Moving from Ireland to Spain

The prospect of moving to Spain from Ireland has recently garnered significant interest. Spain boasts an alluring blend of elements, featuring a favourable climate, a top-notch healthcare system, a rich tapestry of art and culture, renowned Mediterranean cuisine, efficient transportation networks, picturesque beaches, and an overall high quality of life.

When considering relocating to Spain from Ireland, a clearly defined purpose is crucial. Obtaining the appropriate visa becomes paramount depending on the specific reason for the move. The primary distinction lies in whether the move is for employment, academic pursuits, or simply the desire to establish residence in the country without engaging in remunerative activities.

Do Irish residents need a visa for Spain?

Ireland is part of the European Union, so Irish citizens wishing to visit Spain for a period of less than 90 days within a 180-day period will not need to obtain any visa.

If the intention is to move to Spain for more than 90 days, Irish citizens, being part of the European Union, will need to apply for a certificate of registration as a European Union citizen. This certificate will grant Irish citizens the same rights and tax obligations as Spanish citizens. Initially, it is a temporary permit to reside in Spain, but over time, they can convert it into a permanent one.

For citizens from Northern Ireland, it will be necessary to obtain a specific visa based on the purpose of their move to Spain.

However, if you are a citizen of Northern Ireland, starting from January 2024, you will need to apply for the ETIAS visa waiver to enter Spain for less than 90 days. This is because Northern Ireland is no longer part of the European Union after the implementation of Brexit.

Obtaining a Certificate of Registration

As mentioned earlier, if you are a citizen of the European Union and wish to obtain a residence permit in Spain for more than 90 days, it is necessary to register in the Register of European Union Citizens. To complete this process, you will need to fill out the EX18 form and make the corresponding payment of the fee. Additionally, it will be necessary to demonstrate the availability of sufficient financial resources for your stay in Spain and to have private health insurance.

If you plan to engage in economic activities, either as an employee or self-employed, you must justify this fact to the Police to obtain the mentioned residence permit.

It is crucial to note that all documents submitted to support your situation, if not in Spanish, must be accompanied by an official translation into Castilian Spanish.

Individual circumstances vary. At Tejada Solicitors, we encourage you to contact our legal experts. Allow us to guide you through the process with simplicity and effectiveness tailored to your unique situation. Our specialization in remote services ensures that we can provide advice regardless of your location.

Spanish residency for Irish citizens

To secure your residence permit, visit the immigration office nearest to your home in Spain. Alternatively, if that’s not feasible, you can visit the local Police Station. Once the process is completed and the authorities approve the permit, they will issue the corresponding Residency Certificate.

It’s crucial to note that when applying for the Residency Certificate initially, it will be temporary and valid for 5 years unless any changes in your personal circumstances are communicated to the Immigration office.

After a continuous period of 5 years without alterations in your situation, you must reapply at the Immigration office to obtain the Permanent Residence Card, provided you still meet the residency requirements.
The Administration will issue a new Permanent Resident Certificate, making it a final document. It is the citizen’s responsibility to inform the Administration of any changes in their personal circumstances that could impact the certificate’s validity after its issuance.

Do you need a professional help for “Moving from Ireland to Spain?

Checklist for moving from Ireland to Spain 

Firstly, you should be familiar with the process to obtain the relevant residence permit, as citizens from the European Union need to follow these steps:

  1. Schedule an appointment at the Foreigners’ Office or Police Station in the location where you will reside in Spain to apply for registration in the Register of European Union Citizens.
  2. The next step involves gathering the necessary documentation required for your appointment, which depends on your circumstances but generally includes:

For those planning to work in Spain: proof of employment, either as an employee or self-employed.
For students: proof of enrolment.
Confirmation of private health insurance.
Evidence of having sufficient financial means for your stay in Spain, and if you have dependents, proof of adequate financial support for them. Minimum income requirements must be met for your application to be accepted.
Completed Form EX18 and proof of payment of the corresponding fees.

It’s important to note that any documents not in Spanish must be translated into Castilian Spanish by a certified translator. Additionally, official documents such as birth certificates must be apostilled.

If everything is in order, you will be issued the corresponding card certifying your residence permit in the country.

