www.aimovers.org.uk - Association Of Independent Movers
Posted 22/06/2022 in Removals Advice

Moving to Spain

Moving to Spain

Before you move to Spain you must apply for the appropriate visa from the Spanish consulates in London or Edinburgh, or the Spanish consulate in Manchester. You must apply for your residence document as soon as you arrive in Spain. Your children must also be registered with their own residency documents.

UK Pensions and Tax

Before moving to Spain from the UK, you must notify the UK government offices that deal with benefits, pensions and tax.

Healthcare in Spain

All residents in Spain need to register to access healthcare.

Once registered for healthcare, basic state services are free, but there are some things that patients need to pay for. For example, you usually have to pay something towards prescriptions – either a reduced price or the full price.

UK nationals usually access the Spanish national health system in one of these ways:

  • through entitlement to healthcare if they’re employed or self-employed and make social security contributions in Spain
  • registering a UK-issued S1 form with the social security office
  • through entitlement to healthcare as a permanent resident if they’ve lived in Spain for 5 years
  • paying directly into the public health insurance scheme

Customs Documents

Household goods are duty free if the following conditions are met:

  • Goods are owned and used by the owner for a minimum of 6 months
  • The shipment is imported into Spain within 12 months after owner’s arrival
  • The owner of the goods must have lived abroad for a minimum of 1 year

To move your household goods and personal effects, you will need the following documents.


  • T1 transit form
  • Export Accompanying Document (EAD)
  • Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) in the Import Control System (ICS) to the port of entry. 


  • Copy of valid Passport
  • Proof of Residence in Spain
  • Original of DNI (for Spaniards) or NIE (residence permit for foreigners)
  • Clearance Authorization
  • Detailed inventory of goods
  • Tax Return, Consular Cancellation or any other legal document that proves residence in the country of origin for at least one uninterrupted year
  • Registration in Spain (dated less than 1 year before import)

Moving Pets to Spain

Documents Required

  • Original international vaccination book
  • Veterinary health certificate
  • Pet microchip number

Prohibited Goods

  • Firearms, weapons, ammunition or explosives
  • Pornographic material
  • Non-prescription drugs
  • Radio transmitters
  • Animal skins, ivory and similar products from protected species
  • Food items
  • Animals, birds or fish (alive or dead)
  • Counterfeit goods
  • Parts taken from protected animal species, including furs, ivory etc.

Tobacco, cigarettes or cigars are subject to restrictions.

Professional qualifications in Spain

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Spain. The UK Centre for Professional Qualifications can advise.

If you need your UK academic qualification officially recognised in Spain, follow the Spanish Ministry of Education’s guidance (in Spanish).

Driving in Spain

If you moved to Spain after 1 January 2021, your valid UK licence will be recognised for 6 months from the date you obtained residence, after which you will need to obtain a Spanish licence. There is no provision for exchanging a licence, so you will need to take both a theory and practical test.

See DGT website.

Importing your Car to Spain

If you register as a resident or spend longer than 6 months of the year in Spain, you must register your vehicle with the Spanish authorities and you may need to pay some taxes. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so, you will need certificates of exemption.

Documents Required

  • Original vehicle purchase invoice
  • Original documents of the car (e.g., certificate of title and registration, insurance, etc.)
  • The car must be built to EU standards.
  • Technical details sheet of the vehicle


This guide is an overview only and readers should seek further advice from the official bodies in the country to which they are moving.