Expat Agency
We Assist You To Live in Spain

Javier Rodríguez

Javier leads Expat Agency and is an expert in Inmigration and Intercultural Exchange. He studied Law & Political Science between the universities of Granada (Spain), Prague (Czech Republic) and Poznań (Poland) and is an official collaborator at DGT (Directorate General of Traffic). He speaks English, French, Italian and Spanish and is accustomed to work for expats from all over the world.


  1. John Curson
    January 30, 2018 @ 4:41 pm

    Javier, thank you for this information. My wife and I moved here in November 2017 and want to be as legal as we possibly can. We were issued with A4 style white paper NIE numbers back in March 2017 to enable us to purchase our house. We got ourselves on the padron in November 2017. We were advised the we had 183 days to apply for residencia but perhaps that is wrong – some things here are so confusing.


    • snikpoh
      January 30, 2018 @ 5:57 pm

      John – You should only be on the padron if Spain is your habitual residence. If it is, then within 90 days you should register as resident.

      The 183 days ‘rule’ is that after being in Spain for over 183 days in any calendar year, you are automatically considered tax or fiscally resident. This means that you are obliged to complete a tax return on ALL world-wide income.


    • Javier Rodríguez
      February 12, 2018 @ 12:40 pm

      Hello John,
      Well, if you are a resident, things will be easier. It is a right but many people including policemen think it is an obligation. It can be an obligation if your home country has this rule, but not Spain.


    • Ronaldo
      July 26, 2018 @ 5:00 am

      Javier, thanks for the information. I have the following exceptional situation. I am not a fiscal resident in Spain as I work overseas for about 10 months per year. I own an apartment there and because I am there regularly I thought it would be benefical to register at the registro central de extranjeros. Being a non fiscal resident, in which way is the registration in this registro central necessary? And more importantly, being included in this registro, does this mean I could be considered a fiscal resident too? Thanks Ronaldo


      • Javier Rodríguez
        July 26, 2018 @ 4:42 pm

        Hello Ronaldo,

        If you own a house in Spain, it does not mean you are a resident. In fact, instead of IBI you should be paying the non-resident tax.

        The “registro central de extranjeros” is, basically, residencia, if you spend in Spain more than 180 days in Spain. And it is not automatic, you need to apply for it.


  2. Debbie
    January 31, 2018 @ 9:20 am

    Regarding driving a car with non-Spanish plates, is this any vehicle, i.e. a non-resident’s vehicle if they are visiting, or a van hired in the UK to bring your possessions over, or just one that a resident actually owns? Thank you


    • Javier Rodríguez
      February 12, 2018 @ 12:42 pm

      Hello Debbie,
      If you are a resident in Spain, you cannot drive a car with non-Spanish plates, that’s all (whether it is yours or not). And even if you just show the policeman your passport suggesting you are not a resident, he will know.


  3. Sylvia Cheal
    February 2, 2018 @ 9:13 am

    My husband (British Passport) has lived in Canada for many years and holds a Canadian Drivers Licence. How can he get a Spanish Drivers Licence without having to go through driving schools, tests etc.

    He is 73 years old and been driving for 55 years !

    We are Spanish Residents and have been living in Spain for one year.

    Thank you


    • Javier Rodríguez
      February 12, 2018 @ 12:43 pm

      Hello Sylvia,
      Unfortunately, Spain doesn’t have any agreement (Convenio) with Canada. So he must apply for a new driving licence in Spain in that case, I am afraid.


  4. Martin
    February 8, 2018 @ 9:38 pm

    Hi, this information is really useful however I am a little confused about the tax status of a person earning less than €1600 a month but resident in Spain for more than 183 days a year.


  5. Fiona McAnallen
    March 9, 2018 @ 6:52 pm

    Hi… im living and working in Spain .. i have a green NIE cert which i thought was residency.. iv got a social seruriry number and also a health card… is residency something else i need ????


    • Javier Rodríguez
      March 12, 2018 @ 2:14 pm

      Hello Fiona,

      Nope, that’s all you need as a resident in Spain. Please just note you may need a “Padron” (registrarion at the town hall, “empadronamiento”) as well. Remember also to renew your green residence card after 5 years for a permanent one.

