A lot of people are concerned about the impact that Brexit will have on travel within the EU and to the UK. Until the end of 2020, travel plans remain unaffected, but as 2021 begins, what might the situation look like for British residents living in Spain?

Charmaine Arbouin, British consul to Andalucía, has confirmed that the Withdrawal Agreement contains some very important protection covering the rights of UK nationals resident in Spain, and these will continue provided you are legally resident here by the end of 2020. Her message to all British nationals is to please ensure that you have a green residency certificate, which will remain a valid document after 31st January 2021. As she says, the Spanish government has created a comprehensive English language website at www.lamoncloa.gob.es/lang/en/brexit/.

It is a very useful resource and covers all topics, including the rules on exchanging a UK driver’s licence for a Spanish one. The driving licence changeover is something which needs to be actioned as soon as possible, and you can visit the sede.dgt.gob.es website for further information. If you don’t speak Spanish, or have digital identification, it is advised that you pay a gestor to organise this for you.

Please note that you will not need an International Driving Permit after 31st January 2021, a GB sticker on your car or a Green Card for car insurance.

Travel and passports
After the transition period finished on 31st January 2021, British passport holders will need to have a passport that is valid for at least six months. EU states will allow British passport holders, travelling as tourist, a visa-free 90-day stay within any 180-day period.

However, in 2021 the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) comes into force. This is a new system that affects British nationals and those of 60 other countries wishing to enter the Schengen area. It is a visa-waiver scheme, much like the one between the UK and the USA.

What will happen regarding travel insurance is less clear at present, but for the moment, the Tarjeta Sanitaria/EHIC card will provide access to medical care when visiting EU countries. Contact us and we can put you in touch with the relevant authorities and experts.

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1203, 2020

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