Spain Explained

How to get Spanish residency

If you want to relocate to Spain permanently, it’s important that you understand how to get Spanish residency. 

After all, if you’re going to invest in property, it’s essential that your affairs are in order. For instance, if you live in Spain for 183 days a year, then you’re classed as a resident. Many expat forums will have you believe that the rules are more flexible than they really are; however, if you live in the country for a cumulative total of 183 days (so it doesn’t matter if the days are consecutive or not) you’re liable to pay Spanish tax. In this article,  Paloma Paris from our conveyancing department explains applying for Spanish residency for members of the EU.

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The things you need to get full residency

If you’ve made the decision to come and live permanently in Spain, you must legally make it your home. The Spanish government’s definition of ‘permanent’ is if you’re in the country for a total of 183 days per year. If you are, then you are classed as being a tax resident of Spain. There are three important items you will want to secure if you wish to live in Spain on a permanent basis:

  • Residencia, or Spanish residency card
  • Padrón
  • SIP (health card)

The exact requirements for each of these will depend on the region in which you wish to live, as well as your own status. For example, depending on whether you are a pensioner, an early retiree or if you are working in Spain, there will be slightly different documents needed. However, the information below gives a general guide to what you will require at each step in the process.

Residency card

A key component of how to get residency is getting your Spanish residency card (or residencia). This is the document that officially registers you as living in Spain. It is issued at the appropriate Foreigner’s Office or police station depending on where you live. In many areas, you need to obtain your residencia before applying for your padrón, but this does vary. You can usually obtain your residencia on the same day that you apply, providing you have all the necessary paperwork. What this consists of varies from region to region, so always check beforehand. However, usually, this consists of:

  • NIE, or your foreigner’s tax number
  • Your S1 form if you are a pensioner or proof of Spanish health insurance if not
  • Proof of fee payment for the residencia application (paid at any Spanish bank)
  • The completed residency application form
  • Passport
  • Two passport size photos
  • Proof of income

The recommendation is to always bring the original and a copy of each document in the list above.

You must be able to demonstrate that your life in Spain is financially sustainable. You will be expected to show bank statements that cover the previous three months and that you have a monthly income of above €800 per person. If you have come to Spain to work then your employer should provide you with un certificado de vida laboral – which is proof that you have work here.

If you are under pensionable age, then you must have proof of Spanish health insurance if you are not going to work. The insurance must be fully comprehensive and you may also need to show proof of payment. However, there are local health schemes in many parts of Spain that might be an alternative. The convenio especial enables you to pay into the National Health System on a monthly basis. However, you need to have been resident here for a continuous year to be eligible. The convenio especial does not cover the cost of prescriptions, health transport services or health cover when in another EU country.

There has been some confusion recently about the length of time a residencia applies. If you are a member of an EU country then your residencia does not need to be renewed. If you are not, then renewal is every five years.


The padrón is the certificate that enables you to apply for a SIP (health card) and other local benefits within your town, such as enrolling your child in a local school, obtaining a bus pass, or using the local library. To obtain your three-monthly certificate you need to register, which you can do this at a town hall office. You will need to take with you:

  • Proof of where you live e.g. a rental contract or title deed
  • Passport
  • Residencia, if your region requires that you apply for this first
  • Your most recent water bill and electricity bill (now asked for by some town halls) 

Once you are registered, the certificate is valid for three months. After this period, you can return to the same office with your passport and previous padrón and they’ll issue a new one. You should renew your padrón at least every five years in order to ensure that your name is kept on the register. Town halls may contact people who have not had their certificate reissued for years and ask them to reaffirm their presence in the area. This is a quick process and helps them to confirm who exactly is living in the town.  

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With your residencia and padrón you are now able to apply for your SIP card. This is the health card which will entitle you to health treatment and discounted prescription charges as part of the national health service in Spain. In order to obtain this very important little card, you need to book an appointment at your local social security office. There you will need to show:

Remember to bring the original and a copy just in case. Once you present your documentation, they will then give you a registration number. With this, you can go to your local health clinic and obtain the SIP card itself. 

How to get Spanish residency: A simpler process than you might think

If you’re wondering how to apply for spanish residency, you needn’t be intimidated by the process – it’s simpler than you might think. Once you have your residencia, padrón and SIP, you will have acquired the basic documents you need to legally live as a resident in Spain. With advice from Ábaco Advisers, you can ensure the process is as painless as possible. Plus, the sooner you have these in your possession, the sooner you can relax and enjoy the new life you’ve chosen. 

