Is Spanish nationality the final expat answer to Brexit

Published:  29 Mar at 6 PM
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Many long-term UK expats in Spain have struggled with the decision whether or not to try for Spanish nationality, but now the reality of Brexit seems unstoppable it’s the only acceptable option for many.

British expatriates living and working in Spain are now faced with the ultimate decision – whether to wait and see whether politicians will smash their chosen lifestyle beyond repair or to go ahead and apply for Spanish nationality. Neither option is straightforward, and becoming Spanish isn’t as easy as it might sound at first although it’s the one clear way to get stability and a secure future.

To make a go of becoming Spanish, at least as regards your passport and your EU citizenship, it’s necessary to work out why it’s a serious option rather than a gut reaction to Brexit. As an expat, you’re half in and half out of your preferred country of residence, with going full in needing considerable adjustment. If you’ve felt you want to be truly a part of Spanish life, that’s a good start.

One immediate benefit of taking Spanish nationality is the huge difference it makes to your experiences with the dreaded Spanish bureaucratic system, which allows its citizens to do almost everything via their PC. The Spanish ID card’s magic microchip is your passport to a much easier life.

Border crossings become straightforward, you’re entitled to free movement across Europe, and your new nationality is cheap and easy to renew. You’ll also be entitled to vote, thus having a say in your new country whilst hoping against hope it won’t drag you into another Brexit-style situation.

As with most great ideas, there’s a major downside to becoming Spanish – the process itself. You’ll need to be competent in the language as well as knowledgeable about Spanish culture, history, climate, citizenship rights and much more. You can’t hope to wing it, as the written exam (in Spanish), has challenging and occasionally tricky questions.

Another downside for many is that becoming officially Spanish means renouncing your own nationality as Spain doesn’t allow dual nationality unless you’re from a Spanish-speaking country. Lastly, unless you’re prepared to ‘become’ Spanish, or at least behave as though you are, this solution is not for you.

Source: The Local
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