How to move to Spain step-by-step. Part 1

People always ask me how I moved to Spain and how I’ve been here for so long. As a result I decided to write a step by step on how I moved to Spain. So if you are looking for ways to move to Spain you’ve come to the right place. I’ve lived in Spain with three different visas but for now, let’s talk about how I currently moved to Spain.

First off, I wasn’t planning on moving to Spain again…but Spain gifted me with a cute boy so here I am working on our Pareja de Hecho and living in Spain once again.

So…what is “Pareja de Hecho”? Well, it is a Civil Union also is a great way to get your residence and move to Spain if you have a relationship with a Spaniard or European. Most importantly it’s the visa I’ve applied to move here and on what I’m going to guide you through.

  1. Move to Spain

    First off, you have to be physically in Spain to start for the process. I think there is an alternative signing a judicial authority but it would be best to be together since that is less suspicious.

  2. Empadronamiento.

    This is basically registration at the city, more or less like the CENSUS. Be sure to do it at your partner’s residency. After all, for Pareja de Hecho you should be living together. I did mine at Oficina de Atención Ciudadana de Tabacalera and remember to register for an appointment first. Ask for your “Certificado de Empadronamiento” to proof where you are living in Spain.

  3. Go to the Notary and officially become a couple.

    Go to a notary and sign official documents stating that you are both single to the state and want to officially become a couple. Both of you should have proof of being single ( it’s ok if one is divorced, this means you are SINGLE), have your valid passports and bring your “Certificado de Empadronamiento”.

    *The price for the process depends on the notaries office. We paid € 72.53 to be exact.

    Once this is done the Notary will give you copies of the signed documents and they will send another copy to the town hall to complete the process.

  4. Go to the City Hall.

    For this, we didn’t make an appointment and they still attended us. We did it the same day we went to the Notary. Again, bring your passport, “Pareja de Hecho” documents, “Certificado de Empadronamiento”, and “Solicitud”. This “Solicitud” is where you fill all of your information to get registered at the City Hall as an official couple. Remember to bring the original and copies. They will verify that all of the documents are correct and in our case, they gave us a copy of the documents to prove we are in the process of becoming an officially registered “Pareja de Hecho” at the City Hall.

  5. Extranjería.

    Again, schedule an appointment first.

Arriving at the airport in Valencia, Spain.


Arriving at the airport in Valencia, Spain.

Moving to Spain with Pareja de Hecho Pros and Cons


You don’t have to live together for a year before starting the process. This is why we chose Valencia.

Long term residency. If you have a European partner it might be one of the best ways for moving to Spain legally for the long term.


A year-long process, prepare to be patient. The Spanish government takes it’s precious time to process the “Pareja de Hecho”. So what this means for us is that we are almost an official couple regarding the Spanish government and what this means for me is that I’m in an irregular situation. At this time I am not illegal nor legal in Spain.

Can’t travel outside of Spain because your tourist visa most likely has expired. Subsequently, you have to wait for the residency and visa.

Not being legally able to work. Again, you have to wait for your residency or visa. But hey! have you heard about working online?


Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències

In short, it is without a doubt one of the easiest but longest ways to move to Spain. It’s being 4 months since we started the Pareja de Hecho process so I will post more about this on the go. For other ways to move to Spain check out How to move to Spain. Part 2.


If you have any questions, comments or just want to say “Hi ” email me or leave a comment below.



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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Wow this post is eye opening! I didn’t realize the lengthy process! Great information!!

  2. This is super informative!! I love Spain and would really like to live there some day!

  3. It’s definitely my intention to move out of the USA after I retire. I never considered Spain. It may be something that I look into. Very informative post.

    1. Thank you! I’m glad it can help. Here you will find a variety of cultures as many people come to retire or work because of the good weather and cheap costs.

  4. Thanks for this detailed post. Two friends of mine are moving to Spain for work – I’m going to forward this post to them.

    1. It’s definitely a good idea to check all the requirements and process first for each community, some take longer as I have learned in Valencia. Good luck to both of them!

  5. This is so interesting. Never knew about the long process but glad you figured it out!

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