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Relocating to Alicante, Spain - Essential Information

Recent statistics indicate that approximately 5.6 million expatriates call Spain their home. This number is expected to rise, fueled by the appealing climate, laid-back lifestyle, and abundant opportunities the country offers, especially in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic. Spain has emerged as an attractive destination for both living and visiting. Find out more information you can in the guide.

Moving to Alicante, Spain - Things you need to know

If you're contemplating a move to Spain, Alicante comes highly recommended for several reasons. It's remarkably welcoming to foreigners, catering to both tourists and expatriates alike. Tourists are drawn to its white-sand beaches, iconic landmarks such as an impressive castle, a modern yet charming downtown, and affordable living. These factors not only make Alicante a desirable travel destination but also an ideal place for long-term living and working. The expat community, primarily composed of Brits, constitutes roughly 15% of the local population. While the allure of sun-soaked beaches, sangria, and a laid-back lifestyle is undeniable, there are certain considerations to bear in mind before making the move.

Getting a Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) in Spain

For an extended stay in Spain, obtaining a Foreigner Identity Number (NIE) is paramount. The NIE is assigned to foreigners residing in Spain for economic or social reasons, engaging in legal activities in the country. This document is essential for legal living and working and provides opportunities such as:

  • Registering for Social Security
  • Opening a bank account
  • Declaring income and paying taxes
  • Buying property
  • Receiving public services

If you plan on a long-term stay in Spain, the NIE is a prerequisite, serving as the equivalent of your ID or passport, valid within Spain.

In Alicante, you can apply for your NIE at any Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigners' Office). Applications can be submitted in person or online. While online applications are more convenient, scheduling a personal appointment requires booking a "cita previa" online here.

Visit the Oficina de Extranjeros (Foreigners' Office) at the following addresses in Alicante:

  • C. de la Ebanistería, 4, 03008 Alicante, Spain
  • C. Campo de Mirra, 6, 03005 Alicante, Spain

Opening a Spanish Bank Account

While you can use your home country's card for transactions, foreign banks may charge commissions for ATM withdrawals or online payments in Spain. Having a Spanish bank account proves useful for rent, utilities, and local transactions. Additionally, it makes you eligible for social security contributions, local tax payments (if employed), and facilitates credit applications or mortgages.

You can apply to open an account in an online bank such as N26 Standard, offering free account opening, no commissions, an IBAN number for formal and international transactions, and availability with Bizum for payments within Spain and internationally. Other options include Wise and Revolut, offering online bank accounts and services across Europe. For traditional banking with a physical card, consider Santander, Caixa Bank, BBVA, Sabadel, or ING Bank.

Acquiring Spanish Health Insurance

In Spain, you can opt for public or private health insurance, each covering health issues with different priorities.

Public health insurance eligibility comes after obtaining your census certificate ("empadronamiento" in Spanish). Once you have this certificate, you can apply for a SIP card and be assigned to a hospital covering your residential area. Public health insurance covers all health costs, but wait times for doctor appointments can be lengthy.

Private health insurance offers immediate access to healthcare services. Various companies, including AXA, MAPFRE, Adeslas, and Sanitas, provide full coverage. However, monthly fees range from 50 to 70 Euros.

Getting a Spanish SIM Card

Staying connected is crucial, and Spanish mobile operators offer favorable conditions. There are major operators like Movistar, Orange, Vodafone, and Masmovil/Yoigo, as well as MVNOs (or OMV) like Symio, Lebara, PepePhone, and O2. When purchasing a Spanish SIM card, whether prepaid or on contract, you'll need to present your ID, which can be a passport, national ID card, Spanish NIE, or driving license.

Learning the Spanish Language

Knowing Spanish is advantageous when moving to Spain. Language courses in Alicante cater to various preferences, offering intensive daily classes totaling 20 hours a week or lighter courses requiring a few hours a week. Some language schools, such as Proyecto Español, Colegio Internacional Alicante, and Viva la Lengua Spanish School, even provide documents for student visas.

Finding Employment in Spain

Before moving to Spain, consider learning at least basic Spanish to overcome language barriers. Major cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Alicante offer job opportunities, particularly in the IT sector that doesn't necessarily require fluency in Spanish. EU citizens don't require a working visa, while citizens of the US, Canada, or South American countries need one.

Explore job opportunities through resources like:

  • Infojobs - Rated as the #1 website for finding jobs in Spain.
  • Indeed - An international platform for job searches.
  • - Lists executive and high-tier job listings.
  • Trabajos - An efficient portal with employers' offerings.
  • Tecnoempleo - Specialized in tech and telecommunications employment.

Long-Term Rent in Alicante, Spain

Finding long-term accommodation in Alicante is convenient due to online options. While online room tours may suffice for short stays, it's advisable to visit the property before signing a lease. Be prepared to pay 3-4 months' rent, covering fees to the real estate agency, one month's rent to the owner, and a 1-2 month deposit. Some landlords may request 2-3 months' payments in advance, depending on your legal status and provided documents.

Popular resources for finding apartments in Spain include:

  • Habitaclia
  • Enalquiler
  • Idealista
  • Pisos
  • Fotocasa

Alicante boasts a myriad of features and opportunities, making it an attractive choice for living and working. Whether drawn by work prospects, leisure opportunities, the Mediterranean Sea's white-sand beaches, or the city's infrastructure and culinary delights, Alicante has much to offer. If you choose Alicante for your move, we'll be delighted to assist you with any inquiries about settling in. Visit our website to learn how our services can aid you in this transition.


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