Spain is certainly one of the top destinations for British tourists, and it has been for years. This is hardly surprising considering that Spain has one of the best climates in Europe and it has a lot to offer in terms of accommodation, food and drink, cultural events, and sights and attractions. And since Spain is relatively easy to get to if you’re in the UK, this makes it more of an attraction for many. But if you’re thinking of making a move to Spain, there are some aspects you should know. Here, then, is your all-in-one guide to moving to and residing in Spain if you are a UK citizen.
- The cost of living
Of course, the cost of living is a prime consideration for many – and the good news is, it’s more affordable than in the UK. Eating out in Spain is a lot less expensive compared to eating out in the United Kingdom. Food and drink are less expensive compared to the UK as well, although utilities such as an Internet connection may be a bit higher, but not too much. Gas prices may be a bit higher, depending on your property’s requirements. Fortunately, property in Spain is a lot more affordable – you can get a nice villa for a reasonable price, as you will see if you look for villas for sale in Moraira, an area on the Costa Blanca popular with British citizens for its natural charm and beauty and its modern conveniences.
- Income and work
If you are planning to work in Spain, you don’t need any work permit according to current regulations, but you would need a social security number, and you can get this from the Oficina de Seguridad Social in your local area. Finding work in the country will require a certain amount of research, and it’s best to plan ahead and make sure you have enough money for six months whilst you are looking for work. If you are on your pension, you should bear in mind that fluctuations between the Euro and the British pound are quite common, so you should be aware of the rates on a regular basis as well.
- The language
Of course, there are some people who live in Spain without speaking an iota of Spanish, but if you want to be able to converse properly with the locals and deal effectively with government offices, it’s better to learn a bit of Spanish. By learning Spanish, you can easily travel to areas which are less touristy, and you’ll enjoy yourself more.
- Your NIE
If you intend to buy property, open a bank account, or buy a vehicle, you will need an NIE. Your NIE is basically your ID when you are in Spain, and you can get this from the Comisaria General de Extranjeria (there should be one near where you reside). If you want to know the nearest Comisaria General de Extranjeria, visit the website of the Policia Nacional so you can find out. When you apply for your NIE, bring your passport (and a photocopy of it), two passport-sized photos, a completed form (the EX-15, which can be found online), and a document which supports your reasons for why you are applying for an NIE.