British tourists will be able to continue visiting the Costa Blanca without a visa despite Brexit
Questions and answers about our coexistence with the United Kingdom as of today, January 1, 2021
From today, January 1, 2021, a new phase in relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union begins, after the end of the transition period, which began on January 31, 2020 after the United Kingdom left the Union. European, and with the agreements reached on December 24, which were signed on December 30.
“This has been a very tough year, but we ended it with good news that allows us to look to 2021 with hope. Hope because the agreements between the United Kingdom and the European Union give us a much-needed certainty and establish a beneficial framework for our future relationship, and hope that the covid vaccines will allow us to return to normality, ”says British Ambassador Hugh Elliott . “In this relationship with the European Union, Spain will be one of our main partners. Be it commercial, cultural, police and, above all, human, between our peoples, I am confident that our ties will continue to strengthen, "he added.
"We have many challenges to collaborate on together, from working for a global solidarity distribution of the coronavirus vaccine to climate change, in which we will focus our efforts to galvanize the international response during the summit we organized in November in Glasgow." As for the province of Alicante, English tourists will be able to return without problems starting next Tuesday, when the restrictions imposed on travel by the Government end without no renewal. British tourists will continue to fly visa-free for stays of less than 90 days. The British embassy has issued a statement with which it tries to resolve the doubts.
Questions and answers
1. SPANISH RESIDENTS
I am a Spanish resident in the UK, is there a change in my situation?
- None. As long as you live in the United Kingdom before December 31, 2020, you will have your rights to residence, work and access to healthcare guaranteed thanks to the Withdrawal Agreement signed between the United Kingdom and the European Union
I have to do something?
- You have to be registered as a resident in the Settlement System, for which you have until June 30, 2021. Those who have been continuously resident for five years receive the status of settled; those who have been less than five years old receive pre-settled status and can apply for settled status when they turn five
- Registration is free, very easy and fast. In this link you have all the information on how to order it, who can request it, what it guarantees, etc.
- In this other link you can check if you already have settled or pre-settled status and update your personal data, such as passport number or residence address
How many Spaniards live in the UK?
- According to the latest available figures, more than 246,000 Spaniards had registered as of September 30, of which 237,500 applications had been processed. Of these, 46 percent have received settled status and 52 percent, pre-settled.
2. NEW SPANISH WORKERS
What if I want to go to live or work in the UK from 1 January?
- The free movement of people between the United Kingdom and the European Union, including Spain, ends on December 31, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, the United Kingdom implements a migratory system by points (PBS, for its acronym in English) that will give equal treatment to citizens of EU countries and those of the rest of the world, giving priority to the skills and talents of people over their country of origin
- You can visit the UK for a maximum period of 6 months without a visa to go sightseeing, see family or friends, do short-term studies and business activities such as conferences.
- If you want to go to work, you will have to apply for a visa according to the PBS
What visa will I have to apply for?
- There are several types of visas, for example:
- The Qualified Worker visa: To be eligible, you must add 70 points that are obtained with different requirements such as having a job offer from an authorized company (20 points) for an adequate level of training (20 points), with a salary above 26,500 pounds (20 points) and have a B1 level of English (10 points). If the salary of the offer is between 20,480 and 26,500 pounds, you can obtain points by redeeming them if you have other requirements
- The Health and Assistance visa: If you receive a job offer from the National Health Service (NHS), an NHS provider or the social assistance sector and you meet the requirements, you can apply for this visa, which has a fast track, reduced fees and targeted support during the application process
- Global Talent: Open to 18+ who can demonstrate exceptional talent in fields such as science, engineering, medicine, humanities or digital technology
3. SPANISH STUDENTS
What if I want to study at a university in the UK?
- Those students who have arrived before December 31, 2020 will have to register in the Settlement System
- In addition, if you start your university studies before July 31, 2021, you will have access to financing under the same conditions as before and for the entire duration of your studies.
- Fees change for higher education studies beginning on or after August 1, 2021. Students will have to pay the fees determined by each university, since they will no longer be eligible to pay the same fees as British students
- You can check if you have access to scholarships if you are going to study in Scotland , Wales or Northern Ireland
Will i need a visa?
- As of January 1, 2021, if your course is less than six months as a general rule, you will not need a visa. If it lasts more than six months, you will have to apply for the Student visa , which will allow you to stay during all your studies. You will also have to pay the Migratory Health Surcharge
- For more information, here is the Government's guide for EU students, this is the British Council in English and this is the British Council in Spanish
What will happen to the Erasmus program?
