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Moving to Spain

When you are moving to Spain there are some things that have to be clarified before you get to it. For most people this process starts with a dream about moving to Spain, and for some unfortunately it ends only as a dream. Many don’t dare to leave their friends and family behind, and others are looking for a job in Spain but don’t find anything suitable.

If you have a job that can be done from home, you can firstly ask your employer if it is okay that you will be working from Spain in the nearest future. If not, you either need to be fluent in Spanish to find a job, or apply for a job among the English companies that are located in Spain.

Choice of residence

Living in Spain
Costa del Sol
When the job and the economic situation has been clarified and you have decided for how long you are going to stay in Spain, it is time to find a place to live. The areas where there are most Britons are Gran Canaria, Costa del Sol and Valencia/Alicante. In these areas there are also English schools. If you want to socialize with other expats while you live in Spain it would be natural to choose one of these areas. Otherwise there are many nice cities in Spain where you won’t meet other Expats at all.

The best time of year to move to Spain is in the fall. It is easier to rent an apartment in the fall than in the spring. This is because many home owners make big money on short time rental during the summer months.

Before moving to Spain

Before you move to Spain you have to be sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months. In addition you have to order the “European Health Insurance Card” at NHS

This card gives you the right to use health services for free all over EU. This card however only gives you access to emergency and acute services in Spain. If you need a GP in Spain, you have to apply for a ”Seguridad Social” number. There are many Gestors that work with helping foreigners that don’t speak spanish with applying for “Seguridad Social”, “NIE-number” or “Residencia”.

If you are going to live in Spain for less than 6 months you don’t have to notify a change of address from England. If you are going to stay here for more than 6 months, it is wise to wait with notifing a change of address until you have lived in Spain for a couple of months. If after 4 months you still are sure that you will continue living here, then you can contact the government in England and notify them about your relocation to Spain.

Once you have got yourself a residence in Spain you should contact the “Policia Nacional” in the town where you are resident and apply for a “NIE-number” or a “Residencia”. If you are going to live in Spain for less than 6 months you should apply for the “NIE-number”, and if you are going to live here longer you should apply for the Residencia. Both applications give you a document with a ID-number that makes your everyday much easier as an English resident in Spain. If you are going to work in a Spanish business or in an English business located in Spain, it is mandatory to have a NIE-number or a Residencia. If you don’t speak Spanish, then you have to either get someone to help you with this application process, or you can go to a “Gestor” and pay them to do the work.(recommended).

Read more about English services in Spain here...

You should also get registered in the municipality where you are located. This process is called an Empadronamiento and gives you benefits as a citizen. In addition the municipality will get subsidies from the Government that will cover their expences letting you use facilities like roads, water, beaches, libraries, parks and so on.

Safe removal to Spain

Before you plan on moving all your possessions to Spain, you will need to have a copy of a deed or lease which states that you are going to live in Spain and a working permit, called a “Residencia”. There are many serious removal companies that will do all the paperwork, packing, moving from door-to-door, customs declaration and even storage on the destination if needed.

Good luck with your removal to Spain.


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