Moving to the Costa Blanca
Moving to the Costa Blanca?
You´ve made your decision, your are moving to the Costa Blanca – Whatever your situation, HomeEspaña will not only help you find your ideal property, but we’ll also help you to settle in. We know that to make any move to Spain successful, there are important things to consider both before and after arriving. To get you started, we’ve outlined the main points below.
Before Arriving in the Costa Blanca
When moving to the Costa Blanca its a good idea to start thinking about how you will move your belongings to Spain at least two to three months before your planned departure date and, if necessary, get quotes from removals firms. Work out what you will be taking with you to your home on the Costa Blanca, whether you’ll need to put anything into storage and arrange suitable insurance for your belongings during transit.
Remember to arrange your own transport, check the validity of your passport and get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to cover you when you first arrive in Spain.
There is lots of paperwork to be done. You’ll need to inform utilities companies of your departure date, cancel direct debits and bill payments, sort out mobile phone and internet contracts and have your mail redirected. You should also let the tax office, i.e. HMRC in the UK, the Department for Work and Pensions, your doctor and bank know you are relocating. Bear in mind, keeping an existing bank account open is advisable. You’ll also need to tidy up any loans or unpaid balances on credit cards, if applicable.
It is also worthwhile speaking to a financial advisor a few months before you are moving to the Costa Blanca and become a tax resident in Spain. Why? If you have private pensions, large cash deposits, shares, bonds, or other investments, perhaps in a tax free form, re-structuring them or moving them off-shore could benefit you once you are no longer a tax resident in the UK, or whichever country you are leaving. If retired, you’ll also need to think about having your pension transferred to your bank in Spain. And nearer to your departure date, make sure you have enough Euros waiting for you in your Spanish bank account.
A few days before your planned arrival, if you have a home waiting for you in Moraira, Cabo Roig, Villamartin or wherever it may be, why not ask HomeEspaña to check it over for you, test the boiler and air conditioning and check the utilities are connected properly. That way, you’ll be arriving to a fresh, functioning home and not be arriving to a domestic emergency!
Arriving in the Costa Blanca
Within the first three months of moving to the Costa Blanca, you should register for residency in person at your local Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigners Office) or a designated police station, where you will be issued a Residence Certificate showing your name, address and NIE number (which you will have obtained when purchasing your property). To do this you will need your passport and it will incur a small fee.
Aside from obtaining a Residence Certificate, you should also visit your local town hall and register youself and your family on the Padron Municipal de Habitantes, an equivalent to the electoral roll which lists names of all local residents. Registering on your Padron and receiving a certificate makes you an official member of your community and is actually a legal requirement. It has benefits though, the more people registered on a municipality’s Padron, the more governmental funding it receives. Also you will need your certificate for certain administrative procedures, such as buying or selling a car, registering a child in school, getting married, voting or applying for a health insurance card or certain social benefits.
You should also make registering locally for healthcare a priority after arriving on the Costa Blanca. UK pensioners and anyone entitled to a full level of state healthcare in the UK will be entitled to state healthcare in Spain too. To qualify you will need to register an S1 form (formerly E121), available from the International Pension Centre.
Setting up communications is a final tip for new arrivals on the Costa Blanca. Get yourself a mobile phone and if your new home hasn’t already got one, sort out a landline, as well as broadband and, if required, satellite TV. This way you’ll be able to watch your favourite English soaps from the word go, as well as stay in touch with loved ones back in the UK, in between arranging socials in your new local bar!
Good luck, and remember, at HomeEspaña we’re there to help you after you’ve bought your home, not just before.