Will UK teachers need a visa to work in Spain after March 19 because of Brexit?

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  • newteacher
    22 November, 2018 at 21:36
    • Total posts: 5

    I’m hoping to teach in Spain next year, but I’ve noticed on a lot of the adverts they say ‘must have European passport’ or ‘must be legally allowed to work in Spain’. Does anyone think it will be complicated to work in Spain from January because of Brexit? Do you think employers will be put off employing someone from the UK?

    23 November, 2018 at 16:17
    • Total posts: 279

    Good question. Legally speaking, TEFL teachers will be affected in exactly the same way as any other British citizens working in the EU. Under the current draft agreement, that means the following:

    If you move to an EU country before the end of the transition period (December 31, 2020), then the draft agreement safeguards your rights of residency. To continue living in an EU country after that you would have to apply for permanent residence status in your host country, and to do that you will have to have lived there for five years. You can still apply for this residency as long as that five years starts before the end of the transition period. So basically, as long as you move before the end of 2020, you’ll be fine.

    This is just my understanding of it by the way – please don’t take it as solid fact without carrying out your own research.

    So if the draft agreement goes through, nothing will really change for TEFL teachers in the short term. If the deal doesn’t go through, which as we know is looking fairly likely, then who knows what will happen. It could make it much more difficult to work in Spain.

    The fact that British expats contribute heavily to the Spanish economy though makes it, I think, quite likely that some accommodation would be reached. In the Spanish TEFL industry, language schools would have to replace large numbers of British TEFL teachers. To continue only employing EU citizens, their only option for native speakers would be Irish nationals. I’m not sure if the number of Irish TEFL teachers available and willing to work in Spain would meet this need. Short of that, language schools would have to employ more non-native speakers or accept the added bureaucracy of trying to employ non-EU citizens. In this case, British TEFL teachers would be in the same boat as Americans, Australians, Canadians, etc. wanting to teach in Spain.

    Hope that helps!


    23 November, 2018 at 20:03
    • Total posts: 5

    Thank you SO much for that answer. I was feeling quite lost – and that totally answers my question. I really appreciate it!


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