More Brits registering as Spanish residents

The number of Brits officially registering themselves as Spanish residents has increased significantly this year.

New figures show that the number of British nationals who are now officially registered in Spain has risen by a record 10 per cent since December 2018. The majority live in the Andalusia and the Valencia regions. There are now 365,967 Britons officially registered in Spain.

The figures from the Interior Ministry reveal that the numbers registering themselves are rising at an accelerating rate (directly after the 2016 Brexit referendum, the number of Brits who registered rose by just 4.6 per cent). It is likely that the numbers will increase at an even faster rate immediately before and after the Brexit deadline.

“We are advising British nationals who have been in Spain longer than three months and want to remain here to legalise their [residency] status,” says Sarah-Jane Morris, one of the three British consuls in Spain. “And the data suggests they are taking this seriously.”

Previously, many Brits who resided in Spain on a permanent basis chose not to make their residence official as they were already guaranteed rights thanks to the UK’s membership of the EU. However, with this set to change imminently, more Brits are looking to safeguard their future.

A bilateral agreement signed between the British and Spanish Governments will protect expats from both countries even in the event the UK leaves the Union without a deal. Spain has even drawn up a contingency plan to issue permits to residents who are left in limbo. To take advantage of the agreement, Brits in Spain must first register officially.

The data of the Brits registered in Spain show that the British community is concentrated along the coast, predominantly in Alicante and Málaga, and more than a third of residents are over 65.

Article published 19th September 2019