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British homeowners on the continent face a barrage of changes in the new year as the Brexit transition period ends. The prospect of getting a deal hangs in the balance as negotiators still haven’t reached an agreement on trade agreements with a matter of days to go.
Those who are lucky enough to own homes in the largely sunnier climates of Europe have been seeking clarification on what will happen when the transition period ends.
Following a record year of overseas sales for some UK estate agents, due largely to lockdown, swathes of Britons are now concerned as to how their travel habits may have to drastically change as the end of freedom of movement draws closer.
And it’s not just homeowners who will be affected: from January 1, 2021 yacht owners, caravanners – and even gap year students – will have to apply for a visa if they plan to stay in the EU for longer than three months.
CostaLuz, specialists in buying property in Spain, have given Express.co.uk an insight into some of the key changes coming in the new year.
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Will I need a visa to visit my holiday home?
You will not need a visa to visit your holiday home – but you will not be able to stay there for extended periods of time anymore.
Unfortunately the amount of time you can spend at your property is about to significantly shorten.
CostaLuz advises: “From January 1, 2021, rules regarding the length of your stay in Spain will change.
“You will no longer be allowed to stay for more than 90 days at a time in a 180-day period.
“Note that the 90 days starts as soon as you enter the Schengen Area.
“This means that if you travel to Spain via France, for example, the time you spend in France counts towards your tally of 90 days.”
Any days you spend within the Schengen area before January 1 will not affect this.
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If you want to stay for longer, you cannot join two periods together – and yes, this even applies to property owners in the EU.
The advice from CostaLuz is to divide the 90-period into smaller chunks: “At present you can only spend up to 90 days in Spain, then you must leave the country.
“You will then not be able to return to the Schengen Area until 180 days have passed since your date of entry into Spain (or elsewhere in the Schengen Area).
“You can, however, divide the 90-day period into smaller chunks.”
What if I live in Spain but am not officially resident?
If you spend more time at your property in abroad than you do in the UK, you need to make some quick changes.
CostaLuz advises: “In this case, you need to act fast. Very fast.
“You have until December 31, 2020 to apply for residency.
“If you don’t, you won’t enjoy the same benefits as other EU citizens.”
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