What happens to me in Spain if my country leaves the European Union?
The unlikely consequences of becoming a non-EU citizen being an EU resident in Spain
According to the Royal Decree 240/2007, of February 16, on the entry, free movement and residency in Spain of citizens of the Member States of the European Union and other States parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and its application by the Order PRE / 1490/2012, of July 9, in article 1, it says:
Article 1. Right of residency (in Spain) for more than three months.
Citizens of a Member State of the European Union or other States parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area and of Switzerland have the right to reside in Spain for a period exceeding three months if they meet the conditions provided for in Article 7 of the Royal Decree 240/2007, of February 16, on the entry, free movement and residence in Spain of citizens of the Member States of the European Union and other States parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area.
It means that all EU citizens can opt for the residency registration in Spain after 3 months if they meet the conditions provided by law, as we mentioned in the post Should I become a resident in Spain? long time ago. As we should know at this point, you would need to be a pensioner, a worker in Spain or having enough incomes/savings to be get this residency done.
But what concerns us today is the consequences consequences of becoming a non-EU citizen being an EU resident in Spain.
Can my country leave the European Union?
Yes it can. And the reason is the withdrawal from the European Union:
Withdrawal from the European Union is the legal and political process whereby an EU member state ceases to be a member of the Union. Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) states that “Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements”.
As of November 2019, no member state has withdrawn from the EU (or the EC); however, the Government of the United Kingdom triggered Article 50 to begin the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in March 2017 following a referendum, and the withdrawal was scheduled in law to occur on 29 March 2019. Subsequently, the UK sought and was granted extensions to delay the exit date to 31 January 2020.
It has already happened
Three territories of EU member states have withdrawn: French Algeria (in 1962, upon independence), Greenland (in 1985, following a referendum) and Saint Barthélemy (in 2012), the latter two becoming Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union.
THE CONSECUENCES FOR EXPATS LIVING IN SPAIN
The results for an EU expat whose country of citizenship leaves the European Union will depend on the expat situation in Spain:
Situation 1: leaving in Spain as a permanent resident
If in the moment of the official withdrawal, the EU expat is a permanent resident in Spain, rest assured.
According to EU laws, as an EU national(or a national of Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway), you automatically acquire the right of permanent residence in another EU country if you have lived there legally for a continuous period of 5 years. If you fulfil this requirement, you can apply for a permanent residence document, which confirms your right to live in the country where you now live permanently, without any conditions.
According to the Spanish laws, the citizens of a Member State of the European Union or of a State party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area, and family members who are not nationals of one of those States, who have legally resided in Spain for a continuous period of five years. So, the same as mentioned above from the EU laws, of course.
Therefore, after 5 years holding a “certificate of residency” in Spain, the EU expat is entitled to apply for the same certificate but a permanent one. Bellow you have a picture of a permanent certificate of residency in Spain:
- Check if you have this certificate
- If you do, does it include the word “permanente”?
- If it doesn’t, you will need to wait for 5 years from the first date (1)
- If it does include “permanente”, you will not need to demonstrate solvency anymore
- Do not laminate it!
Situation 2: leaving in Spain as a resident (still non-permanent)
If you hold a standard residency certificate (as bellow but without the word “permanente”), the situation is different. The consequences will depend on what Spanish authorities would decide once your country leaves the EU.
For instance, the Spanish Government delivered a statement confirming that Spain would provide a residence permit for all British citizens holding this certificate in case of Brexit.
Situation 3: leaving in Spain without a certificate of residency
Taking into account that nobody can be sure what the current consequences would be if an European country leaves the EU, we can only expose what the situation would be as a non-EU citizen living in or planning to live in Spain.
Accordingly, here you have a visa to Spain list provided by the Spanish authorities so far:
What types of VISA can I apply for?
|SCHENGEN VISA (short-term visa)|
|This VISA allows the foreign to have an uninterrupted stay or successive stays for a short period or periods, with a total duration not exceeding 3 months within six months from the date of first entry.|
|TRANSIT VISA||VISAs allow the transit through the international area of any Spanish airport or through the Spanish territory. It is not required to obtain the visa in cases of repatriation.|
|NON-LUCRATIVE VISA (non-profit residence)||This VISA allows you to reside without any work or professional activity. The applicant must demonstrate that has sufficient financial resources to live in Spain. Subsequently, the applicant may request for a nonprofit residence visa (1 year duration)|
|WORK VISA||This allows to enter and stay for a maximum period of 3 months to start a job or professional activity for which you have been previously authorized to enter. During this time, the applicant should be registered with the Social Security office Whether or not the person has been discharged after this period they must leave the country or they will be regarded as illegal.|
|Applicant is allowed to work as employee for 9 months within a period of 12 months.|
|STUDENT VISA||This allows foreigners to stay in Spain to attend courses, studies, research programs or training, students exchange, labor traineeship or voluntary services, non-salaried basis.|
|RESEARCH VISA||This allows the researcher to stay in Spain to carry out research projects under a hosting agreement signed with a research organization.|
And here you have a residence permits to Spain list provided by the Spanish authorities so far:
What types of RESIDENT PERMITS in Spain can I apply for?
|FAMILY REUNIFICATION WITH AN EU CITIZEN RESIDENCE PERMIT||This is one of the most common residence permits in Spain. It presents a high probability of being accepted by the respective foreigner's office. It is important the family member (regrouped) applies for a family reunification with an EU visa before coming to Spain.|
|TEMPORARY & WORK RESIDENCE PERMIT||Authorizations to reside and work in Spain, to work for others or a self-employed.|
|MOBILITY OF FOREIGNERS ADMITTED AS RESEARCHERS IN MEMBER STATES OF THE EU||Information about research, training or labor-related activities.|
|INITIAL AUTHORIZATION OF RESIDENCE & WORK OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS|
|RESIDENCE WITH THE EXCEPTION OF WORK AUTHORIZATION||Assumptions in which work authorization is not needed to work in Spain.|
|TEMPORARY RESIDENCE AND FIXED-TERM WORK||Reside and work in Spain for a period of less than one year (seasonal contracts, training practices, construction or service contracts, contracts for senior management personnel).|
|TEMPORARY RESIDENCE AND WORK WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF TRANSNATIONAL SERVICE PROVISIONS||Foreigners who work in a company established in a State that does not belong to the European Union or the European Economic Area and have to travel temporarily to Spain, have a minimum of one year in that activity and a minimum of nine months in that company.|
|AUTHORIZATION FOR SEASONAL OR CAMPAIGN WORK WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF TRANSNATIONAL SERVICE PROVISIONS|
|ENTRY, RESIDENCE AND WORK IN SPAIN OF DIRECT OR HIGHLY QUALIFIED PERSONNEL||Procedure to authorize entry, residence and work economic, social or labor interest, or research or development or teaching work that requires high qualification, or artistic performances of cultural interest, whose processing and resolution corresponds to the General Directorate of Immigration.|
|PROFESSIONAL SPORTSMEN||Rather stable or determined duration|
|TRANSBOUNDARY WORKERS||Workers who reside in border areas with Spain and move daily to work in Spain but continue to reside in their country of country of origin.|
|NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT SITUATION||Assumptions in which the National Employment Situation allows the hiring of foreign citizens that are not resident in Spain.|
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