I live in the UK and intend to continue to do so after Brexit. What do I have to do?
All EU citizens and their family members who wish to continue to reside, work or study in the UK after 30 June 2021 are required to apply for a residence permit (including minors) under the EU Settlement Scheme, a new Home Office procedure. This requires the EU citizen to be resident in the UK by 31 December 2020. On the basis of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), two statuses will be granted:
- Settled status or indefinite leave to remain, for those EU citizens and family members who have been continuously resident in the UK for more than 5 years.
- Pre-settled status or limited leave to remain, for those EU citizens or family members who have been resident in the UK for less than 5 years. Those citizens who obtain pre-settled status, when they have reached 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, must apply for settled status or indefinite leave to remain. It is necessary to apply for settled status before the pre-settled status expires.
What is the deadline for applying for pre-settled status or settled status?
The final deadline for applying for such residence permits under the EU Settlement Scheme will be 30 June 2021. For this, the EU citizen is required to have been resident in the UK since before 31 December 2020.
Where can I get information about the procedure or resolve my doubts?
The Brexit One-Stop-Shop can assist Spanish citizens with the EU Settlement Scheme procedure. To do so, you can contact us through our email
4. I want to start residing in the UK after 1 January 2021. What will I have to do?
EU citizens and their family members who wish to move to the UK to live, work or study after 31 December 2020 should be aware that on 1 January 2021, the new UK migration system will come into force. Therefore, all citizens wishing to enter the UK to work, study or reside (regardless of their nationality) will be subject to the new UK immigration system. You can find all the information available to date at the following link:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-immigrationsystem-what-you-need-to-know
If you have any doubts about the new UK immigration system, you can consult the information on the website of the British authorities, in the section Check if you need a UK Visa. Depending on your answers, they will tell you what type of visa or permit you need to enter the UK from 1 January 2021.
Will I need a visa if I want to visit the UK?
For EU citizens wishing to enter the UK as tourists from 1 January 2021, they will be able to do so for up to 6 months without needing a visa. All citizens wishing to enter the UK for other reasons, such as work or study, will need to apply for a visa in advance.
How will tourists be able to enter and leave the UK and will I need a passport?
Citizens of the EU, EEA (European Economic Area) and Switzerland can still travel to the UK for holidays or short breaks without a visa. You will need to show a valid passport or national identity card if you are a citizen of an EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. National ID cards will not be valid for entry to the UK from 1 October 2021, although a national ID card can still be used to enter the UK until at least 31 December 2025 if the person has established or pre-established status under the EU Settlement Scheme or has a frontier worker permit. Automatic eGates can be used at some airports if you have a biometric passport and are over 12 years old. In addition, there will be no routine immigration checks on travel within the Common Travel Area, and none at the land border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.
I have a Spanish driving licence, will I still be able to drive in the UK without any problems?
UK residents who started their stay under the age of 67 can continue to drive in the UK with a driving licence issued by a Member State without any changes until the age of 70. If you became resident in the UK when you were over 67, you can continue to use your European driving licence for up to 3 years. After that, you will need to exchange your Spanish driving licence for a UK driving licence. Visitors may continue to use their European driving licence.
Do I need health insurance in the UK?
All Spanish citizens who were covered by the Withdrawal Agreement on 31 December 2020 will continue to be entitled to receive health care as before. When travelling temporarily to Spain, they will be able to travel with the new European Health Insurance Card, which will be valid from 1 January 2021. You can apply at the following link: https://services.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/cra/start If the reason for coming to the UK is to work or study for more than 6 months, you will need a visa and you will have to pay the Health Service Charge to access the National Health Service (NHS).
What about roaming charges?
From 1 January it will be up to the different mobile operators to offer similar conditions to the current ones. Some UK operators have already announced that they will do so.
Can I take my pet with me when I travel?
You can bring your dog, cat or pet into the UK if the animal is microchipped, has a passport or an official certificate from a third country vet and has had a rabies vaccination and deworming treatment. If the requirements are not met, the pets could be rejected at the border or placed in quarantine.
Will I still be able to practise my profession in the UK and what about my professional qualifications?
The procedure for applying for equivalence of foreign qualifications in the UK is through UK NARIC, the UK's recognition agency for qualifications. Its website provides full details of the requirements and procedures for the recognition in the UK of qualifications obtained outside the UK. The services provided by UK NARIC include applying for and obtaining a Statement of Comparability, which can be used for employment (applying for a job) or educational purposes (enrolling in studies). From 1 January, UK NARIC will continue to operate as a recognition agency for diplomas and qualifications and will do so under the terms of the Lisbon Recognition Convention, to which the UK is and will remain a signatory.
Until the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020, the system for the recognition or equivalence in Spain of UK university degrees will remain the same as that which applies to all EU Member States. From 1 January 2021, the procedure for third countries that are not members of the EU or the conditions set out in a bilateral agreement will apply, but, in any case, applications for recognition or equivalence of university degrees may continue to be made. The procedure for third countries may require additional formalities, such as a Hague apostille. In any case, the UK will remain part of the European Higher Education Area. More information at https://www.educacionyfp.gob.es/reinounido/brexit/titulos-britanicos-en-espan-a.html
What do students have to do?
Citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland who are resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). The EUSS means that citizens from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland will be able to stay and continue to work, study and access benefits and services such as NHS healthcare generally in the same way as they do today. The application is free of charge. They have until 30 June 2021 to apply.
EU students starting a course in the UK from 1 January 2021 will need to check whether they need a UK visa. They can apply for a student visa if they are over 16 and plan to start a course with an accredited institution that has the capacity to act as a 'sponsor'. If they are 16 or 17 years old and want to study at an independent school in the UK, they should apply for a child student visa. For courses of up to 6 months' duration, a visa is not required to study in the UK as long as you are studying at an accredited institution. This includes English language courses. Applicants may apply for a short-term study visa if they are studying on an English language course for up to 11 months.
I have just obtained British nationality, is there anything I should do to avoid losing my Spanish nationality?
As established in Art. 24 of the Civil Code, a Spanish national of origin who, while residing abroad, voluntarily acquires a foreign nationality or uses a foreign nationality that he/she has held since before coming of age, may retain his/her Spanish nationality if he/she declares his/her wish to retain it within three years of said acquisition or of coming of age at the Consulate of his/her place of residence. Therefore, as soon as an adult acquires British nationality, he/she must communicate his/her wish to retain his/her Spanish nationality within 3 years of acquiring British nationality. The declaration of retention must be made either at the Spanish Consulate in London, at the Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh or at the Spanish Consulate in Manchester, depending on where he/she resides.
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