Now that the United Kingdom of Great Britain has formally left the EU, there are a number of rule changes for British nationals living in Spain, or visiting for long periods.
British residents living in Spain before 1 January 2021
If you are a British citizens who lived legally in Spain before 1 January 2021, a lot of their existing rights are protected. Other rights remain but with additional conditions.
Your right to work remains equal to that of Spanish nationals and you do not require a work visa.
Your close family can still join you provided that your relationship predates 31 December 2020.
Your current green NIE card remains valid. The Canary Islands authorities are advising all British residents to update to a TIE photo-ID card.
Your access to healthcare remains the same as it was before BREXIT. You are entitled to state healthcare and a Spanish issued TSE (EHIC) which you can use for short stays when travelling to the UK and within Europe.
As a UK national legally resident in Spain before 1 January 2021, you can continue to access Spanish university. Your non-Spanish education and professional qualifications need to be homologado by Spain before they are recognised.
As a British residents in Spain you should not use a UK-issued EHIC to access healthcare in Gran Canaria, unless you are a posted worker or student.
If you are a British resident in Gran Canaria and have a UK driving license, change it to a Spanish one before 30 June 2021.
As a UK citizen you can still vote in Spanish local elections once you have lived here for three years. Not that you have to reconfirm your registration on the electoral register for each election.
When you travel to another EU country from Spain your passport must be valid for the whole trip but does not need any additional validity. However, you are limited to 90 days in the EU (except Spain) within a rolling 180-day period.
Your Spanish pet passport is valid for travel back to the UK but a British pet passport needs to be updated before it can be used to bring your pet to Gran Canaria.
British pensioners living in Spain before 1 January 2021
As a UK state pensioner (S1 form holder) you will continue to access healthcare in the same way. S1 holders are entitled to a UK EHIC
for use when travelling in Europe – apply at nhs.uk/ehic.
Your UK state pension will be uprated every year for as long as you remain resident in Spain. If you work and paid into the Spanish system, declare
all periods of work in the UK, Spain and any other member state when applying for a pension or benefit.
If you are not working and do not claim a state pension, there are alternative ways to access healthcare in Spain.
British citizens arriving in Spain after 1 January 2021
As non-EU citizens, UK nationals including property owners are restricted to spending 90 days out of a rolling 180 day period in Gran Canaria or elsewhere in the European Union. If you overstay this period without getting a Visa, you can be fined and/ or denied entry the next time you try and enter the EU.
UK citizens must now have six months validity left on their passport to travel to Spain and the Canary Islands.
However, there are several ways UK nationals can extend their stay in Gran Canaria and the EU beyond 90 days out of 180.
British citizens who spend over 500,000 euros on Spanish property (one property or several small ones) can apply for a Golden Visa. Property acquired since 2013 can be included in the investment required for a Golden Visa.
Those who want to spend more than 90 days in Gran Canaria without working can apply for a non-lucrative visa.
UK posted workers can still work temporarily in the EU and EEA and can access healthcare in Spain and the Canary Islands using an EHIC, GHIC or S1 form.
Details about many of the rules for British citizens in Gran Canaria are available from the UK in Spain website.
Tax implications of BREXIT for UK citizens in Gran Canaria
The double taxation agreement between Spain and the UK remains despite BREXIT. This protects residents national of either country from being taxed twice. Income from capital gains and dividends, income tax for non-residents, company tax, personal income tax and estate tax are covered.
ITP property transfer tax remain unaffected by BREXIT. It is 6.5% for second hand property and 7% for new property for all property buyers in the Canary Islands.
Inheritance tax: A Spanish Supreme Court ruling in 2018 means that UK citizens, whether they are Spanish residents or not, will likely not have to pay an extra inheritance tax on the value of a Spanish property.
Capital gains tax: British residents in Spain who sell their main residence now have to pay Capital Gains Tax in Spain as they are no longer entitled to rollover relief when buying a UK prime residence. When a non-resident sells a property in Spain, 3% is withheld by the Spanish tax authorities to cover capital gains tax.
Rental tax: Tax on rental income, both holiday let and residential, will be increased from 19 to 24%, with no tax relief allowed.
Non-Resident Imputed Income Tax (NRIIT): This annual tax is increased from 19% to 24%.