Relocating to Spain

Step 1 - Making the decision
Moving to a foreign country can be a traumatic experience for anyone and the more that you think about before your move, the better. Children especially may find the experience shattering. Imagine leaving all their friends and a lifestyle they are used to. They too will have to adjust to the new culture. If anything goes wrong at the moving stage, this can totally change your future life in Spain and at the end of the day, settling in a new country is hard enough as it is. By the time you have decided to move to Spain on a permanent basis, you will have already decided on the area, your work and if you have children, you will have already thought about schools. Your next step is to find a suitable moving company. You are advised to choose a company that specialises in moves to Spain. A company with a long track record, insurance and can provide references. Visit the British Embassy's website for information on moving to and living in Spain - medical cover, employment, education, pets, cars, benefits, getting married and so much more. Making the decision If you want to settle in Spain either long or short term then you have to have drive, determination and patience. The hot weather may be a major attraction to you - don't move for this reason alone. The sun is nice for a while but if you need to work in it to survive, it's not quite so attractive. If you are one of those who like everything done straight away then Spain is not for you. Be prepared for a slower lifestyle where things take a little longer to get done. Living in Spain is not a holiday in any way. Still convinced that you want to move ? Then read on and do it ! Assuming you have cleared up any mess and tied up loose ends in your own country you are almost ready to move. Maybe you have a home to go to in Spain, maybe you want to find one when you get there. Maybe you have work to go to or maybe you will look for work when you get there. If you have no arrangements don't worry, there are plenty of both, depending on what area of Spain you are going to.
Step 2 - Final checklist before you leave - Home & Travel
Home and travel Decide which possessions you will take to Spain, which you will leave in the UK and which items you can sell before you leave. Obtain estimates for the move from at least three removal companies. Purchase boxes, labels and bubble wrap. When you pack boxes, list the contents on a label. Make sure you have nothing on loan such as videos, library books and if so, return them. Have you anything at the dry cleaners or cobblers? Arrange moving date and confirm at least twice. Check all the details of your Spanish purchase. Confirm mortgage and lawyers. Make sure you have some cash for your journey and arrival in Spain. Notify authorities, banks, building societies etc of your new contact details. Check any schooling arrangements for the children. See more about schools here. Make arrangements for your pets travel and arrival. See more about pets here. Check passports, travel tickets and car documents. Have you got travel insurance? Have you a green card for your car insurance? See about driving in Spainhere.
Step 2 - Final checklist before you leave - Personal
If you are retiring abroad, you can continue to receive your UK State pension. If you are moving permanently to Spain, you should get yearly increases in your pension. Contact the Social Security Office to complete the correct forms. Before you leave the UK work out your retirement income by obtaining and completing a form BR19 from the Retirement Pension Forecasting and Advice Unit (RPFA) on 0044(0) 191 218 7585 and ask for a state pension forecast. This is available up to four months before you reach the UK pension age. The forecast you receive subject to your general entitlement will tell you what your pension is at the date received and whether or not you will get more by the time you reach UK pension age. Note that if you have already moved, and are paying local Spanish social security payments, that this forecast will not include your local contributions. You should write to The UK Pensions Service informing them that you are moving to Spain and give them your new address. Their address is International Pension Centre, Tyne View Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE98 1BA Telephone: +44 (0) 191 218 7777; Fax: +44 (0) 191 218 3836. Note that the state pension age and entitlements may vary between Spain and the UK. To check on your pension rights in Spain we suggest that as a first step you should look at This is a UK government website dedicated to providing information for those re-locating to Spain from the UK.
Step 3 - Making the Move
Once you have decided on where in Spain you are going to, you need to decide on how to get there. You will decide which way is best for you, depending on what you are taking with you. If you decide to drive, make sure you read the section on driving in Spain.
Step 4 - Travel Documents
Because Spain is part of the EU, if you live in an EU country, you do not require a visa to enter the country. You have almost equal rights in Spain as you do in your own country. Make sure you have a full ten year British Passport well before you leave. Make several photocopies of it and make sure you keep at least one copy in a safe place. Losing your original passport in Spain would be a bad move. Losing all record of it would be worse. Consider taking out travel insurance for your journey over. It's money well spent if your luggage vanishes or your car is stolen with all your belongings inside. Make sure children have their own passports. It's also a good idea to go the post office in England and collect a form for renewal of a passport and a form for replacement of a lost/stolen passport. These are forms you can't get in Spain. Make sure you have all your birth/marriage certificates with you and again, make sure you have several photocopies of each which you should keep separate from the originals.
Step 5 - On Arrival in Spain - NIE Number
You can complete the form in English and it is FREE. HOW TO FILL IN THE N.I.E. APPLICATION FORM 1 DATOS PERSONALES means PERSONAL DETAILS 1er Apellido: Surname Nombre : Christian Name (make sure to use same as in passport) Fecha de Nacimiento: Date of birth (use two digits for day and month) Lugar de nacimiento: Place of birth Estado Civil: Status. S for single C for married. V for widow and D for divorced Nombre del padre: Father's name Nombre de la madre: Mother's name SECTION 2 Reasons for application: Economic, Professional or Social (Tick professional for work reasons or social for house purchase) 3) DOMICILIO A EFECTOS DE NOTIFICACIONES Leave blank Sign the form at the bottom, under 'firma de solicitante'. Complete the form and take it back to the National Police station, along with a photocopy. You also need to provide your original passport and a photocopy. That's it ! You will then be told to return in approx. 4 weeks time when your number will be ready to collect. You need this number to do anything fiscal in Spain such as open a bank account [this can also be done with your passport number].
Step 5 - Social Security
The process of getting a social security number is now very easy. Simply go to any social security office, with your original passport and copy of the passport. You will have to fill in a form, which is in Spanish, but its quite easy as the normal questions are asked like, name, address, names of parents etc. They issue the number there and then and give you a temporary card. They send on the plastic card at their leisure. It is not necessary to have a job, or even a NIE to get a social security number. Why do you need a Social Security Number?: You need a social security number to work in Spain. I am sure that you are aware that if you are self-employed you have to pay into the social security, but also if you are employed you pay and this should be deducted by your employer before payment. You are entitled to social security benefits, but pro rata to what you have paid in. You also are entitled to medical care i.e. you can sign on with your local doctor. You only have to pay if you are earning money in Spain, i.e. not on any pension from the UK.
Step 6 - Looking for work
If you have not already found work or intend to work for your self, you will now need to start job hunting. See more about working in Spain here. Or you may wish to buy a bar or similar business in Spain.


Step 7 - Residencias
A residencia is a form of permit for those who intend to reside in Spain on a permanent basis. It is NOT compulsory for EU citizens, however, there are advantages. They are issued by the National Police dept. You may wish to employ the services of a gestor for your application. Failing this, visit your nearest police station and collect the application forms. Your application forms must be returned to the Police along with several important items, as a minimum these will include; 3 photographs (passport style - in colour) A full passport (original and 2 photocopies) Title deeds or a rental contract stating where you live A work contract (min 6 months long - original and a photocopy) The fee and translator if you can not speak fluent Spanish.


Useful Addresses
Useful addresses in London Spanish Embassy, 39 Chesham Place, London SW1X 8SBCultural Office, Tel 020 7201 5522 fax 020 7259 6487Press Office, Tel 020 7235 7537 fax 020 7235 2263Labour Office, 20 Peel Street, London W8 7PD Tel: 0202210098 - email:
Please be aware that the information provided by Another World Properties is provided on the basis that it is intended as a guide and as such is not guaranteed. See the disclaimer for further information.

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