When you’re moving overseas, you need to consider the need to apply for a visa or other entry documentation. If you’re from the EU or EEA, you won’t need a visa nor any other form of paperwork before your departure.
Other international visitors can apply for a visa in one of three categories: work, student or family/retirement.
You’ll also need to make sure you obtain a Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE) – also known as a Foreigner’s Identity Number. This NIE is essential to apply for a driving licence, pay taxes and open a bank account, amongst other things. Ensure you have multiple copies of passports, photos, birth certificates, proof of your Spanish address, etc. before your move. You will need them.
EU and EEA visitors who are planning on staying longer than 90 days must register with Oficina de Extranjeros. You’ll also need to register yourself and your family at the town hall (Ayuntamiento) for your certificate of ‘Empandronamiento.’ When you purchase a car, register for schools or use healthcare facilities, you’ll need to show this certificate. The Empandronamiento allows the local government of the region to claim a budget based on the number of people living in each town.
The latest immigration figures from 2016 states over 10% of the inhabitants are foreign-born. British authorities cite the population of UK citizens living in Spain to be between 0.8 million – 1 million. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t all UK pensioners either: only 21.5% are over the age of 65.