Oct 28, 2020 / BUYING PROCESS

Should you apply for EU residency?

If you’re planning to move abroad permanently or spend most of the year in a new ski home, you may be wondering if you need to apply for EU residency before the Brexit transition period ends.

The process of obtaining residency in Europe will become more complicated after the transition period, so it’s advisable to obtain EU residency before the end of the year. There’s only a couple of months to go, but still time to get your residency secured.

Requirements and timelines vary from country to country, so we’ve focussed on the main ski destinations and outlined the process for each.


British nationals living in France have not needed to apply for residency to retain EU rights - until now. If you are a UK national currently living in France or plan to move there before the Brexit transition deadline, you will need to apply for residency in line with the Withdrawal Agreement.

The site to apply for residency is now open and you have until the 30th of June 2021 to apply. If you’re only planning to visit France for less than 3 months in every 6, and hence keep your UK residency, then you don’t need to apply for French residency.

In order to apply for residency through this portal, you need to ensure that you are living in France before the 31st of December. There’s only a couple of months left, so if buying somewhere in time isn’t possible, renting is an option. You could, therefore, move to France, rent a property and then search for a property to buy at your leisure, all whilst securing your EU residency.

This stunning Val d’Isere apartment is situated in a central location in this iconic French Alps village and very close to the ski slopes.


Once living in Italy (whether you’ve bought a property or are renting) before December 31st, you will need to go to your local Comune/Municipio (town hall) office and request residency. You may be able to walk in or you may need an appointment, depending on the town hall.

You’ll need to download a registration form from the town hall’s website and fill this in beforehand and you will also need a personalised tax number, or Codice Fiscal, which you can get before you arrive in Italy. You are also likely to need:

  1. Evidence of sufficient economic resources to stay in Italy
  2. Evidence of health insurance to cover at least the first year in Italy
  3. Evidence of a place to stay
  4. Valid UK passport

It’s worth checking your town hall website for the required documents before turning up. You should register for residency as soon as you can, before the end of the year. Your town hall will then take 45 days to approve your request. For more information, please visit the gov.uk website.


If you plan to move to Spain permanently or live there for more than 183 days per year, you will need to apply for residency. You will need to live over there to do this, so ensure that you move there through buying or renting by the 31st of December.

Residency can be requested either by you or via an authorised figure (usually your solicitor) holding a Spanish power of attorney.

There are three important items you will need to acquire to obtain residency:

  • NIE, your Spanish tax number
  • Residencia, or Spanish residency card
  • Padrón, saying where you are living
  • SIP (health card)

The exact requirements for each of these will depend on the region in which you wish to live, as well as your own status. For more information on Spanish residency, visit gov.uk or the Spanish Government’s Prepared for the Brexit section on their website.


Switzerland has given formal approval to an agreement to protect the residential rights of Brits in Switzerland, and the agreement applies to people who move before the end of December 2020.

Switzerland is in the Schengen area, not the EU. However, if you wish to move before Brexit, you will still need to apply for residency. Everyone who remains in Switzerland for more than 90 days needs to have a residence and work permit. You will also need to apply for Swiss health insurance. Please visit the gov.uk website for more information.

These bespoke apartments thoughtfully combine the tradition of Alpine craftsmanship with the elegance of modern design.

To get the process of buying your ski property underway, why not take a look at our handy buying guide? It lays out the buying journey step by step to make the process as smooth and hassle-free as possible.