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New to Spain?

If you have recently moved to Spain, it can take some time to adapt to your new surroundings. We have put together some information to help those of you who already live in or intend to move to Spain. Whilst every care has been taken in preparing this information as accurately as possible, the Embassy cannot accept any liability for the information contained here.

Living and Working in Spain

Irish citizens resident in Spain are largely concentrated in Madrid, Cataluña, Andalucía, the Canary Islands, Valencia, the Balearic Islands and the Basque Country.

Before leaving Ireland please consult our current travel advice for Spain and check that you have:

  • Valid passport
  • European Health Insurance card (EHIC, known before as E111) so as to regularise your entitlement, in the short term, to health services in EU states (apply to your local Health Board)
  • Long Form Birth Certificate (with the Hague Apostille stamped on it by the Consular Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs to prove its authenticity)
  • Adequate funds to maintain you while you establish yourself
  • Private comprehensive medical insurance (EHIC does not cover repatriation to Ireland)

The Embassy recommends that you ensure your passport is up to date and shows next-of-kin details on back of passport. You should also keep your family informed of your address and contact details in Spain at all times.

We recommend that you always carry some proof of identity. Official photographic ID is often required for credit/debit card payments.

We recommend that Irish citizens travelling or living abroad register their contact details with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The information will allow us to contact you, and provide assistance, if necessary and possible, if there is an unforeseen crisis such as a natural disaster or civil unrest, or if you have a family emergency while you are overseas.

We also suggest that you sign up to the Embassy mailing list for networking and cultural events and news on arrival in Spain. This can be a good way of meeting people and making contacts.

The following are guidelines to help you when living and working in Spain.

Residency and Entry Requirements

Registering with the town hall - “Empadronamiento”

Recognition of Qualifications

Police Clearance Certificates

Driving Licence

Social Security System

Tax in Spain

Spanish Irish Business Network

Voting for Irish citizens

Legal Practitioners in Madrid

Medical Practitioners in Madrid

Useful websites

Advice to emigrants

If you are seeking employment in Spain you should be aware that proficiency in Spanish is a requirement for most jobs, with the possible exception of English-language teaching. It is highly advisable to acquire some knowledge of the language prior to moving to Spain.