Four things Britons need to know about settling in the EU post-Brexit

Brexit: British expat discusses difficulty of living in Spain

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Europe remains an attractive prospect for people hoping to settle abroad, with some of the most stunning countries in the world. Nations such as Germany, Italy, Greece, France and Spain reside within the bloc’s borders but may now seem out of reach. Settling in the country is still possible, so long as people jump through several new hoops.

What do you need before settling in an EU nation?

With Brexit having taken its final form, the UK has left EU regulations, meaning people wanting to move to the bloc cannot exercise freedoms they had before 2020.

Christopher Nye, the senior content editor at Property Guides, identified four areas where rules have changed the most for those looking to relocate.

They are visa rules, property tax, healthcare and pets.

90-day rule and visas

Mr Nye said most people hoping to move into the EU would likely face the most confusion with the “infamous” 90-day rule.

He explained the rule changes on people’s situations, with tourists only allowed to stay in the bloc, regardless of country, for 90 days within a year.

Those looking to remain any longer will need a visa, regardless of whether they intend to move there or not.

Mr Nye said: “Many EU nations offer visas that allow you to live but not work, such as the non-lucrative visa in Spain and the D7 visa in Portugal.

“You’ll need to prove you can support yourself financially, and the thresholds vary between countries.”

Increased property taxes

Those who secure their visa will need to find a place to live in their chosen member state.

According to Mr Nye, “little has changed” with house hunting in the EU.

People can buy property and mortgage homes in member states without citizenship.

But Britons may notice an increase in prices when house hunting.

He added: “British citizens now must pay higher rates than EU/EEA state citizens for some taxes, such as the non-resident income tax in Spain, which is 24 percent for non-EU citizens and 19 percent for EU/EEA state citizens.


Britons once had access to EU healthcare automatically, which is no longer the case post-Brexit.

Now, according to Mr Nye, they will need private healthcare, which is “a prerequisite when applying for residency in many EU countries”.

He added access to national healthcare systems depends on the country.

Mr Nye said: “In Portugal, you can access state healthcare on the same basis as a Portuguese citizen once a resident, even if you are not working.

“In Spain, however, you must pay into the social security system, either through employment, private insurance or voluntary contributions, before you can use the state system.”

Pensioners on a UK scheme can secure theirs after filling out an S1 form, which, if accepted, will compel the Government to pay their EU healthcare for them.


One of the remaining angles Britons will want to consider when moving across the channel is whether or not they can take their entire family with them.

Without free movement, pet owners need an animal health certificate.

The “pet passports” that once governed animal passage through the Schengen Zone no longer apply.

Mr Nye said health certificates are available from most vets and should be obtained no more than 10 days before travel.

He added people should check an “official veterinarian” (OV) has signed off the document.

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