Moving to Spain from Germany

Recently, moving to Spain from Germany has piqued the interest of many. Spain entices with its mix of favourable weather, excellent healthcare, a vibrant cultural scene, renowned Mediterranean cuisine, efficient transportation systems, stunning beaches, and high quality of life.

For Germans, Spain offers a lower cost of living, making it an economical choice. However, it’s important to recognise that salaries in Spain are generally lower than those in Germany for those planning to work.

A clear objective is essential when planning a relocation from Germany to Spain. The type of visa required will depend on your specific reason for moving. The main consideration is whether the move is for employment, academic purposes, or simply to live in Spain without working, possibly due to savings or retirement.

Visa requirements

As part of the European Union, German citizens do not need a visa for short stays in Spain of up to 90 days within any 180-day days. However, if the plan is to move to Spain for a period exceeding 90 days, German citizens must apply for a registration certificate as an EU citizen. This certificate affords them the same rights and tax obligations as Spanish citizens. Initially issued as a temporary permit, it can eventually be converted into a permanent residence permit.

To obtain your residence permit and TIE (Foreigner Identity Card) once settled in Spain, you must visit the Foreigners’ Office or the National Police station, depending on your location, and start the registration process in the Central Foreigners Registry. Upon completion and approval of this process, you will receive a Residence Certificate.

The application process requires filling out the EX18 form and paying the applicable fee. Additionally, you must demonstrate sufficient financial resources for your stay in Spain and have private health insurance. If you plan to work or engage in economic activities, whether as an employee or self-employed, you must provide evidence to the authorities.

You can also bring immediate family members from Germany, provided they are also EU citizens. The process is the same and can be done simultaneously. For non-EU family members, an application for the EU Family Member Residence Card must be initiated at the Spanish Consulate in their country of origin, where the family relationship must be proven.

All documents submitted in support of your application must be officially translated into Castilian Spanish if they are not already in Spanish.

At Tejada Solicitors, we understand that every foreign citizen’s circumstances are unique. We encourage you to reach out to our legal specialists for advice customized to your unique needs. Our expertise in remote services ensures that we can provide assistance regardless of your location

It’s important to note that the initial Residency Certificate is temporary, valid for five years unless any changes in your personal circumstances are reported to the Immigration office. After maintaining continuous residency for five years without significant changes, you must reapply to obtain a Permanent Residence Card. Once approved, the administration will provide a new Permanent Resident Certificate, establishing it as the definitive document. You are responsible for informing the administration of any changes affecting the certificate’s validity.

Interesting read Long-Term residency for EU citizens in Spain

Properties in Spain for German citizens

Checklist for moving from Germany to Spain

To begin, familiarise yourself with the steps necessary to obtain the relevant residence permit, as EU citizens need to follow this process:

  1. Schedule an Appointment: Book a slot at the Foreigners’ Office or Police Station in the area where you will be residing in Spain, to apply for registration in the European Union Citizens’ Register.
  2. Gather Required Documentation: Prepare the necessary documents for your appointment, which may vary based on your circumstances but generally include:

Employment Documentation: Proof of employment if you plan to work in Spain, whether as an employee or self-employed.

Student Documentation: Proof of enrollment if you are a student.

Health Insurance: Confirmation of private health insurance coverage.

Financial Proof: Evidence that you have sufficient financial means to support your stay in Spain. If you have them, proof of adequate financial support for dependents is also required. Your application must meet the minimum income requirements.

Application Form: Completed Form EX18 and proof of payment for the corresponding fees.

Make sure any documents not originally in Spanish are translated into Castilian Spanish by a certified translator. Furthermore, official documents, such as birth certificates, must be apostilled.

If all documentation is in order, you will be issued a card certifying your residence permit in Spain.

Do you need a professional help for moving to Spain from Germany?

María Soledad Sala

1. NIE Number

Obtaining your NIE, or Número de Identificación de Extranjero (Foreigner Identification Number), is a crucial step in your move to Spain. It is highly recommended that you complete this process before your arrival to ensure a smooth transition.

If applying beforehand is not feasible, you can still obtain your NIE after arriving in Spain through a local police station or the immigration office. Alternatively, our team of legal experts can handle this process on your behalf, providing a hassle-free experience.

