Britain remains on track to leave the EU on January 1st 2021 and this will affect both British visitors and tourists, and British residents in Gran Canaria and the Canary Islands. 

From January, British visitors will have to use the non-EU passport queue at Gran Canaria airport and will be electronically logged in as a visitor to the Schengen Area

British citizens will only be allowed to spend 90 days within the Schengen Zone during a rolling 180 day period. This won't affect most holidaymakers but does pose a problem for those who plan to spend the winter in the Canaries. For example, you cannot avoid the 90 day limit by popping to Marrakesh for the weekend or spending a week back in the UK.

British citizens will not require a visa for entry for stays of less than 90 days, and where they will not be working. However, they will have to pay for the EU Visa waiver scheme to be called ETIAS. This will start at some point in 2021 and cost about seven euros. 

Pets: The EU Pet passport scheme will no longer be valid for British citizens and the new rules are not yet clear.

Roaming Charges: UK telecoms firms are not obliged to keep up with flat roaming charges but some have said that they will. 

Driving Licences: For now your UK driving license will be valid for car rental in Gran Canaria. This may change in the future but is unlikely. Residents should swap over to a Spanish license before the end of 2020. 

Healthcare: British citizens will no longer be included in the European Health Card (EHIC) system and will have to pay for comprehensive travel insurance that includes cover for any preexisting conditions. 

Customs: All good purchased in the UK will be subject to inspection and relevant import taxes. 

British Residents In Gran Canaria

All UK citizens should register with extranjeria and make sure that they are registered as permanent residents if possible. You can now swap the little bit of green NIE paper for a TIE card complete with photo; this is not obligatory but does give you legally valid photo ID with having to carry your passport at all times. 

Published in News

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Tip of the day

  • Tip Of The Day: Avoid Bank Card Charges By Paying In Euros
    Tip Of The Day: Avoid Bank Card Charges By Paying In Euros

    Save money and avoid rip-off bank charges while in Gran Canaria by paying in euros when using your credit or debit card.

    Many bars and restaurants in Gran Canaria, and in almost all European holiday destinations, give you the option of paying in euros or in your home currency. Opting for your own currency, while it may seem like the safer option, can add as much as 5% to the bill as it triggers dynamic currency conversion. 

    DCC basically means that the exchange rate is calculated at point of sale rather than by your bank. It allows you to see the total cost of the transaction in your own currency but adds up to 5% to the total because it uses a terrible exchange rate. 

    Since the extra money is shared between your bank and the merchant, some places will automatically bill you in your own currency and hope you don't notice. You have the legal right to refuse and void the transaction should this happen. 

    ATMs too

    The same applies when taking money out of ATM machines in Gran Canaria (and anywhere in Europe); Always choose the local currency option to avoid losing money to poor exchange rates.

    If you opt for the local currency option, using bank ATMs is often the cheapest and safest way of getting euros in Gran Canaria. It's far safer than having a big pile of euros hidden in your room or tucked into your shorts.

    More details in this Daily Telegraph article.

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