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First Things To Do When You Have Moved To Spain

July 20th, 2007

It can be a daunting prospect to move to an entirely new country to set up home. However, the key to any successful move whether domestic or international is to prepare thoroughly and have plans laid for when you actually arrive. Our previous post touched upon what you should prepare prior to your move, this post will provide you with a checklist of things you should consider doing once you arrive in Spain.

  • Primarily you should go to your local police station in Spain or comisaria and request your NIE (numero de identificacion de extranjeros) number. All residents and visitors need an NIE number if they intend to pay taxes, set up utility bills, buy and sell property and pay Spanish council tax. Without the NIE number none of these are legally possible. You should allow up to 6 weeks for the application to be processed.
  • Individuals that are retired from work should apply for a residence card. An application form can be downloaded from In order to obtain the card you will need to take the completed application form to the comisaria along with your NIE number, passport, marriage certificate (if applicable) proof of address details, medical certificates, health insurance details and 4-5 passport sized photographs of yourself.
  • If you are from the UK and are of pensionable age, if you contact the UK Pensions Service and inform them of your new Spanish address, they will still be able to send you a UK state pension.
  • If you are to be self-employed in Spain you will need to register with the INSS (Instituto Nacional de la Seguridad Social) so that you can arrange for social security tax payments to pay for your healthcare requirements.
  • You could chose to take out private healthcare insurance.
  • Once you have your NIE number get a telephone line installed at your property by contacting the local Telefonica office, obtain a water rates contract at your local town hall and contact the electricity supplier and arrange for electricity to be supplied to the property or if it is already in place, arrange for the contract to be changed from the old owner into your name.
  • Create a new will that takes into account your new Spanish assets. This should be draw up with a Spanish solicitor so that any vagaries in Spanish inheritance law are addressed from the outset.

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