When applying for a residence permit, the same process will automatically assign you your NIE. The relevant organisation will issue your Foreigner Identification Number as part of the residence permit application.

2. Driving License in Spain

As an EU member, your German driving license is valid for driving on Spain’s scenic roads. Picture the joy of exploring Spain’s diverse landscapes with the convenience of your own vehicle!

If you decide to stay in Spain longer and want to exchange your license for a Spanish one, you have that option, though it is entirely voluntary. This lets you feel in control of your driving experience and ensures you can continue your road adventures without interruption.

Would you prefer to keep your German license? No problem! Register it with the DGT (Dirección General de Tráfico) driver’s registry. This registration ensures that your information is backed up in the Spanish DGT database, giving you peace of mind while driving in Spain.

Prepare to experience Spain on wheels, your way, with no complications or worries!

Retire in Spain from GEMNAY CHEKLIST

3. Tax Residence 

Establishing permanent residency in Spain requires fulfilling key tax obligations as a Spanish tax resident, which is necessary for obtaining your TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero). According to Article 9 of the Personal Income Tax Law, individuals who reside in Spain for more than 183 days a year or have their primary financial interests in Spain must become tax residents. To comply, you must adhere to the following tax requirements:

  1. Personal Income Tax (IRPF) – Model 100: All global income, including capital gains, rental incomes, and dividends, is taxable in Spain. To avoid double taxation, it is essential to establish a bilateral taxation agreement between your country of origin and Spain. For example, a double taxation agreement exists between Spain and Ireland to avoid double taxation on the same income for Irish citizens residing in Spain. We recommend consulting with our tax specialists at Tejada Solicitors to ensure accurate tax filings.
  2. Declaration of Assets – Form 720: This form is mandatory for individuals and legal entities to declare overseas assets exceeding €50,000. Submitting Form 720 is crucial to avoid any allegations of tax evasion.
  3. Wealth Tax: This tax applies to worldwide net assets exceeding €3,700,000.

Staying informed and compliant with these obligations will allow you to enjoy your residency in Spain without complications.

Interesting read  Tax Consultant in Spain

4. Spanish healthcare

The Spanish healthcare system, acknowledged as one of the best, offers free services to those who are affiliated with and contribute to Social Security.

For Germans applying for a visa to Spain, it’s important to note that private health insurance is a mandatory requirement for most visa types. However, suppose you already live in Spain as a tax resident. In that case, you can access the healthcare system at no cost, provided you are employed, either an employee or self-employed, and contribute to Social Security regularly.

German retirees residing in Spain must apply for Form S1 in their home country, which certifies their entitlement to healthcare in the country from which they receive their pension. The document must then be registered with the National Institute of Social Security in Spain, allowing them to access healthcare services in Spain.

5. Register your new Spanish address

Once you have settled in Spain and secured your accommodation, it is crucial for residents to promptly visit the Town Hall office in their area to register their new address, a process known as the “padrón”. This registration fulfils a legal requirement and unlocks specific rights in Spain, granting access to privileges even before attaining full Spanish citizenship.

6. Utilities in Spain

After acquiring or renting a residence, the next step is to organise essential utilities such as electricity, water, gas, internet, and phone services. If these services aren’t already established, you must either activate them or transfer the account holder.

Basic utilities such as electricity and water are typically billed every two months. It’s advisable to set up direct debits for these payments with your bank. However, services like phone, gas, and internet are typically invoiced monthly.

7. Opening a bank account

If you decide to establish yourself in Spain, opening a local bank account is crucial for multiple transactions, including health insurance payments, gym memberships, property purchases, and more.

To initiate this process, ensure you have your Foreigner Identification Number (NIE) ready. While the necessary documentation may vary among different banks, you will typically need your passport, NIE, proof of income, and a declaration regarding your residency status in Spain. The complexity of the process can vary depending on whether you plan to become a resident of Spain or not.

Acknowledging that opening a bank account in Spain can be bureaucratic and sometimes tedious, Tejada Solicitors is here to help you and simplify this process for your convenience.

José María Oliva

Do you need a professional help for moving to Spain from Germany?

H2: Buying property in Spain as a German citizen

At our firm, we bring together a lawyer, a tax advisor, and an architect, all working harmoniously to provide comprehensive assistance throughout the Property Conveyancing process. Each team member is fluent in English, ensuring clear and effective communication at every step.

