If you are a citizen of the EU or the EEA and you are planning to live in Spain longer than three months, then you should know that you should have the appropriate registration for living, working, or studying in the country. As a general rule, you can work and live in Spain without a permit or a visa, but you will have to register yourself with the Spanish authorities if you are in Spain for more than three months. When you register yourself, you will also have to get a residence certificate, and this certificate requires you to show that you can take care of yourself finance-wise and have the proper health insurance whilst you are in Spain as well.

Within the first three months: the residence certificate 

If you are planning to stay longer than three months in Spain, then it’s best that you go personally to an Oficina de Extranjero or Foreigner's Office so that you can register. The Office is usually at the police station in your local area. By doing this, you can add yourself to the central register for foreign individuals.  

When you go to the office, make sure you have a passport which is valid or another valid ID or document which proves that you can amply support yourself and any dependents whilst you are in the country. The officials may also ask you to present evidence of a public or private health insurance coverage.

The documentation required from you may differ based on your circumstances, but in general, it can include a certificate or declaration of employment or proof of self-employment; proof of health insurance; evidence of sufficient resources finance-wise, such as income and assets, etc.; or evidence of enrolment at a school or other educational institute. 

Once you have shown the necessary documentation and everything is complete, you will get a residence certificate or a Certificado de registro como residente comunitario, and this will include your details such as your name, your address, your nationality, and your NIE, or Foreigner’s Identity Number. The NIE is necessary for all administrative and financial matters in the country. 

Also, if, during your stay, you undergo any personal change in your circumstances such as a marriage or a divorce, you should inform the relevant authorities as well. Make sure to bring your certificate as well as national ID or passport with you at all times. 

For family members from the EU or EEA and not from the EU or EEA

If you have any family members from the EU or EEA who are also planning to live in Spain with you, they must do the same and register themselves to get a residence certificate as your EU family member, called the Tarjeta de Residencia de Familiar de Cuidadano de la Union. If your family members are not from the EU or EEA, they may have to apply for a Spanish visa first from a Spanish consulate or embassy in their country before they can go to Spain. 

The good news is, when you have registered yourself and your family members living with you in Spain, you can take care of various things as well – you can open a bank account, for instance, or finalise the buying of property, as confirmed by experts in property for sale in Moraira such as those from Watkins Wilson.