There always seem to be too many jobs to remember when you’re moving house, and moving to Spain means there are a few more things to consider.
There’s a lot to think about when moving to Spain but as long as you leave yourself plenty of time there’s no need to panic! Our checklist aims to give you some po
Before you leave
So you can throw yourself into Spanish life the moment you arrive, take a bit of time to tie up loose ends at home.
Make sure you don’t end up paying for old bills at home after moving to Spain by writing yourself a list of all of your outgoings. A good way to do this is to run through your bank statement and make note of anything you aren’t going to need once you’ve left. Make sure to plan well in advance to give yourself enough notice to cut ties. Some key things to cancel are below:
- Utilities; for things like gas and electric you need to leave at least 48 hours’ notice to cancel and make sure to take a final reading and provide it to your suppliers before leaving your house so you’re not stuck paying for the next person’s usage! You should also check if you’re on a fixed rate tariff as you may be charged an exit fee to close the account early.
- Internet and phone – the terms of cancellation will all be detailed in your contract – here’s hoping you still have a copy!
- Local council tax – use this online checker to find out where your local council is based and how to advise them that you’re leaving, https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council
- National Insurance – you’ll need to complete a p85 form to notify the Inland Revenue that you are planning to leave if you are moving permanently or for longer than 1 year which you can download here: there is an online form available, or a downloadable version if you need to send it in
Pack! Try to leave more time than you think you’ll need for this. Transporting belongings to another country is understandably expensive so you won’t want to take more than you need in a mad rush a week before moving to Spain. Make a list of all the items you definitely want to take with you, and in the process, you’ll
Get your furry friends microchipped. If you’re planning on taking any pets with you when you move to Spain, as long as you aren’t travelling from a 'high-rabies risk country' and your pet has been microchipped (read here for the specific type of microchip required for entry to Spain) to confirm this you won’t need to leave your companion in quarantine before taking them home with you. This goes for cats, dogs
Once you’ve made the move to Spain
There always seem to be too many things to remember when you’re moving house, and moving to another country means a few more jobs to consider. There’s a lot to think about but as long as you leave yourself plenty of time there’s no need to panic! Our moving to Spain checklist aims to give you some pointers so you can be ready for moving day, which will come around sooner than you think!
Getting an NIE number
- your passport and proof of address
- two copies of each of the above
- completed application form (see below)
self-addressedenvelope with postage stamp
- €8 (approximate admin fee for submitting form)
- “Certificado de Empadronamiento” – this differs from region to region in Spain but it's generally a good idea to have one as it may be required before you can get an NI
Your other option is to elect a representative such as a solicitor to complete and submit the form on your behalf, you’ll need to complete a permission form in order to do this. You’ll need to do this in order to open a bank account, register for health care services and for school applications so it’s key to get this step done as soon as possible. When you submit your form, check and double check that you have all the required paperwork as this can be a timely process – you don’t want any unnecessary delays on top!
Registering with your local town hall
This document is called “Certificado de Empadronamiento” or “certificate of registration” and can be required prior to you obtaining your NIE number. This differs from region to region, but as you need one within 3 months of moving to Spain it’s a good one to tick off the list ASAP. The following documentation is needed in order to register:
- Your completed application form (available at the office where registration is being made)
- Photo ID such as a passport, and copies of your passport. This is required for each person registering at an address.
- Proof of address such as
rentalbill, title deeds or utility bill
It doesn’t generally take too long for the process itself, and the certificate can be issued on the spot.
The Spanish healthcare system works similarly to the UK, in that people working and making social security contributions will be entitled to state healthcare. There are no upfront costs involved with this, other than buying prescribed medicines. This is a percentage of the full price for the prescription, which is worked out based on how much your yearly earnings are and whether or not you received a state pension. The table below shows the percentages you will be expected to pay as an expat in Spain, depending on your circumstances:
€18,000 - €100,000
If you have bought a second home in Spain and will spend the majority of your time in the UK you should still be able to use your EHIC card for your healthcare needs. You should make sure to update your EHIC card with plenty of time to receive it before you leave. You can apply for a renewed card here.
If you are not eligible for free healthcare whilst in Spain, for
For more guidance on healthcare, read our Guide to the Spanish healthcare system.
Opening a bank account
You’ll need to the have the NIE number we mentioned earlier in order to get yourself set up with a bank account in Spain, you’ll also need your
Many Spanish banks offer non-residency account also, so if you are only staying in the country for a little while, or will be splitting your time between the UK and Spain then this might be the easiest option.
The best way to source a bank is to travel around your new local area and find out which branches are closest to you, as cash withdrawals from your own bank tend to be free but if you take out cash using another company’s ATM there may well be a charge for this, generally no more than €2 Euros per transaction. Spanish banks are known for having relatively high charges compared to other EU countries, it’s well
Other charges may include a ‘maintentence fee’ which is the ongoing cost of holding your bank account, an initial administration fee for the
One way you can avoid paying these charges is to open a Euro account with your own bank at home, which works the same way as one abroad and will be able to send and receive your Euros without first needing to convert your Sterling. It’s just like having an account abroad essentially.
Getting a Spanish Driving Licence
As of January 2015, if you become a Spanish resident and are planning on driving you will need to obtain a Spanish driving
Now that you’re bone