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8 August, 2017 12:14 pm

You mention that after 183
You mention that after 183 days in Spain you are resident. Yet, by law, you have to get the (green) residencia if you are here for 90 days and intend to stay longer.

The way you’ve written the article is confusing lots of people.

I think –

90 days and you have to sign on the list of foreigners and get your residency certificate.
after 183 days (in a calendar year) and you are automatically fiscally (tax) resident.

Do you agree?

Suzanne O'Connell

10 August, 2017 10:39 am

Hi Mervyn

Hi Mervyn

Thank you for your comment. I have changed the wording by 183 days to include 'tax' resident which, of course, is what we are most concerned with. The 90 days is a little absurd in that people can live in Spain for up to 182 days as a non-resident which makes the requirement of applying at 90 days seem a little pointless. However, officially, this is correct. Thanks again for clarifying this. 


2 October, 2017 4:11 am

You mention that the NIE is
You mention that the NIE is an important document but I don’t see a section on how to get it.

Suzanne O'Connell

1 November, 2017 8:34 pm

Hi Fred

Hi Fred

There is some information in this article written by David Ruiz . I believe he also helps people to get NIEs if you would like more information from him you can try 

John T

22 February, 2018 5:39 pm

Can you confirm if an
Can you confirm if an expatriate who takes up residence in Spain on, say, 31 May 2017 is tax or fiscally resident from the 01 January 2017. I have been informed that Spain has an exemption from the standard OECD procedure regarding residence exceeding 183 days.
If true then legal tax breaks in EU countries availed after 01 January 2017 and prior to the arrival date in Spain will not applicable for tax purposes in Spain, for example, the 25% tax free pension lump sum in the UK and the capital gain on owner occupied properties will be subject to Spanish tax. A tax trap for unsuspecting expatriates moving to Spain in good faith if true?

Suzanne O'Connell

27 February, 2018 3:03 pm

Hi John

Hi John

Spain does not work on a split year system so if you are in the country for 183 days you are taxed from the 1st January to 31st December and any lump sum payments or capital gains tax are taxable here. 

Alex James

24 February, 2018 5:33 pm

We are looking to move to
We are looking to move to Fuerteventura (Canary Islands) and apply for residency in March 2019, just before BREXIT.

Both are below retirement age, but have fully paid property in Fuerteventura, NIE A4 paper albeit issued in May 2015, so now (Feb 2018) expired, have been paying all taxes (IBI etc) but also Modelo 210 (impuesto Sobre Bienes).

We will NOT have proof of income to show €800 per person per month, but will have savings in the bank to sustain us for 8 years at the level stated. The funds shall be held in the UK bank.

In addition we will be paying for our own private health insurance.

So, my question is IS THIS SUFFICIENT for Spanish authorities to grant us residency?

Many thanks.


Suzanne O'Connell

28 February, 2018 11:23 am

Hi Alex

Hi Alex

I'm afraid there isn't a general answer. It very much depends upon the local area and town hall. The only people that can clarify the requirements are the administrators at the Fuerteventura police station, where you will need to apply.  
You can check the Spanish National Police official web page for the Canary Islands. Here you can find the Fuerteventura office and contact them:

David Tomlinson

6 March, 2018 3:29 pm

Ineed to put my car on
Ineed to put my car on spanish plates. Ive been told because the eu emmissions number is not on my car registration document ,i have to get residencia to do it .can i get residencia by purchasing full years medical insurance ? I have padron and NIE number and social security number .thanks

Suzanne O'Connell

9 March, 2018 12:59 pm

My recommendation is that you

My recommendation is that you query at the relevant office before applying for your residency as this does tend to change. You only have to take out one year of private health insurance. 

Anthony Iceton

21 June, 2018 11:50 am

Hi, we intend to apply for
Hi, we intend to apply for residency before the end of 2018, as yet we do not live in Spain but we have a fully paid up property , all taxes paid. My question is do the documents we need to provide( birth certs/marriage cert etc) need to be attested/legalised and if so do we get these done in Spain or before we arrive ?

Suzanne O'Connell

9 July, 2018 4:18 pm

Hi Anthony

Hi Anthony

The simple answer is that it is best to get the documents translated by an official translator in Spain. 

