Thinking of moving to Spain
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If you are thinking of moving to Spain either long term or short term you
need to be 100% sure it's the right move. You need to have drive, determination
and patience as it's not as simple as it seems. Most people when thinking of
moving to Spain think of the hot weather and how nice it would be to wake up
every morning to glorious sun. Remember that once the attraction wares off will
you really be happy living in a hot climate? Sunshine is nice for a few days or
weeks but imagine it for most of the year. You may end up wishing to see a cloud
which never comes. The lifestyle in Spain is a lot slower to this country and
things tend to take a little longer to get done. Living in Spain is not a
holiday in any way and you should think really carefully about it.
If you are still convinced that you want to move to Spain then read on.
Assuming you have cleared up any mess and tied up loose ends in your own country
you are almost ready to move. Here is a helpful checklist for you to follow
before you leave:
* Decide which possessions you will take to Spain - which you will leave in
the UK - which items you can sell before you leave. * Obtain three estimates for
the move from at least three different removal companies. * Buy boxes, labels
and bubble wrap. When you pack boxes, list the contents on a label (this will
save a lot of time when unpacking). * Ensure you have nothing on loan such as
videos, library books and if so, return them. * Arrange moving date and confirm
at least twice with the removal company. * Check all the details of your Spanish
purchase. Confirm mortgage and lawyers. * Make sure you have some cash (euros)
for your journey and arrival in Spain. * Notify authorities, banks, building
societies etc of your new contact details. * Make arrangements for your pets
travel and arrival. * Check passports, travel tickets and car documents. * Check
you have got travel insurance.
There are also a few personal details to take care of like your pensions,
tax, life assurance, investments and healthcare.
Remember that members of EU countries such as a UK national, a Dane, a Swede
or Norwegian has the right to live in Spain by virtue of their countries'
membership of the European Economic Area.
If you are retiring abroad, you can continue to receive your UK State
pension. If you are moving permanently to Spain, you should get yearly increases
in your pension. Contact the Social Security Office to complete the correct
Personal circumstances can vary greatly but you may cease to be liable to UK
tax if you cut all ties with the UK and become domiciled abroad. However you
will technically be a UK resident if you spend a requisite number of days in the
UK and will consequently suffer UK tax on your income. Obtain more information
on tax and your domicile status from the Inland Revenue's document called IR20.
If you do change you residency cash held offshore may still be liable to tax in
Spain depending on local tax rules. Please note that Spain imposes a wealth tax
on your world-wide assets. However, as Spain and UK have a double taxation
treaty you should be given relief for double taxation. Please remember that if
you are proposing to rent out your UK property this will attract a UK income tax
Once you have all the above sorted out you need to decide on how to get
there. This will depend on what you are taking with you. If you are having your
furniture shipped over then you will just need to worry about yourself and a few
personal objects. If you decide to drive, make sure you read the section on
driving in Spain. You can catch a car ferry at many English ports and buy a one
way or return ticket. It might be important to note that if you bring a caravan
over with you, most ferries will not sell you a one way ticket so you must use
the channel tunnel. Consider carefully the cost of a crossing to Calais and the
additional cost of petrol and tolls as opposed to a crossing to Santander or
Bilbao. Driving through France can be a long nightmare and very expensive on
Flying to Spain is a cheap alternative if all you have are a couple of cases.
Cheap flights can be booked over the internet at as little as £50 each! But,
consider how you are to get about once you get here. Spain is a big country and
a car is a must, even if you just hire a car to collect from the airport.
Whichever way you get here, there are several things you must bring with you.
Driving licences/Car insurance papers Birth/Marriage certificates Passports Bank
books/cheque and credit cards Enough money to get home Important medication Form
E111 and remember to make several photocopies of all your documents!
Because Spain is part of the EU, if you live in an EU country, you do not
require a visa to enter the country. You have almost equal rights in Spain as
you do in your own country. It's important to make sure you have a full ten year
British Passport well before you leave. Make several photocopies of it and make
sure you keep at least one copy in a safe place. Losing your original passport
in Spain would be a bad move. It would be worth taking out travel insurance for
your journey and it will be money well spent if your luggage vanishes or your
car is stolen with all your belongings inside. Ensure your children have their
own passports. It's also a good idea to go the post office in England and
collect a form for renewal of a passport and a form for replacement of a
lost/stolen passport. These are forms you can't get in Spain. Make sure you have
all your birth/marriage certificates with you and again, make sure you have
several photocopies of each which you should keep separate from the originals.
Once in Spain the first thing you must do as a foreigner living and/or
working in Spain is obtain an NIE number. This is a very important but a very
simple process providing you follow the guidelines. You can get a Gestor to
apply for you but it will cost you about 100€. To do it yourself, go to the
National Police station. You will also need a social security number. You will
need this if you are intending on working in Spain, if you are entitled to
social security benefits or if you are entitled to medical care. To obtain a
social security number all you need to do is go to any social security office,
with your original passport and copy of the passport. You will have to fill in a
form, which is in Spanish so you might need to take someone who's speaks Spanish
with you or even better learn the language before you leave. They issue the
number there and then and give you a temporary card. They send on the plastic
card at their leisure. It is not necessary to have a job, or even a NIE to get a
social security number.
About the Author
Carolyn is the webmaster of Overs International Ltd, specialists in
moving to Portugal and
moving to France.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-06-22 21:23:06 in Business Articles