Moving from the UK to Spain Checklist

When moving from the UK to Spain there is a lot of paperwork that you will need to complete and it can be very overwhelming trying to get everything sorted. Some things need to be completed before others in order to get the correct documentation needed for future paperwork which can make it even more confusing. 

If you are planning to move to Spain and don’t know where to start or what to prepare, take a look at our checklist below designed to help you get things in order. You can also receive our free printable paperwork checklist by filling in the form below or clicking here

The information within this article may be subject to change due to new rules and regulations as a result of Brexit. Therefore, we recommend consulting a professional if you have any questions before moving from the UK to Spain.

NIE 

The first thing you should do when moving from the UK to Spain is to get your NIE as this is needed for many of the other processes listed below.  You can do this as soon as you arrive in Spain, or before if possible.

The NIE (número de identificación de extranjería) is a Spanish tax identification number for foreigners that you’ll need for everything from buying a car to opening a bank account and renting a property. It is a good idea to get your NIE sorted before you move to Spain as without this there are so many things you cannot do. To complete this process yourself you will need 

  • The completed application form EX-15 
  • A valid passport (with a minimum of 6 months left) 
  • A photocopy of your passport 
  • Proof that you have paid the €10 fee, using the Modelo 790 form 
  • Proof of why you need an NIE such as a job contract, rental contract, school acceptance letter etc 

If you are not in Spain you can submit the form to your nearest Spanish consulate. If you apply for your NIE when you are already in Spain you will need to book an appointment to go to your local police station. 

If you need help filling out the EX-15 form, see this guide

Padrón 

The certificado de empadronamiento or ‘Padrón’ is a certificate you receive after registering at your local town hall. The Padrón is used by the government and local authorities to keep track of how many people live in the area. 

You will be asked for a copy of your Padrón when you apply for residency, and any time you need to provide proof of your address. 

To get your Padrón certificate you will need: 

  • A valid passport 
  • NIE or TIE/Residencia 
  • A recent utility bill in your name 
  • House deeds or a copy of your rental contract 

When providing a copy of you Padrón it needs to be no older than 3 months. You can request an up-to-date copy at any time from your local Ayuntamiento (Town Hall). 

Residencia / TIE 

If you want to become a permanent resident in Spain you’ll be required to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family. The proof of income required seems to vary in different areas so below we have listed the maximum amounts we have come across. For a more precise figure, the British Embassy recommends contacting your local Oficina de Extranjeria

Pre-Brexit those moving from the UK to Spain permanently would apply for Residencia, this has now been replaced by the TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero). Unlike the old-style green residency cards, the TIE can be used as an official ID in Spain as it shows your photograph and fingerprint. The card also contains your your NIE number.   

The TIE re­quire­ments and documents needed will vary de­pend­ing on your cir­cum­stances. If you hold a UK passport don’t already have a residency certificate, you will need to make an appointment at the immigration office in your province. 

For those not working in Spain (and not pensioners) the documents needed are: 

  • A completed EX20 (residencia) or EX23 (TIE) application form   
  • NIE
  • Spanish tax number (if you don’t already have one this will be done at the same time) 
  • S1 form 
  • A valid passport (plus a photocopy) 
  • Passport sized photograph 
  • Padrón (no more than 3 months old) 
  • Proof that you have €9,000 euros in the bank for a single person or €12,000 euros for a joint application 
  • Private health insurance policy with cover for at least 1 year 
  • Proof of payment of the €12 fee Model 790 Code 012 

For those planning to re­tire to Spain the documents needed are: 

  • A completed EX20 (residencia) or EX23 (TIE) application form   
  • NIE 
  • Spanish tax number (if you don’t already have one this will be done at the same time) 
  • S1 form 
  • A valid passport (plus a photocopy) 
  • Passport sized photograph 
  • Padrón (no more than 3 months old) 
  • S1 form 
  • Pension letter 
  • Last 3 months bank statements to show that the pension is being paid 
  • If the pension is paid in Spain, a bank statement with proof of payment 
  • Proof of payment of the €12 fee Model 790 Code 012 

For those planning to work in Spain the documents needed are: 

  • A completed EX20 (residencia) or EX23 (TIE) application form   
  • NIE 
  • Spanish tax number (if you don’t already have one this will be done at the same time) 
  • S1 form 
  • A valid passport (plus a photocopy) 
  • Passport sized photograph 
  • Padrón (no more than 3 months old) 
  • Proof that the main earner has a monthly income of €2,130 plus an extra €532 for each dependent, with evidence this amount has been paid into your bank account for 3 months 
  • Proof that you can maintain this income for one year 
  • A valid signed work contract or proof of autonomo if self-employed 
  • Payslips 
  • SIP card 
  • Proof of payment of the €12 fee Model 790 Code 012 

Bank Account 

If you’re going to be living permanently in Spain you will need to open a Spanish bank account. Most high street banks will allow you to open a resident’s bank account as long as you can provide the following information: 

  • A valid, current passport 
  • Proof of your address in Spain, such as a recent utility bill or house deeds 
  • Your NIE number 

Depending on the bank, you might also need to provide other information such as financial information like your P60 or pension certificate. 

Driving license 

UK residents making a permanent move to Spain will be required to exchange their driving license for a Spanish one. Before 31st December 2020 you can make an appointment with Spain’s traffic authorities, the DGT, to exchange your license. This will involve a quick hearing and eye test. 

After the Brexit withdrawal deadline you will also be required to take a driving test. To exchange your UK driving license you will need to apply to the DGT and will need: 

  • Application form 
  • Valid UK driving license 
  • Proof of residence 
  • A valid passport 
  • Two passport sized photos 

Healthcare 

If you work in Spain or are a pensioner you will be eligible for Spanish state healthcare. You need to apply for a SIP (Sistema de Informacion Poblacional) card which is a credit card sized document that displays your personal information and NIE number. You have to show your SIP card whenever you attend a medical centre. 

If you are working in Spain and paying into the social security system you will need to provide the following documentation to apply for a SIP card: 

  • A completed S1 form 
  • A valid passport 
  • NIE  
  • Residencia/TIE 
  • Padrón 
  • A working life certificate (Certificado de la Vida Laboral

If you are a pensioner (over 65) in Spain you will need to provide the following documentation to apply for a SIP card: 

  • A completed S1 form 
  • A valid passport 
  • NIE  
  • Residencia/TIE 
  • Padrón 

Once you have your paperwork together you must submit it to the Seguridad Social and you will receive your health card (tarjeta sanitaria)

If you are moving from the UK to Spain and would like a copy of our free printable paperwork checklist simply enter your email below:

Any or all of these processes can be carried out yourselves or by a relocation company or Gestor, it will of course be much cheaper to do everything yourself but you may find this difficult if you don’t speak Spanish. 

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