Your Move to Spain
Moving to the Costa Blanca?
You´ve made your decision, your are moving to the Costa Blanca one of the most popular destinations for British ex-pats for almost 50 years – Whatever your situation, A Castle in the Sun will not only help you find your ideal property, but we’ll also help you to settle in. We know that to make any move to Spain successful, there are important things to consider both before and after arriving. To get you started, we’ve outlined the main points below.
Before Arriving in the Costa Blanca
When moving to the Costa Blanca its a good idea to start thinking about how you will move your belongings to Spain and, get quotes from removals firms. Work out what you will be taking with you to your home on the Costa Blanca, whether you’ll need to put anything into storage and arrange suitable insurance for your belongings during transit. A Castle in the Sun can provide you with details of Removal companies who regularly operate between the UK and the Costa Blanca who will provide you with competitive quotes and provide up to one month of free storage of your belongings. Also remember to check the validity of your passport and get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to cover you when you first arrive in Spain.
There is lots of paperwork to be done. You’ll need to inform utilities companies of your departure date, cancel direct debits and bill payments, sort out mobile phone and internet contracts and have your mail redirected. You should also let the tax office, i.e. HMRC in the UK, the Department for Work and Pensions, your doctor and bank know you are relocating. Bear in mind, keeping an existing bank account open is advisable. You’ll also need to tidy up any loans or unpaid balances on credit cards, if applicable.
It is also worthwhile speaking to a financial advisor a few months before you are moving to the Costa Blanca and become a tax resident in Spain. Why? If you have private pensions, large cash deposits, shares, bonds, or other investments, perhaps in a tax free form, re-structuring them or moving them off-shore could benefit you once you are no longer a tax resident in the UK, or whichever country you are leaving. If retired, you’ll also need to think about having your pension transferred to your bank in Spain. And nearer to your departure date, make sure you have enough Euros waiting for you in your Spanish bank account.
A few days before your planned arrival, if you have a home waiting for you, why not ask us to check it over for you, test the boiler and air conditioning and check the utilities are connected properly. That way, you’ll be arriving to a fresh, functioning home and not be arriving to a domestic emergency!
Arriving in the Costa Blanca
Within the first three months of moving to the Costa Blanca, you should register for residency in person at your local Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigners Office) or a designated police station, where you will be issued a Residence Certificate showing your name, address and NIE number (which you will have obtained when purchasing your property). To do this you will need your passport and it will incur a small fee.
Aside from obtaining a Residence Certificate, you should also visit your local town hall and register yourself and your family on the Padron Municipal de Habitantes, an equivalent to the electoral roll which lists names of all local residents. Registering on your Padron and receiving a certificate makes you an official member of your community and is actually a legal requirement. It has benefits though, the more people registered on a municipality’s Padron, the more governmental funding it receives. Also you will need your certificate for certain administrative procedures, such as buying or selling a car, registering a child in school, getting married, voting or applying for a health insurance card or certain social benefits.
You should also make registering locally for healthcare a priority after arriving on the Costa Blanca. UK pensioners and anyone entitled to a full level of state healthcare in the UK will be entitled to state healthcare in Spain too. To qualify you will need to register an S1 form (formerly E121), available from the International Pension Centre.
Setting up communications is a final tip for new arrivals on the Costa Blanca. Get yourself a mobile phone and if your new home hasn’t already got one, sort out a landline, as well as broadband and, if required, satellite TV. This way you’ll be able to watch your favourite English TV programmes from the word go, as well as stay in touch with loved ones back in the UK, in between arranging holidays visits from them and socials in your new local bar!
Good luck, and remember, at A Castle in the Sun we’re there to help you after you’ve bought your home, not just before.