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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 forms.

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 charge.

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 tolls.

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

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