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Author: Sarah Last updated: Wed 31 Mar 12:12
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UK citizens in Spain after Brexit

Britain has now left the EU, UK citizens in Spain must get used to the new rules about governing travel and living in the country.

Brexit has brought changes in how international travel and immigration work in Europe, and it is important to know what's different.

What UK citizens must know before coming to Spain for travel, work or to live, this article looks at what is different now that Britain is no longer in the EU. 

Tourism is Spain

One thing that hasn´t changed since Brexit is the popularity of Spain for UK tourists. The country is a favourite destination for British holidaymakers and over 18 million of them visit each year.

Tourism is one of Spain’s most important industries and now that Britain is no longer going to be a European Union member, it enthusiastically welcomes tourists from the country. 

Some post-Brexit rules about travel do not affect tourism and short stays in Spain. Therefore, it is expected that it will remain a popular destination for tourists from the island nation.

Can UK citizens live in Spain after Brexit?

Now that Brexit has left the European Union, British citizens no longer hold the automatic right to reside in Spain. UK citizens in Spain will be able to remain for a period of 3 months at a time, staying longer than this will require a visa.

To spend more than 90 days in Spain in a period of 6 months Brits will need to acquire a Spanish Schengen visa. You can obtain this from a Spanish embassy or consulate in the UK.

Can UK citizens work in Spain after Brexit?

One of the biggest areas of change since Brexit is how British citizens can work in Spain. Whilst the UK was still a member of the European Union, nationals had the right to work in the country visa-free.

Since the end of the Brexit transition period in January 2021, British citizens have to hold a valid Spanish work visa to gain employment in the country. These must be obtained before arriving in Spain from a national embassy or consulate.

Business travel to Spain after Brexit

Some business travel to Spain is slightly similar after Brexit to how it was before. Although, there are some new rather important requirements that must be followed.

Those travelling to attend meetings in Spain and to stay in the country under 90 days in any 180-day period can do so without any extra paperwork. However, visitors will need a visa or work permit to enter for the following reasons

  • To transfer from a company’s UK branch to its Spanish branch.
  • To provide a freelance service in the country.
  • To provide contractual services for an employer with no Spanish or EU entity.

New rules for travel to Spain after Brexit

Most travellers will not notice many differences when travelling to Spain, but there have been some changes. These are important to understand before coming to the country either as a tourist or for other reasons.

What do I need to travel to Spain after Brexit?

Whilst Brexit has brought many changes to how Brits may travel around Europe, some things have not changed. You can still visit Spain without a visa for short touristic trips.

What is different is that British tourists must now only be in possession of a passport that was issued no more than 10 years ago AND that has over 6 months left before its expiry. Also, they may need to provide evidence of:

  • Return or outbound flights
  • Travel insurance
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