Countdown to Brexit:
Spanish Residency for British nationals, used to be a basic paperwork exercise. It is now a necessity due to Brexit, and the uncertainty of the last few months has made it quite difficult for Brits to get their residency certificates. The authorities began to implement a plan of change to the process for British nationals. In most places, for the last few weeks the system and procedure has simply been shut down, whilst they wait to see what happens!
Good News About Spanish Residency for British Nationals
An extension to article 50 has been agreed. This gives British nationals living in Spain more time to secure their existing rights. It also means it will be business as usual at ‘comisarias’ and ‘oficinas de extranjeria’, so Brits can get on with getting their residency certificates!
The Spanish Government also recently published its ‘No Deal Brexit’ Contingency Plan. The Contingency Plan was approved by Royal Decree 1st March, and affirms that the Spanish residency certificate will be needed to confirm legal residence in Spain. The plan makes provision for those residing in Spain who’ve not obtained their Spanish residency EU registration certificate before Brexit, to obtain residency documentation. However, it makes clear that British nationals in this situation will be treated differently to to those who have obtained their certificate BEFORE the UK leaves the EU.
All EU and EEA (European Economic Area) citizens and their family members have the right to visit, live or work in Spain, and a Spanish residency certificates confirms your status as a resident in Spain. For stays of up to 3 months there is no need to register or obtain any Spanish documentation unless you are going to be working, or for example buying a property, in which case you’ll need an NIE. After that period, or if you intend to stay more than 3 months, you are expected to register as a resident.
You are given a residency certificate, or ‘certificado de residencia’, (full name certificado de registro de ciudadano de la unión), when you successfully register, and the issue of certificates is controlled by the National Police, (Cuerpo Nacional de Policia).
A Place in the Sun is one of the UK’s most highly recognised names when it comes to property abroad and overseas lifestyle, and the A Place in the Sun magazine is always full of features and top tips help people with their property searches and plans for their life abroad, be that a holiday home a permanent move.
In the current issue, we’ve provided an editorial feature in the Ask the Experts section, offering a insight into the important considerations and steps to becoming a Spanish resident.
As Brexit draws closer, the subject is all the more poignant. And for Brits planning to move to Spain, those here already who are thinking about taking up Spanish residency, the article is a must read.
Also of interest in the issue
Can you buy two homes for a budget of £150,000 on the eastern Costa del Sol?
With Brexit creeping closer, valuable information to help you prepare for the transition period next year (and/or beyond).
Why and how it’s not too late to find your perfect home in the next six months.
The magazine is available in stores and online now.
Since 2007, there has been a requirement that all EU citizens coming to live in Spain for more than 3 months, should register in person at the Oficina de Extranjeros in their province of residence, or at designated Police stations. On registering, a credit card size residency certificate is issued. The full name for this is, certificado de registro de ciudadano de la unión, however it is commonly referred to as certificado de residencia‘, or simply ‘residencia‘. It has name, address, nationality, NIE number (Número de Identificación Extranjero) on it, and the date of registration as a Spanish resident.
UK and EU nationals intending to take up residency in Spain, can get their ‘certificado de residencia‘ at anytime after they arrive in Spain. Any UK or EU national coming to live in Spain is according to Spanish law, required to register within 3 months of arriving.
Apart from the legal obligation to register, either because you’ve moved to live in Spain or intend to, if you spend 183 days or more per year in the country, then you are also deemed to have Spanish residency for tax purposes. You therefore don’t ‘become resident’ by obtaining your residency certificate, in most cases you will by definition and law, be deemed resident in Spain due to the amount of the time you spend here, i.e. Spain is where you ‘habitually reside’.
We get asked a lot of questions about schools and the system of education in Spain. A lot these questions are answered in our in Spain mini guides. Being based in the Costa del Sol, we also often get asked by people moving to or planning to move to the area, about International Schools in Costa del Sol, so we’ve created a list of those that we know.
International Schools Marbella:
Whilst there are quite a few circumstances where people can claim or continue claiming UK benefits in Spain, for most leaving the UK to move to Spain, means leaving behind UK benefits.
When you leave the UK permanently, or for an extended period of time, in a lot of cases, you lose your entitlement to certain UK benefits.
There are of course lots of different benefits that can be claimed in the UK, and it will depend on the type of benefit, and your exact circumstances, as to whether you can continue claiming the benefit after you have moved to Spain.
Modelo 720 is the form which has to be completed by Spanish residents to declare overseas assets to the Tax Authorities. The requirement applies to anyone who lives in Spain, who owns, or is beneficiary to overseas assets worth €50,000 or more.
The Modelo 720 overseas assets reporting requirement, was introduced to clamp down on tax fraud being committed by Spanish residents who have acquired, or intend to acquire, assets, and or hide wealth outside of Spain in order to evade paying tax. You can read more about this in our article – Overseas Assets Declaration.
The EHIC, European Health Insurance Card allows anyone who is insured by or covered by a statutory social security scheme of EEA countries and Switzerland, to receive medical treatment in another member state free or at a reduced cost, when treatment becomes necessary during their visit, for example, due to illness or an accident. The term of validity of the EHIC varies depending on the issuing country.
The intention of the scheme is to allow people to continue their stay in a country without having to return home for medical care. Therefore, it does not cover people who have visited a country for the purpose of obtaining medical care, nor does it non essential care, which can be delayed until the individual returns to his or her home country. The costs not covered by self-liability fees are paid by the issuing country, which is usually the country of residence. It only covers healthcare which is normally covered by a statutory health care system in the visited country, so it is not a replacement for travel insurance.
Entitlement to EHIC
Understanding tax in Spain is essential, not just if you live here, but also if you own property in Spain.
The Spanish tax year runs from 1st of January to 31st December. Residents have to complete their income tax return, declaracion de la renta, by 30th of June the following year, and non-residents have until 31st December.
Spain has a double taxation treaty with the UK, which means you can avoid getting taxed twice on the same income.
Resident or Non-Resident for Tax in Spain?
You are considered to be tax resident in Spain if any of the following apply:
There are some advantages to getting older. Aching joints might not be one of them, however if you are retired or over 65 and live in Andalucia, apart from probably having less achy joints, you also qualify for useful discount schemes for retirees.
Tarjeta Sesenta y Cinco Discount Scheme for Retirees
The ‘Tarjeta Sesenta y Cinco’ is a card for over 65’s as part of a scheme run by the Junta de Andalucia. It´s free and enables those eligible to easily access direct benefits and social services as well as discounts, grants and access to various senior resident programs. For example: