Spain Explained

Ten tips for emigrating to Spain stress-free

Emigrating to Spain is a big decision. Telling friends and family, selling your home, and embarking on a whole new life in a foreign country is a big step.

Certainly, leaving unfinished business back home isn’t an option, especially if there’s a possibility you may one day return. This is particularly the case with changes in the economic environment – namely Brexit – that means many people moving to Spain from the UK are proceeding with more caution than before. For instance, those who might have sold their property in their home country before are now considering renting instead. People are moving more tentatively, trying it out for a year or two and then making a longer-term decision.

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For many, trying out your new Spanish lifestyle before jumping in the deep end is the best option considering their circumstances. This softly, softly approach, might have its benefits for family too. The news that you are leaving to live in another country for good is difficult for those closest to you. Taking it one step at a time and leaving the door ajar can make the move more palatable to family and friends.

However, maintaining links with both countries can lead to some conundrums too. Here we recommend how to move to Spain from the UK, while keeping your options open without over-complicating things.

1. Hire a letting agent for your property back home

Employing an agency to take care of your house in your home country is a good way to manage the transition. Many people manage to do it directly, but if you can afford to, it is beneficial to employ a letting agency to look after your interests. A good agent will be the first point of contact with your tenants and save you the problems of liaising with them from a distance.

2. Let your creditors know

It’s important that your bank, mortgage providers and credit card companies are aware of your plans. Make sure you give them plenty of notice. You should also be aware that you should inform your mortgage provider if you are renting out your house. You’ll also need to change the contact address for bank accounts and credit cards.

3. Make sure you’re insured

It is essential to make sure you have the correct insurance cover. For instance, if you are renting out your house you will need landlord insurance. You will also need to check the level of insurance in your Spanish property. For example, if you are moving permanently to what was previously a holiday home, it’s likely you’ll be bringing more valuable objects with you. Therefore, you’ll need to increase your home insurance cover.

4. Declare your assets

Remember that over the longer term, you will need to declare your assets in the UK on the Spanish 720 declaration form if the value of your property at purchase totaled more than €50,000. However, you don’t have to declare immediately, as the deadline is the end of March for the previous tax year. This gives you a little bit of space to decide whether you are emigrating to Spain permanently or not.

You should be aware that if you do decide to stay in Spain and then sell your property in the UK, you will be liable for Spanish capital gains tax. This can be avoided, however, if you sell your property the year before you emigrate.

5. Apply for residency

Remember that if you are living in Spain for more than 183 days per year you are classified as a resident. As such, you must ensure that you have the correct paperwork to accompany your new status. You don’t have to do everything at once, but should start as soon as possible to ensure that you have completed everything you need to do within the official six-month timeframe.

6. Organize your healthcare

It’s very important to sort out your healthcare in Spain. At the present time, those with a state pension are covered. However, early retirees will need to take out private health insurance. What isn’t an option is continuing to use your EHIC indefinitely, especially in light of Brexit. This card is only meant for those on a temporary visit. Once you become a resident, this no longer applies to you.

7. Redirect your mail

Have your mail redirected for a short period of time, as it’s difficult to make sure that you have informed everyone you need to. Redirected mail gives you a little bit of time to ensure that everyone knows you’ve moved. Don’t delay in updating those you forgot, however. The post office will only maintain this service for a specified period of time. After that, it’s up to you.

8. Establish communication

Organize how you will communicate with those back home. Whether it is Skype, text, email or phone, be clear about what’s going to be best for you and that everyone has the hardware and software to make it happen.

9. Organize your possessions

Consider your distribution of valuable and important items between your homes. You might prefer to put some things into storage whilst you are deciding what to do. If you have a good-sized loft, this can be an option. However, it’s also a good opportunity to clear out all those items you’ve hoarded over the years.

10. Give yourself a timeline 

Give yourself a set period of time to decide whether emigrating to Spain is right for you. You may feel a little homesick in the early days but you might regret too hasty a decision to return. A commitment of perhaps over a year enables you to know what it feels like during all the main annual events.

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Emigrating to Spain stress-free

There’s no doubt that moving abroad is a big decision. In the end, however, nothing is irreversible no matter how long you have lived in one country. For many, giving it a go is a lifelong ambition. Just make sure that you keep your options open if you have any doubts at all. Furthermore, if you have concerns, you can consult an expert about the ins and outs of moving to Spain from the UK. To discuss your needs without any obligation, contact us today

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