Kingdom of Spain
Spain is a second home for many foreigners. A lot of people from northern EU countries choose the spanish coastline to enjoy the good weather and food. Many other seek better life conditions and safety. While the administrative burden in Spain is not much complicated, some simple tasks might difficult to accomplish if you are not familiar enough with the language or if you are coming from a country with less formalities.
The English is not a very popular language in Spain, and not many people speak it. Generally throughout the coastal line, where a lot of tourists spend their vacation, it is much easier to find someone who speaks English than in Madrid, thus having some basic knowledge of Spanish would be more than beneficial. Most administrative procedures that you need to carry out are very well described on the government web sites, some procedures are even described in English, but when you need to complete paper forms you have to do it in the official language of the country.
The Spanish Administration
A few years ago dealing with the Spanish administration was a real nightmare for the Spaniards their-selves, not to mention for foreigners. Now things are considerably improved and most of the tasks can be performed over the internet without the need to visit offices and wait at long queues. Of course certain operations require physical presence, but still it is not that bad because you can obtain appointment upfront and save valuable time.
First steps in Spain
Here we will try to list all things that you have to do in the very beginning of your stay in Spain. Please keep in mind that these cover the formalities to which are subject EU citizens!
- Address registration (epadronamiento)
- Obtaining NIE (numero identificacion de extranjero)
- Social security number (if you intend to start a job)
- Upgrading your NIE to a "permanent" one (when you have a job or other justification)
- Signing up for government healthcare
- Exchange your driving license
- Exchange your car's license plates