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Registration, Permits & Other Documentation

Alicante - Registration, Permits & Other Documentation

Citizens of the European Union do not require visas or permits to live in Spain and can travel freely between the member countries.

Citizens from other countries need a visa if they are going to live and work in Spain. This needs to be arranged with the Spanish Embassy or Consulate for their country of citizenship, and cannot be arranged through their country's Embassy once arrived in Spain. Allow 8-12 weeks for the visa to be issued. Each Embassy and Consulate each have their own visa application procedure; therefore all enquiries need to be directed through them.

More information can be found on the Spanish Ministery of Foreign Affairs at , which can also be viewed in English.

Once legally in Spain, those deciding to stay need to apply for an NIE number, Numero de Identidad de Extranjero, or Identity Number for Foreigners. This is needed for anyone who wants to work in the country and is the main form of identification. You will need it to file taxes, open a bank account, contract a utility service or telephone line, or for any other form you are asked to complete. Both EU and non-EU citizens are issued with an NIE number, and it is similar to the Spanish DNI, (Documentacion Nacional de Identidad) that all Spanish citizens are required to have. It is a legal requirement to carry identification around with you at all times in Spain.

The NIE number is obtained from the Oficina de Extranjeros or Foreigners' Office, which in Alicante is situated at C/ Campo de Mirra, 6, 03005 Alicante, tel: 965 125531, opening hours Monday to Friday, 9am until 2pm, although it is wise to get there early as queues can be long. You will need to take copies of your passport, an original copy and photocopy of why you need an NIE number (i.e. work contract), and two passport sized photographs. It will take between 1 and 6 weeks for your NIE number to be processed, and this will need collecting from the same office. Unhelpfully, you are not told when this will be, so you will have to keep trying.

This process can also be done through the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in the home country, although it will be much more expensive than the 7 euros it costs to process in Spain.

Once settled in the city, all residents are expected to register with the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) to become an official resident of the city. You will need to visit the Ayuntamiento at Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 1, 03002 Alicante, with an application form to register, which can be obtained here , your passport and photocopies, plus proof of address such as a rental agreement or utility bill. Registering in this way will also make you eligible to vote in local elections, but not in national elections unless you choose to eventually become a Spanish citizen.

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Expat Health Insurance Partners

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