Spain expat: ‘Brits are still going to move here long after Brexit’ – tips for relocating

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When the UK left the European Union (EU) at the beginning of 2021, a swathe of new immigration rules came into force for those looking to relocate to Spain. As a result, experts from expatnetwork warned the new requirements were already “causing problems for many Britons.”

New requirements including proving a heightened household income, which the experts point out could be difficult for those who are retiring on basic UK state pension.

However, one Spanish expat who has lived in Almería for approximately 18 years, is optimistic about the future for those hoping to move to the sunshine hotspot.

David Wright is a British expat who hosts his own podcast, Living in Spain with David Wright.

He said: “The truth is the next year there is going to be loads of new paperwork and there is going to be requirements, rules and regulations and probably a [lot] more paperwork that’s for sure here in Spain.

“If you’ve lived any amount of years in Spain you know they love their bureaucracy and paperwork here in Spain.”

Despite this, he believes it is still possible for Britons to meet the requirements necessary and even handle much of the process independently if they follow some useful tips.

“British people are still going to be moving here to Spain long after Brexit.,” he said.

“British people are still going to be allowed to live and work in Spain that’s for sure.”

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Mr Wright explained that one crucial way to make sure expats understand what the legal process is to try and get to grips with the Spanish language as soon as possible.

“18 years ago when I was first planning to move to Spain there were loads of rules and papers I needed and I had absolutely no idea of when or how to start this,” he said.

“Back then I didn’t speak Spanish so it cost me several hundred euros to pay somebody to do it all for me and even then it was still very stressful and confusing.

“Everyone who has moved here to Spain has been through this and some find it easier than others.

“It’s just something you have to go through.”

Not only will learning Spanish make the process easier to understand, it can also save expats vital money in the lead up to their big move.

“Learning Spanish really will help you more than you know,” he continued.

“I will say I spent several hundreds, if not thousands, when moving to Spain because I couldn’t speak Spanish properly.

“And I had to pay other people to help me with many things like my residency, buying a car here, bank accounts, doctors, dentists, setting up utility bills, reading letters that I had from banks and businesses and stuff like that.

“If you don’t speak Spanish or understand these things you’re going to have to pay somebody to help you out and do this.

“Use this time now before you even move to Spain if you can to learn some basic words and phrases.”

Another way to get to grips with all of the required paperwork is to “make lists”.

Mr Wright explained: “Writing lists helps you focus on the things you need to do, and in the right order as well.

“So, even if you’re not sure just start writing down these lists and when you think you know what to do you will come up with something else and then you can refine that list as you go along.”

He recommends making lists of regions and neighbourhoods to move to and any questions you may have, along with a detailed list of the paperwork and steps required by immigration.

“The more of these lists you make the more these questions that you write down and the more you research it, then you can refine these lists and make it more accustomed to your personal needs,” he concluded.

Living in Spain with David Wright is available on Spotify.

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