Helen Jackson

21 June, 2018 1:35 pm

If I become self-employed and pay into the system I believe this will cover me instead of having private health insurance as I am under retirement age. But to apply for your residency you need to show that you have health cover / Insurance am I correct in thinking I need to apply for my residency before I can become self employed? And if this is the case then will I have just wasted paying for a year’s private medical cover as my autonomo would cover me for this as soon as I apply

Suzanne O'Connell

4 July, 2018 7:35 am

Hi Helen

Hi Helen

As self-employed you'll have to pay a monthly fee and declare your income/ expenditure every three months. It starts with a small fee, but it'll gradually go up to €275 (2018 fee). If you'd like to apply for residency as self-employed, you'll have to register as self-employed before the application. 

colin jeffrey

25 August, 2018 12:33 am

Hi Suzanne O’Connell,
Hi Suzanne O’Connell,
I m not sure you have Answered Helens question as I am also curious to know.
I read it as you can register as self employed before applying residencia ! is this correct? And pay autonomo and tax liabilities in the first year.
Can you confirm it would be legal to work paying into the spanish system before applying for residencia? or is it a formality you you do both automatically at the same time?

Suzanne O'Connell

3 September, 2018 5:51 am

Hi Colin,

Hi Colin,

Yes, you can register as self-employed before applying for residencia and you can start invoicing legally even if you haven't yet received your residency card. 

Angie Beaton

12 July, 2018 6:18 am

Hi, I am originally from the
Hi, I am originally from the UK and have lived and worked in Mallorca for the last 3 years all year round. I have a full time fixed contract. I got my NIE and social security papers and public health card when I first arrived. I also registered my residency at the local town hall once I had all my paperwork. My question is I wish to apply for my full time residency (green card) but am being told so many different stories. Can I get it at my local town hall as my friend said he did or do I have to make an appointment with the main Police and travel to Palma. It is all a bit confusing. Many thanks

Suzanne O'Connell

13 July, 2018 7:48 am

The Spanish residency card is

The Spanish residency card is issued by the Spanish national police. However, in Palma town hall there might be a national police desk to help people, as happens in other areas of Spain. If there is, then the town hall could be the right place to go. Otherwise, the relevant Spanish national police station in the area of residence. 

June Baldry

7 August, 2018 3:11 pm

I am in the process of
I am in the process of getting my paperwork together to apply for a residence card and have contact a private health company .
I haven’t paid the €1200 yet as I’ve just been told it must be sin copago ?
Is this correct my insurance company Asssa say I will be fully covered privately but cannot write Sun Copago
I don’t understand what this means .
I don’t want to pay for private health cover that is not accepted by the residency office !

Suzanne O'Connell

11 August, 2018 10:39 am

Dear June

Dear June

The insurance must be with no co-payment when it come to applying for residency. 

Robert Sharpe

2 September, 2018 1:30 am

As it has been changed
As it has been changed recently that everyone will get free healthcare again since the change of government, does this mean that you will not need to pay for a years private health insurance as part of the process to apply for residency?

Suzanne O'Connell

3 September, 2018 5:54 am

Hi Robert

Hi Robert

I'm not aware that anything has changed when it comes to people applying for Spanish residencia. 


9 September, 2018 10:40 am

We are planning to move to Spain and I want to apply for residency before March 2019 so that I have the option to stay there after Brexit. I may not move there permanently until after March but wanted to have the residency in place before so that I won’t have any problems applying for it after Brexit

If I get this residency permit does it also mean I have to declare my taxes in Spain ? I may not have the minimum 6 months residency to be eligible for taxes so don’t want to be liable for taxes but I would like the residency permit so I don’t get locked out after Brexit kicks in

Can you advise please


Suzanne O'Connell

11 September, 2018 1:38 pm

Hi John

Hi John

You should only apply for residency if you are actually living in the country. It is not something you do in the event that you will move there in the future. The requirements after Brexit are unclear and you will have to hope that things turn out well. 

Peter Whitbread

10 October, 2018 1:54 pm

I am confused by advice I
I am confused by advice I have been given with respect to residency. Currently my understanding is that if visiting Spain for less than 183 days in any one year you are non taxable to the Spanish government. Post Brexit this in all probability will be reduced to 90 days in any one year. I have been advised that it is now possible to take up 6 months residency without having to pay any taxes to the Spanish government thus availing oneself of use of the Spanish healthcare system but giving up the right to the NHS therefore having to obtain an EHIC card for use in UK when visiting the UK. I do not know of any residential period of only 6 months per year allowing one to avoid paying tax in Spain. To your knowledge is there such a facility? I believe from my advisor that it is all connected with the Royal Decree on healthcare in Spain which has become law since July 2018.

