Emigrating: how do I become a resident in Spain?

If you wish to become an official resident in Spain, you will encounter Spanish bureaucracy. This article will explain the immigration process through the application of three essential documents: the de padrón, the TIE card and the SIP card.

Read more about the steps you need to take beforehand in Belgium.

The padrón

The padrón allows you to register in the municipal population register. In addition, you can use the padrón Enrol your children in a local school.

You should submit the following documents:

  • proof of residence, e.g. a rental contract or the notarised deed of purchase;
  • copy of your identity card or passport;
  • most recent water and electricity bill.

You will then receive a padrón from the municipality with a validity period of 3 months. After the expiry of the three months, you can apply for a new padrón with a validity period of 5 years.

The SIP card

The SIP card gives you access to Spanish health insurance and entitles you to medical care in Spain. Once you have the residencia and padrón, you can make an appointment at the local social security office. You will need to present the following documents there:

  • NIE
  • copy of your identity card or passport;
  • Form S1 if you are retired;
  • form TA1.

After this, you will receive your registration number, which you can use to collect the SIP card from your local doctor.

What happens to your health insurance in Belgium?

De residencia/ now TIE

The residencia (green card) has changed to the TIE (Tarjeta de Indentificación de Extranjero). This proves that you are permanently resident in Spain. The TIE is issued by the local emmigration or (national) police office (oficina de extranjeria).

To the TIE to obtain, you should submit the following documents:

  • NIE number;
  • S1 form if retired or SIP card;
  • modelo 790 - 12 + proof of payment;
  • form EX18;
  • copy of your identity card or passport;
  • Copy of marriage certificate, translated into Spanish;
  • proof of income, also translated into Spanish.

You prove your income by presenting bank account statements showing that you had an income of at least 850 euros net per month for the previous three months.

If you start working in Spain with an employment contract, your employer will have to pay the certificado de vida laboral deliver.

When you are self-employed (autonomo), you must also prove that you have paid social security contributions for the past three months.

If you are out of work and not retired, you need to prove that you have valid health insurance. You should present not only the insurance documents but also proof of insurance payment. An alternative is the system of the convenio especial, where you benefit from limited health insurance. You then pay a fixed amount per month.

Also listen to our All About Spain Podcast about emigrating to Spain.

Resident in Spain: tax implications

Emigrating to Spain also has tax implications. For instance, you may become a Spanish tax resident in Spain. From a tax perspective, you are a resident for the Spanish tax authorities if you spend more than 183 days a year in Spain. As a result, in principle, your worldwide income will be taxed under Spanish law.

Read more about the tax implications of emigrating to Spain, and, for example, the Spanish taxes on rental income.

Confianz can fully assisting with an emigration procedure. Feel free to take contact on.

Update September 2023

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