1. Spanish NIE Number

Acquiring your NIE, or Numero de Identificación de Extranjero (Spanish Foreigner Identification Number), is crucial in your Spain-bound journey. To facilitate a smooth transition, completing this process before your arrival is highly recommended.

In case pre-application is not feasible, you also have the option to obtain your NIE while in Spain. This can be done through the immigration office or a local police station. Alternatively, our team of legal experts can manage the procedure on your behalf, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Similarly, if your goal is to obtain a residence permit when initiating the corresponding process, the same organization will automatically assign you your Foreigner Identification Number using the same procedure.

2. Driving License in Spain

As a member of the European Union, your driving license issued in Ireland is fully valid for navigating the beautiful roads of Spain while it is in force. Imagine the excitement of exploring every corner of Spain with the comfort of your own vehicle!

But that’s not all. If you fall in love with the experience and decide to stay longer, we’ve got you covered! You can apply for an exchange to obtain a Spanish license, although we want to emphasize that this decision is always yours and completely voluntary. We want you to feel in control of your road adventure.

Would you prefer to keep your Irish license? No problem! You also have the option to register your license in the DGT driver’s registry, ensuring that your data is backed up in the Spanish DGT database. This way, you can enjoy the freedom of driving in Spain your way without complications or worries! Get ready to experience Spain on wheels!

cost of living spain vs ireland


3. Tax Residence 

Establishing permanent residency in Spain entails fulfilling essential tax obligations as a Spanish tax resident, a prerequisite for obtaining your TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero). Article 9 of the Personal Income Tax Law stipulates that individuals residing in Spanish territory for more than 183 days or having primary financial interests in Spain must become tax residents. To meet this requirement, you must adhere to the following tax obligations:

  1. Personal Income Tax (IRPF) – Model 100: All global income, including capital gains, rental incomes, dividends, etc., is subject to taxation in Spain. To mitigate the risk of double taxation, it’s crucial to establish a bilateral taxation agreement between Spain and your country of origin. For Ireland, a double taxation agreement exists to prevent Irish citizens residing in Spain from being taxed twice on the same income. Therefore, we advise consulting with our tax specialist at Tejada Solicitors to ensure accurate tax filings.
  2. Declaration of Assets – Form 720: Mandatory for individuals and legal entities, Form 720 is required to declare overseas assets exceeding €50,000 outside of Spain. This step is vital to preempt any allegations of tax evasion.
  3. Wealth Tax: Applied to worldwide net assets exceeding 3,700,000 euros.

Stay well-informed and updated on these obligations to fully enjoy your residency in Spain without complications.

4. Spanish healthcare

Acknowledged as one of the best, the Spanish healthcare system offers free services to those affiliated with and contributing to Social Security.

If you are Irish and in the process of obtaining a visa for Spain, it’s crucial to be aware that for most visa types, private health insurance is a mandatory requirement.

However, if you already live in Spain as a tax resident, you can access the healthcare system at no cost. This applies as long as you are employed, either as a self-employed individual or an employee, and regularly contribute to Social Security.

Retire in Spain from IRELAND CHEKLIST 2

5. Register your new Spanish address

After settling in Spain and securing your property, it’s vital for residents to promptly visit the Town Hall office in your area to register their new address, a process referred to as the “padrón.” This registration not only fulfils a legal requirement but also unlocks specific rights in Spain, granting you access to privileges even before attaining full Spanish citizenship.

6. Utilities in Spain

Once you’ve acquired or rented a residence, the next step is to organize essential utilities such as electricity, water, gas, internet, and phone services. If these services aren’t already in place, you must either activate them or change the account holder.

Basic utilities like electricity and water are usually billed bimonthly, and setting up direct debits for these payments with your bank is recommended. On the other hand, services like gas, phone, and internet are typically invoiced monthly.

7. Opening a bank account

If you choose to establish yourself in Spain, opening a local bank account is crucial. This account will be indispensable for various transactions, including property purchases, health insurance payments, gym memberships, and more.

To initiate this process, you should have your Foreigner Identification Number (NIE) ready. While the required documentation may vary among different banks, you will generally be asked for your NIE, passport, proof of income, and a declaration regarding your residency status in Spain. The complexity of the account opening process may depend on whether you will be a resident of Spain or not.

