The UK nationals who were planning to move to the EU had a tough time through Brexit and lockdown.
Then they had to get their heads round a whole new set of immigration rules, before they could even start a new life in Europe.
But according to Euronews, rules around long-term residency and moving around the bloc could be simpler in 2024.
The EU reportedly wants to make it easier for non-EU residents to move around the bloc in the future. It is also aiming to cut the time you need to live in a member state before gaining long-term residence status to three from five years.
The report said that the European Parliament have made their position clear but now EU governments will need to agree and negotiate to finalise the changes to the law. It is hoped that the new legislation will be completed by February 2024 – before the next European Parliament elections.
David Vacani, principal at Beacon Global Wealth Management, said: “Any way of simplifying the complicated and confusing laws around EU residency is very much to be welcomed. The ability to move around EU states after a shorter time period for a non- EU resident would be a great step forward in recognising their contribution to the EU.”
Jason Porter, business development director at Blevins Franks, added: “These proposed changes will be gratefully received and provide reassurance that we are still very welcome on the other side of the channel. The fact the permit processing time for the proposed single EU residency permit is restricted to 90 days, and the three-year permanent resident permit to 60 days, if enforced, should mean much quicker turnaround times.”
After Brexit eventually happened, the UK nationals became non-EU residents – which made moving to the country a little more difficult.
But this could be a good sign for potential expats looking to move to Spain or Portugal.
Porter said: “Most British expatriates who are retiring to Europe choose where they want to live more on the basis of where they are attracted to rather than which is the best financially or from the perspective of tax.
“But these rules will allow those that require it greater flexibility in moving from one member state to another perhaps to plan for certain events such as a business sale.
“The fact this could include being able to leave the EU for up to 24 consecutive months without losing their status will also be attractive.”
Lee Eldridge, group chief executive of Chase Buchanan, said: “This change, making it easier to move to a European Union country, is welcome news. Particularly since Brexit and the end of freedom of movement. However, when someone decides to move to a new country; as well as where they live and possibly work, there are lots of financial considerations to make such as transferring their pension, taxes and which country to make tax payments in and inheritance planning.
However, a good international finance adviser with UK and local tax and pensions knowledge can make the move easier for them. Professional financial advice should always be sought.”