Spain is well-known for its excellent cuisine, stunning landscapes, and low cost of living. For this reason, more than 15% of its population consists of immigrants. And this proportion continues to grow. Before starting house hunting for properties for sale in Madrid or any other Spanish city, please read the following tasks that an expat may face after relocation.
Registration with local authorities
Some foreign individuals who settle in Spain should register with the local authorities. This rule does not apply only to EU or EEA citizens who visit the country for less than three months. Otherwise, they need to obtain a Certificate of Registration of a Citizen of the European Union (Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano Europeo).
Those who come from non-EU countries will need to register in accordance with their visa status and the requirements set by the Spanish Immigration Service. In addition, they need to obtain the “el padrón” certificate issued by the local town hall (in some cities, such as Madrid and Barcelona, documents for a certificate can be submitted online).
Also, immigrants should apply for an Alien Identification Number or NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) within the first week of their stay in the country. This is a legal number issued to citizens of other countries. It helps the local government keep track of the population.
The number will also be required for many important issues, like opening a bank account, receiving a salary from an employer, or connecting to utilities. The NIE application should be made within the first three months of your stay in the country.
Getting health insurance
Right after moving to another country, a foreigner should learn more about local health care services and how to access them. Spain is renowned for its quality healthcare system. In order to be able to use it, a citizen of another country should first apply for a social security number and then for an individual health card or a TSI (Tarjeta Sanitaria Individual).
You can get a private insurance policy as an alternative. It is issued by such Spanish companies as:
- April International;
- Signa Global.
Foreigners may also need a number of additional insurance services. For example, if they plan to drive in Spain, they should get car insurance. Also, they can insure their new home against theft, fire, or other emergencies.
Opening a bank account
One of the easiest ways to make life easier during your first week of staying in Spain is to open an account with a Spanish bank. It makes no difference whether you intend to connect the Internet and TV in a new home or purchase a SIM card. Having a bank account will considerably simplify this task.
As one might expect, Spain offers many banking options for newcomers. The largest banks in the country include Santander, BBVA, and Caixabank. The easiest way to open an account for an immigrant is to visit a local branch. However, he needs to have at least a little knowledge of the Spanish language in order to pass the registration procedure.
Mobile banking is a good alternative. Mobile banks have easier online registration procedures. Some of them are even available in the English language. N26 and Revolut are among the most sought-after Spanish mobile banks.
If foreigners need to transfer money from a bank account in their home country, they can use such platforms as Wise and World Remit.
The purchase of a Spanish SIM-card
A crucial part of settling in a new country is getting a local SIM-card. This not only provides an affordable and easy way to keep in touch with your loved ones back home, but also allows to organise life in a new place. Buying a SIM-card is especially relevant for those who come from non-EU countries, as their operators do not offer free roaming within Spain.
The Spanish mobile market can be characterised by a high competition level. Each company will compete for the attention of potential clients. Local residents and immigrants often prefer the following companies:
Many foreigners receive job offers before they even set foot on Spanish land. This is the main motive for the move. Non-immigrants should start job hunting as soon as possible after their arrival. Major Spanish cities such as Madrid, Valencia, and Bilbao offer various job openings. Finding a job in rural areas can be more difficult, but it is a feasible task.
Another issue to deal with during the first week is transportation. It is obvious that different options will be dictated by the relocation place. For example, huge cities like Barcelona, Seville, or Valencia have many public transport options. Many Spanish towns are perfect for cyclists as well.
However, some expats will have no choice but to drive. This is especially true for immigrants who have moved to rural Spanish areas. First of all, they should examine in advance the information to make sure that they are allowed to drive personal vehicles on legal basis. Citizens of other EU/EEA countries can use their existing licences on Spanish roads. The rest will have to exchange them for local driving licences.
Assistance with buying real estate and moving to Spain
Check out the current offers on the local real estate market if you are planning to relocate to sunny country located on the Iberian Peninsula and get settled there straight away. The official Spain-Real.Estate website features one of the largest databases of housing units. Clients of the aggregator may rely on high-quality after-sales service in addition to assistance with the selection of best options and support during an entire transaction.