What Does Brexit Mean For British Citizens Visiting Lanzarote?

On  1st January 2021, Britain left the European Union and is now a “third country.”

This article seeks to answer the most common questions we’re being asked in relation to British citizens visiting Lanzarote.

Visiting Lanzarote

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

British citizens resident in Spain, must present their residence certificate or TIE on entry to ensure they are not logged into and out of Spain.

Britain has elected not to continue to offer freedom of movement for EU citizens, therefore there will now be restrictions as to how much time UK citizens can spend in Europe.

British citizens will be limited to stays of no more than 90 days in any rolling 180 day period, in the Schengen zone. The “rolling” 180 day period makes this complex – visitors will not be able to stay for 90 days, return to their home country for a short visit, and then come back to Lanzarote.

Here’s a handy calculator so you can check your dates:  Schengen Calculator.

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. Here’s passport checker to make sure yours is valid for travel.

British citizens will not require a visa for entry for stays of less than 90 days, as long as they will not be working.

Sometime in 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.


British citizens and their family members need a visa for journeys undertaken after 31st December 2020 for the purposes of residence, studies for periods longer than 90 days, work, professional, artistic or religious activities.

More information here: Lanzarote Visas.

Plants and food products

Meat, milk and products containing either cannot be bought into Spain by third country nationals. Many plants also cannot be brought in, you can check the full list on the EU website.


The EU Pet passport scheme will no longer be valid for British citizens. The new rules require a vet’s certificate to confirm rabies jabs for anyone bringing animals into the EU.

Roaming Charges

The EU “Roam like at home” scheme which requires mobile phone airtime providers to offer standard charges across Europe will no longer apply to British mobile suppliers. Some have said that they will unilaterally continue to offer the service, so check with your airtime provider.

Driving Licences

Spain will not require international driving permits from UK citizens initially. UK licences will remain valid for driving in Spain until further notice. A green card insurance certificate will be required if you are bringing a UK registered car to Spain.

UK registered cars imported into Spain must be changed to Spanish registration within 45 days of arrival.


The EHIC European health card that provides free emergency health care will remain valid until the expiry date on your card and will then cease.

British travellers are advised to make sure they have comprehensive travel insurance. If they suffer from existing medical conditions, it is important that they have a policy which covers those.

There is a provision in the deal agreed between UK and EU for some kind of continuation of the EHIC, but details are not available yet.

Business Travel

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 Britain will no longer be part of the EU customs scheme, all goods brought to Lanzarote from UK will be subject to detailed customs clearance and import duty and IGIC may be charged.

British Citizens Living In Lanzarote

British citizens living in Lanzarote must be registered as residents and have either the old style green residencia or the new style TIE. If they became resident prior to 31st December 2020, their rights under the EU withdrawal agreement is protected

They must have Spanish driving licences.

British Citizens Planning To Move To Lanzarote

British citizens will no longer have a right to live and work in the EU, as Britain has opted out of freedom of movement.

You will have to apply for a visa 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 – the amount varies by region.
  • You will need to have private medical cover.

Initially, you will apply for a period of two years, then renew for five years, before finally applying for a ten year permit.

You must apply for a visa prior to travel to live here. Here’s more information: Spanish Visa.

Property Owners

AS EU members British citizens who owned and rented out their properties in Spain, paid a tax of 19% on their rental income, less expenses – this is an EU wide agreement. This has now reverted to the same system under which third country property owners pay their taxes – 24% of rental income, with no allowances for expenses.

Stay up to date with regulations via our weekly newsletter: Lanzarote Information Newsletter.