Suzanne O'Connell

15 October, 2018 12:57 pm

At the moment we don’t know

At the moment we don't know what will happen after Brexit or how the new healthcare royal decree will be connected to the Spanish residency process. If you are resident in Spain for more than 90 days you should apply for Spanish residency. If you are in Spain for longer than 183 days you should apply for fiscal residency. 

Tanaya Phillips

25 November, 2018 3:07 pm

Somebody had mentioned above,
Somebody had mentioned above, regarding residency and Spanish Tax. I came over in August and am starting the procedure to obtain residency, which will now hopefully if approved be 2019. I sold my Uk home in 2018 to buy a property here outright. If I become a resident in 2019 does my tax year start Jan 2019 or will the Spanish tax me on anything from my sale or lumpsum 25% tax free uk Pension from 2018.

Suzanne O'Connell

2 December, 2018 7:36 pm

Dear Tanaya

Dear Tanaya

If you came to Spain in August not being a tax resident then any transactions made in 2018 come under your own country's tax. The tax year for you here in Spain starts on 1st January 2019. 

Daniel Lubiewskk

28 December, 2018 11:32 am

We have had a property in
We have had a property in Spain for 16 years. We pay wealth tax and all bills, we only come on and off totalling three months or so a year. We would like to be in Spain up to 183 days. Do we need to take Spanish Residency. If so, Do we then need to give up U.K. Health service. We don’t want to be tax resident in Spain as all our business is in U.K.

Suzanne O'Connell

1 January, 2019 4:52 pm

Hi Daniel 

Hi Daniel 

If you spend over 90 days in Spain the law says you should apply for the Spanish residency card. As a resident in Spain you may lose your UK healthcare, at least your GP. This is something you should confirm with the NHS. 

Laci Lee

8 January, 2019 6:42 pm

I’m a Canadian and I’m here in Andalucia , Spain for few weeks as on a tourist visa. Is it possible for me to apply for a a residency here in Spain or do I have to go back to Canada to apply for a residency through a Spanish consulate in Canada? Thank you

Suzanne O'Connell

15 January, 2019 1:31 pm

Hi Laci

Hi Laci

It's not possible to obtain a Spanish residency card while in Spain on a tourist visa. The process must be started in the country of origin. 

Shaun Bradbury

9 February, 2019 10:18 am

My NIE certificate says it is
My NIE certificate says it is only valid for three months which has since expired. Will I have to apply for a new one before applying for residency?

s Lawson

15 February, 2019 10:58 am

Hi my wife and i have our
Hi my wife and i have our permanent Spanish residece certificate having lived her for 15 years . When we changed our 5 year card they were only issuing a paper A4 certifcate . I understand now there is again a new laminated card .

My question is if we wanted to exchange for a card or if we moved to a new area of Spain , can the certifucate just be exchanged or would we need to rpovide all the documents needed now . Ie proof of income , passports , healthcare ( we are not pensioners ) but do have healthcare via the state system . So again would this be accepted ?

Suzanne O'Connell

22 February, 2019 2:32 pm



Yes. To renew your Spanish residency card you will have to reapply for it going through the requirements similar to a new application. 

Graham Foster

25 February, 2019 4:39 pm

Is it a requirement to have a
Is it a requirement to have a spanish bank account to get a certificate of residencia. I live in rented accommodation and pay my bills through a spanish account which I top up monthly and the rest of my finances are paid into English accounts

Suzanne O'Connell

26 February, 2019 10:21 am

Hi Graham

Hi Graham

Yes, you do need a Spanish bank account. 


28 March, 2019 10:23 am

I went for my residency today
I went for my residency today at the national police station, took NIE passport house deeds Modo 036 self employed form bank details etc. The officer pointed to the second section on the x18, it was for legal representation and blank. He insisted that I needed a certificate UE and told me I could not proceed without it, he also showed me appointments later in the day for people attending for this certificate.
I have asked my Gestor and a firm of solicitors, but no one knows what it is.
Can you help?

Suzanne O'Connell

31 March, 2019 4:08 pm

Hi Graham

Hi Graham

It looks as though you might have made an appointment using the wrong option but we're not sure. Perhaps you could contact David Ruiz directly to explore the situation. 


