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  • Brits who are recent Spanish residents…
  • Premier Icon fatmountain
    Free Member

    I was just hoping I could ask a few questions. I’ve googled some but finding the information overwhelming.

    I’m flying out next week, so was wondering how it’s done? Is there a massive backlog with Covid? What sort of documents do I need beyond my Passport, driving license?

    I currently work for a UK company but since it’s online I was just planning on working out there for the foreseeable future (my work is pretty temporary, however – so I work some months but not others).

    I was under the impression you could just rock up and get a residency no questions asked (on account of still being an EU citizen), but actually it seems more complex – need to present pay slips, bank statements, water bills etc.?

    Advice, experiences appreciated.


    Premier Icon joeegg
    Free Member

    Brexit may possibly change the present rules.
    If you are not of retirement age then opting for residencia means you will have to become a part of the Spanish system if you intend to be there for more than 6 months.Everybody ignores the 3 month rule where you turn up at a designated centre with your private health insurance,bank statements to support yourself,etc.
    For the residencia you will need a Spanish address that you own or a lease agreement on a let.
    I have had residencia in the past but seeing as I never do more than 6 months I let it lapse. I have found over many years that Spanish bureaucracy is frustrating,time consuming and can be costly.

    Premier Icon bob_summers
    Full Member

    Over ten years since I did all that and can’t remember quite how it went sorry but I did it early on and certainly didn’t have bills in my name. Maybe had a bank account. Wasn’t particularly complicated, just a morning waiting around at the CNP (national police) station which are like fortresses here in País Vasco. Got my NIE (forrener ID number)and a public health card, later had to go to city hall to sign up as resident. Can’t remember it being such a chore tbh.

    Premier Icon monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    Bare in mind, from what I understand as my mother in law is looking into this at the moment….. you’ll be liable for tax in both England and Spain if you have residence in both countries…..!!

    I may be incorrect on the above as it’s only what I may have misunderstood from half listened too convocations with the wife. But it’s cirtainly something to look into.

    Premier Icon
    Full Member

    I also did it a long time ago. I remember it being easy but my partner did it for me.
    We had to go to the police admin place, can’t remember the proper name sorry! That got me my NIE. After that another place to register the address we stayed at. It was quite a few years before I had a payslip or bills so it definitely wasn’t needed. In our town there were a few places that offered to basically do it for you for a charge, it seems an easy way. I’m sure they are easy to find, depending where you are moving. After I needed to request a health card but I did that quite a bit later. Then a driving license which I did after the police warned me! It was all really easy but slow. I guess things are even slower just now.

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    I did mine ages ago too, pre 2012 so I get free state healthcare which is nice. I am keeping mine as spending more time in uk but waiting to see what brexit brings. I pay an accountant to do everything, I know it’s expensive but everything is done properly.

    ‘re tax above, you pay uk tax on uk sourced income, Spanish tax on global income, but you net off what you paid in uk.

    Premier Icon mogrim
    Full Member

    Not sure exactly what the rules are for new arrivals, but basically if you live here for more than 6 months/year you need to sort out residency and get your NIE (Foreigner ID Number). Spain is supposedly guaranteeing the rights of all residents that have joined the system before the end of the year. So if you do come over it’s probably worth sorting it out ASAP rather than just living here while still officially a British resident.

    As mentioned above paperwork is fairly easy but time consuming. If you’re in an area with a large ex-pat community there are loads of “gestores” (lawyers and paperwork specialists) that you can hire to help out, they’re usually not that expensive and if your Spanish isn’t that good they’re a godsend.

    Premier Icon ji
    Free Member

    This link gives some help, but as noted the process varies hugely from location to lcoation (for example this mentions goig to the poice station, but in Ceuta that is not correct and you have to go to the office of foereigners.

    Expect to be frustrated – one office cant issue a form without a signed bank certificate, which the bank won’t issue without that form… spanish passport numbers are different format to UK ones, and so computer systems don’t accept it…most spanish people have two surnames, and banks in less travelled areas won’t understnad if you have only one…

    Premier Icon BoardinBob
    Full Member

    I currently work for a UK company but since it’s online I was just planning on working out there for the foreseeable future

    I looked into doing similar but in France, however, it’s not as simple as just sitting in France or Spain and doing work remotely. Not sure if Spain differs, but the France procedure was horrendously complicated. As well as the income tax mentioned above, there’s also corporation tax to consider for your employer, as well as ensuring your employer meets the minimum standards required in terms of employment rights etc.

    It was complicated enough to kill any plans I had to move to Morzine and work remotely.

    Im sure there’s a Spain equivalent, but here’s the French stuff about working remotely there

    Basically, if you want to work remotely and also get residency, then you wont be able to fly under the radar in terms of working remotely, and you’ll need to get your employer to jump through all the local hoops to ensure compliance, and that was the bit that killed my plans

    Premier Icon poolman
    Free Member

    Lots of people in Spain work online for foreign to spain companies. They have been able to be off radar until brexit appeared. As the spanish govt want their tax too soon as you make a residency application and be forced to fess up your income, or via mod 720 the annual wealth tax declaration, you will be found out.

    Depends on brexit negotiations, op may be able to get a work visa for say 2 years and avoid residency application.

    Premier Icon Edukator
    Free Member

    I did it in Spain years back before the country was a full EU member. Persist and you will succeed.

    There’s a pricipal of no double taxation of income between many European countiries written into agreements that often pre-date EU rules but are still happily in place as the conditions are better than the EU minimum. However, make sure you pay in the right place.

    In France a bit of advice from an accountant or financial advisor wil usually pay for itself. BoardinBobs’s link is very lightweight and wrong/lacks detail on some points. Type your question into Service Publique for a detailed reply to most things you could ask:

    The French tax people are very helpful when you are asking questions and not very nice if ever you get it wrong so if in doubt just send them an e-mail with a clear question – in the case of hassle in the future just send them their reply!

    Premier Icon roger_mellie
    Full Member

    This article is recent and might be useful to you OP, although not Spain-specific. There is some stuff about tax and ‘hidden’ costs of working remotely abroad, like health insurance.

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