Recognizing that opening a bank account in Spain can be a bureaucratic and sometimes tedious process, Tejada Solicitors is here to assist you and streamline this procedure for your convenience.

What our clients say

Thank you for your reviews!

British Chamber of commerce in Spain

Buying property in Spain as an Irish citizen

Our team comprises a Lawyer, Tax Advisor, and Architect, all collaborating seamlessly to provide comprehensive support in every aspect of the Property Conveyancing process. Each member of our Law Firm is proficient in English, ensuring effective communication.

From the initial steps to the completion of the purchase, we offer assistance at every stage. We meticulously review all pertinent documents, legal standings, charges, debts, utilities, draft contracts, taxes, etc., ensuring that every detail of the process is addressed. In this way, we manage all necessary documentation with the overarching goal of optimizing the protection of your interests. Additionally, the architect will assess the urbanistic situation of the property, and the Tax Advisor will elucidate all taxes associated with the purchase, including those payable post-completion. We guarantee that the property is free of charges and legally sound. Consequently, the contract will not be signed, and progress toward property acquisition will only proceed once it is confirmed that everything is in order.

apply for spain visa from ireland

Renting property in Spain as an Irish citizen

Irish residents often find the prospect of generating extra income through tourism rentals a compelling reason to invest in Spanish properties. If you’re contemplating this avenue, our tax advisor can conduct a comprehensive analysis of your real estate investment, offering guidance on the tax considerations before finalizing the purchase.

Should you decide to designate your property for tourist rentals, it’s imperative to register it with the Tourism Registry of Andalusia. The team at Tejada Solicitors is well-equipped to furnish you with all the pertinent information and assistance throughout this process.

It is crucial to underscore that neglecting to register your property in this registry may lead to substantial penalties.

Which are the best places to move from Ireland to Spain?

Spain, with its enchanting beaches, rich culinary delights, iconic architecture, and unmatched hospitality, beckons as the preferred destination for many Irish seeking a new home.

Additionally, the cost of living in Ireland is 53% higher than in Spain. However, depending on the specific region in Spain and the aspects considered, this percentage may vary, making the prospect of moving to Spain even more appealing.

Allow us to introduce some Spanish gems that are sure to captivate individuals from Ireland:

Madrid: Beyond being the bustling economic and business hub of Spain, Madrid boasts a rich blend of historical and cultural wealth, making it the perfect haven for those with entrepreneurial ambitions.
Barcelona: Famed for its remarkable architecture and picturesque landscapes, Barcelona invites you into a unique way of life, seamlessly blending tradition and modernity.
Alicante: A veritable paradise on Earth, Alicante’s sunny beaches and the warmth of its residents make it an irresistible city to call home.
Málaga: A coastal jewel, Málaga is the Silicon Valley of southern Europe, globally connected with a plethora of beaches and upscale dining. The friendly locals and unbeatable climate make Málaga a place where living is simply delightful.

How much does it cost to move from Ireland to Spain?

As mentioned earlier, since Ireland is part of the European Union, obtaining residency in Spain is easier and more economical. The fees for registering in the Register of Union Citizens are only 12 euros. Additionally, you will need to add the cost of official translations, which generally amount to around 100 euros if you don’t have extensive documentation.

Furthermore, keep in mind that, to register, you will need private health insurance. The cost will depend on the company and your personal circumstances.

You will also need to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources for your stay in Spain, especially if you do not plan to work here, whether as an employee or self-employed. If you bring any family members, you will also need to ensure that you have the necessary means for their maintenance.

Need a professional consultation to prepare for your move to Spain from Ireland?

Navigating the complexities of tax, immigration, and real estate matters in Spain can pose challenges for foreign individuals lacking proper guidance. At Tejada Solicitors, we adopt a holistic 360-degree approach to your case. Our team, consisting of an immigration specialist, tax lawyer, and property conveyancing expert, collaboratively examines and analyzes your unique situation. Our goal is to streamline this process, alleviate stress, and ensure the success of your relocation to Spain. Place your confidence in our team of specialized lawyers with extensive experience in handling these intricate procedures.