1 April, 2019 6:10 am

Thanks, yes the appt was the
Thanks, yes the appt was the wrong one, so turned away.
It turns out that there is a separate option for British, but all appts have now been stopped so there are no more.
Thanks Suzanne

Christian Slenczka

18 April, 2019 4:24 am

I am a German citizen and I’m
I am a German citizen and I’m about to accept a job in Barcelona. My wife is from Gran Canaria originally and she and my daughter would move there with me flying over the weekends. We already own a flat there. My question: what conditions would I need to fulfill in order to become residente in Gran Canaria? Do I need to be there a certain number of days each year? Thanks for your help!

Suzanne O'Connell

26 April, 2019 6:15 am

Hi Christian

Hi Christian

Since every police station all over Spain has different interpretations, the best way to proceed would be to speak with the relevant police station in Gran Canaria

Lynda Hayes

19 May, 2019 7:25 am

Do I need my parents date of
Do I need my parents date of birth to obtain residency

Suzanne O'Connell

24 May, 2019 1:26 pm

Hi Lynda

Hi Lynda

No, your parents' date of birth is not needed.

Kevin Hartley

30 July, 2019 11:20 am

We are looking at selling our house and buying a home in Spain later this year but we would not be working. You quoted that each person needs to prove an income of 800 euro per month but is that the same is you buy 100% of you home so all you have is living costs.

Suzanne O'Connell

7 August, 2019 4:02 pm

Hi Kevin

Hi Kevin

It is likely to be the same. However, it is best to check with the police station in the area you are moving to as every area is different and has different requirements. 

Matt Godfrey

17 October, 2019 3:38 pm


Oscar Paoli

17 October, 2019 5:09 pm

Your wife and children will be resident in Spain, but your situation will vary depending if we have a deal or no deal with Brexit, but most likely you will keep being tax resident in the UK.

More information can be found on the Government web site and for Spain this site is available in English.

All information depends on if there is a deal or no deal.

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Elizabeth Macleod

30 October, 2019 2:03 pm

We have been to Alicante Foreign Office today, applied for residencia and been refused, we were told that we have to have our State Pension from the UK paid into a Spanish bank. As we cannot find anywhere (written on paper) if this is true or not, also that the alternative is to have 7.000 euro’s in a Spanish bank account. We are very confused because all these rules seem very unclear.

Oscar Paoli

11 November, 2019 3:27 pm

Hi Elizabeth,
It is correct that you must have proof of income in Spain or that you are able to prove you have sufficient funds in a Spanish bank account.
With best regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Barry Barnes

4 November, 2019 11:14 am

I raised a question on Residencia via the ABACO members contact page and was sent an automated reply giving a TICKET number QYEZN and to date no one has come back to me.
The question covers people who have already got a Residencia (A4) green document. However we have been told that because our Residencia document (which we have held since 2007) does not have the word “Perminente” it is not valid. Can someone confirm if this is correct or not and if it is correct could you advise what action is required and the documents we need to produce in order to validate our Residencia papers?

Oscar Paoli

5 November, 2019 6:01 pm

Dear Barry,
Sorry if your query has not been resolved before.
We would have to see the document itself to confirm but having an A4 green card should be more than sufficient.
You can always apply for a new document and then get the smaller “ID card” type residencia at your closest national police station that assists with Residencia permits in Spain.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

JanIne Rothwell

12 November, 2019 7:27 am

Hi Maria
I am not an EU citizen. I am South African.
I have a 30 day entry visa into Spain starting 20 November 2019
I have been advised by the South African Spanish embassy to find a police station with a foreigners desk to apply for my residential before the 30 days. If I do not I must leave Spain.
Can you help
Do I book an appointment online.?
Do I take the same paperwork as mentioned in your responses in this blog? I have a NIE, one year health insurance, proof of euro 30000 in a South African bank, bank statements showing monthly income, photographs, passport and a 6 month rental contract.
I am staying in Punta prima close to Torreveija and 45 mins from Alicante in costa Blanca – please could provide a price to help secure my residency appointment and a translator to go with me to the appointment?

Oscar Paoli

12 November, 2019 10:37 am

If you wish to send us an email at we can put you in contact with our partner who could probably assist you with the residency process, book appointments and act as translator.
Please send all information to the above email and we will get you in touch with our partner.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Katy Inverson

13 November, 2019 6:02 pm

Excellent article Maria, really clear and strightforward, well done, so unlike so many information available online.
I have a question. I am English, 48 years old, I have lived in Spain for more than 8 months (with NIE), I am employed in Spain (with a Contract), I am registered with Social Security and Hacienda… but I only earn €420 per month, so I can’t meet the €800 per month needed for Spanish Residency. My employer now says I should be resident. What do I do? I should be registered as resident for the amount of time I’ve lived and worked here, but I can’t because of lack of income.
Also, with my situation, can I apply for a SIP card?
Many thanks, Katy..

