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A few issues to consider well in advance of your move...
- Arrange a moving date… If you are awaiting a completion date, you might need to arrange temporary accommodation until the keys are yours. We can help with that too.
- Check all the details of your Spanish purchase. Your lawyer will confirm details of the completion and everything you need to bring with you to the notary.
- Notify authorities, banks, building societies, etc., of your new contact details.
- Seek professional advice about your personal financial situation and inform the tax authorities of your move abroad.
- If British, inform the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP – www.dwp.gov.uk) about your move and find out if you are entitled to any benefits. If relevant, obtain Forms E106 or E121 from the DWP (Healthcare on the Costa del Sol).
- Investigate the Spanish tax and pension systems, and make any necessary arrangements.
- Obtain estimates from at least three international removal companies. The VIVA team can help you get the best deal.
- Make sure all passports are up to date.
- Finalise travel arrangements.
Relocation Advice and Information
- Nothing is as important as your family’s health, and this is something you should organise well in advance. Check out our Healthcare section.
- One of the other most important priorities for those with children is to research the schooling possibilities. Our Education overview is an excellent place to start.
- There is no way you are going to make the move if your pets cannot accompany you. With the European Pet Passport that is possible. Find out how at Bringing Your Pets.
- If you are entitled to a pension and plan to retire on the Costa del Sol, you can claim it while living in Spain. More detailed information on our Retirement page.
- Although English is widely spoken in southern Spain, it will help smooth your path if you can communicate in Spanish. Some basic phrases at Learning the Language.
- If you are looking for a job, make sure your CV is up to date and consider registering with a reputable recruitment agency. More about Working in Spain here.
- While public transport is generally excellent, if will help if can get around by car. For more information consult our Transport and Travel page.
Paperwork and Legalities
- One of the first things you should do once you decide to stay permanently in Spain is obtain an NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero / Foreigner's Identification Number).
- Spanish residency (residencia) is not compulsory for EU citizens, but there are advantages if you plan to live in Spain on a permanent basis.
- It is a good idea to open a bank account in Spain as soon as you can, especially if you are buying a property.
- Here at VIVA, we will be happy to recommend an experienced lawyer who will speak your language and is familiar with the needs of expatriates.
- If you need a mortgage, your lawyer can recommend lenders, but it also pays to shop around as banks are now offering more flexible loans in the face of greater competition.
- Buying a property in Spain means that you are likely to be transferring large amounts of money from your home country to Spain. We recommend Moneycorp for your currency transactions.
You will need to make the decision on whether to bring your existing furniture with you or furnish your new Spanish property from scratch. Depending on your intended use of the property it might be worth considering a company that specialises in furniture packages, saving you time and easing the stress. Many of us here at VIVA have made the move to Spain ourselves, so we can help you with first-hand relocation knowledge.
Around six months before your planned moving date, contact as many international removal companies as possible and obtain at least three estimates.
When you are looking to arrange removals to Spain a reputable company will offer help and advice about the best way to transport your furniture and belongings to Spain. The VIVA team can give you details of well-established companies that are experienced in removals abroad and will be familiar with any potential problems. Ensure that, whichever company you choose, they have full insurance cover and a registered office in Spain, where you can direct any enquiries after the move, rather than having to contact them in the UK, for example.