Many foreigners who plan to invest, study, work or simply live in Spain ask themselves: ‘How long will this process take, what type of documents do I need to open an account in Spain and how old do I need to be?’
In this post I would like to answer for you all these questions that I once asked myself. A very important point to bear in mind is that, regardless of your bank in your native country, and even if it has a branch in Spain, the conditions are completely different, and you must open an account in Spain as if you were a new customer.
Before opening your account, you should know what type of bank you require and what will best suit your needs. It’s typical for many banks to charge commissions. In my case, I chose HolaBank (from the Caixabank group), because they provide special offers and HolaBank has a service 100% tailored to expatriates. They recognise the particular needs of non-residents and all their services are personalised for us, the expatriates.
Information necessary for opening an account in Spain as a non-resident
If you find yourself in Spain, you must open an account as a non-resident. Some banks ask you to provide a ‘certificate of non-residency’. This certificate is available from the national police. This certificate only proves that the police have seen your passport, it is valid and therefore, you are not a Spanish resident. But remember that this is a process that could take some time depending on the police station you visit.
Requirements for opening an account as an expatriate in Spain
- You must be at least 18 years of age
- You must bring photographic identification with you (passport or identity card from your native country)
- You must bring proof of occupation or status (employment contract/salary receipt, lawyer’s letter, confirmation of pension or disability payment, student ID). This is an additional requirement introduced in 2007 by the Bank of Spain as a measure to combat money-laundering
- Residents also have to provide our NIE (Foreigners’ Identity Number) and certificate
- We also have to confirm our residential address with a utility bill, driver’s licence or proof of payment of tax to the city. Proof of address must have been issued within the preceding three months.
Steps to open a bank account in Spain
When opening your account, make sure to have your certificate of non-residency (if required), your passport and a photocopy of the identification page of your passport.
There are two basic types of accounts:
- Savings account
- Current account
If you want to make investments, buy a home, take out insurance, etc. you will need another type of account.
Types of account in Spain for non-residents
On opening your savings account, you will receive a booklet in which incomings and outgoings will be documented.
A standard current account features commissions on deposits, withdrawals and a maintenance fee.
Wherever you find yourself, for me, without a doubt, the biggest plus that I could have asked for was that my bank spoke my language. And in HolaBank I found a bank where I could have conversations in perfect English and the entire team was ready to help non-residents. What’s more, belonging to a bank that is part of one of the biggest in the country finally made up my mind.