In this guide I will give you main things you need to do when you are looking to move to sunny Spain to live and work. Most people will be looking at this as a move to paradise but many end up leaving within the first year to go back home.
You will find that the Spanish systems tend to consist mainly of paperwork and can be time consuming and very frustrating.
The first thing to do when you arrive is register yourself at the local police station for an NIE number.
The NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is the counterpart to a DNI for Spanish citizens. The NIE is the identification number in Spain for everyone who is not a Spanish citizen. Your NIE number will allow you to work in Spain legally and obtain a work contract.
This can be a frustrating process and took me several attempts to finally get mine. If you are lucky you can usually do this in two trips.
- Attend the police station as early as you can as they can be very busy.
- When asked for the reason you need an NIE number tell them it is to open a bank account in Spain.
- Stick to the appointment they give you.
- Take you passport and any other paperwork you have.
Once you have obtained your NIE number you will then be able to apply for your social security number which you need if you are looking for employment.
Visit you local social security office, you can google this by each area, I found them to be very helpful and you can have the number in most cases the same day. You will be given a form to fill out in Spanish, however, I was supplied with an English translation. You will have to wait around for your number to be called out and this usually takes 30 minutes or so. You will then be given your number on a printed form
You are now set to be able to work in Spain and will be able to open a bank account.
Banks in Spain open from around 8.15am till 2pm each day. You will need a deposit of usually €100.00 to open and account.
Unless you have a Residencia, you will have to open a non residents account. This will require you to have a UK address and proof of that. Again take all you paperwork with you including you NIE, social, work contract etc and make sure that you go to the branch nearest to where you live. I opened my account in a town 10km down the road which can be a nightmare as most things out of the ordinary have to be done through your branch and other branches cant help ie, changing your account etc.
One thing people find in Spain are that the wages tend to be a lot lower compared to the UK but if you live like the Spanish you can tend to get more for your money. A big mistake people tend to make is to live like they are on holiday and believe me, you can spend money living like that. When I first moved here we fell into the same trap and went out for tea most evenings and went to the expensive places but if you can budget and control these urges then you can live very reasonably.
Renting an Apartment in Spain was very straight forward, they usually require a months rent in advance and a months bond. Go through a known estate agent and make sure that you see all you bills each month
Remember in Spain you have to work hard to live well and take into consideration that the winters can be long (but warm) meaning that most of the work here relates to tourism so make sure you put money away to get you through if you are in a seasonal job.
I hope this helps anyone looking to make the move, my advise go for it! The weather is great all year round and so are the people.