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If you are thinking of Moving to Barcelona after Brexit then this page will guide you through a multitude of tasks and general information that will make Moving to Barcelona after Brexit a breeze.
First of all you need to see what has changed since brexit. Well for a start there is the Withdrawal Agreement which sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and Spain, and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights.
It sets out a transition period which currently lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in Barcelona as you did before 31 January 2020. The transition period end date maybe put back due to the disruption that Corona Virus has caused. You Can check on this status by visiting the UK government info page on Moving to Spain.
If you are resident in Barcelona or any part of Spain at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Barcelona and Spain. So basically if you move to Barcelona before the end of the transition period, and you become a resident then you can stay.
You must register as a Spanish resident if you want to stay in Barcelona for more than 3 months.
You will recieve a green A4 certificate or credit card-sized piece of paper from Extranjeria or the police.
If you are resident in Barcelona before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay in Barcelona.
If you arrive in Barcelona before the 31st December 2020, you will be able to register as resident in Catalunya under the current rules, and will have your right to residence in Barcelona protected for as long as you remain a Spanish resident.
For more information on Moving to Barcelona after Brexit read the Spanish government’s guidance for UK nationals in Spain
If you are moving to Barcelona from the USA or from anywhere outside of the EU then it's worth checking out what you need to do to be able to live and work in the European union.
Once you have moved to Barcelona, then you will need to find somewhere to live.
Finding the right accommodation is crucial for your stay in Barcelona. Of course, you want a place where you feel at home and can relax on the couch after a long day of studying or working. But preferably also accommodation in the centre and maybe close to the beach. If you are going to work or to do an internship, you may be looking for an apartment or studio for yourself, where you can work at home in peace and quiet.
Living in Barcelona is an increasingly popular option for expats. Living in Catalonia’s capital also means experiencing the locals’ pride in their language and history firsthand.
If you plan on living in Barcelona you can choose between one of the city’s ten districts to live in. A local councilor is responsible for running each of the districts which have a say when it comes to making decisions about the city’s infrastructure.
The ten districts of the city of Barcelona are:
In Barcelona, where lots of people are eager to find a place to live, apartments are the preferred type of accommodation. If you don’t mind living outside of the city then houses and even small chalets are a viable option. Apartments are either for rent (alquiler) or available for purchase (ventas). Most apartments are rented unfurnished (sin amueblar).
These are some of the different types of accommodation available in Barcelona:
If you stay in Barcelona for less than 90 days then you don’t have to arrange anything. Your passport or ID card is sufficient. But if you stay in Barcelona for more than 90 days, you are obliged to apply for a NIE.
It can take a while before the NIE is arranged, or even before you can get an appointment. So it is best to arrange it upon arrival. An Empadronamiento, or registration with the municipality, is mandatory from the moment you live in Barcelona for 6 months or more. Once the Empadronamiento and Social Security Number have been arranged, you can apply for a TSI (health insurance card).
Foreign residents from EU member states and non-EU nationals are subject to different requirements and restrictions. EU/EEA citizens simply need a valid passport or ID to enter the country.
For a stay exceeding three months, an NIE (Número de Indentificación de Extranjeros), an identity number for foreigners, is required for every foreign national in Barcelona or Spain. You will need this number for just abot everything, to rent or buy property, open a bank account, or simply to work in Barcelona.
There are many Departments of Foreigners (Extranjería) in Barcelona which handle all bureaucratic issues for foreigners moving to Barcelona. In order to apply for an NIE, you need to submit the following documents at the office:
You will need your Social Security Number before you get your Empadronamiento. If you are going to live in Barcelona, it is mandatory to register with the municipality. The Empadronamiento is a civil registration and gives you access to education and social care. Your registration is arranged within 5 minutes and you do not have to make an appointment in advance. It is even easier to complete the Empadronamiento online.
The TSI (short for Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual) is required if you want to make use of the public health care facilities in Barcelona. You can request the TSI via this link. Click START at "Apply for a card" and the rest is self-explanatory, but 3 documents are required for the application:
If your application has been successfully completed, CatSalut will send you the TSI card free of charge to your address.
If you are resident in Barcelona, Spain on or before 31st December 2020, your right to work will stay the same, as long as you remain resident in Spain.
Read the UK Government guidance on working in an EU country.
