In the same way that Brexit has brought restrictions on EU citizens coming to the UK, we face a few hurdles to move there permanently.
If you moved to the EU before January 2021, you need to have registered as a resident by 30th June 2021. UK citizens wanting to newly reside in an EU country have no unique rights, we are treated as coming from a third country.
This outcome of Brexit may sound unsatisfactory and is less than ideal but emigrating is still feasible. We have been moving to the US, Australia, Canada, Japan and other places for a long time, the position in Europe is similar.
An automatic right to live, or work in the EU has gone, professional qualifications will need to be validated, as will financial status. Long stay, or residency visas are however obtainable, with variations from country to country.
Requirements & Procedures
There is no EU wide position on accepting people from other nations, to live, work, or study, each country makes there own rules. Policies do still tend to be broadly in line with the more popular destinations:
The first step is to apply for a temporary residence visa (Tarjeta de Residencia), so you can stay for longer than 90 days. This can theoretically be done within 30 days of arriving in Spain but better to contact the Spanish Consulate in London before travelling.
The length of a visa can vary according to your circumstances and may need renewal for a while. After five years, you can apply for permanent residence.
You will again need to apply for a long stay visa, with the French Consulate being the best place. This visa will normally give you a year to apply for a residence permit locally, once you have moved to France.
Applications are handled by the nearest Prefecture (local government office) who offer different types of permit (Carte de Sejour) according to circumstance.
The Italian government offer a range of long stay visas, for work, education, retirement, family, or other reasons. These are known as National Visas and applications can be made to the Italian consulate in London
The next stage is applying for permanent residence, which should be done as soon as you arrive, the consulate will give details of the nearest immigration centre.
Stage one is a visa to obtain a residence permit (visto para obtenção de autorização de residência). The consulate in London is a good place to start, able to issue visas for work, study, or retirement stays.
Once there, you need to apply for a residence permit (autorização de residência). They can be renewed for 5 years, when you are able to make them permanent.
You will see a pattern across nations, which applies to other EU countries, along with common additions. These can be arranging employment in advance, fitting in with quotas, having a place to live organised in advance.
Another option for an extended stay across Europe is an EU Blue Card. Useful for well qualified workers but not a path as such to permanent residency.
A Worthwhile Change
Apart from Ireland, which UK citizens can move to freely, there is now an extra effort involved in moving to Europe. This should not however be seen as insurmountable and is worthwhile to make the home you want reality.
An EU wide first stage visa system (ETIAS) is due to go online soon, which will help, neither are you likely to meet notable resistance. If you feel you would be a good resident of a country, they may well feel the same.
The UK government provides country by country details on what to expect, including taxation requirements, benefits, working and moving with pets. There is also a fair likelihood that regulations will ease over time.
Moving to Europe may be a bit more awkward after Brexit but is still a path to new horizons and a great life. If we can help with an international removal, by all means get in touch with our team.
Please note – We updated the entry on moving to the EU after withdrawal was complete. Rather than risk confusion, moving to the EU after withdrawal is on a separate page, a degree of overlap but worth a look.