How to Register in Spain for EU Citizens

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How to Register in Spain for EU citizens

If you’re a citizen of the European Union (EU) and have spent some time abroad in Spain, you might have come across information on what is known as a certificate of registration.

You may have even searched ‘how to register in Spain for EU citizens’ for further information.

For any EU citizen planning on staying in Spain for a time period exceeding three months, this registration certificate is mandatory.

What exactly is the certificate of registration for EU citizens? What is the process like to obtain one?

We’ll explain everything you need to know about how to register in Spain as a EU citizen.

Certificate of Registration as a European Union Citizen – What is it?

When an EU citizen stays in Spain for a time frame longer than three months, the Spanish authorities require the extended residency to be registered.

The process confirms the resident status of any EU citizen in Spain.

This process is different than obtaining an NIE, or número de identidad de extranjero, which is a foreigner’s ID number.

An NIE is also something that those who visit Spain for more than three months will need, along with a TIE, or tarjeta de extranjero.

If you’d like more information on the NIE process, we’ve got a guide that can help.

The registration certificate itself contains the following information from the applicant:

  • Full name
  • Nationality
  • Address
  • Foreigner ID number
  • Date of registration
How to Register in Spain as a EU national

Who is Required to Apply for the Certificate of Registration as an EU National?

Any citizen of the EU, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland is required to apply if staying in Spain longer than three months at a time.

Some of the states that are party to the European Union include:

  • Germany
  • Bulgaria
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Ireland
  • Poland
  • Croatia
  • Italy
  • Portugal

A full list of member states of the EU can be found online at the official European Union website.

Requirements to obtain the Certificate of registration for EU citizens

For those who are citizens of the above-listed areas, there are a few requirements that must be met prior to receiving the registration certificate.

Requirements will vary depending on whether the applicant is a student, self-employed, working in Spain, or staying as a family member accompanying the applicant.

These requirements include:

  • Have self-employment status in Spain
  • Have regular employment status in Spain
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources
  • Proof of health insurance coverage

Proof of citizenship in the EU, EEA, or Switzerland must also be submitted.

How to Register in Spain for EU Nationals

Applications are completed in person at the local authority location.

Typically, this will be a town hall or local police station in the city where the applicant intends to reside.

A list of the Immigration offices (Oficinas de extranjería) in the various communities throughout Spain can be found at the Spanish administration’s online portal.

Alternately, a search through the various relevant police stations can be found online at the electronic headquarters of the National Police Corps.

But first, any applicant will want to gather the appropriate documentation before beginning this process.

Certificate of Registration Application and Required Documentation

The documentation required to obtain a certificate of registration as a European Union national is fairly straightforward.

However, there will be slight differences depending on the applicant.

For students hoping to apply for a certificate of registration, the following documents will be required:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of enrollment in private or public institution
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Proof of financial resources

For those who will be working in Spain, the following documents will be required:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of employment

Proof of employment, whether self-employed, or through an EU company posted in Spain, will include the following:

  • Copy of employment contract
  • Copies of recent pay slips
  • Certification that applicant will continue to pay social security contributions to their country of origin

During the application process, originals and copies of documents will typically be submitted.

Along with the specified documents above, all applicants must submit the following:

  • Proof of application appointment
  • Completed application form
  • Proof of payment for application fee

The application form is two pages and will need to be filled out completely prior to arriving at your designated appointment time.

EU Registration Certificate in Spain

Application Steps to Register in Spain for EU Citizens

For those who will be working in Spain, they must first register with the Spanish social security system.

This is required for anyone who wants to work while living in Spain.

After obtaining an NIE and a TIE, application for a Social Security number will follow.

Typically, the company that you work for completes this process on your behalf.

For students, this step is not necessary.

How to Register in Spain for EU Citizens – Start Here

Next, download and complete the EX-18 application form for the certificate of registration.

Ensure you have the appropriate documentation listed in the documentation section above.

From there, you’ll request an appointment to submit your documents and application form at the relevant immigration office or police station.

To request an appointment, navigate to the Government website to find the community in which you’ll be submitting an application for.

Follow the instructions to select your desired appointment time.

After selecting your desired time, an email confirmation will be sent to you.

For further information, the National Police website will have information on addresses, telephone numbers, email addresses, and hours.

Prior to arriving at your appointment, you’ll need to pay the application fee.

To do so, the following form, form 790, will need to be filled in and printed before bringing to your appointment.

On the form, you’ll be able to indicate the preferred method of payment.

Upon arriving at your appointment, submit your documentation and you’ll be ready to go.

Typically, if payment has been made, and you’ve brought sufficient documentation and verification, your registration certificate will be issued to you that day!

Timelines and Payment to Get the EU Registration Certificate in Spain

Deadline submission for registering is within three months of arrival in Spain.

How long is the certificate valid for? The registration certificate does not expire, so there will be no need to reapply!

The application fee will cost €12.

How to Register in Spain for EU citizens

How to Obtain the EU Registration Certificate in Spain – Quick Recap

This registration process is mandatory if any EU citizen wishes to stay in Spain past a three-month time frame.

Those hoping to apply must do so in person at the corresponding police station or immigration office.

For all documentation submitted during the application process, documents must be translated and legalized.

This is something required for many processes related to immigration.

When preparing to live in Spain, you’ll provide documents to Spanish authorities that were issued in your country of origin.

For these documents to be considered valid in Spain, they must be legalized.

In addition, if the documents aren’t written in the Spanish language, they must receive an official sworn translation.

General documentation required for the process includes:

  • Proof of appointment date and time
  • Completed application form
  • Proof of fee payment
  • Valid passport

Depending on the applicant in question, specific documentation may also be required.

For example, if you’ll be working in Spain as a digital nomad, you must obtain a social security number and register with the Spanish social security system before beginning the certificate of registration process.

How to Register in Spain for EU Citizens

We hope this guide has been helpful for understanding how to register in Spain as an EU national.

The process may feel overwhelming, but receiving a certificate of registration means you’re one step closer to staying in Spain for longer than three months!

If you have additional questions, we’re here to help.

We partner with an immigration lawyer who is able to confirm critical steps needed for the process.

They can help with proving financial means or confirming which documents require sworn Spanish translations.

We’d love to help you get the process started.

Our contact form is always open and ready for any questions you may have.


Do I need to prove I have health insurance when applying for a registration certificate in Spain for EU citizens?

Yes. For students and self-sufficient applicants, you must demonstrate that you have complete health insurance coverage from your country of origin.

What is the application fee for a certificate of registration in Spain for EU citizens?

The application fee is €12. This will only need to be paid once as your certificate doesn’t expire.

Who is required to obtain a certificate of registration as a European Union citizen?

Any citizen of the European Union must apply for a certificate of registration for any stay that exceeds three months. After this time frame has been met, Spanish authorities require the extended residency to be registered.

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