Spain residents expats Spanish bureaucracy often represents one of the biggest challenges for expats. The endless paperwork, filling in forms, payment systems and more than anything else, the language barrier, can make the process of getting anything done immensely frustrating and complicated. But, with some of our simple tips and practical advice, it does not have to be such an ordeal. Firstly, you have to ascertain whether it is N.I.E or Residencia that you require, which is actually a very simple process: -If you are planning on being in Spain for more than three months (and thus making it your permanent residence) then apply straight for the Residencia -If you are staying less than three months but are planning to buy a property or a car then you will only require an N.I.E number (this is basically an ID number for all foreigners in Spain and will remain the same for life) One must apply for either of these at a National Police Station or ‘Policia Nacional’ and this can not be done in local police stations. The two main National branches are either in Marbella or in Estepona. The addresses for both are listed at the bottom. If you are well prepared, it can be a simple and hassle free process but be prepared to wait and allow yourself time for queuing and possible miscommunication. Although the doors do not open until 9hrs, we would recommend to arrive by 8, if not before, as there can often be a queue stretching out round the building. By 8.30hrs, an officer will often come out to hand out numbered tickets to the queue. Have patience and remember that things in Spain often move at a slower pace, and paperwork is no exception. You will need to ask for EX18 NIE and/or Residencia application forms. If you get these in advance, you can take your time to fill them in (especially if you require help with translations). Download here for Residencia And here for NIE These forms must then be handed in along with the other specific requirements. We have made this checklist for you to tick through, to ensure you don’t forget anything. Bring with you: -Your passport & photocopy -2 coloured passport size photographs -Proof of address in Spain. (This can be a friend’s address as long as they will take responsibility for you living with them and will notify you of any communications received) -Proof of funds. This can be in the form of latest bank statements or pay slips. If you have set up your own Spanish company, bring those details or proof that you are self-employed After queuing, seeing an officer and presenting them with your paperwork, they will give you a Form 790 (which is in triplicate) to take to a bank where you can pay the police administration fee. The bank will give you a receipt, which you must take to the police station when collecting your registered N.I.E and Residencia certificates.Marbella Centrum Although it may seem like a lot of writing, queuing and to and fro-ing, if you are well prepared and organised this can be a stress-free experience. Always allow yourself at least twice as long as you think you will need and remember to be patient. After all, if you are planning a permanent move to Spain, you might as well start practising that laid-back attitude. Marbella – Policia Nacional Marbella Avda. Arias de Velasco, 25 29600 Marbella Tel. +34 952 762 600 Estepona – Policia Nacional Estepona Calle Valle-Inclán, 1 29680 Estepona Tel: +34 952 798 300