Whether you’re considering France, Spain or one of the continents’ farthest corners, we’ve put together all the information you’ll need to move from the UK after Brexit.
At Bishop’s Move, our unrivalled knowledge and experience in European removals can help make your move overseas as stress-free as possible from start to finish. Each year, hundreds of people turn to our specialists to help them move to Europe. Will you be one of them?
There are many factors which contribute to Europe being a great place to live such as ease of movement throughout the continent, astounding landscapes, a good work/life balance, the delicious variety of food, and in some cases, a lower cost of living than the UK.
Generally speaking, these will differ depending on the specific country you have in mind and as with all international relocations, it is important to think about what really matters to you before you can decide whether or not a country is a good place for you to live.
There are 24 official languages in the EU including Bulgarian, Croatian, German, Spanish, Polish, Spanish and Swedish. Despite no longer being part of the EU, English is still an official language.
Multilingualism is a principle that is upheld within the EU and aims to protect the rich linguistic diversity within its boundaries. It also promotes the learning of other languages in Europe.
Although no expat is expected to be fluent in the local language of their European destination, it always helps to understand the basics. Whether that means taking a short course before you move or registering for tuition on your arrival, you will likely feel the benefits of understanding simple written phrases and greeting the locals in their native tongue.
As a result of Brexit, the healthcare available to expats living in EU member countries has changed. For the majority of countries, you will now be required to register with local authorities and may need to make social security contributions or have an insurance policy in place to be covered for any required treatments. In some countries, such as Germany, additional payments will be necessary for certain services or medications, despite having health insurance in place.
Following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, it is now a nation outside of the EU or a ‘third country’, which means free movement is a thing of the past. Regulations stipulate that for any move to Europe, UK citizens will now require a suitable visa or permit. Unfortunately, there is no single set of visa requirements to comply with in Europe, each individual country within the EU has their own.
Although there are now more requirements and regulations when moving to Europe from the UK, it is still an achievable dream. Here are some broken-down visa rules for the UK’s closest neighbours and destinations to which expats frequently move:
To move to Germany, you can either apply for a visa before you travel or, upon arrival in Germany, you can apply for a residence permit at the local Foreigners Authority. You will need a suitable residence permit in place before you can legally work in the country.
You will also need to register at your local registration office in Germany within 14 days of your arrival. This allows local authorities to keep track of the persons residing in each area, as well as provide you with a registration certificate and Tax ID.
All UK citizens moving to France require a Long Stay visa to stay in the country for longer than 90 days (over a 180-day period), this can be obtained via the French Embassy.
Once you have completed your application you will need to visit your local TLS France Visa Application Centre to provide your supporting documents, photographs and fingerprints.
Immigration regulations mean that any British citizen looking to move to Spain for work and residency purposes must already have Spanish employment in place before they can get a visa, or be able to prove a self-employed monthly income of over £2,000.
Other circumstances which allow for a Spanish visa include studying, as a family member of a Spanish resident or as a pensioner looking to retire to Spain.
British citizens considering moving to Ireland for work and residency typically need a job offer from an Irish employer, showcasing that the position could not be filled by a candidate from the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland. Alternatively, those seeking self-employment or entrepreneurship opportunities must meet specific criteria, often tied to the potential economic impact of their venture.
If you aspire to study in Ireland, you'll need to gain admission to an Irish educational institution and demonstrate adequate financial resources for tuition and living expenses. Additionally, family reunification or retiring in Ireland under certain circumstances can also open avenues to obtain a visa for British citizens.
EU/EEA and Swiss nationals enjoy freedom of movement in Ireland
Following the UK's departure from the EU, British citizens planning to move to Switzerland are no longer covered by the EU's freedom of movement following Brexit. Therefore, you will typically need a residence permit to live and work in Switzerland.
The specific type of permit required depends on their circumstances, such as employment, self-employment, family reunification, or retirement so it is worth visiting the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA): Swiss Visa Information for more information and guidance on the visa application process for Switzerland.
Choosing a specialist accredited moving company like Bishop’s Move is crucial to a seamless relocation. With more than 165 years of experience in European removals, we can help you to handle the moving process with ease. For more information or to get an online quote, get in touch today.
For more details on European immigration regulations, as well as information about local culture, healthcare and employment, take a look at our individual ‘moving to’ country guides listed above.