Guide for European citizens to live in Spain


Learn about the benefits, information, and regulations that must know while living in Spain

For European citizens and some other nationalities, are allowed to enter Spanish territory with just your passport, they can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain. Many europeans have houses in Spain.

Other countries need a visa to enter Spain, which can be acquired by buying a property or investing in the country.

To enter the country, your passport must be valid and that its duration is at least equal to the time that elapses in Spain.


Payment of pensions in Spain

If you have never worked in Spain, your pension should be ordered directly from their country of origin, but worked in Spain regardless of whether it was for a short time, you can apply for your pension at the National Institute of Social Security (INSS), in that people who have worked in Spain and other European countries are included. For this, you must fill out a form in which, inter alia, specify the time worked in each country. The institute is responsible for gathering all the information charges that he worked in each country.

  • If I move to Spain how do I collect my pension?

When changing residence, you must notify the pension institute this change your country of residence, in order to avoid any problems with payment of their pension.

Some countries do not allow the payment of the pension in Spain, therefore, the best solution is to ask before moving to the country and state as a source of their pension money to the Spanish tax agencies.

  • Who you are entitled to Spanish retirement pension?

After working a year or more in Spain, you can choose the Spanish pension. If you have worked in more than one country of the European community, all of these contributions can be calculated and summed to calculate your payment.

The National Social Security Institute is the place where you make all requests and deliver the requirements for pensions.

  • You can also make voluntary contributions

Voluntary contributions can he perform in order to complete your pension in Spain. To manage this procedure, you must attend the National Security Treasury (TGSS), which will guide you in this process.

  • What if you need to certify your pension?

Sometimes your country may require a certificate of pension, which must issue a response as soon as possible; otherwise, your benefit may be suspended. For this procedure you will need:

  • Make it is signed by a witness and send it, for that there are people qualified for this job.


  • Get a Life Faith that must be processed at the nearest registry office where you are residing, for which it will require:

– Certificate of registration issued by the city council

– Passport

– Residence certificate


Learn about Spanish contributory benefits

If you exercise occupationally and pay their contributions, have the right to the Spanish social security benefits, including unemployment benefits are (not applicable if self-employed), temporary and permanent disability.

Note that if the time you worked in Spain or if it is said that have no right to the Spanish social service for not having contributed enough insurance, may appeal to those contributions have also made in another country in Europe, they can be used as if they had been in Spain.

  • When can you qualify for the unemployment benefit?

No matter how much time has been employment in Spain, you can opt for this benefit going to the employment office in Spain.

You must declare the periods you have worked in a European country requesting a form U1 for each country in which it worked.

  • Illness or disability benefit

You can apply for this benefit if you have worked and paid contributions in Spain, and must do so in the INSS. To do this you must fill out a form U1 where the countries of the European Union and the time worked specify.

Similarly, you can treat the subject with a social worker or go to the Institute for the Elderly and Social Services (IMSERSO).


How taxes work in Spain?

The Spanish customs system is formed on the same basis as the European system, ie, being resident in a country, the amount payable will be calculated on your total income regardless of which country are generated. Therefore, Spain has a double taxation agreement, which prevents that, the income you generate in your home country to pay taxes in both countries, and will only in the country where the money originates.

The same goes for pensions granted by the government, which only pay tax in the country of origin. If the person generates income in Spain, they will be subject to tax in Spain and will be taken into account for calculating the tax rate in their country of origin. If you have any doubt about the double taxation agreement, you can communicate with Spanish tax authorities.

To reside in Spain, it is a legal obligation in the country and the world that all persons resident must declare all assets located outside Spain, whether property, bank accounts, insurance, securities, rents, etc. And that is a statement that is made apart from annual taxes.

As a measure to prevent fraud in Spain, the government is necessary to residents of the country that made this declaration of assets abroad each year before 31 March. Should not met, you can see the person subject to penalties, fines and even criminal charges. Therefore we recommend that you do advise lawyers or accountants to avoid errors in the process.


How to get driver’s license and vehicle registration in Spain?

  •  Learn how to import your vehicle from your country to Spain

If the person wishes to stay longer than 6 months in Spain, the Spanish laws dictate that this must be registered with the Spanish authorities; the same applies to the plates to be changed. For this you can contact the General Directorate of Traffic. The Royal Automobile Club of Spain also provides guidance for these procedures.

To import a vehicle from their country of origin to Spain, you must pay the following taxes or certificates of exceptions which are required by the Directorate General of Traffic:

  • A registration tax (or exemption certificate) (VRT)
  • A road tax / traffic (or exemption certificate) (Tax on the Circulation of City Hall)
  • VAT (or exemption certificate).
  • What you need to use your driver’s license in Spain?
  • You must be over 18 years
  • Information and required documents will be provided in the General Directorate of Traffic.

If the alien has been more than 2 years in Spanish territory, you must renew your driver’s license for a Spanish license.

However, try to change the license of their country by a Spanish license to arrive in the country, as if in the event expires or loses, he can not renew it in Spain.

Should you be fined for an infringement in Spanish territory, you can pay on the website of the Directorate General of Traffic.


Returning to your country

To return to your country, we recommend you exclude the council registration in the Padrón, which can be done in the police station.

It must also notify the authorities of their country on their return, updating its guidance for the pension records, and notify the Social Security Institute to cancel your medical care in the country, since the state allocates money for this.

If you need a certificate of your criminal record time spent in Spain, you can do so through the website of the Ministry of Justice.



Written by: CAPD

Words: 1250

Contribution to reader: Get to know important topics while living in Spain like pensions, benefits in terms of social security and requirements for importing your car to Spain. The information here will be helpful, but in case you live in Spain, we mention the institutes where you can make all your transactions.