US

Mar 07 2019

No-Deal Brexit Plans for UK Nationals Published

Spain

The situation

The Spanish government has published draft legislation detailing plans for the treatment of UK nationals and their non-EU family members residing in Spain, to take effect after March 29, 2019 in case of a no-deal Brexit scenario.

A closer look

The published plans include the following details:

  • Grace period. There would be a 21-month grace period commencing on March 29, 2019 during which time UK nationals and their non-EU family members residing in Spain would be required to apply for a national residence permit allowing them to continue working and residing in Spain after December 31, 2020.
  • Continued work and stay. UK nationals currently residing in Spain would be able to continue working and staying in Spain during this period. UK nationals are advised to obtain an EU registration certificate to prove their local status, but other documents proving residence before March 29 could be acceptable as well, subject to case-by-case review by the government. 
  • Non-EU family members. Non-EU family members of UK nationals holding an EU family dependent residence permit would similarly be able to continue staying in Spain until December 31, 2020 and would be required to apply for an appropriate alternative permit during this grace period.
  • Residents for over five years. UK nationals and their non-EU family members residing in Spain for five years or longer as of March 29, 2019 would be able to apply for a standard long-term residence permit under similar eligibility criteria as EU applicants.
  • Residence for under five years. UK nationals and their non-EU family members residing in Spain for a period shorter than five years as of March 29, 2019 would be able to apply for an appropriate local permit. It is not yet confirmed whether eligibility criteria would be facilitated when compared to non-EU applicants. 

 

Impact

UK nationals and their non-EU family members who will continue to work and reside in Spain past March 29, 2019 should ensure that they take the necessary steps to obtain any documents required to register or apply for immigration status. UK nationals and their non-EU family members should also contact their local immigration offices to see if they are able to register or apply for their proper immigration status prior to Brexit Day.

Background

The Spanish government announced in January that it would safeguard the rights of UK national residents in case of a no-deal Brexit.

The draft law is a part of the government’s contingency planning in case no Brexit deal is concluded between the European Union and the United Kingdom before March 29, 2019.

Many other EU countries have published contingency plans for UK nationals in case of a no-deal Brexit, with more expected soon.

Looking ahead

Although the draft law is already in effect, the Spanish parliament may render it ineffective in the upcoming 30 days. Further details on the relevant residence permit process will be specified through ministerial decrees in due time.

Note that the above arrangements depend on reciprocal treatment by the United Kingdom. Timing for the grace period depends on ongoing developments concerning potential postponement of Brexit day. Fragomen will provide updates on the situation as they become available.

Please contact a Fragomen immigration professional for assistance in planning contingency arrangements in a single project.

For more information, please visit Fragomen's dedicated Brexit site, which contains news, FAQs, and analysis/commentary in the form of blogs, videos, webcasts and events.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.