Spain has been one of the hottest British expat destinations since the dawn of mass UK emigration, but it’s now no longer the case that Spain will welcome any old incomer.

According to a recent article on, the Spanish authorities have decided to selectively interpret the EU directive relating to free movement, and place restrictions on those who want to live in Spain for more than 3 months of the year.

Nowadays if you want to live in a near-bankrupt Spain you will need to prove that you won’t be a financial burden on the nation.  What do you think about this?  Is it fair?  Can nations choose to interpret the rules that the EU has laid down to allow for freedom of movement of all EU citizens?

In some respects the move by the Spanish authorities is totally fair – after all, if Spain can barely afford to look after its own people at the moment, why should it have to look after jobless, income-less or ill expats?

However, if every single EU member state applied the same criteria for allowing anyone to move in, wouldn’t that be prejudice and totally against the ethos of the EU – i.e., fairness and a level playing field for everything from taxes to migration?

According to the article reporting this change in the Spanish authorities’ attitude, if you want to relocate to live in the Spanish sunshine for more than three months of the year nowadays, you will need to: “produce a job contract or documents confirming [you] have enough money to support [yourself].”