Oscar Paoli

14 November, 2019 1:34 pm

Hello Katy,
Thank you for your nice comments regarding the article.
We recommend you speak directly with the immigration office you are going to apply residence for, as they will confirm if your funds are enough or not in this case.
Regarding the SIP card as you are hired and have a contract this will be sufficient to obtain the card.
Best of luck.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


19 November, 2019 10:19 am

Can you clarify the 800 per month per person, does this include children, for example if myself and my wife were to bring over our 4 children would I have to have 4800 per month or does it just apply to adults

Oscar Paoli

20 November, 2019 5:18 pm

Hi Matt,
The authorties will have to confirm if it is sufficient or not, but usually it is 800 € per person of legal age.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Raaj R

20 November, 2019 7:10 am

Have been granted a non-lucrative residence visa
Validity : 5th.Dec 19 to 18th. March 2020
No seeking appointment in Spain for issue of residence permit
Kindly confirm if there is any travel restrictions for first entry
Thank you

Oscar Paoli

20 November, 2019 5:06 pm

Hi Raaj,
This will depend on the conditions of your non-lucrative visa, we would need to check it in detail to be able to respond.
Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Paula Soud

5 December, 2019 6:43 am

Hi, I am a British Citizen currently living in Thailand.
It is my intention to relocate to Spain early next year initially starting in Murcia.
I am 67 years old but intend to work part time from about June.
I am concerned about the Brexi situation and would like your advice and possible help to obtain the relevant documents I would need to live in Spain, I originally was going to come mid-February but not sure if I should come before 31 January (if Brexit goes ahead?!).
Is this something you can help me with and if so what charges would be involved?
Thanks in advance.

Oscar Paoli

5 December, 2019 11:25 am

Hi Paula,
Thank you for your message. We can probably assist you in the matter with our partner David Ruiz, should you wish to get in contact with them please email us at and we will arrange for you two to get in contact and he will be able to inform you more about Brexit, necessary documentation and costs.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Muhammed Camara

19 December, 2019 9:13 pm

Hi am staying at almeria without no document, but really am with my gambian passport here so i need a help to get the residence how can i get it please

Oscar Paoli

20 December, 2019 8:12 am

We recommend you visit a local solicitor or gestoría en Almería that will surely be able to assist you in this matter.
Wishing you best of luck.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Kondwani damaseck Muwero

4 January, 2020 1:03 pm

Am looking forward for Spanish passport am here for ten years now l need a help where can l go for full information? Thanks

Oscar Paoli

7 January, 2020 1:30 pm

You may contact your nearest embassy or consulate to obtain all necessary information on the application steps and forms.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


7 January, 2020 8:55 pm

Thankyou this explained everything.
Very good
I will contact you later in the year to handle my residency application

Oscar Paoli

8 January, 2020 9:51 am

Hi Carol,
Perfect, looking forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Jonathan Moore

13 January, 2020 2:47 pm

Good afternoon,
My wife, little dog and myself would like to stay in Javea next year from January to May 2021. I retire at the end of May this year and I will be 58 in August 2020. My wife is 10 years older and already receives her UK state pension. We will be self succinct and I can prove that we have the means to live this lifestyle.
We will be visiting Javea this June for three weeks to look at a properties to rent and I wondered what documentation we will require to stay for 5 months. We will almost certainly take a few more 2-3 week holidays later in the year to Portugal and Greece.

I would really appreciate clarity as I am not sure what I need to achieve this.

Kind regards

Mr Moore

Oscar Paoli

14 January, 2020 5:46 pm

Hi Jonathan,

Thank you for your message.

There is still uncertainty in the answer as this will be post-Brexit. We highly recommend the following official sources to stay up to date with your query:

With kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Andrew Land

20 January, 2020 3:32 pm

Una Pregunta,

I am a UK citizen working in Holland, and will continue to do so after the planned Brexit transition period. However I wish to ultimately live in Spain. If I purchase a property in Spain before the end of the transition period, can I then get a Spanish Residency whilst still working and living in Holland, on the basis that I have Spanish property even if I only stay there occasionally (at first)?

Best Regards

PS – I have a NIE from working previously in Spain, and I got this updated recently.

