The Independent Country of Catalonia- What Would it Mean for Foreigners Living Here?

The newest update in the post-referendum politics of Catalonia is that Carles Puigdemont, President of the Generalitat of Catalonia, has announced that Catalonia will imminently announce its independence as a country. It’s an announcement of a forthcoming announcement, if you will.

Some people have said to pay no mind to such an announcement. I’ve heard the situation compared to Brexit in the sense that such diplomatic changes would take place slowly and over the course of years. I disagree completely. Brexit was a legal choice and they were given 2 year window in which to negotiate the terms of their (mostly) amicable divorce with the European Union. Catalonia’s Independence is an illegal and unwelcome attack on its greater institution. Spain’s central government will not facilitate the terms of this ‘divorce’ neatly or easily. There will be retaliation. There will be a fight over assets. The kids are going to need therapy.

Non-Spaniards living in Catalonia could be considered one of the “kids” stuck in the divorce. What will be the status of those living here with “Spanish” visas after Catalonia declared independent statehood?

One of the most significant repercussions of separating from Spain would be losing EU status. Catalonia could not gain back that EU status without the vote of all current members, mostly importantly…Spain.

So…

  • What happens to non-EU foreigners living in Catalonia with a “Spanish” visa?
  • What about all people from the EU living and/or working in Catalonia? Does their tax situation change? Or worse, would they have to quit their jobs? Or would they just need to go jump through whatever bureaucratic hoops Catalonia sets up?
  • What about the European companies that are operating here? How many of them would close up shop and move to Andalusia or Madrid?
  • What effect will there be on Catalonian exports to the EU, which makes up a sizeable portion of the economy?
  • How will Catalonia’s trading agreements be affected in general?

I would like to find a professional to answer some of these questions. If anyone wants to comment their input, feel free. In the meantime, I will try to find an expert who can shed some light on these topics.

 

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