- Students who are participating in this program will be able to finish it
- Starting in 2021, the UK stops participating in Erasmus +. The British Government has announced that it will create its own program, called Turing in honor of the mathematician Alan Turing, which with a budget allocation of 100 million pounds will finance some 35,000 students to study abroad from September 2021.
Will I be able to stay to work after finishing university studies?
- If you pass a bachelor's degree at the university level or higher, you can apply for the Bachelor's visa, which allows you to stay in the UK and work or look for a job, for two years. This term is extended up to three if you are studying a doctorate
- This visa will open in the summer of 2021. You have more information on this page of the Ministry of the Interior
And for children and young people?
- For those children and young people between 4 and 17 years old who want to study in an independent British school there is this other visa
4. SPANISH TOURISTS
Will I be able to visit the UK with my ID?
- The DNI can be used to travel between Spain and the United Kingdom until September 30, 2021. From October 1, 2021 it will be necessary to travel with a passport
- Spaniards registered as residents in the Settlement System may continue to use their ID to enter the United Kingdom at least until 2025
- Here you have all the information about traveling to the United Kingdom on the official government website. This is VisitBritain in Spanish
Will I be able to continue using the European health card?
- Valid European health cards may continue to be used until they expire
- For more information on healthcare when visiting the UK you can visit this page , which will be updated in the coming days
- The recommendation of the British Government is always to take out travel insurance
And will roaming still work?
- As of January 1, 2021, EU law no longer applies to UK companies, so UK mobile phone companies are free to charge roaming charges for citizens of EU countries
- Following the UK's departure from the EU, Spanish operators will not be required to provide free roaming in the UK. Therefore, customers should consult the policies of their companies.
Can I use the Spanish driving license in the UK?
- Spaniards residing in the United Kingdom who have a Spanish permit will be able to exchange it without having to re-examine themselves.
- Spanish tourists will be able to continue using their card without the need for additional documentation
- More information here
5. BRITISH RESIDENTS
What will be the situation of the British?
- Britons legally resident in Spain before December 31 of this year will have their rights to residence, work and access to Social Security protected by the Withdrawal Agreement signed between the United Kingdom and the EU while they are resident in Spain.
- Those who have not yet done so must register as residents with Immigration and at the corresponding police station.
And for those who want to come and live from January 1?
- As of January 1, freedom of movement ends and the British will become citizens of a third country
- Those who want to live in Spain as of January 1, 2021, should contact the Spanish Consulate in the United Kingdom to request the corresponding visa. It can be consulted on this website
6. BRITISH TOURISTS
Will they need a visa?
- British citizens may come without a visa to Spain, as to any country in the Schengen zone, for a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days
- During this period they can go sightseeing, visit family or friends, come to business meetings, cultural or sports events, training or short-term studies.
- As of January 1, 2021, British citizens will have to have a validity of at least six months in their passports before coming to Spain
Are they not going to be excluded from traveling to the EU due to the Covid-19 situation in the UK?
- At the moment, the travel limitation decreed by the Spanish Government is in force, which began on December 22 and lasts until January 5. According to this regulation, only Spanish citizens or those with legal residence in Spain can come to Spain from the United Kingdom.
Will they be able to continue using roaming in Spain?
- As of January 1, 2021, the UK mobile phone free roaming guarantee across the EU ends
- Mobile operators Three, EE, O2 and Vodafone have stated that they have no current plans to change their mobile roaming policies.
- The British Government has legislated to protect consumers from unexpected charges. Thus, consumers will have to actively choose to continue spending when they reach a limit of 45 pounds per monthly billing period.
- The British Government has also legislated to ensure that consumers receive alerts when data consumption reaches 80% and 100%
Will they be able to continue using the British driving license in Spain?
- All UK driving license holders (visitors and residents) will be able to use it to drive in Spain until June 30, 2021
- Brits who are already residents can start the exchange process under current rules until December 30. Those who cannot start the process before December 30 can subscribe to the Living in Spain embassy guide , which is constantly updated with relevant information. This is the Driving in Spain link
And will they have access to Social Security?
- Valid European Health Cards may continue to be used until they expire
- The UK has created a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) to replace the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
- The recommendation of the British Government is always to take out travel insurance
Where can I get more information about the British in Spain?
- The British Government has a guide with information of all kinds for British citizens who live or want to go to live in Spain and these are the travel recommendations to visit Spain as tourists.
7. SPANISH COMPANIES
What is the situation for companies?
- As of January 1, 2021, and with the end of the transition period, the United Kingdom leaves the customs union and the EU single market, so the rules for trading with the United Kingdom change
- Businesses should check the new customs procedures for importing from the UK and exporting to the UK: there are new rules for carriers, controls or movement of goods across borders, for example.
