11 Tips for Moving to Spain With Your Family

11 Tips for Moving to Spain With Your Family
September 2, 2019

Moving to Spain is not only an incredible opportunity but also one that involves a myriad of questions. Relocation doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience when families have the right answers in front of them. The following eleven tips are for expat families who want to move to Spain and send their children to school.

11 Questions

1. What Is The Best City And Area to Live to Attend International Schools?
2. How to Find Your New Home
3. How to Get Your Visa
4. How to Set Up Your Company
5. How to Get Health Insurance
6. How to Open a Bank Account
7. How to Meet People
8. Do You Need to Learn Spanish?
9. How to Get a Car And Your Driving License?
10. Does Spain Have Uber?
11. How to Find A Nanny or an Au Pair?


1. What Is The Best City And Area to Live to Attend International Schools?

When you’re an expat family, you’ll want to send your child to the best international school. International school eliminates the language barrier while simultaneously offering smaller class sizes. These schools also help students integrate with the local culture while their learning curriculum from their home country.

The best way to find an international school is to look at their accreditation, consult with other expat families, study curriculum, and review the school’s extra-curricular activities. According to the International Citizens Group, the best areas to attend international schools include Sotogrande, El Palmar, Castelldefels, Alcobendas, and El Paraíso.


2. How to Find Your New Home

When you’re moving to Spain with family/kids, it isn’t uncommon to need a short-term rental upon arrival. It may be because you’re waiting for your home to become available, or because you haven’t settled on a location yet. No matter the reason, furnished monthly and other short-term rentals are available on popular websites in Spain, including Idealista and Fotocasa. Finding the right place for you may also mean contacting local real estate agents.


3. How to Get Your Visa

For those who are EU residents, a visa isn’t required because you already meet the correct residency requirements. However, if you’re a non-EU resident, and have plans to stay in Spain for more than thirty days, a visa is required. Visit a Spanish Consulate or Embassy closest to your home. Then, when you arrive in Spain, you can work on obtaining residency. Once you obtain residency in Spain, you’ll be able to live anywhere throughout the EU.

There are general requirements for any visa application in Spain. You’ll need to submit documentation in person when applying for a visa. These documents include a passport that’s valid for at least six months, as well as three copies of the photo and personal information page. You’ll also need for recent passport size pictures, an original marriage certificate, a police department-issued certificate of good conduct that’s been translated into Spanish, an original medical certificate that’s been translated into Spanish, and an original copy of your medical insurance that will cover you and your family in Spain. There’s also a requirement that you submit to copies of all documents.


4. How to Set Up Your Company

Expat families can set up a company in Spain by choosing a name for their business, registering it, and then choosing a legal structure for that business. The next step is developing a business plan and securing financing. Then, they’ll need to find a location, and secure licenses and permits.


5. How to Get Health Insurance

Once you’re a resident of Spain, you’ll need health insurance for your family. That involves going to your local town hall and registering your address on the padrón. Upon completion of this step, you’ll receive a certificate of registration. When you show that certificate, you can apply for a healthcare card. You’ll also need a copy of your social security number for Spain. If you haven’t completed that step yet, you do so here.

After you’ve received your social security card, you’ll receive a document stating you’re entitled to receive medical assistance. That document, along with your social security card and pardon is what you’ll need to take with you to apply for your health card. The health card is known as the TSI (Tarjata Sanitaria Individual). You can apply for this card at your nearest state health center by presenting all of the necessary documentation along with a valid passport.


6. How to Open a Bank Account

Expat families have two options when setting up banking in Spain. You can set up either or resident or non-resident bank account. Setting up a resident account means you’ll be using euros or in a different foreign currency, depending on what the financial institution offers. Opening a non-resident bank account means you don’t have an NIE card (which is the tax identification number used in Spain) and are considered a non-resident. These accounts, according to the Bank of Spain’s regulations, can hold foreign currency or euros. However, the account holder must have the valid ID number of their country of origin or a valid passport.


7. How to Meet People

There are limitless ways to meet people when moving to Spain with family/kids. First, don’t be afraid to say, “yes,” when people invite you out. If you have colleagues who want to show you the town, go with them. When parents invite your children on a play date, accept their invitation. The best way to get out and be social is to accept every invitation you receive.

Look for opportunities to get involved, have fun, and engage with the community every week. For example, if you like volunteering, look for a cause you support. There are festivals, activities, concerts, and other events happening all the time. Look for activities like these to bring your children to meet people, learn about the country’s culture, and have fun. Consider teaching or tutoring in the evenings or on weekends to those who would like to learn English as a way to meet new people, too.


8. Do You Need to Learn Spanish?

There are many situations where it isn’t necessary to learn the language. You’ll find this is particularly true if you’re working with other English speakers or spending the majority of your time with them. However, you’ll find you never genuinely integrate with your local community if you don’t learn how to speak Spanish. Do you want to feel like you belong? Then it’s an excellent idea to think about learning the language.

The majority of Spain speaks Spanish, which is also known as Castellano, and it’s the country’s official language. What many families moving to the region don’t realize, though, is there are four other official languages also spoken here. For example, if you’re living in the Barcelona area, learning Catalan is optimal. Those who have plans to live in San Sebastian will benefit from learning a little Basque. Picking up these languages will help when you’re moving to Spain with family/kids, and you want to integrate into the community.


9. How to Get a Car And Your Driving License?

If you want to drive in Spain, you can use your foreign license for six months. If you’re from the EU or EEA are, you can drive with your license for up to two years. After that grace period, you must obtain a Spanish driver’s license. Drivers must be at least eighteen years old even if they’re a younger license holder in their home country. Those who don’t obtain their Spanish driver’s license could face a fine up to €200.

You’ll need to register to with Provincial Traffic Headquarters six months before moving to Spain. After completing that step, a medical examination is required through an authorized driver’s check center. The reason this requirement is put in place is to demonstrate that you are physically and mentally fit to drive. Spanish drivers also have to meet these requirements. You can voluntarily exchange your driver’s license at any time for the Spanish equivalent. Just like when you register, volunteer exchanges occur at the Provincial Traffic Headquarters.


10. Does Spain Have Uber?

According to EL PAÍS, Barcelona will no longer have ride-sharing services, including Uber and Cabify. The article further states that, “Uber neither owns cars nor licenses in Spain, and it limits its activities to simply offering the technology platform that drivers can use to find customers.”


11. How to Find A Nanny or an Au Pair?

Because everyone knows it “takes a village” to raise children, hiring an Au Pair is beneficial when moving to Spain with family/kids. One of the best places to find an Au Pair is the IAPA, International Au Pair Association. Not only does this association list information and resources every parent should know, but it also has a comprehensive list of agencies.
There’s also a website called GreatAuPair where expat families can find childcare providers in Spain, including nannies and Au Pairs. Expat families benefit from hiring an Au Pair for a variety of reasons including having an extra set of hands, being able to set a childcare schedule, having assistance with household duties, and opening up the door for cultural experiences.


Conclusion
By following these tips and advice, it’s possible for expat families to move to Spain without experiencing stress or feeling overwhelmed. In addition to finding the best schools for their children, it’s also possible to integrate with the local community, meet new people, and find the best childcare. To learn more information, contact World Schools today.