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A Guide To Moving To Spain From New Zealand

Spain is a simply fabulous destination for both holidaymaking and commercial ventures. Be aware, however, that come 2025, New Zealanders traveling to Spain must be informed that the entry requirements have undergone a change.

Come 2025 and onwards, tourists from over sixty nations will need to have obtained permission to enter the Schengen Area. This new requirement takes the form of an ETIAS authorization, a system created by the European Union to enhance the security of EU borders and protect the safety of both Europeans and travelers.

Long Stay Visas

Spain offers various long-stay visa types for those planning to move there. Some permit work, while others don't. Many serve as pathways to permanent residence (PR) and Spanish citizenship by naturalization.

For expedited visa research and planning, you should consult with My Spain Visa specialists. They will help you choose the best option and ensure a successful application.

Necessary: Private Health Insurance

All visas listed require approved private health insurance that meets Spain's immigration criteria. You can get quotes from approved companies.

Non Lucrative Visa (Spain retirement visa)

Perfect for: NLV Spain is for retirees and persons with a passive income of at least €28,800 annually.

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Time: Initial visa 1 year, with indefinite 2-year renewals.

Digital Nomad Visa

Perfect for: International remote workers, consultants, freelancers, and digital nomads.

Time: Initial visa 1 year, with indefinite 2-year renewals.

Golden Visa / Investment Visa

Perfect for: Investors in the Spanish economy, including those buying a home in Spain for over €500,000.

Time: Initial visa 1 year, with indefinite 2-year renewals.

Entrepreneur Visa / Autónomo

Perfect for: Those looking to start a business in Spain.

Time: Initial visa 1 year, renewable for 4 additional years.

Highly Skilled Professional Visa

Perfect for: Senior professionals with a qualifying job offer.

Time: Initial visa 2 years, renewable.

Spain Work Permit

Perfect for: Employees with a qualifying job offer from a Spanish company.

Time: Initial visa 1 year, with indefinite 2-year renewals.

Study Visa

Perfect for: International students accepted for a qualifying course of study in Spain.

Time: The duration of the course of study.

Job Search Visa / Post-Study Work Visa

Perfect for: Graduates of a qualified course in Spain seeking employment.

Time: 1 year.

Note: This visa is not a work permit; it serves as a bridge to a residence permit.

Working Holiday Visa

Perfect for: Young adult citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea aged 18 to 30 or 35.

Time: 1 year.

Note: You can work for six out of the twelve months.

How to get a Spanish NIE number?

The NIE (número de identidad de extranjero, or foreigner identity number) serves as your all-purpose identification while residing in Spain. It’s the counterpart to the DNI (documento nacional de identidad, or national identity document) for Spanish nationals.

You’ll need a NIE for nearly any procedure in Spain, including:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Signing up for health insurance
  • Accessing social security benefits
  • Filing taxes
  • Applying for residency
  • Receiving packages

You’re obligated to apply for the NIE within 90 days after arriving in Spain. However, you can also obtain your NIE before moving to expedite the relocation process. Here’s how you can apply:

At the Spanish consulate in your home country: You might apply online, but some consulates require in-person appointments. You'll also need documents showing why you need the NIE, such as proof of employment or a long-stay visa.

Through a representative: Have a notary grant someone in Spain power of attorney and a notarized copy of your passport. This will cost extra, but you'll save time and avoid the stress of applying on your own.

In Spain: Visit a Comisaría General de Policía (national police station) for a first-come, first-serve appointment, or book an appointment online.

The documents you’ll need to get an NIE are:

  • Valid passport or national identity card (EU citizens only)
  • Copy of your passport
  • Completed EX-15 form (submitted in Spanish; English translation available)

Document certifying the reason to apply for an NIE, such as a letter from your employer, pre-purchase contract for property, or visa valid for more than 90 days.

Buying Property In Spain As A New Zealander

More New Zealanders are buying property in Spain as it’s relatively straightforward. First, apply for your Spanish tax ID (NIE). Then, research the property market and the specific property, including its legal status and any debts. Make an offer through an estate agent, sign a preliminary contract, and pay a deposit. Consider offering below market value but be cautious if it’s your dream home. Hire a lawyer familiar with Spanish property law, preferably English-speaking. Finally, complete the purchase by signing the deed of sale and paying the remaining balance and fees.

The best places to live in Spain for expats include Andalucia, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, and Catalonia.

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