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What to consider when moving to Spain

If you’re considering making the big move to Spain, there are a few things you should consider before you move. A bit of thought and pre-planning will make life a lot easier and get you settled into your new life in Spain quicker. Whether you have already found your dream property, or if you are looking for brand new developments and existing properties for sale in Marbella (or indeed elsewhere in Spain!), there is plenty to think about before you settle down. If you carry on reading we will have all the information you need to help you get ready for the big move.

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1. Applying for an NIE (Foreigners Identity Number)

A foreigner’s identification number will be your tax number while you’re living in Spain. You’ll need an NIE for a huge amount of things such as buying a car, buying property and paying your taxes. How to get an NIE number depends on where in Spain you are. 

In some areas, you can get an NIE number quickly via a face-to-face appointment, and in other areas, you’ll need to book an appointment online. Make sure you research the best way to get an NIE number for the area you will be relocating too. You can also apply through a Spanish consulate outside of Spain. 

You will need to produce a variety of documents to get an NIE number. The most important document is an EX-15 form (NIE form) which can be downloaded online. A reason for the application is also needed. EU citizens need to provide a photocopy of their passport. In contrast, non-EU nationals will need to photocopy their whole passport and prove valid entry to Spain with a Spanish passport stamp.

2. Opening a bank account

If you do not have a Spanish bank account, you’ll have to pay transaction fees for each withdrawal. You don’t want to be paying extra costs every time you pay the bills or go to a shop. 

There are two types of bank accounts available, a resident’sbank account and a non-residents bank account. If you don’thave an NIE yet, you’ll have to apply for a non-residents account.

To open a bank account, you’ll need your passport, proof of address, NIE number and proof of employment (or student card/unemployment information). It’s also a good idea to have around 6 months of savings on hand when you arrive in Spain to cover any extra expenses.

3. Health Insurance

Health insurance for Spanish residency is a requirement for everyone. Without health insurance, you will not be able to apply for a residency permit (non-EU). 

After you have been in Spain for 90 days, there are various requirements to obtain residency, even if your residency is only temporary. With private health insurance, a set amount per month/year will cover all your medical expenses, there are no waiting times, and you can select specialists depending on your requirements.

4. The Spanish Language

It’s good to know at least a few words in Spanish before you move to Spain. Most employers will expect you to speak fluent Spanish. Think about investing in some classes before you travel or even when you arrive. The free app Dulinguo is great to get you started with a few Spanish phrases.

5. The Cost of living

It’s good to have an idea of what the cost of living is like in Spain in comparison to your home country. To save money once you arrive, think about looking for accommodation so you don’t have to fork out on hotels once you get to Spain. There are plenty of apartments to rent and room shares available on multiple sites such as Idealista.