Preparing for your move to Madrid


When deciding to live abroad, you will need to inform your tax office of the changes. If you keep an address in your previous country you can still pay your owed tax at term. The problem might occur when you move all your belongings.

Whatever your situation is, preparing to go abroad includes securing important documents, making copies, and a lot of planning. Ideally, you should make 3 copies of your passport, visas, and other important paperwork.

A checklist of other things to be considered is:

  • Passports: Check the expiration date. It must NOT expire within 6 months of your arrival.
  • Secure Insurance: If your current insurance does not cover you in Spain, look into medical insurances and travel insurances to prevent unmanageable medical bills and enable entry into other countries.
  • Research and apply for a Visa: This can take several months to obtain before you leave. So, it is recommended to arrange with a lot of time in advanced.
  • Money: Make sure you have enough funds to support your cost of living and lifestyle while abroad, with a buffer to be prepared for the unexpected.
  • Bring things to facilitate transition: Think about universal electric plug adaptors, medications or anything else to might need during the transition.


Before leaving your country, make sure that all bills and payments are property arranged or paid. If you decide to keep your residence while abroad, make sure that everything is taken care of and that services and taxes are being paid while you are away. Moreover, you have to make sure that important institutions like your bank are going to be able to reach you. It is recommended to inform them about your new direction as soon as you are settled in your new destination.

If you leave your bank account open in your home country, ask about fees for overseas transactions; and if you have a credit card, find out if there are additional fees or any changes you need to make with your account.

It is also recommended to inform bank that you will be abroad so they can be aware from any suspicious activity on your account.


It is recommended to inform tax offices of any change in residency. Some countries have reciprocal tax agreements, and others may require you to pay some form of taxes both in your home country and aboard. For more information, refer to our section on "Taxes".

For more information on income tax and double taxation for EU citizens living in another EU country consult the Work & Retirement section of the "Your Europe Information Portal".


For concerns about your health when abroad, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the International Travel and Health, which is revised annually and is available online for free.

Another excellent resource is MD Travel Health, which it provides free and complete travel-health recommendations for every country and is updated daily.
There is no special vaccine requirement to take when traveling to Spain. However, you may want to check with your doctor whether your vaccinations are up to date.

For a fully detailed information about health services and pre-departure information, visit Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad (Spanish Health Ministry)

Update 8/06/2018


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