Moving to Spain
Spain is a rich and varied country; in fact, you can find many differences within the country concerning climate, food and even local idioms. You will hear Castilian, Catalan, Basque and Galician languages after moving to Spain. Moving companies can put you in touch with language courses in addition to shipping your belongings, so inquire early about your options.
Reino De Espana, the Kingdom of Spain’s official name, is the 2nd largest country in Europe and the 2nd most visited country in the world.
Its vast array of architectural buildings, from Gothic cathedrals to Islamic palaces and medieval castles in practically every other village, is just part of Spain's appeal to expats.
Museums and galleries that showcase the arts of Spanish-born world renowned artists like El-Greco, Dali, Goya, Picasso and Velasquez, an array of piquant dishes, blue-ribbon awarded pristine beaches and a family-oriented environment, are enough reasons to be drawn to this country for a fresh start.
Spain‘s landscape varies from arid mountain pastures to lush orchards and meadows, from magnificent coasts to rural areas and sophisticated towns. If you decide to settle here, it would be wise to explore before you ultimately settle in one place, as there is so much to discover in Spain.
Once you have decided which part of Spain in which to live and work, the next step is to make your stay legal. If you are a non-resident, you must first obtain a certificate at the nearest police station, Direccion General de la Policia, by showing your passport and submitting photocopies. You can open a bank account upon issuance of your non-resident certificate.
"We used Woodside Cargo, a British owned company based here in Fuerteventura. Great service and cheaper than we expected too."- John Parker, Expat in Spain
Depending on how you acquired residence, you may apply for citizenship at the Registro Civil upon completion of a two to ten-year stay in Spain. The Ministerio de Justicia, who approves citizenship requests, will ask you to renounce citizenship with your country of origin once your application has been approved. For those coming from Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, Latin America, Philippines or Portugal, or if you're a Sephardic Jew, this rule does not apply.
The Identification number for foreigners, Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE), is a tax identification number issued by the National Police of Spain to track activities such as property or car purchases. Acquiring NIE is merely the first step to take to begin your life or new business in Spain.
"My Spanish friends give their social life the same all-out energy as Americans devote to their careers. Spaniards don’t fit family and friends into the margins of their week; they make sure to spend time with the people they love."- Karen McCann, Expat in Seville, Spain
Household goods are duty-free if you're moving to Spain to live permanently, but if it's a second residence, non-EU citizens are subject to a 12 percent duty on the value of the goods.
Not all is ideal in Spain; petty crime like purse-snatching is standard so carry only enough cash for the day's needs and be alert. Keep valuables away from prying eyes.
Many shops, especially the smaller ones, still practice the traditional business hours of Spain from 10am to 2pm, opening again from 5 until 8 or 9pm. Perhaps due to the economic change, business owners are now more flexible by extending their opening hours or staying open through lunchtime. With more flexible times, banking transactions have become easier. Banks normally open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 1:30pm, but some extend their hours to 5pm on Thursdays or open on Saturday mornings.
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