General Considerations when Moving to Spain
Perhaps a result of the proximity of Brexit, the numbers choosing a relocation to Spain seem to be climbing. Another factor could be the tendency for more of us to opt for self-employment and the fact that a much higher proportion of such businesses may be run remotely, from any location with a decent broadband service.
Moving to a new country can be a stressful experience, especially if you do not speak the language. In order to avoid mishaps we highly recommend you to seek advice from a local lawyer, who can advise on and manage the bureaucracy and paperwork you will face when relocating to Spain.
Relocation to Spain may also be part of a bigger trend of companies to locate personnel in an increasing number of international markets. Relocation to Spain is now a commonplace requirement for any international company, while individuals also seek worldwide job opportunities.
If you are considering relocating to Spain or are responsible for relocating an employee here, Advocate Abroad can ensure that the transition is smooth, hassle-free and efficient, allowing you to concentrate on your business immediately, with minimum down-time.
Relocation involves much more than finding a home, that’s why finding a good affordable package can help you with a smooth transition for both you and your family. After completion of a questionnaire to determine your exact housing requirements and needs we will help you to:
- Find the right home, arranging different accompanied visits to several properties in a pre-move visit where you can choose your home – photographs of which you would have been able to view in advance.
- Facilitate communication with agents and property owners, assisting in the negotiation of the rental price and terms of the lease contract.
- Inspect the check-in process and departure assistance, making sure all utilities and services are cancelled and checking the termination of contracts at the end of the stay.
- Arrange gas, electricity, water, telephone/ internet connections.
- Arrange possible housekeeping, emergency visits of electricians, plumbers or other technicians.
- Obtain residence permits, work authorizations, visas, registrations at the consular office, social security, setting up of bank accounts.
- Tourist information and culture program offering a list of private and public entities for language courses and cultural activities.
- Assistance with tax and fiscal matters.
- School search for your children giving wide options of state, private, British or international schools.
- Legal assistance if you want to buy a property.
- Any other requirements that could arise upon request.
Anyone who wishes to stay for a period of less than three months may stay in Spain without a special permit. During their stay, they can identify themselves with the identity documents issued by their countries (usually their passport).
Anyone staying for more than a few weeks for holidays should request a NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros in Wikipedia). This document is essential in order to carry-out a lot of official activities in Spain such as opening a bank account or purchasing a property.
You can get an NIE number in the Foreigner’s office of the city where you are planning to relocate, although you may find some difficulties to get an appointment since there are often hundreds of people at their offices each day. Advocate Abroad offers an exclusive service, called NIE express via which we can obtain your NIE number within 72 hours.
EU citizens do not need a visa to stay, live, or work in Spain. However, people from a member estate from the European Union or European Economic Area who are planning to stay in Spain for a period of more than three months must request the European citizen card, which is known as a “green card”.
This card will identify you with your name, nationality, address, Spanish identity number for foreign nationals (NIE) and your date of registration. The application must be submitted in person. Prior to the introduction of the Residence Certificate in April 2007, foreigners were required to submit a separate application for a NIE. This is no longer necessary, as application for an NIE is incorporated in the residence certificate application process.
Retirees can get a residency certificate by submitting paperwork that proves that they are self-reliant or that they have a pension paid by their home state. Likewise, they must prove that they are covered by healthcare insurance in Spain.
For example, the document that the Spanish foreigner’s office if the applicants are British is the S1 form. It is a healthcare certificate that entitles you and any dependants to healthcare in another EU/EEA country and Switzerland on the same basis as a resident of the UK.
If you decide to work in Spain, you must register with the social security system by requesting your social security number and registration in the system. It is a compulsory formality for anyone wishing to carry out a professional activity within the national territory, whether as an employee or as a self-employed individual. This number is free, and it does not expire.
Employers request a social security number for employees if they don’t already have one. Self-employed workers may make the application themselves or hire a professional to complete the process for them in the process of relocation to Spain.
Citizens who pay social security automatically have the right to use the Spanish healthcare system. The alternative would be contracting a private health insurance. There are several private health care companies in Spain.
If you are planning to work as self-employed in Spain, different rules apply – Advocate Abroad offers a full service for those wishing to set-up as self-employed in Spain.