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12-Step checklist for expats in Barcelona

Relocating can be a daunting and stressful experience if you’re not organised, but with the help of our 12-step checklist for expats in Barcelona, it doesn’t need to be.

 

We’ve created a simple and easy-to-follow checklist for expats in Barcelona to help you kick-start your life in this beautiful city.

Checklist for expats in Barcelona

Checklist for expats in Barcelona

1. Arrange your NIE

Having a NIE/TIE is essential for most official procedures such as: getting a job, renting or buying property, opening a bank account, paying taxes and applying for other documents.

2. Open a Spanish bank account

Living, working, or studying in Spain does not require you to have a Spanish bank account, but it is highly recommended. Without one, you may face difficulties in receiving payments from your employer, paying your bills, and managing your everyday expenses.

3. Arrange your Social Security Number

Without a social security number, you cannot work and/or pay your contributions to Spain’s Social Security system.

4. Register in the Barcelona Municipal Register of Residents

Having a Certificado de Empadronamiento officially registers you within the municipality and will make you a citizen of the city in which you reside. For anyone wishing to live in Spain for longer than six months, it is obligatory to have an Empadronamiento. 

 

It is also needed for other administrative procedures such as applying for a residence card (TIE), applying for a health card, getting married and enrolling your children in local schools.

5. Arrange your Certificado Digital

The Certificado Digital is an online document containing your personal details. It enables you to identify yourself online and arrange paperwork online.

6. Arrange your insurances

The Certificado Digital is an online document containing your personal details. It enables you to identify yourself online and arrange paperwork online.

7. Checklist for expats in Barcelona: Pay taxes

If you are living and working in Spain, you will be liable to pay taxes on your income and assets and will need to file a Spanish tax returns.

8. Check if the Beckham Law Registration is applicable to you

Not everyone knows that expats who come to work in Spain can apply for a Special Expat’s Tax Regime – The Beckham law (Régimen Especial para Trabajadores Desplazados).

9. Exchange your driver's licence

Are you living in Barcelona and aren’t sure if you need to exchange your license for a Spanish one? Certainly, one of the biggest doubts for expats living in Spain is what will happen regarding driving licences and if international driving permits will be needed.

 

Anyone over 18 with a valid driving license from their home country can legally drive in Spain. For Non-EU/EEA citizens, this applies for the first six months after moving to Spain and gaining residency. For EU/EEA nationals, this applies until your current license expires.

10. Make sure you have a Spanish phone number

Living, working, or studying in Spain does not require you to have a Spanish phone number, but it is highly recommended. 

11. Check Barcelona International Welcome

Barcelona International Welcome (BIW) is backed by the International Economic Promotion Department at Barcelona City Council and works in collaboration with Barcelona Activa, the city’s local development agency.

 

That’s why this initiative is part of a solid strategy to attract, welcome and engage the city’s international talent including the organization of different activities throughout the year, services to make your arrival easier and information to establish yourself in Barcelona.

 

They provide you with advice and information on resources that may help you with your job hunting, news on Barcelona’s dynamic start-up and economic scenes, networking and informative activities aimed at the international community as well as tips to make the most of your new life in this city.

 

12. Learn Spanish and Catalan

Being able to speak some of the local lingo will definitely help you appreciate the culture of Catalonia and will also go a long way with the locals.

Comments
  • Desha Pingel
    21 September 2020 at 12:19

    We are looking to relocate to Spain (Catalunya) in 6 weeks, what can I do in terms of registration before I get there?

    • Barcelona Expat Life
      21 September 2020 at 21:51

      Hi Desha, many thanks for your message! My recommendation would be to try to arrange an appointment for your NIE. Best wishes, Mirjam

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