GUIDE ON EMIGRATING TO SPAIN

Spanish money

Money makes the world go round, so before going abroad it’s a good idea to look into the currency of your chosen destination.

Currency

Spain is a member of the European Union (EU) and the euro-zone. This means you can move from certain EU counties to others without having to exchange funds. However, it also means that the fortunes of one country have an effect on the currency of others.

Coins start with the 1 cent piece and end with the 2 euro piece whilst notes can be found in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 euro denominations. Whilst the denomination side of the coins remains the same throughout the euro-zone the face side image varies from country to country.

Although foreign currencies can be changed into euro’s at currency exchange kiosks at airports and banks (among other places) it is more important now than ever to transfer your funds at the right time. Getting the best exchange rate possible can save you money and really help your global transition. If you’re emigrating it’s strongly recommended that you seek advice from a trusted currency broker. A good one to use is: http://www.torfx.com/.

Banks

If your stay in Spain is going to be of some duration you’ll probably need a Spanish bank account. There are roughly 30 national banks in Spain, with the two largest being Santander Cenral Hispano and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA). There are also numerous regional banks.

As always, shop around and find the bank which offers the best services for you. If you deposit foreign currency into a Spanish Bank account you will need to request immediately that it be converted to Euros. If you don’t you may encounter problems when you try to do it later.

Resident and non-resident bank accounts are the two types available for foreigners in Spain and these do not vary much when it comes to fees and services. The principle difference between the two is that the bank may refuse to issue non-resident account holders with a credit card or offer an overdraft facility. In order to open a non-resident bank account you’ll need to produce a valid identification document or passport and corroborate your non-resident status by providing a ‘certificado de no residencia’ (although some banks may not require this).  A ‘certificado de no residencia’ can be applied for and collected at a Spanish police Station. If you become a resident at any time after opening the account you must inform the bank and present them with a copy of your ‘tarjeta de residencia’.  Be aware that every two years the bank will conduct a check on your residency status.

Of course there is always the option of banking online. If you wish to open an online Spanish account the best options are Openbank (www.openbank.es) and Bankinter (www.bankinter.es).