Consultant f in Spain for German

From the initial stages to the finalisation of the purchase, we stand by your side, offering guidance and support. Our approach involves meticulous examination of all relevant documents, legal standings, charges, debts, utilities, contract drafts, taxes, and more. We leave no stone unturned, ensuring that every detail is carefully addressed. Our primary aim is to safeguard your interests by managing all documentation precisely and efficiently.

In addition to legal scrutiny, our architect assesses the property’s urbanistic situation, while our tax advisor clarifies all tax implications associated with the purchase, including those post-completion. We provide assurance that the property is free of encumbrances and legally sound. Only after thorough confirmation of every aspect will the contract be signed and progress toward property acquisition be made.

Interesting read How to buy property in Spain

logotipo tejada solicitors

Renting property in Spain as a German citizen

For German residents, the opportunity to generate additional income through tourism rentals often serves as a compelling reason to invest in Spanish properties. If you’re considering this avenue, our tax advisor can thoroughly analyse your real estate investment and provide guidance on the tax considerations before finalising the purchase.

Should you opt to designate your property for tourist rentals, it’s crucial to register it with the Tourism Registry of Andalusia. At Tejada Solicitors, the team is well-prepared to provide you with all the necessary information and assistance throughout this registration process.

It’s crucial to emphasise that failing to register your property in this registry may result in significant penalties.

 Interesting read Renting out a property in Spain

Do you need a professional help for moving to Spain from Germany?

Best places to move from Germany to Spain

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

With its captivating beaches, diverse culinary delights, iconic architecture, and unparalleled hospitality, Spain stands out as the preferred destination for many Germans seeking a new home.

Spain is a top choice for Germans looking to spend their golden years in retirement, and increasingly, it’s also attracting younger citizens eager to settle and work here. This allure is attributed to Spain’s charming beaches, rich gastronomy, iconic architecture, and incomparable hospitality.

Moreover, the cost of living in Germany is 36% higher than in Spain. However, depending on the region in Spain and various factors considered, this percentage can vary, increasing the appeal of moving to Spain.

Among the favourite destinations for German citizens are:

Madrid: Not only the bustling economic and business hub of Spain, Madrid also offers a diverse mix of historical and cultural heritage, making it an ideal haven for those with entrepreneurial ambitions.

Barcelona: Renowned for its remarkable architecture and picturesque landscapes, Barcelona offers a unique way of life that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity.

Alicante: A true paradise on Earth, Alicante’s sunny beaches and warm residents make it an irresistible city to call home.

Málaga: A coastal gem, Málaga is dubbed the Silicon Valley of southern Europe. Málaga is well-connected globally and boasts numerous beaches and upscale dining options. The welcoming locals and exceptional climate contribute to making Málaga a delightful place to reside.

Balearic and Canary Islands: These destinations are primarily chosen for their excellent climate, cuisine, and diverse leisure options.

Interesting read How to  move to Malaga

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

As previously stated, because Germany is part of the European Union, acquiring residency in Spain is simplified and more cost-effective. The fees for registration in the Register of Union Citizens are approximately 12 euros. Moreover, you should also budget for the expense of official translations, which typically total around 100 euros if you lack extensive documentation.

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

Furthermore, it’s essential to demonstrate that you possess adequate financial resources for your stay in Spain, particularly if you do not intend to work here, whether as an employee or self-employed. If you bring any family members, you must also ensure you have the necessary means for their maintenance

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

Navigating the intricacies of tax, immigration, and real estate matters in Spain can be daunting for foreign individuals if they lack the proper guidance. Tejada Solicitors adopts a comprehensive 360-degree approach to your case. Our team, consisting of a property conveyancing expert, tax lawyer, and immigration specialist, collaborates to thoroughly assess and analyze your unique situation. Our objective is to streamline this process, alleviate stress, and guarantee the success of your relocation to Spain. Place your trust in our team of specialized lawyers, all of whom have extensive experience in handling these intricate procedures.

British Chamber of commerce in Spain
tejada solicitors team law firm malaga

“The only way to do great work is to love what  you do.”

– Steve Jobs –

Contact Form

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 Ireland

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

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.