Relocating is a huge and exciting adventure. Finding your dream property and starting a new life in the sun is something that many people dream of. But it isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly: it’s important to ensure that moving to Spain is the right option for you and your family before you take the plunge. You can’t just pack a suitcase and head to the airport, however tempting it might be!
To help you make the decision, and ensure you don’t leave anything important behind, here are the top checks we think you should make before moving to Spain:
Passports and Visas
The first thing every member of your party will need before you relocate to Spain is a valid passport. Ensure you have as much length of validity as possible, as you will need to use this every time you enter and leave the country, and you don’t want to return to the UK to visit family and friends, and end up stuck there whilst you wait for a new passport!
Currently there is no need to obtain a visa in order to relocate to Spain, as the UK is an EU member-state, but in light of current changes, it is worth checking the visa requirements regularly to ensure that you don’t need to secure any additional documentation.
Preparing Your Property
If you are selling your property in the UK then put it on the market as soon as you make the decision to relocate. Use this as an opportunity to declutter your home: sell or donate anything that you won’t be taking to Spain with you. This includes smaller items, such as furniture and kitchen utensils, as well as larger items like your car. If you are renting a property then tell your landlord as soon as possible: remember that under the terms of your tenancy agreement you may be required to give them several months’ notice of your decision to leave.
On the subject of preparing your property, you should also request final statements for all of your utility bills, and ensure that they are paid in full before you leave the country.
Dental and Medical Considerations
Visit your doctor and your dentist before you leave for Spain and ask for a check up: this will give you the peace of mind of knowing you are in tip top physical condition before you embark on your adventure. You can then ask for a copy of your medical and dental records to take with you – these will prove useful when you register with a local doctor and dentist when you arrive in Spain, particularly if you have any pre existing conditions.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that you won’t have access to NHS medical treatment in Spain, so you should investigate what kind of healthcare you will need. If you will be making social security payments by working when you are living in Spain then you will be entitled to free healthcare treatment in the country, but if you are not planning to work then you may need to secure a private healthcare policy. It’s important to assess and apply for this as soon as possible.
Inform the Right People
There are a lot of people you need to inform when you decide to move to Spain, and we’re not just talking about your kids! The post office and your bank should both be informed of your change of address, so that any important post can be redirected. Depending on your financial situation, you may even wish to close your UK bank account. You should also inform the tax authorities and your pension provider that you are moving overseas. Finally, don’t forget to give your new address to your family, friends and business associates: maintaining links and relationships will help you to feel settled in much more quickly.
Buying a New Property
Finally, where will you live when you arrive in Spain? It’s an important consideration. Whether you plan to rent a property or invest in a home of your own, you should secure somewhere to live before you take the plunge and move. If you’re thinking of buying a house in Spain then we’d love to help you find the perfect property for you! Our team of property experts specialise in helping ex pats to find their dream Spanish home that will meet all their needs.