Oscar Paoli

21 January, 2020 12:46 pm

Hi Andrew,
You do not usually apply for residency in a country you are not living, as this has other obligations attached such as paying taxes for example. Therefore, until you actually come to Spain to live we do not recommend for you to apply for residency here, as you are still living and working in Holland and are tax residents there.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


25 January, 2020 9:21 am

In regard to residency card and at the moment I am in UK.
Do I need to apply for it at the beginning when I arrive to stay for 90 days or at the end of my 90 days?

Oscar Paoli

29 January, 2020 2:56 pm

Hi Hass,
As you will have to prove your income in Spain you will have to wait a few months until you can prove you are receiving an income or pension in your Spanish bank account.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


30 January, 2020 9:58 am

Hi again
What I should have said was that I don’t have an income but have savings.

Oscar Paoli

5 February, 2020 2:11 pm

Hi Hass,
Thanks for your message.
Should you need further assistance please email us at
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Jill Payne

31 January, 2020 6:08 am

Hello – excellent article; thanks very much. I live in Alicante region and would like to purchase a vehicle. I understand that, in order to do so, I need Residencia and, in order to have Residencia, I need to sign on the Padron. To have both of these, I must provide either a Copia Simple or a Rental Agreement plus a utilities bill with my name and address on it. My problem is that I am co-habiting with the householder, so don’t own the property; neither do I rent it. I also don’t pay the household bills (I buy the groceries etc.). Can you help me please?

Oscar Paoli

5 February, 2020 2:06 pm

Hi Jill,

You need to be registered on the Padrón, but not necessarily be resident in Spain to purchase a car as many non-residents in Spain do so already.
If you do not have a proof of address I would recommend checking if you can get an authorization from the householder you are co-habitating with or to arrange a rental agreement between both of you.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers

Julie Church

1 February, 2020 2:42 pm

Thanks, the information you have supplied is very useful indeed.
I wondered if anyone had some advice for my husband and I as our situation is slightly different. We purchased a house outright 2 years ago. We intend to retire earlier than pensionable age and was planning to save funds to support ourselves for 5 years until our pensions kick in. Our plans were based on moving next April 21. Due to Brexit and the uncertainty, we are wondering if we should bring our plans forward to apply for residency before end Dec 20.
If my husband retires this year to apply for residency and proves he has supportable funds in our Spanish account to support himself, Can I continue working in the UK until next April and still be granted automatic residency due to being married? Also if we both retire in a December this year, how many years of funds do you have to show is available?

Any advice would be welcomed

Oscar Paoli

5 February, 2020 6:10 pm

Hello Julie,
Unfortunately, residence is not granted automatically to a spouse. You will have to apply for the residence from the starting point. What we cannot guarantee is that the procedure will not be modified after the transitional period of Brexit.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


2 February, 2020 4:00 pm

If anyone can advise me regarding specifically what is the realistic minimum time needed for me to fulfil the criteria which relates to my being able to gain residency status in Spain as a UK citizen after Jan 1st 2021 date of end of Brexit withdrawal agreement:

1) I am not yet living in Spain but I am investing in a home in Estepona off plan due to be completed in Dec 2021
I intend to live in Spain approx. 6 months of year (eg from Oct 2020 to March 2021) and live in UK approx. 6 months of year (eg from April 2021 to Sep 2021), then back to Spain eg Oct 2021 to March 2022.

2) It would currently appear I am better off making sure that I keep my time period in Spain to be under the 183 days a year threshold as this means I can claim to be resident in Spain but not tax resident there?

3) I don’t plan any time soon on having a new employment in Spain as I own a UK business which I run from home here in UK, which I will then simply run from my new home in Spain

4) I understand that I will need to pay for and register for private health insurance as soon as I arrive in Spain with intention to live there without being employed in Spain by an employer. I have looked into this. It appears it can be set up almost immediately

5) I already have an NIE card and Spanish bank account as I deliberately registered for these in 2019, looking ahead to Brexit

6) I understand that I will need to register as being a resident of a specific town for ‘padrianamento’- does that take long to process?


7) Assuming by end of Oct 2020, I already have padrianamento processed, as I also already have NIE and will have private health insurance, HOW LONG EXACTLY WILL I NEED TO GET THE REQUEST TO BE RESIDENT IN SPAIN STATUS PROCESSED TO BE COMPLETED BEFORE JAN 1ST 2021?

