Britain left the European Union on 31st January 2020, and they are currently in an “implementation period,” which lasts until the end of the year.

This article seeks to answer the most common questions we’re being asked in relation to British citizens visiting Lanzarote. Some of the answers are already clear, others depend on things which will happen during the implementation period, and we’ll update here as soon as we have the answers.

During the implementation period – until 31st December 2020

Tourist visitors from the UK will have their passports inspected into and out of Lanzarote, which is part of the Schengen zone.

Passports will only have to be valid for the duration of their stay.

There is no limit to the amount of time British citizens can spend in Lanzarote.

British driving licences will be accepted for driving here.

The EHIC will still provide emergency health cover.

After the implementation period – From 1st January 2021

Tourist visitors from the UK will be electronically logged into and out of the Schengen zone and will use the “non EU passports” line at immigration.

British citizens will be limited to stays of no more than 90 days in any 180 day period, in the Schengen zone. Here’s a handy calculator:  Schengen Calculator.

Just to be clear, this 90 day rule isn’t Spain or the EU deciding to be “difficult.” It’s happening because the UK wants to end freedom of movement for European citizens. Europe, in turn, will end freedom of movement for British citizens, and this aspect of Brexit has been clear from the very beginning.

In the event Britain chooses to retain freedom of movement, as some other countries outside the EU have done, but which looks highly unlikely, then this rule won’t apply. 

British citizens will need six months on their passports beyond their planned leaving date, and their passports must be less than ten years old, based on the date of issue.

It’s likely that they will need an international driving permit.

It’s not known how emergency medical cover will work at this stage. This will form part of the “deal” negotiations between Britain and the EU, but the current EHIC card will no longer be used.

From 2021 the EU will be introducing a visa waiver scheme for visitors from outside the EU, similar to the US ESTA. It will be called ETIAS. The visa waiver will be valid for a year and will cover all Schengen zone countries. It’s thought it will cost around €7 per year.

Travelling on business – if you plan to conduct any business or earn any money in an EU country, there are a whole set of additional requirements – you can see the detail here: Business travel.

As promised, we’ll update here as soon as we know more.

British Citizens Living In Lanzarote

The advice is to make sure you are legally registered as living here, in order to earn your right to remain. You should also transfer your driving licence to a Spanish one as soon as possible.

Sometime during the course of 2020, British residents registered as living in Lanzarote will have their green residencia certificates exchanged for a TIE – Tarjeta indentidad extranjero. This is the card used by residents from countries outside the EU and it will state that the entitlement to live in Spain is based on the withdrawal agreement. The TIE will also serve as an identity card.

British citizens, even those legally resident in Spain will lose their right to live and work in other EU countries after the implementation period.

British Citizens Planning To Move To Lanzarote

After the implementation period, you will no longer have a right to live and work in the EU.

You will have to apply to do so, using the same process used by citizens of countries outside the union.

  • You will need to prove no criminal record.
  • That you have sufficient income or savings to support yourselves
  • You will need to have private medical cover.

Initially, assuming the system remains the same, you will apply for a one year residence permit, then  two years, and finally every five years.

Property Owners

Currently British citizens who own and rent out their properties in Spain, pay a tax of 19% on their rental income, less expenses – this is an EU wide agreement. After the implementation period, this will revert to the same system under which non EU property owners pay their taxes – 25% of rental income, with no allowances for expenses.



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