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Administrative procedures

How Do I Get a Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión?

Written by Alix Simonovitch

So, you decided to move to Barcelona, Spain. Welcome! You will enjoy this wonderful city like thousands of other expats. If you are from the European Union, you are in luck, as it will be quite easy to find work legally in your new city.

According to the principle of free movement of workers within the European Union countries, visas and work permits are no longer required to work in Spain. Workers who belong to those countries (and some others as Iceland and Switzerland) can enjoy the same working conditions as Spanish nationals.

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ShBarcelona will explain to you all you need to know to start working in Barcelona, as you will need a special paper, the Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Union. And if you need a flat before starting the work hunt, check our website, where you will find temporary and long-term accommodation in every great neighborhood of the city!

What you need to know about the Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión or NIE

What is a Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión?

Citizens of a Member State of the European Union who are going to live in Spain for a period exceeding three months are required to apply for registration in the Central Registry of Foreigners.

The Certificado states the personal data of the person, nationality, address, NIE (number of identification) and date of issue. It does not have any expiration. What are the requisites?

passport from USA

Photo via Pixabay

You need to show a work contract or show you have enough money in your bank account so you won’t be asking social aids upon your arrival. You also should prove that you possess a health insurance, foreign or local.

Each case will be examined individually. Students that are registered in a school or university in Spain will also get this document. The family of someone holding this document can also be delivered one, such as the spouse, the children, or the parents.

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Related article: Why Move to Barcelona?

How to get a Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión

You have to show your application for a certificate of registration (Solicitud de Certificado de registro como residente comunitario) in the police station of your city of residence or in the Oficina de Extranjeros of Barcelona (Rambla de Gipuzpcoa, 74).

document to fill in

Photo via Pixabay

The application document is called EX16. You will have to present the original and a copy of this form and the original and a copy of your ID document (identity card or passport); no need for photographs.

You will be given the EX16 form and another form to pay the fee to get your Certificado (around 10,60 euro). You will then go to any bank of your choice who will give you the form back with a stamp attesting the payment.

Related article: Common Mistakes Foreigners Make When Trying to Get a NIE in Spain

You will then submit the original form EX16 and the payment form and you will be given the “Certificado de Registro de Ciudadano de la Unión“, which states your NIE number. Depending on the amount of work at this administration, you need to come back for it to pick it up at a later date.

*Important: Always check the official website for changes in procedures! Visit for more information.

Check out these long term rentals in Barcelona

Are you an EU citizen with residency in Spain?
How did you go through the process of getting your Certificado UE?

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About the author

Alix Simonovitch

Traveler and blogger, Alix wrote about the cities of Amsterdam and Brussels before moving to Barcelona 9 years ago. Writer and translator specialized in tourism and gastronomy, she wants to share all her discoveries in her new city.


  • As far as I understand from the official website, the requested form is the EX-18.

  • Hi!
    I also have a question: is it mandatory to have empadronamiento in order to do the certificado re registro de la UE?

    Thank you very much for your help.

    Kind regards,

  • i have lost the original certificado de registro de ciudadano de la union, green a4 sheet of paper,
    how can i apply for a replacement

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