  • If there is a Brexit deal, if you work and pay social security contributions in Spain, your UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for Spanish contributions-based benefits.

  • If there is a no deal Brexit, the Spanish government may continue to take into account any periods of work within UK prior to the UK leaving the EU, when claiming Spanish contributions-based benefits.

Driving in Spain.

  • Britons who are Spanish residents should exchange your UK licence for a Spanish one.

  • You can use your Spanish licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

  • You must renew or exchange an old UK licence that doesn’t have a 10 year validity period.

  • Once you’ve been a resident in Spain for 2 years, you’ll need a Spanish licence.

  • If a driving licence is lost, stolen or expires you will not be able to renew it with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

  • You will need to apply to the DVLA for a ‘certificate of entitlement’ in Spanish to be able to apply for a Spanish driving licence.

  • Spanish driving rules may have some differences to British driving standards.

  • If there is a Brexit deal, driving licence rules will stay the same during the transition period.

  • If there is a no deal Brexit, there will be 9 months from the day the UK leaves the EU to exchange your UK licence for a Spanish one.

  • British residents or spending longer than 6 months of the year in Spain will mean to you must register your vehicle with the Spanish authorities and you may need to pay some taxes.

  • You may be exempt from some of these taxes, if you have certificates of exemption.


  • Britons living full time in Spain can vote in local elections.

  • Check your Padrón status with your local town hall and the municipal electoral roll.

  • Declare your intention to vote and register on the local electoral roll.

  • Britons cannot vote in Spanish general or regional elections.

  • British nationals living Spain may be able to vote in some UK elections (check if you are able to vote & register as an overseas voter).

  • UK nationals will no longer be able to vote in European elections.

Births, deaths and getting married.

Accommodation and buying property


  • The exiting rules may change, however you can still travel to and from the UK with a cat, dog or ferret.


  • Dial 122 for European emergency.

  • Dial 091 for national police.

  • Dial 061 for health emergencies.

  • Dial 080 for firefighters.

  • Dial 092 for local police.


At PSI Consultants, our experienced legal, fiscal & visa experts can help you acquire residency & nationality in Spain through property investment in Spain. We will guide you through the whole process of gaining Golden Visa residency in Spain and we offer a wide range of services related to the management and transmission of property ownership in our department dedicated to conveyancing, donations & inheritances. Also in our legal department we manage the obtaining of NIEs, Residences, Wills, private contracts, representation and personalized legal consultation on all related matters.

If you would like to learn more about our Spanish services in the Costa Blanca area, please feel free to contact us at any time when our office is open between 9am - 2:30-pm, Mondays to Fridays.



Feel free to ask any legal or fiscal questions that you need answered. You are more than welcome to also email or call us.

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Calle Salvador Dalí 8, Playa Flamenca, 03189, Orihuela Costa, Alicante, España

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
9AM - 2:30PM

+34 966 730 104

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