Top Practical Advice for Britons on Moving to Spain: What You Should Know

Moving to Spain has its perks, and we all know this. The life in Spain is much more laid-back, especially if you move to the smaller cities, and the weather is a lot friendlier as well. But if you are thinking of making that big move and you’re from the UK, there are some practical matters to consider as well. It’s easy to get carried away with the ‘romantic’ idea of living in Spain, but if you want everything to go well, you need to think about some practical considerations. Here’s some top practical advice for Britons moving to Spain: what you should know.

The lifestyle

Your lifestyle will change when you move to Spain. The lifestyle you have in the UK will often be far removed from the lifestyle you will have in Spain, but for many, it’s a definite change for the better. In Spain, there’s more emphasis on relaxation and spending time with loved ones, and the enjoyment of life takes top priority.

The good news is that many Brits welcome this change in lifestyle and quickly adapt to it. Who wouldn’t? There’s nothing like being able to enjoy your life and taking the time to ‘smell the flowers’, and you will certainly be able to do more of this when you live in Spain.

Important practicalities

But of course, moving to Spain isn’t just about finding the right area and property, such as property for sale in Moraira, one of the most popular places for Britons who want to live in one of Spain’s most beautiful coastal regions, but also taking the necessary steps to actually live there.

For instance, do you need an ID card? Most British expats understand that they will need to have an NIE (Numero de Identification de Extranjero), or foreigner’s ID number. The NIE ID number is similar in concept to your own National Insurance number.

As a citizen of the EU, you are free to live and reside in Spain even without having to apply for permission from the Spanish government, although this may change in the future with Brexit regulations. Currently, if you have lived in Spain for 3 months, you will have to apply for the NIE. Even if you don’t think you need one at the moment, it is still better to apply for one, so it will be easier for you to make transactions. For example, if you are looking to buy property, if you would like to purchase a car, or even if you simply want to set up a bank account or install utilities – you will definitely need a Numero de Identification de Extranjero or NIE.

And it’s also important to note that as a European citizen, you currently don’t need to apply for residency if you live in Spain – but it will give you some tax advantages if you do.

In order to acquire your Numero de Identification de Extranjero as well as your certificate of residence, simply go to the nearest Oficina de Extranjeros (foreigners’ bureau or office) or Comisaria de Policia (police station) in the town where you are residing. You will then be issued with a residence certificate, which will show your name, postal address, your nationality, and your NIE complete with the registration date.

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