Just because the UK decided to leave the EU doesn’t mean you have to give up on the chance to live within the European Union. Moving abroad has become more difficult, but it’s still possible to get a job and move offices or retire in Europe and gain residency to stay. Let’s look at all the changes that have come in and what that means for your European adventure. 

What Changes Are in Place Post-Brexit?

The UK’s decision to leave the EU has had many significant changes to life in the UK as well as British citizens’ ability to spend time in EU countries as the Brexit vote has impacted various aspects of trade, immigration, and regulations. Exiting the EU Single Market and Customs Union has prompted the need for new trade deals and customs arrangements, while increased border controls have led to paperwork, delays, and disruptions in trade flows. Additionally, the end of free movement has introduced new immigration rules, affecting entry and residence for UK citizens in EU countries.

For British citizens with second homes in EU countries, Brexit brings forth several considerations and changes. Formerly unrestricted stays in EU countries are now subject to limitations, requiring visas or residency permits for periods of more than 90 days within a 180-day period. Moreover, healthcare access has shifted post-Brexit, necessitating private insurance or out-of-pocket payments for medical services while staying in EU countries.

Brexit’s impact extends to property ownership and taxes for UK citizens with second homes in the EU. While ownership rights remain unchanged – despite rumours suggesting the opposite, shifts in tax regulations and currency fluctuations can affect expenses associated with maintaining and managing these properties. 

Additionally, new travel restrictions and border controls introduce documentation requirements and considerations for UK citizens travelling to their EU second homes. Staying informed about evolving regulations and seeking professional advice is crucial for navigating these changes effectively.

EU Residency Requirements

Ultimate Guide on Moving Your Belongings to European Countries Post-Brexit

Although the UK was never a member of the Schengen area, allowing borderless movement from one EU country to another, British people were previously allowed to live, work and study within other EU countries with no restrictions. However, now, post-Brexit regulations stipulate that British citizens visiting EU countries are limited to stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day period unless they hold residency status. This means you can have one long trip of 90 days but cannot return before another 90 days have been spent out of the EU as a whole, or you can spend up to 90 days in shorter breaks but cannot exceed 90 days within a period of 6 months, or you will face a fine and potentially a ban from re-entering for a certain time frame. 

The process of obtaining residency varies depending on the specific requirements of each EU country, so you should investigate country-specific information before intending to make a move abroad. Plus, while British citizens can still own property in EU countries, purchasing a new house post-Brexit may require a local bank account, which often necessitates a foreign identity number. This number is commonly obtained through residency status, adding a layer of complexity for those seeking to buy a house in the EU as non-residents.

Which is the Easiest European Country to Move to Post-Brexit?

Each country has different requirements and regulations so no one EU country is easiest to move to since Brexit came into effect. Some factors to consider when moving into Europe include:

  • Language proficiency
  • Job opportunities
  • Cost of living
  • Visa requirements
  • Personal preferences

However, some countries may have more streamlined immigration processes or friendlier policies towards UK citizens post-Brexit, including:

  • Ireland, where UK citizens can still live and work with no restriction
  • Portugal, which has a Golden Visa program, granting residency to those creating jobs or investing in property
  • Spain, which may grant residency for retirees with property, investors and skilled workers
  • Germany, which welcomes students, skilled workers and entrepreneurs

It’s essential to research each country’s specific immigration requirements, job prospects, healthcare system, and cultural factors before making a decision. Additionally, consulting with immigration experts or expatriate communities can provide valuable insights into the relocation process.

If you have a second home and want to move some belongings, or you’ve got residency and are planning to move out to Europe permanently, you’ll need to know the ins and outs of the import and customs process to easily move your belongings over. 

How to Easily Move Personal Belongings to EU Countries

Moving personal belongings to EU countries from the UK post-Brexit involves several steps and considerations. Here’s a general guide on how to do it easily:

  • Research import regulations and prohibited items
  • Prepare your documentation for customs
  • Pack and label your belongings
  • Submit your customs declarations
  • Transport your belongings

Knowing all of the right information and filling out all of the correct documents for your country can be difficult, so one of the easiest ways to move your belongings is by hiring the services of a removal company. Experienced international removal companies know the customs process and have a great deal of expertise in moving items across borders so they can inform you of prohibited items, customs charges on specific products, which receipts are necessary for your belongings and how to label and value each of your items properly. 

Hiring an international removal company will also make the transportation of your items easier as they can help pack, store and move your items from the UK at times that suit you. Weston and Edwards also make several trips a year so even if you don’t have a full house to move, you can still transport a part load for a smaller price than hiring a full van yourself. 

By following these steps and staying organised, you can easily move your personal belongings to EU countries from the UK post-Brexit. But it’s important to start planning well in advance or simply hire the services of a removals company to ensure a smooth and hassle-free relocation process.

Sending Gifts and Parcels into the EU

Sending cards to EU countries is the same after Brexit as before, however, there is usually a longer wait time for delivery. However, gifts and parcels do face new restrictions when crossing into EU countries, so if you’re sending someone a housewarming gift or a birthday present, make sure you know what to do to ensure it gets there. 

To send parcels into the EU, you need to:

  • Ensure it doesn’t contain any prohibited items such as alcohol or some foods
  • Fill out a customs declaration detailing the contents and value of the parcel
  • Ensure the value of the gift doesn’t exceed the country’s value limit or pay relevant duty charges
  • Package and label the parcel well with the customs declaration form and sender and recipient addresses
  • Bear in mind possible delays in worldwide shipping

Most gifts won’t have any issues if they’re labelled properly, but if you try to send prohibited items or something extremely valuable, you may have trouble getting them through EU customs.