What do I need to do before the end of the Transition Period?
Further uncertainty around Britain’s exit from the EU may arise as a result of coronavirus. However, British residents in Spain shouldn’t get complacent. Below we have written a brief guide about what Brits in Spain should arrange as soon as possible to make their lives easier. We focus on three main things: residency, health cards and driving licenses. Though this may change, we have used 31 December 2020 as the end of the transition period.
What is the transition period?
Set to last until the 31 December 2020, the transition period refers to the 11-month period where the UK is still subject to EU rules. Though the UK is no longer a member of the EU, they are still tied to the EU in some ways. For example, they have not left the EU custom’s union and single market yet.
For this time, the UK no longer contributes to any EU political organisations but remains tied to the EU economically. Thus, freedom of movement and rules regarding driving, for example, remain the same as before the 31 January 2020.
How does the transition period affect Spanish residency?
Everyone wishing to stay in Spain for more than 3 months must register as a resident. If you become a resident before 31 December 2020, then you will be able to remain a resident. This is the case whether you attained residency before 6th July 2020 and have a green paper residency card, or after 6th July 2020 and have a TIE card. The key advice is to get residency as soon as possible if you would like to continue living in Spain.
What do I need to continue receiving medical care?
Similar to residency, SIP health cards will remain valid if issued before 31 December 2020. SIP health cards are personal, non-transferable cards that allow access to the Spanish healthcare system. Some foreign residents in Spain qualify for this card for free, and others for a small monthly fee.
What about my UK driving license?
During the transition period, UK driving licenses are still valid for non-residents in Spain. However, if you are resident in Spain, you should exchange your UK license for a Spanish one. If you do this before 31 December 2020, you will not need to take a driving test to exchange your license.