Once you have your visa, you will have to get a Spanish ID and identification number (called NIE) at a local police station in Madrid in order to be in compliance with all legal requirements. In the eyes of the Spanish government, the visa alone does not make you a legal resident, your ID and NIE do. You can learn more about the ID application process in the guide’s NIE and Residency section.
Although it is not required, it is wise to apply for your Certificado de Empadronamiento. This is a form of local registration, and everyone in Spain (citizen or resident) should be registered in their municipal district. The statistics provided by the Padrón Municipal determines the amount of government funded aid and services designated to each area.
To be listed in your area of residence and receive the certificate, locate the Padrón Municipal office nearest you on Madrid’s municipal web site and request a date and time to turn in your application. Upon submitting your request online, you will receive a call or email confirming your appointment
You will be provided with the form to fill out when you arrive for your appointment or you can download it directly from the site: http://www-1.munimadrid.es/padronimpresos/PadronMunicipal?menu=menu2&submenu=2. When handing in the form, you will also have to present the following documentation:
- A legal form of identification. Either a valid passport or Spanish ID card.
- Proof that you live at the address that appears on the application form, which can be any of the following:
- Rental lease/contract for the address in question.
- Your most recent electrical, water or landline telephone bill, on which your name and the address at which you reside should appear.
- The deed to the property located at the address in question plus your most recent electrical, water or landline telephone bill.
It’s a very simple and painless process, the results of which will more likely than not come in handy at some point during your stay in Spain.