Brexit is finished. As of January 1, 2021, the UK left the EU, became an independent third country and is subject to EU third-country rules.

As a British citizen interested in teaching English in an EU country, how does this affect you?

How does BREXIT affect you as a prospective or practising EFL teacher?

NOTE: This article is for everyone who only has a British passport and wants to live and work as an English teacher in Spain.

The English language currently dominates among the three working languages of the EU. In addition, many countries use English as their second language, so the role of English as the lingua franca (the language enabling communication between non-native English speakers) in Europe is unlikely to change.

That said, people classified as Generation Z (also known as Post-Millennials, the iGeneration, Founders, Plurals, or the Homeland Generations) should look into training for another skill that will give them work experience outside the UK.

Many UK companies like their employees to have work experience outside the UK, so working as an English teacher in Spain is good.

The big question is, what changed?

UK citizens and their right to work in Spain

The UK is now a third-country, and EU third-country rules mean that you can still come to Spain as a tourist, stay for up to three months, but you cannot work, and you can no longer use free reciprocal services, for example, INSALUD, the Spanish equivalent of the UK’s NHS.

So, what happens if you want to leave the UK and live in Spain for more than three months or even permanently?

If the only passport you have is British, look at the next section.

If you are from Northern Ireland and have a British and Irish passport, you are fine because the Irish passport is an EU passport, so you can come to Spain to live, work, and use all the free reciprocal services.

IMPORTANT: If you were British and registered as living in Spain when the UK was an EU member and did not apply for Spanish residency after Brexit, you can no longer because the grace period has expired.

As a British passport holder, what are your options?

Get an EU passport (time-consuming and not easy)

If your parents or grandparents are or were citizens of an EU country, you may be able to get citizenship in that country. The requirements vary from country to country so check with your chosen country’s embassy first. The benefit of getting an EU passport is that when you get it, you can go and live, study and work anywhere you like in any EU country because you have the right to free movement. For completeness, if you are wealthy or can show that you will set up a business in Spain with an office that employs Spanish people, you can become a Spanish resident. However, this path is beyond the reach of most people. Finally, you can get Spanish residency through marriage, but this may not be what you want.

If you want more details about your options, read our article, Can an American work legally in Spain as an English teacher?. The article was originally written for Americans, but as the UK is no longer in the EU, the same rules apply to Brits as they do to Americans.

Get a one-year Spanish student visa with EBC (quick and easy compared to other options)

student visa is by far the easiest and cheapest way to come to Spain for one year, and you can renew it when it gets close to expiry.

EBC gives you a one-year student visa and TESOL study programme that includes what is possibly the best TEFL certificate in the world, the Trinity CertTESOL, a one year Cervantes Institute accredited Spanish language programme and a one-year Spanish student visa. The one-year Spanish student visa lets you study and work part-time in Spain in your choice of four great locations: Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga and San Sebastian.

We did some research, and we found out that EBC offers the lowest-priced one-year student visa programme in SpainClick here to see what we found.

EBC has been successfully running this study programme for more than ten years.


Brexit has caused a significant change. Is it all doom and gloom? Not really because we can help. To use the old saying, “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. If you want to come and study and live in Spain, you can. EBC gives you everything you need to make that happen.

Our suggestion, invest in quality Trinity College London TESOL training.

We give five Trinity College London accredited certificates.

The Ofqual level 5 Trinity CertTESOL taught in Madrid and online, live-streaming in our virtual classroom. The Trinity CertTESOL is one of the two best TESOL certificates globally and has guaranteed British Council acceptance.

We also run four Ofqual level 6 Trinity CertPT courses for practising teachers in:

  1. Business English
  2. Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)
  3. Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
  4. Teaching English online

All our CertTESOL and CertPT programme are included in our one-year student visa and TESOL study programme, so you can still come and study and live in Spain for at least a year.