Interesting read: How to move to Malaga

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Terms and conditions - Data protection acceptance


In fulfillment of the Information legal duty established in the article 13 of the Regulation (EU) 2016/679, You are given the following basic information relative to the personal data given.

En cumplimiento del deber legal de información establecido en el artículo 13 del Reglamento (UE) 2016/679, se les facilita la siguiente información básica relativa a los datos personales facilitados.

Purpose / Finalidad


To give the services offered across the web or to attend to other types of relations that could arise with LEGAL AND TAX ADVISORS S.L.P. as consequence of the requests, negotiations or steps that the User realizes by means of the web, as well as the management of sending information and commercial communications by request of the user.


Prestar los servicios ofrecidos a través de la web o atender otros tipos de relaciones que puedan surgir con LEGAL AND TAX ADVISORS S.L.P. como consecuencia de las solicitudes, gestiones o trámites que el Usuario realice mediante la web, así como la gestión del envío de información y comunicaciones comerciales a solicitud del usuario.

Organic law 15/1999, of December 13, of Protection of Personal Data Information (in forward, “LOPD”) and Royal decree 1720/2007, of December 21, by which the Regulation of Development of the Organic Law 15/1999 (RLOPD) is approved, Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the PE and of the Council of April 27, 2016, which procedures will be of obliged fulfillment from May, 2018.

Ley Orgánica 15/1999, de 13 de diciembre, de Protección de Datos de Carácter Personal (en adelante, “LOPD”) y Real Decreto 1720/2007, de 21 de diciembre, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento de Desarrollo de la Ley Orgánica 15/1999 (RLOPD), Reglamento (UE) 2016/679 del PE y del Consejo de 27 de abril de 2016, cuyas normas serán de obligado cumplimiento a partir de mayo de 2018.

Addressee / Destinatarios

Internal automated file of LEGAL AND TAX ADVISORS S.L.P. and third parties for the development, maintenance and control of the juridical relation that is established when legal authorization exists from the user to do it.

Fichero interno automatizado de LEGAL AND TAX ADVISORS S.L.P. y terceros para el desarrollo, mantenimiento y control de la relación jurídica que se establezca cuando exista autorización legal por el usuario para hacerlo.

Rights / Derechos

Access, rectification, transfer, opposition and right to the oblivion. +info Political Privacy.

Acceso, rectificación, cesión, oposición y derecho al olvido. +info Politica Privacidad.

Additional Information / Información Adicional

You can obtain the whole additional and detailed Information that you need on the treatment and protection of your personal information and the Privacy and Cookies Policy on the link + info Political Privacy.

Puede obtener toda la Información adicional y detallada que precise sobre el tratamiento y protección de sus datos personales y la Política de privacidad y Política de cookies en el enlace + info Politica Privacidad.

Governing Law

For the resolution of all disputes or issues related to this website or the activities developed herein, the Spanish legislation shall be applicable, to which the parties expressly submit themselves, being competent to solve all conflicts related to its use by the Courts and Tribunals of Velez-Malaga.

If any clause included in these conditions of use is declared fully or partially null or ineffective, such nullity or ineffectiveness will only affect the said provision or the part of it that is null or ineffective, while the remaining parts will be upheld as the rest of the conditions of use and such provision or part thereof that is considered affected will be deemed as totally or partially removed.

Ley Aplicable

Para la resolución de todos los conflictos o cuestiones relacionadas con este sitio web o con las actividades desarrolladas en el mismo, será de aplicación la legislación española, a la que las partes se someten expresamente, siendo competentes para la resolución de todos los conflictos derivados de su utilización los Juzgados y Tribunales de Vélez-Málaga.

En el caso de que cualquier cláusula incluida en las presentes condiciones de uso sea declarada total o parcialmente nula o ineficaz, dicha nulidad o ineficacia sólo afectará a dicha disposición o a la parte de la misma que resulte nula o ineficaz, mientras que las demás partes se mantendrán como el resto de las condiciones de uso y dicha disposición o parte de la misma que se considere afectada se considerará total o parcialmente suprimida.


Related post

moving to Spain from Canada

Moving to Spain from Canada

Anyone who decides moving to Spain from Canada needs to complete a list of tasks and procedures. Verify our checklist for moving to Spain.