A brief guide to residency requirements in Spain
UK Residence
An individual is considered resident in a tax year if either of the following apply :
1. Six Month Rule : The individual is present in the UK for 183 days or more during the tax year
2. Two Month average Rule : The individual is present in the UK for an average of 91 days or more per annum measured over a period of four tax years
Any day where an individual is present in the UK at midnight counts as a day spent in the UK. So days or arrival are counted, but not days of departure. If you arrive and leave on the same day, this is not a day or residency. If you claim to be resident in Spain, this does not mean that you cannot also be resident in the UK . Spain has a double tax treaty with the UK. If you move to Spain and claim Spanish residence, it is likely you will receive a letter from the HMRC requesting more information and evidence.

Spanish Residence
You will become resident for tax purposes in Spain if:

You spend more than 183 days in Spain during one calendar year. You become liable whether or not you take out a formal residence permit (Residencia). These days do not have to be consecutive. You do not become resident for tax purposes until the morning of the 184th day. Temporary absences from Spain are ignored for the purpose of the 183-day rule unless it can be proved that the individual is habitually resident in another country for more than 183 days in a calendar year, or

You arrive in Spain with an intention to reside there indefinitely. You will then be tax-resident from the day after you arrive. Obtaining a residence permit is evidence of an intention to stay, and will count against any claim that you are not liable for Spanish tax; or If your “centre of vital interests” is Spain. This is a relatively new rule and is hardly ever applied; or Unless proven otherwise, you are presumed to be a Spanish resident if your spouse lives in Spain and you are not legally separated even though you may spend less than 183 days in Spain.

A Spanish tax year is the same as a calendar year (1st January to 31st December), unlike the UK tax year which is from 6th April to the following 5th April. If you are resident in Spain you will be liable for income, capitals gains and succession duty (inheritance tax) on your worldwide assets. This is in addition to other incidental tax liabilities such as IVA (VAT) and gift taxes. It is worth noting that gift tax and inheritance tax in Spain are payable by the receiver of the gift or inheritance.If you live on a boat within 12 nautical miles of Spanish land, you are a Spanish tax resident. A day within 12 nautical miles is a day spent in Spain for tax purposes.

How to apply for residencia in Spain

In order to obtain your residency and NIE, you have to apply at the nearest Oficina de Extranjeros. You then receive your Tarjeta de Residencia in a few weeks, although this process can take many months. Since each Oficina de Extranjeros processes candidates locally, the time spent both waiting in line at the office and waiting for your Tarjeta de Residencia can vary tremendously, even within the same city.

A complete list of Oficinas de Extranjeros is available on the website of the Ministerio del Interior: http://www.mir.es

Also, note that the NIE can often be processed faster than the physical Tarjeta de Residencia, since it is issued before the actual production of the physical card. If you are in a hurry, it might therefore be worth to apply separately for the NIE and the Tarjeta, so you receive your NIE faster
 Documents needed for application

 Below are some documents you may need to apply for residency. The 
 best thing is to check with the local Oficina what they require exactly.

Documents needed by all applicants (EU and non-EU-citizens):
  • Current passport and one photocopy 3 recent passport style photos with your name clearly written on the back
  • The completed application form, plus 3 photocopies of it
Further documents that might be requested could include:

  • A medical certificate depending on country of origin and recent residency

If a member of the family is Spanish (or has residency):

  • Your Libro de Familia and DNI (or Residency Card) of that family member    
  • Empadronamiento
  • Medical insurance

For specific circumstances, the following may apply:

  • If you will be working for someone: a contract of employment. If you will be self-employed: documents that prove you fulfill the requirements necessary to undertake that activity.
  • If you will not be working: documents that prove you have enough money to live during your time in Spain, plus medical insurance.
  • If you are studying in Spain: proof of matriculation in an accredited school, plus documents that prove you have enough money to live during your time in Spain, plus medical insurance.

Renewing your residency

You will not be reminded when your Residencia needs renewing, so it is up to you to check and make sure you get this done. In order to renew your Residencia, you will probably need the following documents:

    * 2 passport photos
    * original tarjeta de residencia + 1 photocopy
    * original Passport + 1 photocopy
    * relevant completed application form + 3 photocopies

Be aware that the exact documentation may vary according to your legal status in Spain. Further documents might include:

    * the residency visa or its extension (necessary for non-EU-citizens)
    * a medical certificate

Note : Whilst we make every effort to ensure content is up-to-date and accurate we cannot guarentee  content. To speak to a qualified expert in Spanish residency email Tax@FinanceSpain.com