Travel experts have noted a decline in the number of Britons in Spain since Brexit. This is due to stricter immigration regulations as well as higher healthcare costs
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British expats are expected to leave Spain “in droves”, and numerous retirees are leaving the popular Costa del Sol as a result of Brexit.
Travel experts have noted a decline in the number of Britons in the country due to stricter immigration regulations introduced after the UK left the European Union.
Robert Barnhardt, a real estate professional who runs a real estate agency in the coastal town of Fuengirola, said many retirees are now starting to sell their properties.
Due to Brexit, British citizens can only visit Spain for tourist and business purposes for up to three months without a visa.
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However, as of 2022, UK nationals will need to enter Spain in accordance with the procedures set out in the Spanish government website.
The new rules mean that Brits can still visit the country without a visa but must present a valid ETIAS visa waiver prior to their arrival.
Mr Barnhardt said that to express that many retirees used to spend up to six months in Spain enjoying the warm pre-Brexit weather, but the new rules mean that this is no longer possible.
He said: “Many British retirees are starting to sell. They came here in September or October and then stayed through April / May for the six months of better weather.
“But now they can only come for 90 days and a lot of them used to go down too. The Spaniards are now getting pretty tough on foreign cars and mostly British cars.”
Corresponding RAC advice For driving in Spain, vehicles registered in Great Britain must show the letters “UK” from September 28th if they are being driven in Spain.
The sticker must be visible regardless of your registration number.
Barnhardt said post-Brexit healthcare costs will also affect people’s decision to leave Spain, as he said, “A lot of older people choose to go there. Sometimes because of health care or their health insurance. “
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There were over 360,000 British residents living in Spain in 2020. The local reported.
Alicante, Malaga and the Balearic Islands have the largest number of British residents in the country.
Earlier this year, The Mirror spoke to two Britons and one married EU citizen who say Brexit left their pension plans in tatters.
The angry 72-year-old pensioner, who wanted to remain anonymous, said despite having lived in Spain with his Russian partner and children for two decades, he is at risk of separation under the country’s new rules.
He told The Mirror, “We’ve been really ripped off. I’ve worked here for years and so has my partner who is still working.
“She enjoys all of the UK’s legal freedoms and we have a home in Spain, where she also enjoys all of the freedoms as she has an EU passport.
“We spend four to six months a year in our house in Spain, but now I’ve been discriminated against and have to go after 90 days and leave her there for as long as she wants.”
A hard-working British woman who owns a villa in Alicante that she and her husband had hoped to spend half of each year on the property during their imminent retirement.
But Marilyn Smyth of Epping Forest says her dreams were all but ruined by Brexit.