Madrid at a Glance
Moving to MadridiStockphoto
Madrid is an easily accessible destination for expats from all over the world.
Beyond the general flair and ambience, there are various reasons why moving to Madrid from abroad is something that many expats have done thus far. Many of the city’s foreign nationals come from Latin America. Due to the employment opportunities (which are superior to those in many a South American country), relocating to Madrid is definitely not a bad idea.
Due to its location, Madrid is also the transportation hub of Spain, making it easily accessible from many destinations. The Madrid Barajas Airport is located within 20 minutes from the city center by car and can be reached with the Metro in an hour. Therefore, if you should be moving to Madrid but need to leave friends and family behind, you can be sure you’ll always have a fairly quick transport link to go and see them again.
If you are moving to Madrid for fewer than 90 days and are not a national of an EU member state, please download the tourist visa form. If you consider a stay in Madrid for more than 3 months, and do not fall into the category of an EU citizen or a national of the Schengen Agreement countries (Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein), you need to fill out a bit more paperwork. Depending on the type of visa you need, you must follow different regulations before moving to Madrid.
Here is a brief list of some of the more common visas required upon moving to Madrid:
- Visa de reagrupación familiar: This visa applies to people who are married or related (sibling, child under 18, or parent) to a Spanish citizen.
- Work visa: If you are moving to Madrid due to a job, please contact your employer when applying for a working visa, as you will need to supply an employment contract to the authorities. Please also visit the Consular Services website for downloadable application forms and more specific information.
- Student visa: If you plan on moving to Madrid on a student visa, you must be enrolled in a school or a university, or in an exchange program in order to obtain this visa. Student stays may exceed 90 days. When applying for a student visa, you may simultaneously apply for visas for your spouse and children under 18.
If you plan on moving to Madrid on a different visa, please contact your nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate. Again, please keep in mind that if you are applying for one of the above visas, you must do so from your country of origin before your move to Madrid. Allow several months of processing time before actually making the move.
Getting a Foreigners Identification Number (NIE)
Any foreign national moving to Madrid also needs to apply for a Número de Identificación de Extranjeros (NIE). The NIE serves as both an identification number as well as a tax number for non-Spanish citizens. The application process for the NIE is relatively uncomplicated and should not be a cause for concern.
- A copy of the form
- Your passport
- A recent passport photograph
- Proof your current residence / address in Madrid
You should allow a period of up to five weeks until you receive your NIE in the mail.