Guide for a UK expat who is moving in to Spain – Things to now before you go

Year full of sunshine and moderately high temperatures, lifestyle choices starting from packed Costas to various party destinations like Ibiza, Barcelona or calm and relaxing hotspots for the new retirees like Menorca, there are multiple reasons to move into Spain. The economy might be the only reason which might prompt you not to go to Spain. But if you’re someone with a secured source of income and you would like to reap benefits from nation with heavy usage of English, easy access budget airlines companies from the regional airports of UK and houses put up for sale at prices which you found in the year 1990, it would definitely sound compelling and intriguing.

Foreigners or rather expats from UK are almost found everywhere but they usually are found heavily in 3 places, the Balearic island located at Mallorca, filled with lavish villas and glitzy marinas, Andalucía in the south, which is diverse with English breakfast resorts which inspired people like Picasso and Ernest Hemmingway and the region around Valencia, for reasons like mass tourism. Hence, you can see that UK expats are to be seen in every place and Spain is one among them. Read on to know some vital things before you move to Spain.

Some facts to consider before moving into Spain

Before you make the decision of moving into Spain, you should be aware of the fact that residents of EU don’t need visas to permanently move down to Spain. However, within 3 months of arrival to Spain, you have to secure the NIE which is the abbreviated form of their foreign identity number and a Residency card.

There are certain banks which need a minimum deposit of around €1,200 to initiate an account and some other banks insist you to carry minimum balances during the end of each month of the calendar. Even after you move into Spain, you will keep receiving your state pension which you got in UK, but you definitely have to notify that to the Department of Work and Pensions and you also require having paid the national insurance contributions. You can also be eligible for the other UK benefits as well, provided you meet the requirements and criteria.

Before you leave for Spain, you have to apply for form no. S1 which you’re liable to show at any local Spanish doctor’s hospital. Once they check this, you will be treated as the same standard as is a Spanish-born resident. You may even visit certain private hospitals as there are some cash-strapped hospitals who deny treatment to migrants who don’t come in with their full registration forms.

And there is the moving & relocation part. To actually move, you are going to need a reliable and established international removal company to move your belongings & house furniture and other personal stuff that you cannot get rid of. Best way to send everything before you go and then fly to Spain and just open the boxes and settle in. 

Some vital essentials to take into account

What is the name of the airport which you’ll arrive at? Palma airport for Mallorca, Malaga airport for Andalucía are some of the common airports. For the region around Valencia, some of the key airports are Alicante, Murcia, Barcelona and Valencia.

What is the local currency of Spain? The Euro. €1comprises of 100 cents. In the year 2012, €1 was equivalent to 79p and £1 was equivalent to €1.25.

What are the prices of hotel rooms in Spain? The hotels in Spain are still struggling and they are not yet too developed as compared to those of the other countries. The 5-star hotels offer 45% discounts during particular seasons and you need to keep a track over the discounts in order to save your pounds.

What is the local language of the Spanish people? The local language is Spanish throughout the north-east Catalan.

What kind of taxes would you need to pay? The non-residents would require paying taxes on any money that they earn in Spain in the form of business dividend, wages, property income or bank interest. The income tax ranges from 29-45% and the typical self-employed tax to pay in a month is €300, as per recent reports.

Is there anything to brag about Spain?

You must be wondering that now that you’re a UK expat, what you would tell your friends about Spain. Here are some points to brag about.

  • Spain boasts of beaches that range to more than 8000 kms.
  • Bullfights have always been famous in Spain and now after a 6-year ban, they are all set to be again shown on Spanish TV live.
  • Spain is 5-times larger than the United Kingdom and it has only 2/3rds of UK’s population.
  • Tapas are actually slices of bread to cover sherry glasses in between taking sips.

So, now you are much more aware of the things to know before moving on to Spain. However, one of the most important steps to take is to learn Spanish so that you may find communicating better with the local people. With all that said have a happy moving to Spain and have an enjoyable stay!