When you make the life changing decision to relocate to Mallorca, there are many important things to consider. Here is your comprehensive guide to take you through the process of moving to the Balearic island.
Finding a home
Whether you’re planning to live permanently or just spend part of your time in Majorca, you’ll need to find a home. Make a list of the features/amenities you want in a property and the neighbourhood (e.g. access to schools, hospital, public transport etc), and stick to your requirements to save time when researching the market.
If you don’t know Mallorca well, it’s worth renting a property for a while so that you can explore the island and identify areas where you think you could happily live. You’ll find a wide choice of properties for sale or to rent, suitable for all budgets and tastes. Start browsing today, by visiting mallorcaproperty.net.
Getting your NIE number
You cannot purchase a property, arrange for utilities (electricity and water supply) or buy anything major in Majorca without an NIE number, for which you’ll need to produce your passport and two passport-sized photographs. The NIE is your Spanish tax office reference, identifying you as a foreign citizen, so make this an early task in organising your move to Mallorca. If you live in Spain for more than 90 days a year you will also need a Residency Certificate – whether renting or buying a home.
Opening a bank account
Once you’ve obtained your NIE number, you’ll be able to open a bank account. It’s advisable to take along as many bits of paperwork as you can in order to complete the process; as a foreigner you’re likely to be asked for proof of address and employment status, in addition to your empadronamiento certificate (issued at your local town hall) plus, of course, your passport.
Seek legal advice
When buying a property, you’ll need a lawyer specialising in Spanish law to act on your behalf. There are some excellent law firms on the island, with multilingual staff to assist you through the purchasing process. You will also have to have the services of a notary, whose role is to ensure that the transaction has been completed in line with government regulations, and to approve and witness the escritura, or deed of title, which then has to be registered. Once you have purchased your new home, it’s essential to make a Spanish Will to cover your assets in this country, because of Spain’s particular inheritance laws.
Once your property is purchased, you’ll need to insure it. Talk to an insurance broker, insurance company or your bank to find the best insurance policy to suit your needs, remembering to advise them if the property will be empty for some time during the year.
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The Spanish tax year runs from January 1st to December 31st – and that’s the simplest thing that can be said on the subject! If you spend more than 183 days a year in Mallorca (not necessarily consecutive), you are considered a resident for Spanish tax purposes, and will have to submit a tax return before the end of June each year. Taxation in Majorca – particularly if you have property and investments outside Spain – is a complex subject, best tackled with the expert guidance of a professional financial adviser. As well as income, wealth and possible other national taxes (depending on circumstances), there are municipal taxes, otherwise known as IBI, and rubbish tax (basura).
Protect your investments
A professional financial adviser can do more than ensure optimum tax efficiency: They will help you with mortgages, pensions, trusts, and devise a wealth management strategy to suit your level of income and investments. In Mallorca, Peter Worthington, a senior partner in Blevins Franks – a long established group of financial advisers and investment managers with offices in London and throughout Europe – has been looking after the needs of clients in Majorca for many years. Blevins Franks run regular seminars and publish an annual guide about taxation in Spain which provides beneficial insights into living on Mallorca from a tax perspective.
If you are making a lump sum payment, or have regular income (for example, a pension), from outside the Eurozone, the amount of money you have at your disposal will fluctuate with exchange rates. Premier FX carefully monitors the money markets, and seek to make the currency transaction at the time when you’ll benefit from the best rate of exchange, to meet your deadlines.
Driving a car in Mallorca
If you bring a vehicle to Mallorca from your home country, it must be officially registered and any due importation tax must be paid (the same applies to a trailer). If you have a home on the island, you can drive the vehicle with its original registration plates for only 30 days, after which you must display Spanish registration plates if not you could find your car is confiscated.
You’ll also need to register your original driving licence with the authorities.
Road tax is payable each year, and any vehicles more than four years old must undergo an annual vehicle safety check known as an ITV (inspección técnica de vehículos), at an official ITV centre.
Spanish bureaucracy is renowned for its abundance of paperwork and, with vehicle-related matters (including boats), it seems endless. Expect to make several visits to the government’s Traffic Department (Tráfico) in Palma . . . or seek help (see below).
Healthcare on Mallorca
Mallorca has a wide range of excellent public and private health facilities, including hospitals, clinics, general practitioners, maternity services, dentists, medical specialists, and nursing services. Many will be able to attend to your needs in your own language.
Eligibility for care under the Spanish state healthy system depends on your circumstances, and it’s worth seeking guidance. If you have existing private health cover in your country of origin, it might be transferable, but it can be more cost-effective to find a policy primarily for Spain. Careful research of the health insurance market could save you money, as policy cover and conditions vary considerably; there are several insurance brokers in Mallorca who can help you find the right healthcare policy for your circumstances.
There’s a choice of local and international schools on Mallorca, to suit the curriculum you’d like your child to follow. International schools often have waiting lists, so planning the timing of your move is important. As well as enrollment and school fees, you’ll need to consider the costs of uniform, books, sports and other equipment.
British schools include: The Academy, Baleares International School, Bellver International College, King Richard III, Queen’s College; Eurocampus is open to German and Swedish students only and follows the education system for their countries, and the French curriculum is offered at the College Français de Palma.
You will also find a Sixth Form college in Palma: Palma College offers bridging the gap between school and university with excellence in education; life skills and preparation for the world of work. The well-equipped international school Ágora Portals is the largest private school in Mallorca and part of the Barcelona-based private school group NACE.
Finding a job
If you plan to get a job on Mallorca, you’ll need to apply for a Social Security card and number and pay contributions (which will give you some State healthcare entitlement).
Perhaps you dream of opening a business on Mallorca? EU citizens can set up a business on the island once they have their NIE. Spain has several types of legal structures for businesses (eg Autónomo/sole proprietor; Sociedad Civil/partnership) and you should seek professional advice to find the right one. You might require a special licence or, for a profession, need to have your qualifications recognised to practise on Mallorca.
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Mallorca and the international business community here is full of successful business people. Networking with others in this community is an invaluable experience, allowing you to learn and share information, and forge useful collaborations. An ideal forum is the abcMallorca Business Club, which offers regular opportunities to meet and network with business people here from many different countries. And it’s free to join the abcMallorca Business Club.
Settling in to life on Mallorca
Want to keep up with news and favourite TV programmes from your home country? Talk to one of the island’s specialists to arrange the relevant satellite TV service for your requirements. There are many companies offering this service to British clients’, and can install Sky, HD and Freesat.
Making friends can be challenging in a new country – especially if you don’t have children – and it’s sometimes hard to establish a new social life. Sign-up to receive the abcMallorca newsletter which publicises many events that you have a great opportunity to meet new interesting people. The abcMallorca newsletter is packed with special offers and discounts for members, and invitations to events. You’ll soon feel at home on Mallorca!
There’s a lot of official paperwork involved in moving to and living in Mallorca and it can seem overwhelming – particularly if your Spanish language skills aren’t quite up to scratch. When in Spain, do as the Spanish do, and let someone else do all the hard work for you: A gestoría (providing administrative services) or other specialist service company will take the pain out of paperwork, leaving you to the important business of settling into your new life on this lovely island.
Welcome to your new life!
We hope that you have found this guide to moving to Mallorca useful. We have hundreds of articles which is like getting the key to open the door to living on Mallorca so visit abc-mallorca.com frequently, read the abcMallorca Magazines and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch. We look forward to meeting you personally at one of our abcMallorca events so until then…..
We welcome you to your new life on Mallorca and hope you will be very happy here!
Helen & the abcMallorca team