Whatever the reason that you have to move to Spain, the process will have a few legal points that need to be followed. The moving process is easier for EU nationals when compared to the citizens of other countries. But that doesn’t mean that it is going to be a hardship to deal with the legal procedures. Here are a few legal tips to help you make a smoother move to Spain as a foreigner.
1. Get your visa and work permit
In Spain, there are different types of visas depending upon how and how long you are spending in the country. If you need to work, the visa is different from someone who wants to live here after retirement.
For example, there is one popular residency that during the past years has become the go-to option for many non-EU citizens: the investor permit.
This visa is granted to those investing in Spanish real estate with value over € 500.000; and it is the most recommended path due to its simple application.
That is, the requirements for this visa are much more straightforward when compared to the other visa types.
You can find out all the requirements to apply for the Spanish investor residence permit in Balcells Group’s complete guide.
2. Demand a written contract on your property
As a foreigner, it is easier to buy a property than renting one in Spain. There are no legal limits on the property value so you can easily choose your dream home. Moreover, purchasing a property over EUR 500,000 will help you get a visa for 2 years. Since most landlords tend to rely on a spoken agreement, you must have a written contract and get it signed, in case you are renting a property.
3. Apply for a health insurance
Being a legal resident in Spain makes you eligible for free healthcare services. By registering at the local Social Security Centre, you will get a health card which you can use at the hospitals and doctor’s appointments. In case you are not eligible for the free services, you can opt for the alternative of pay-in-scheme. Here, you will pay a monthly charge of EUR 60.
4. Bank Account and tax returns
In Spain, residents and non-residents can open a bank account. Once the non-residents get a resident visa, you can convert the account into a resident account.
There are different types of taxes applicable in the form of income tax, property tax, business tax, Social Security contributions, VAT, etc.
Each case is particular, and the ideal scenario would be to consult with a tax specialist to fully understand your situation in order to avoid incurring in any kind of tax penalty.
5. Work and resident visa for working
If you plan to have an income in Spain, you need a work and resident visa.
There are several options to get that legal right, but for example residencies like the golden visa implicitly offer the capacity to work in the country.
On the other hand, you will have to apply for a regular work permit, showing proof of a job offer or a work contract to get this visa.
With this, you can be an employee or start your own business. The foreign skilled workers will be appointed only for those jobs that are enlisted as a shortage occupation.
6. Living in Spain
Apart from getting housing in Spain, there are other matters to take care of when you start living here, such as finding education for your children and having a driving license.
The cost of living is lower if we compare with the US or other European capitals. Nevertheless, cities like Madrid and Barcelona tend to be much more expensive; and you may find really good “deals” on the surroundings of these big cities.
Knowing or at least understanding the Spanish language will make things easier, specially when you go through a real estate process or try to rent an apartment and negotiate with the landlord.
7. Bottom Line
The residency permit in Spain is given for 1, 2, or 5 years and it needs renewal at the end of its term. To get the renewal, you must prove yourself a law-abiding resident to get into the good books; and meet the same requirements you fulfilled on the first application.