Oscar Paoli

5 February, 2020 1:58 pm

Thank you for your message, if you wish to book an appointment to get answer to all the above queries please do not hesitate to contact us at or book an appointment by phone at +34 966 703 748.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


5 February, 2020 3:46 pm

I am a British national and resident of Spain. My partner is Czech but is not working (yet) here in Spain. I have a company here and am paying substantial social security payments and taxes. She is not covered by state healthcare because she is not working and not yet officially resident. She moved here after me, completing work assignments back in the UK.
Does she have to work to get healthcare or can she somehow qualify for healthcare by virtue of being my partner? We have been together 14 years but never got married.
Much appreciated

Oscar Paoli

7 February, 2020 12:31 am


A person employed in Spain, or registered as a freelancer, is entitled to health care for himself, but cannot give that right to another person without a legal link between them.

Kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Michelle Hulse

11 February, 2020 6:03 pm

Hi I am looking to buy a property in fuerteventura how do I go about doing this not buying the property but I want to spend 183 days or less there per year, what do I apply for wanting to live in my property for that amount of time and still have access to the NHS here in England where I own my own property out right and will be keeping. So my question is what type of residency/permit do I apply for and where to apply? Thankyou

Oscar Paoli

4 March, 2020 5:22 pm

Hi Michelle,
If you are here for under 183 days per year then you are not a Tax Resident, however with BREXIT it is not clear yet what you will need to apply for if you wish to spend over 90 days in a 183 day period.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


22 February, 2020 11:19 pm

How much will it cost me to get my residency in Spain..

Oscar Paoli

25 February, 2020 6:57 pm

Hi Victor,
This will depend on the company assisting you in the process or if you do it privately.
If using a third party company it can cost you anywhere from 200 € to 400 € depending of the company and your location on average.
With kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers


23 February, 2020 12:12 pm

Hi there, this is a really informative blog – thank you – but I’m afraid I’m still a bit bamboozled. We have always intended to move to Spain but we’re not quite ready yet. In order to maintain the current status UK citizens have as EU members I understand we need to apply for “residency” at the local police station before 31st December. I’m not really clear what documentation we need for that application apart from our passports. (I notice below you mention a utility bill and rental agreement – is that for residency or a full green card? )
Our plan is to spend 3 months in Mallorca at the end of the year to apply for residency, renting locally, on the basis that once we have it we then have it forever, unless we are absent for a period of 5 years – is this the case?
Also its my understanding that if we get residency we are entitled to Spanish healthcare without the necessity of private health insurance – is this correct? I can see people below talking about taking out insurance.

Any advice greatly appreciated.

Oscar Paoli

4 March, 2020 4:06 pm


The documentation that you have to provide to apply for residence here is; Passport, NIE, Certificate of account together with excerpts from the last 3-6 months which reflects “living costs”, padrón, purchase deed or rental contract and some document that justifies medical coverage (be the S1 of the Uk if you are pensioners or a private policy).
This together with the EX18 filled with two copies and the fee paid (Rate 790-12). Receipts of supplies is for the Padron’s request, where you will have to provide the rental contract, a couple of invoices and your identification.

As for your plan, it’s fine but based on that you will have to make an appointment abroad for the end of December to have enough justification reflected in the accounts. But it must be mentioned that if you intend to take residence you have to spend most of the year here. And yes, if you are not in the country and have applied for temporary residence if it is not renewed after 5 years it is automatically canceled.

You do not have automatic right to medical coverage of the state when the residence is removed. For this you have to be a pensioner and provide proof of coverage in your current home country in order to have that of Spain granted. If they are minors, they must have a private policy until they meet said age. Of course, they can have the private one year and then try to take the agreement, but I think they are paralyzed. The thing is not very clear at the moment.

Shoul you have any further queries please do not hesitate to contact us at

Kind regards,

Ábaco Advisers

Andre Larney

27 February, 2020 2:26 pm

I am Australian living in Valencia Spain on tourist visa (90 days), and wish to apply for a temporary 12 month visa. I purchased an apartment and have a medical certificate and bank statement ready with completed application form. I am also living in Croatia. Information received so far is that I need to apply from outside of Spain. I am living in my apartment in Spain. I am trying to convince the authorities that it would be better if I self quarantine myself here in Spain (protection against Coronavirus), submit my application for processing and wait in Spain for a reply, instead if traveling to Croatia to lodge my application. Any comments?

Oscar Paoli

4 March, 2020 3:44 pm

Hi Andre,
Sorry, we are not familiarized with these matters or situation.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Kind regards,
Ábaco Advisers