- Similarly, companies should be aware of the new rules on taxes and duties, the provision of services in the United Kingdom, requirements to work in the United Kingdom - driving, visas and recognition of professional certificates.
- We recommend that everyone visit this website
- These questions from Spanish companies and the answers at the information sessions organized by the British embassy in Madrid may also be useful.
What do you have to do to import from the UK?
- In buying and selling goods, the company needs to agree responsibilities with its UK business partner (s) and have the correct documentation for the type of goods it is trading with its UK counterparts. In addition, you must complete the necessary border requirements.
- Carriers and managers of trucking companies will have to follow new rules:
Use the “check an HGV” service for self-certification of heavy-duty vehicles
Follow the new port traffic management procedures to avoid delays
Bring the documentation corresponding to the merchandise and carry out the new procedures online to cross the border
- Companies in Europe will be required to make customs declarations for the movement of goods between the UK and the EU. If companies have not completed the correct customs processes, their goods will not be able to cross the EU border
- Likewise, the company should check with the customs authority of its country what customs procedures should be applied to bring goods from the United Kingdom to the EU, including if there will be import duties
- Learn more about importing from the UK here
And to export to the UK?
- Border requirements for export are the same as for import
- Among the main sectors, to export food and beverages, the company must:
Get an EORI number
Make sure your products meet food labeling requirements
Obtain the correct documentation to send your merchandise if you export animals or animal products
Ship your merchandise through a designated Border Control Post (PCF)
Comply with the new phytosanitary requirements if you export plant products.
- In the case of agri-food products:
Verify the requirements to export food, drink or agricultural products to the UK from the EU
Check what documents, licenses and certificates are required for the goods you are exporting from the EU to the UK and how to request them
Notify the UK authorities in advance of the products you are exporting from the EU to the UK.
- More information on how to export to the UK here
What will the new tariff system and VAT payment be like?
- The UK Global Tariff System will apply to all goods imported into the UK, unless an exception applies, such as a trade agreement with the UK
- The company must pay VAT on the import of packages that are sent to British buyers if: the company's headquarters are outside the UK, and it sells goods to British buyers in packages whose value is less than or equal to 135 pounds
- If goods are sold in parcels worth more than £ 135, import VAT and customs duty (as well as excise duty where applicable) will be borne by the UK buyer and collected by the parcel operator
- More information here
Will there be changes in terms of data protection and copyright?
- The company may need to make some changes in order to continue to share personal data with UK companies and other organizations.
- Changes in EU cross-border mechanisms related to copyright could affect the company as well, you have to confirm that you are in possession of the appropriate permits
- If goods protected by Intellectual Property are exported, the new regulations on parallel exports must be checked. You may need to get permission from the rights owner. The company should consult the new regulations on registered address requirements in relation to intellectual property rights in the UK
- More information here
8. FREE TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE EU
- On this page of the Government you can find all the documents on the Free Trade Agreement and the other agreements reached. This summary may be especially helpful to you
What does the trade agreement reached with the EU say in goods and services?
- The agreement states that there will be no tariffs or quotas on merchandise trade between the UK and the EU. It is the first time that the EU has agreed to full access free of tariffs and quotas in a free trade agreement
- In addition, it achieves continuous market access in a wide range of key service sectors, including professional and business services, as established by the EU agreement with Japan.
How is the fishing?
- As of January 1, the UK has sovereign control over its waters
- An adjustment period of 5½ years is established to allow fleets on both sides to have time to adapt to the new agreements. During this period, there will be continuous reciprocal access to each other's waters and a substantial transfer of quota from the EU to the UK, rising from 15% in the first year to 25% after 3 years
- At the end of the adjustment period, the UK will regain full control of its coastal waters and will have the exclusive right to determine access. From this moment on, access will be subject to annual negotiations, as is customary in independent coastal states.
And security cooperation?
- Citizen safety comes first, so there is a comprehensive package in the agreement that includes operational capabilities to protect people and bring criminals to justice.
- More information in point 6 part 3 Law Enforcement and Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters here
Will the UK continue to participate in European programs?
- The agreement provides for UK participation in some EU programs, supporting the continued partnership between UK and EU scientific and research experts through Horizon Europe, the Euratom research and training program and the Copernicus space program.
If you are a UK national without Spanish residency, but wish to stay more than 90 days, then you can apply for a visa, and this is the link you need (in Spanish and English) http://www.exteriores.gob.es/Consulados/LONDRES/en/Consulado/Documents/RES%20ES-EN.pdf