British expats aren’t put off moving abroad by Brexit – most popular country

Martin Lewis says get travel insurance as soon as you book

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Since the Brexit transition period ended at the end of 2020, British expats have needed a visa to retire in the EU. However, new research has found that the majority of Britons are still planning to buy property abroad despite Brexit.

International property experts, Property Guides, asked 900 people if their plans to move abroad had now changed.

Just over 10 percent of expats said they had gone ahead and bought properties abroad despite Brexit.

Another 85 percent of those surveyed said that Brexit hadn’t changed their plans to move abroad.

Just four percent of those surveyed had given up their plans to move abroad due to the changing rules.

Although many Britons rushed to buy properties before the 2020 deadline, plenty missed out due to Covid restrictions.

Without a visa, British citizens can only stay in the EU for 90 out of every 180 days and can be fined or banned if they overstay.

One British citizen told that she was detained overnight in Madrid when she tried to travel to Spain after unknowingly overstaying on a previous visit.

Property Guides found that the majority of buyers who had gone ahead and bought despite Brexit had purchased properties in Spain.

Those who were still planning to buy were mostly retirees and 57 percent said they had delayed due to Covid worries.

Around three in 10 of those who had delayed buying said they just hadn’t found the right property.

The majority of those who had given up on their plans to buy property abroad had been planning to retire to Spain.

Many said they had wanted to retire in Spain for at least five years and had been forced to let go of their long held dream.

But while Brexit had scuppered some Britons’ plans, many people had still purchased a holiday home.

Property Guides said there was also good news for retired British expats when it came to healthcare.

They said: “The best news for retirees to the EU is that the current system whereby British citizens of retiring age can get free healthcare abroad with an S1 form is continuing.

“They will need to be a resident in the EU country abroad, but it removes the worry for retiring Brits with pre-existing conditions, who feared they might be uninsurable or the cost prohibitive.”

Property Guides found that France was the most popular destination for Britons who are still planning to purchase overseas.

Spain was the second most popular choice with Portugal and Italy in joint third place.

Greece and Cyprus are also two great destinations for British expats and both have visa schemes for non-EU nationals.

Meanwhile the president of the Valencia region, which includes the popular Costa Blanca area, has said he wants “Brexit to be as Brexit-less as possible” and wants the current 90 day rule extended to six months.

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