Moving to Spain: practical formalities

If you want to move to Spain, you need to complete a number of practical formalities. This article gives an overview of the steps to follow.

Steps to be taken in Belgium

Before you leave, you will need to let a number of Belgian authorities know that you will be moving to Spain.

Report your departure to the municipality

You must report to the population department of the municipality where you are registered that you will be moving to Spain. The municipality will then provide you with a certificate of removal, which you can later use to register at the Belgian consulate in Spain.

Declaring your departure to the tax authorities

The tax authorities will also want to know that you are moving to Spain. You will still need to file a tax return for all your income for the year you are leaving. For example, if you change your main residence on 2 September 2018, you will still have to declare your income for the period 1 January 2018 - 1 September 2018. If you still retain income from Belgium after your move - for example, you rent out a house in Belgium - you will be taxable under Belgian non-resident tax.

Read more about the impact of emigrating to Spain on your taxes.

Report your departure to the health insurance fund

To continue enjoying your social protection, you will need to inform the mutual insurance company. In principle, the social rights you accumulated in Belgium will be preserved and you will be able to enjoy Spanish healthcare. Your Belgian pension rights will also be preserved. You will then receive the S1 form to register for health insurance in Spain.

Note: notify the mutual insurance company of your move well at least two months before your departure.

Are you retired?

In this case, you will also notify the Pension Service of your move two months before you leave. That way, they can continue to pay your pension. You can find all the information on the website of the federal pension service.

Steps to take in Spain

Once you have arrived in Spain, you are required to register with various authorities on the spot.

Registering as a European resident

Within three months of arrival, you must register with the Register for Citizens of the European Union in a Comisaría de Extranjería. You will then receive a Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión Europea.

You and your family members should fill in form EX18 twice and present the identity card. If you intend to work in Spain, you will have to present an employment contract. In addition, you will need to prove that your employer has registered you in the Seguridad Social. When you start self-employment, you must prove that you have registered yourself in the Seguridad Social. If you have no professional activity in Spain, you will have to prove that you have sufficient means of subsistence and health insurance.

You will have to pay a registration fee on the spot.

Applying for a NIE number for residents

An NIE number is a personal identification number in Spain. When you register as a European resident in Spain, you will suddenly also receive the NIE number. The NIE number is important for your registration in the municipality, communication with administrative services and for paying your taxes.

Note: The NIE number for residents is different from the NIE number for non-residents. For example, you need a NIE number for non-residents as a Belgian resident with property in Spain.

Read more about the process of buying a property in Spain.

Register in the municipality in Spain

Registration in the population register of the Spanish municipality is done at the local town hall (junta municipal). You will have to submit along with proof of residence, your NIE number, your identity card and a translated copy of the marriage certificate. Registration is important to obtain proof of residence, open a bank account and access the local medical centre. You can also get discounts for municipal and cultural activities.

Read more about the immigration procedure in Spain.

Registering at the Belgian consulate

Finally, you can register in the local Belgian consulate. This is not compulsory. The consulate takes over the services of a Belgian municipality, such as applying for a Belgian identity card. You can also go and vote in Belgian federal elections.

Read more about Belgian consular assistance in Spain.

Need an official move to Spain?

Depending on your situation, it is possible to stay in Spain without being a resident there. This may be interesting for tax reasons, among others, but practical considerations may also play a role. Therefore, ask legal advice so you can properly prepare your departure.

Confianz can guide you fully with a emigration procedure. Feel free to take contact on.

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