Blog Post 24/01/2020
For many years, someone from the UK perusing the various property Sotogrande had to offer might have only needed to give much thought to the credentials of Sotogrande itself as a place to live, instead of paying close attention to broader political factors as well.
Alas, with the 2016 European Union (EU) referendum having seen the British electorate give the go-ahead to leaving the EU, and Parliament having finally passed the legislation implementing Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s withdrawal deal, Brexit will now definitely happen on 31st January.
This raises an obvious question for many Britons who have dreamed of acquiring property in Sotogrande and relocating to Spain – is the dream still possible, and if so, how possible?
The answers are – yes, and it might be easier than you think
First things first – it is important to acknowledge that while UK citizens will soon no longer be EU citizens, there is a long tradition of non-EU citizens buying property in Spain, with few or no issues.
The Swiss, Norwegians, Americans and nationals of other countries continue to buy some of the best property Sotogrande and other areas of Spain have to offer, in significant numbers.
Plus, with there now being almost 400,000 Britons officially registered in Spain, they form a strong community that makes a significant contribution to the Spanish economy. Furthermore, it is especially unlikely that Spanish authorities would signal out Brits for unfriendly treatment post-Brexit, given the risk of reciprocal unfriendliness towards Spaniards living in the UK.
So, what is the official situation as it stands?
Both the UK and Spanish governments have set up websites advising British citizens living in Spain on the next steps. In a nutshell, the implementation period forming part of Mr Johnson’s Brexit deal will last until 31st December 2020, and if you are resident in Spain before this period ends, you will be able to stay. However, you will need to apply for a foreigner identity card by this date, in order to prove your legal residency status.
With subsequent negotiations yet to take place on the UK and EU’s longer-term relationship once the implementation period ends, there is still scope for change to future residency registration processes between the UK and Spain.
Nonetheless, if you have long dreamed of owning and living in property in Sotogrande, there is no reason to think you will not be able to realise that dream after Brexit, similar to how so many other Britons relocated to Spain before Brexit. For further guidance, don’t hesitate to contact the BM Sotogrande team, who will be able to advise you in relation to your own situation.