To apply for a job in Barcelona, you may need to provide a:
Working in Barcelona is a great experience. The work pressure is low and often there is a friendly atmosphere. Working hours can be different, since there are companies that have a siesta, where the lunch break is 2 or 3 hours, usually from 14.00 hrs onwards. It is also important to know that wages are considerably lower than somewhere like London. Obviously, the cost of living is also lower. Many people move from London to Barcelona for the reasons above.
Research agency Adecco mentioned in February 2018 that the average monthly salary in Spain is €1,636. However, you cannot take these figures too seriously, given the scale of the black economy work in Barcelona and the rest of Spain. Moving from Barcelona to London for work is a popular option, the wages maybe lowers, but so is the cost of living and the pressure of work. If you are looking for work in Barcelona then it is recommended to become a member of a Facebook group such as ‘Barcelona Expats, Jobs & Community’. Vacancies are frequently posted in this group for a number of different job roles. It's a good place to look for work in Barcelona.
Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and, due to Catalonia’s political autonomy within Spain it has a particularly important status within the region. Catalonia is ruled by the Generalitat, which has its seat in Barcelona.
The first version of this autonomous government dates back to medieval times when the Diputació General de Catalunya was in power. Due to the Catalan Statute of Autonomy, Barcelona’s city government enjoys a large amount of decision-making authority.
Castilian, Spain’s official language, is not the only language spoken in Barcelona: Catalan is the second official language and is widely used in the city and the rest of Catalonia. Catalonians are not obligated to fall back on Spanish, even for official purposes. For expats moving to Barcelona, this poses an entirely new language barrier which is not easily overcome. However you will find that English is widely spoken in Barcelona so it's pretty easy to converse.
If you are planning to stay in Barcelona for a period of time, it is a good idea to open a Spanish bank account. You can of course also use your account from your own country, but transfers sometimes take a day longer and charges may occur. You need an NIE if you want to open a Spanish bank account in Barcelona. The largest banks in Spain are Banco Santander, BBVA and Banco Popular. A suitable bank account depends entirely on your own wishes. Be very aware that bank charges are usually a lot higher than in the UK and you will find your account gets drained rather quicker through fees than you are used to in the UK.
If you are living in Barcelona, Spain or move there permanently before 31st December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Barcelona and Spain as you do now, provided you remain a resident.
You must however register for healthcare as a resident in Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona housing can cost anywhere from €350-850 per month depending on the size and location of your apartment. Remember that rent and bills are not the only accommodation expenses you’ll have to cover. There are also up-front charges which must be paid before you can move into an apartment. If you’re moving through an agency, these will include fees worth 1-2 months' rent, and you’ll have to pay a deposit and this will probably be about 1 month’s rent.
You’ll have to cover electricity and gas and internet, as these are never included in the rent cost. One exception might be if you’re in student-specific housing, as these are often all-inclusive, to make things easier for you.
Your energy bills shouldn’t cost more than €80-100 per month, split between everyone in the apartment. Of course, the more people there are, the higher the energy use, but you’ll still spend a lot more living on your own.
Internet can be anywhere from €30-40 euros (for fibre optic alone) per month. Super high speed maybe more.
Be careful to read the small print! Providers in Barcelona are well-known for their exceptional deals (on the surface) which actually involve extra installation charges, or which triple in price after the first month. If you don’t know Spanish very well, have someone else check it over for you!
Fortunately there are plenty of grocery shopping options in the city, from budget supermarkets more up market places. As an estimate, you’re likely to spend:
Eating out can go either way, but is generally not expensive. Certainly it’s less than some other big European cities. You can get a romantic dinner for two for under €60, or spend €12 on a burger and drink at a casual joint. The "menu of the day" for lunch will be no more than €10 or so, making dining out a pretty good option on days where you deserve a treat. Menu del dia is always a very economical option and is how most Spaniards eat.
As Barcelona is on the coast the typical food in Barcelona is seafood, paella or tapas, but you can get virtually anything, so just look and buy whatever you fancy. There are the usual big restaurant chains as well as small cafes and restaurants, a great mixture to suit all tastes.
The public transport system in Barcelona is pretty good for a modern city. You buy a single ticket and it works on the metro, trains, buses and trams. A single lasts for 75 mins, and you can use it as frequently as you like within that time. Check out a few guide prices so you know what you expect, prices are estimated:
You can also use taxis, which are surprisingly inexpensive in Spain.
Entertainment is usually the big unknown in foreign cities - here is a little list of common places to go and their costs in Barcelona.