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

  • Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?
    Exchange Money In Gran Canaria Or At Home?

    Visitors to Gran Canaria often ask whether it is better to exchange their local currency for euros at home or in Gran Canaria. 

    The answer is that it is almost always better to buy your euros at home than it is to bring pounds to Gran Canaria and use local banks or currency exchanges. This rule of thumb applies all over the world. A currency is almost always cheaper the further away you are from the place you can spend it (because demand for it is lower). 

    Exchange rates are almost always better at home than in Gran Canaria

    You are very likely to get a better exchange rate using a British currency exchange specialist or local bank. Many of these companies will deliver your euros to your home.

    One of the best rates in the UK is often from the post office, especially if you do it well in advance.

    The only way you'll get a better rate in Gran Canaria than at home is if the exchange rate changes while you are travelling and this is rare. 

    You also have to bear in mind that currency exchanges in Gran Canaria are getting rarer and some local banks don't exchange money for non-clients. 

    To Transfer large amouynts of money to Gran Canaria, or to make regular transfers, always use a reputable currency broker such as Currencies Direct. This will save you money on exchange rates and bank charges and is highky secure. 

    The risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria

    Another important factor to consider is the risk of bringing cash to Gran Canaria: If it is lost or stolen, there is no way of getting it back. 

    It is much safer to bring a debit or credit card and use local bank ATMs to take out money. These days, a good option is a pre-charged debit card. 

    Cards may be slightly more expensive that carrying cash, unless you seek out a bank card with low commissions, but it is much more secure. 

    Bank ATMs like Bankia, Santander and BBVA often charge lower rates than the ATMs in shopping centres and busy tourist areas.

    Alex Says: Always select the Euro option at ATMs in Gran Canaria because the exchange rate is much better than if you opt for the Local Currency option. The same applies when you pay by card in shops and restaurants.

    See our Gran Canaria Tips section for more nuggets of useful local information.

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