Moving to Spain can cause a lot of confusion in our lives. Before we even leave the country, there is stress and uncertainty. Not only the separation from the family, but also a lot of formalities is a nightmare. However, in order to avoid unnecessary nerves, it is worth preparing all the necessary documents in advance. What formalities should be completed before and after arriving in Spain? Find out how to start a new life in Spain.

viața în Spania

Moving to Spain

Step 1: Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero (DNI)

A foreigner ID card – Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero – is a personal and non-transferable identity document that confirms the legal stay of foreigners in Spain. It is only issued to foreigners who can legally reside in Spain.

All foreigners who have obtained a visa or a residence permit in Spain for a period longer than six months, have the right and obligation to obtain a Foreigner Identity Card. Young people under 18 years of age do not have to make it, because they appear on the identity card of the foreigner of their parents or guardians.

The period of validity of the Foreigner ID is always equal to the validity of the visa or residence permit justifying its issuance. Upon expiry of the document, it may be extended, provided that the period of validity of the visa or residence permit is also extended.

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Step 2: Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE)

The Foreigner Identification Number is a personal and non-transferable number assigned by the Office for Foreigners.

It is given to foreigners who already possess a visa or a residence permit (it appears on all documents assigned to the immigrant). It is required for all kinds of formalities or official activities of an economic or professional nature.

Step 3: Entry in the commune register

You should also remember to register in the administrative register. Such a register contains identification data of all inhabitants of the Commune. Registration in the register entitles the person concerned to be a resident of a specific commune.

In accordance with the Spanish law, any person residing in Spain, domestic or foreign, is required to register in the commune in which he lives.

Moving to Spain – Other formalities

This document allows you to use the public health care in Spain, which is reserved only for foreigners, who are registered and show proof of tax residence in that country.

The health card is required at the health center assigned to your address of residence in Spain. There, specialists from the Administrative Unit will indicate the necessary document in a specific case. You can also speed up the process by requesting a card on the website, as long as you have an electronic DNI certificate or digital signature.

  • Entry in the Central Register of Foreigners (Registro Central de Extranjeros)

Citizens of a Member State of the European Union or a signatory to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or Switzerland, who intend to live in Spain for more than three months, are required to submit an application for registration in the Central Register of Foreigners. This procedure can be performed at the police station of the province where you live.

  • Enrolling children to the school

Upon arrival in Spain, children aged 6 and over have immediate access to a free public school.

Textbooks, school materials and extra-curricular activities (such as sports or art activities) must be paid for by the parents, although in some Autonomous Communities, the city council covers the costs partially and in some cases fully.

There are also public schools for students with special educational needs, for example, for children with learning difficulties due to psychological, emotional or behavioral problems.
Enrollment usually takes place at the beginning of the year, between February and April; although the term may differ depending on the region.

Moving to Spain – What else do you need to know?

  • Foreigners can use their driving license from their country of origin for the first 6 months of their stay in Spain. At the end of the period, the Spanish driving license should be considered;
  • Spanish government as well as many private institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), offers support services for immigrants to facilitate their adaptation;
  • Before leaving, you should prepare a number of necessary documents (valid passport, certificate of no criminal record, health insurance number, certificate of the motive for traveling to Spain, certificate from a Housing Association).

How to obtain a Spanish Citizenship?

A Spanish citizenship may be obtained by a person who:

  • has lived long enough in Spain, i.e. over 10 years
  • is married with a Spanish citizen
  • is a descendant of a Spanish citizen

First of all, you need to apply for the right to permanent residence. It should be submitted by a person who has lived and worked in Spain for the last 5 years (continuously).

In addition, the amount of money resources for the given client and his family is checked. Retirement pension, scholarships, fixed remuneration, etc. are taken into account.

When applying for a Spanish citizenship, you should gather all the necessary documents. These are:

  • a valid passport
  • a certificate of no criminal record
  • a contract of employment or a rent bill (as proof of legal residence in Spain)
  • a marriage certificate or a divorce certificate
  • a medical certificate

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