Current Spanish-government regulations in case of a no-deal Brexit scenario.

Even though the final outcome for Brexit is still uncertain, the Spanish government issued a law in early March (Real Decreto-ley 5/2019) to tackle several legal situations of British citizens living in Spain, in case of facing a no-deal Brexit by the end of March, which seems pretty unlikely.

However, the following rules might give us a clue about the intentions of the Spanish government in the future, regarding a post-no-deal-Brexit scenario in Spain:


  1. What happens with the British citizens who have lived in Spain on a permanent basis?

They will have to apply for a new resident permit in months’ time since the actual no-deal Brexit.

The citizens with certificate of residence (the green large sheet or the small green card) will just require that document. However, good news is that any evidence showing permanent residence might be accepted as well, so those British residents who are not able to get the residence card now because of the new appointment system of the Foreign Office, will be able to use any valid piece of evidence accepted in law.

More good news: for those British residents living in Spain for over 5 years, a long-term resident permit will be granted.


  1. What happens with the British citizens working in Spain?

They will be under the protection of the Spanish Social Security and Industrial/Employment laws, after a no-deal Brexit. Happy Days.

  1. What happens with pensions paid by Spain to British nationals?

British nationals will still receive them, but they will lose what is known as ‘pension credit’, the amount which tops up certain pensions.


  1. What happens with medical assistance?

Those British citizens who have medical assistance in Spain because of European treaties will keep that assistance for at least 21 months. Unfortunately, the scenario after those 21 months is still unknown.


  1. What happens with driving licenses?

British drivers will be able to drive in Spain with their current licenses for 9 months, and they will be able to change them for Spanish driving licenses throughout that time.


After that, there are several options: applying for an international driving license in the UK, or passing the Spanish driving test.

All these measures and rules will be in force only in case of a no-deal Brexit, and of course, we are pretty sure that new rules will come into force in the following months, and above all, after the interim period of 21 months for residence permits and medical assistance.

To obtain further information, do not hesitate to contact us, or alternatively, you can check the Spanish government website related to this matter.

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