You’ve made the leap to live in one of the greatest cities in the world and you know you’ll love ‘la vida loca’. But before you start cheering, get ready for the paperwork.
To live and work in Barcelona, you will need a number of documents, which includes your empadronamiento, formal registration with your local council (ayuntamiento) stating your place of residence. This is required if you plan to live in Spain for more than six months or for obtaining residency, a vehicle, a health insurance card, vote, or getting married. This will also help you to enrol at the local library, schools, and even give you discounts on local events or venues in your neighbourhood.
The process itself is quite painless, free of charge, and very quick. This document needs to be processed within the first three months of your stay in Barcelona and has to be renewed every 5 years or each time you move.
Get the right documents
What you’ll need:
- Your passport and a copy of the face page
- Proof of address: if you rent the entire flat, then provide an original copy of the lease in Spanish or Catalan (contract must be for more than 6 months, signed within the last 5 years). If you rent a room, then a formal document from the owner of the flat that says you live there is required plus a signed copy of their ID; or you can get an autorización expresa, a statement signed by someone who is already registered (empadronado) at your address as well as a signed copy of their ID. Finally, if you own the property then you’ll need an original copy of the title deed (escritura).
Make an appointment, find the local council
It’s not necessary to make an appointment (cita previa) but if you prefer to do so, call 010 or make one using the Solicitud de cita previa portal. It may help to save time. Otherwise, just turn up to your local council without an appointment. It’s probably worth trying to get it done first thing in the morning.
Here is a list of the local city council addresses for the barrios in Barcelona:
District Sant Martí – Plaza Valentí Almirall, 1
Get your empadronamiento
You’ll most likely need a ticket from the machine at the reception or be told by the person at the front desk where to go. The queue might be long, but the task itself takes approximately 10 minutes, assuming you have all the documents needed, so be patient. The attending person will fill out the application form for you on the spot and issue the document. Ask for an extra copy.