Things to Remember if Moving to Spain from the UK
The lure of a regularly warm climate, beach life and outdoor living has tempted thousands of Brits over the years to make the permanent move to live in Spain.
Over 300,000 expats currently call it home, many of them congregated around the eternally popular holidaymaking hot spots of Costa Brava, Costa Blanca and, of course, Costa del Sol. For many, it’s a dream move – often taken in early retirement – where people can enjoy content and sunny later years.
Yet moving to Spain isn’t simple – and there are plenty of hoops to jump through, legal issues to arrange and documents to complete. Not to mention the perils of house hunting through a language barrier.
But it can be made easier – and these 6 simple steps will help you on your way…
Get the Documentation
Any move to Spain from the UK starts with the obligatory NIE form – but after that other forms depend on your individual circumstances. You should look at registering your new address, making sure your driving license is still valid (you will have to apply for a Spanish license after 6 months), declaring your income (or pension) to the Spanish tax authorities and registering on the Padrón, Spain’s register of inhabitants.
The Good of your Health
You leave the safety net of the National Health Service when you leave the UK, but Spanish healthcare is excellent and free as long as you are paying tax and have submitted and received an S1 form. You’ll need to show this certificate of entitlement should you need medical assistance.
Get Reputable Insurance
Like in the UK, insurance on some things (a car) is a legal requirement, while other types of insurance may be critical to the individual (life, home), or preferable to certain circumstances (pets,business). For expat insurance in Spain you’d be advised to use English speaking brokers like BMI Spain who are best placed to understand and deliver on all your requirements.
Learn the Lingo
Brits don’t exactly have the best reputation for speaking the local lingo, wherever they are in the world – but a fortnight’s holiday is entirely different from living or working in a new country. Learning the language won’t just impress your friends, it will make your life and reputation with the local a whole lot more agreeable. If Gary Lineker can do it, so can you!
Do your Research
It seems strange that some people wouldn’t get to know an area before moving there, but rushing headlong into the Spanish lifestyle because you had a particularly pleasant holiday there is more frequent than you would believe. If you really want to move to an area, rent a house for a few weeks off season and immerse yourself in the local culture.
Don’t Forget the Pets
Your pets can join you in your new home – but you’ll have to plan in advance for them. An ISO chip is obligatory, and vaccinations for rabies and other illnesses will need to be done at least 21 days before they travel. Check also with your airline about the handling of pets – and be aware that some aggressive breeds of dog are not permitted into Spain.
Spain can be an ideal location for that desired move to sunnier climes – and heeding the above advice should help your dream move become a reality.