Registration in Spain




As a citizen of the European Community or Switzerland, you only need to produce an appropriate identity document or a current passport to enter Spain. You can stay for three months to find work for yourself.

After three months, you are obliged to apply for your inscription as a resident in the Central Foreigners Register, for which you have to fulfill one of the following requirements:

  • Be an employee in Spain.
  • Be self-employed in Spain.
  • To have enough financial resources for you and your family and a health insurance policy with similar coverage than those provided by the Spanish Social Security.

If your family members are not citizens of the European Community, the EEA or Switzerland, they must apply for a residence card for Community relatives if they are going to stay in the country with you for more than three months. Ask for information at the Spanish embassy in your country of origin or from the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.

legal card


After you arrive in Spain, you have a period of three months in which to apply at the Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreign Nationals’ Office) or at a police station for registration in the Registro Central de Extranjeros (Central Register of Foreign Nationals). You will need to present your valid passport or identity card and pay a fee. The Office will give you a registration certificate with an NIE (Número de identificación de Extranjeros) [Non-nationals’ identification number]. This procedure has replaced the former Community resident’s card.


Obtaining your NIE is relatively straightforward but time consuming, involving several trips to the police station in La Linea, where they do not speak much English. You will need your passports, plus possibly proof of an address. The San Roque Tourist Office can also help with explaining the process.

ASSIST can introduce you to an immigration expert to help you with the process.


A registration certificate can be obtained from the local Ayuntamiento (Local Council) whenever you need to prove that you live in Spain.

For this you will need to show the rental contract for your accommodation, or your electricity or water bill, etc. as proof that you do live here.