You will also find some of our Top Tips for different areas of law to give you some key advice when requiring legal services in Spain. If you cannot find what you are looking for or would like to discuss a matter further, please contact us.
In March, My Lawyer in Spain will be participating in the Move To Spain Virtual Roadshow which is a webinar series hosted by Expat Network designed to help people planning to move to Spain to live, work or retire.
There are three sessions on 23rd March to help you to identify what you can do now to prepare for your move once restrictions are eased. The sessions will explain:
- The new visa and residency requirements in Spain now that the UK is no longer in the EU
- Financial planning issues which you should consider before you make the move to avoid unnecessarily incurring taxes in Spain.
- What you can do now to ensure you hit the ground running when you are able to visit Spain to find your new home in Spain.
Register to attend
For the Diary
In May, we are also joining their series of webinars designed to ensure you are well-informed as you prepare to make the move to live, work or retire in Spain. Topics will:
- Give you an overview of the lifestyle in Spain, which regions are likely to be best for you depending on what you are looking for from your new life in Spain
- Set out the attractions of the different areas of Spain to buy your dream home and how the mortgage and buying process in Spain differs from what you are used to in the UK
- Explain how to find a suitable property to rent and how rent terms and agreements work in Spain.
- Guide you through the practicalities of moving to Spain including how to access healthcare, driving licences, taking a car to Spain, opening a bank account etc
- Give you an overview of the Spanish tax system and the very different inheritance rules in Spain and the implications for estate planning.
Register for the webinars that you want to attend.
You can contact us for any information prior to either event about your move as well as use our free first 30 minute consultation.
In our latest Q&A session we cover tax in Spain for non-residents. If we didn’t answer your specific question please contact us at My Lawyer in Spain
Updates aimed at helping UK Nationals to ensure they are ready for the end of the Transition Period from the British Embassy
1. Residency information:
We know that there are still many rumours around that green residency certificates must be exchanged for the TIE by 31 December. Please be assured that this is not the case. While the Spanish Government has highlighted that there may be some advantages to having the TIE – it is more durable, contains biometric data and may speed up administrative processes and border crossing – they make it clear that the green certificate remains valid evidence of your residency status and rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, even after the end of the Transition Period. See their Q&A document for more detail.
– You may be aware that some UK Nationals have been issued with TIEs with incorrect wording. We continue to work with the Spanish authorities on this issue. The Spanish have emphasised that these cards remain valid documents, however, we appreciate the desire of UK nationals to obtain a card with the correct wording and are awaiting further information from the Spanish authorities on the process for doing this.
– We know that it is still difficult to get residency appointments in many areas. Please encourage anyone who is struggling to obtain an appointment to make sure they have all the documentation necessary for their application and to prove that they are legally living in Spain by the end of this year.
– If people are particularly struggling with the residency process as first-time applications, please do signpost them to the organisations that have received funding from the UK Nationals Support Fund to assist them. The level of support may vary depending on where in Spain you are, but their helplines are open to people from across the country. You can find their details here.
2. Driving licences
As you know one of the key actions for UK Nationals living in Spain is to exchange their UK driving licence for a Spanish one. However, recently it has been extremely difficult to get an appointment. We have a key update from the DGT:
– The DGT is aware that UK and other licence holders are facing problems in obtaining an appointment. They will soon introduce a new process to streamline the current exchange process until the end of the year. UK licence holders will be asked to complete a form with the details the DGT needs in order to verify the driving licence with the UK authorities. This form must be submitted to the DGT by 25 December at the very latest. Once a person has presented their form, they will need to obtain an appointment with DGT to finalise the exchange process. However, as long as the form was submitted by the date above, and the licence verified by the DGT before the end of the year, the appointment to complete the process can be after 1 January 2021. We will share information on the new process as soon as we have it.
– So, whilst further details are needed about the system and when it will come into effect, this should be welcome news to people who may be struggling to get through the exchange process. In addition, the UK continues to negotiate the rules on the recognition and exchange of UK driving licences from 1 January 2021 onwards with member states, so do encourage people to sign up to email alerts on gov.uk/livinginspain, so that they are kept informed of the latest information.
3. UK bank accounts
We are aware that some UK nationals who hold UK-based bank accounts, but are resident in the EU, have received letters from their UK bank, informing them that these accounts are to be closed.
– Most people living in Europe shouldn’t see any change to their banking at the end of the transition period (31 December 2020). Whether UK banks can service EEA-based customers is a matter of local law and regulation. Also banks are set up differently and may have taken different actions to continue to serve their customers. Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.
– Meanwhile, please be assured that your UK state pension can be paid into your Spanish bank account. This link from gov.uk may be useful.
From 1 January, passport validity rules are changing for travel to European countries. You’ll need to have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).If you renewed your passport early last time, any extra months added to the normal 10-year validity will not count towards meeting this requirement, so we encourage everyone to doublecheck their passport validity online now at: gov.uk/checkpassport
We held a Facebook Live Q&A session with colleagues from DHSC on Tuesday. You may want to point people who have health-related questions to the video, which is now available to watch.
– The team has also created a Access healthcare PDF which explains the different ways people can access healthcare in Spain. Please do share this with anyone who may need clarification on the system here, as well as signposting our healthcare page on gov.uk.
We have a number of Q&A sessions coming up on our Facebook page. The current schedule is:
27 Oct: Travel and swallows
Please do signpost people who have questions to these sessions, but be aware that the schedule is subject to change, so do keep an eye on the page for the latest dates.
The stock market has been going up and down over recent weeks. How can we invest safely during turbulent times?
My Lawyer in Spain team are holding weekly question and answer sessions to talk about all things related to You and the Law in Spain. This week we talk about the Economic measures brought in for Businesses and self-employed workers