      I hope it helps.



  6. Pam
    October 8, 2018 @ 12:53 pm

    A family member has been living and working in Spain for the past 3 years. They have an NIE no.,work and pay their taxes through the company. They also have a Spanish bank account and a rental agreement on an apartment. They did not apply for residency as didn’t realise this was necessary, especially as their intention was not to permanently stay in Spain or make any claim whilst there.

    Due to a bereavement of a friend in Spain the question of residency has come up and now she is worried she has broken a Spanish law by not registering as living there.

    Can you advise please


    • Javier Rodríguez
      October 9, 2018 @ 4:26 pm

      Hello Pam,
      You should become registered as an EU citizen in Spain if you are staying for more than 90 days consecutively, but there 2 main requirements that they do not fulfill, as far as I read. Therefore, they cannot apply for residencia but at the same time they cannot be banned from stayingin Spain as long as they want.

      In summary, no they cannot be fined or whatsoever if they stay in Spain for a long time but they do not work, since they are EU members.

      I hope it helps.


  7. Laura
    October 10, 2018 @ 8:27 pm

    Brexit has put me in a very difficult position and I hope you can help me.

    I had planned on coming to Spain next year, travelling to different areas to find a area and buy and property in that area to retire.

    However, because of Brexit, I have now decided to come out to Spain next month (November 18) rent, and apply for my NIE and Residency. This is because it is unknown how difficult it will be after March 2019.

    I am not sure I am doing the right thing but I dont want to be in a position where, after Brexit, it will be too difficult for me. I will have to come back to the UK to finalise packing etc.

    In your opinion what is the right thing to do?


    • Javier Rodríguez
      October 14, 2018 @ 5:23 pm

      Hello Laura,

      It is difficult to know due to the changing situation of Brexit nowadays. Nevertheless I would say that in case of a hard scenario, if you want to live abroad this is the momment to do it.

      Apart from applying for residency (you do not need a previous NIE, by the way), I would apply for PADRON as well. There is a related post in our blog about PADRON or EMPADRONAMIENTO.

      I hope it helps.


  8. Martin Scothern
    December 21, 2018 @ 3:08 pm

    Can you confirm that the 90 residency period is consecutive , I want to travel and would like to spend the winter in Spain and Portugal . If I spend two months in Spain , travel to Portugal for a month and return to Spain for two months will this still qualify as being over 90 days and therefore require registration .


    • Javier Rodríguez
      December 28, 2018 @ 2:47 pm

      Hello Martin,

      Yes, those 90 days should be consecutive.

      Kind Regards


  9. Cheryl
    January 2, 2019 @ 4:12 pm

    Do I need to make an appointment by phone to go to the Foreign Office in Almeria, or can I request an appointment by email, as I don’t speak Spanish and I would need to translate it in an email? Also what is the address of the Foreign Office in Almeria.


    • Javier Rodríguez
      January 7, 2019 @ 1:18 pm

      If you are an EU citizen, you should go to POLICIA NACIONAL, not to the foreigner’s office. The appointment system will depend on the office.


  10. Tom Parkinson
    January 14, 2019 @ 7:33 pm

    Hi Javier,

    Thanks for the post, it’s been one of the more useful bits of information out of the hundreds I’ve read.

    I am British and live in the UK and my girlfriend is Spanish and lives in Spain. I’ve spent too long without her in my life so I have decided I am going to Spain in May to stay with her for at least 90 days. While I’m there I’d like to try and find a job and become a resident but I have no idea in what order to do everything. Do I apply for residency before I find a job, or after, but if I don’t find a job within 90 days will I have to return? It’s all so confusing.

    I will have savings but only around 3000-4000 euros which from what Ive read wouldn’t be enough to apply for residency. I’d be staying at her parents so I wouldn’t be paying rent, so this money would last me at least 6-9 months.

    Do you have any advice?



    • Javier Rodríguez
      January 16, 2019 @ 2:27 pm

      Hello Tom,

      The minimum amount to be provided as savings by the police offices is around 4800€, and many of them ask this bank account balance to be 6 months old (this depends on the office).

      Im sorry for the bad news…



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