The British love Spain and Mallorca

Everyone knows about the love story between the British and Spain. It is an open secret. The aim is not to hide it: love should not be hidden. One of the places where this love is felt the deepest is in Mallorca.

The British have enjoyed a love affair with the sunniest areas on the Spanish coast in general, and Mallorca in particular, ever since they first came here: year after year the number of visitors coming from the United Kingdom has continued to grow.


How to seal this love?

With love, it is fine to have a few years of courtship, but in the end the time comes to make it “official” and talk about marriage. The same thing happens with foreigners that visit Spain, after some years of spending summer in Spain, the time comes when they want to buy a second property on the Spanish coast.

And the British lead the way when it comes to making their love for Spain “official”: they represent 20% of the foreigners  that purchase a property in Spain. Some property agencies even point out that in 2015 sales to residents from the United Kingdom rose by 53%.

Although the Balearic Islands rank 4th among Autonomous Communities where the most houses are sold to foreigners, it is also true that they are smallest community of the top five.


Beyond love at first sight with the sun

You have to admit it, the love story between the British and Spain is a matter of love at first sight. It is that instant feeling every British person gets when they step off the plane and the warm air, sun and high temperatures come into contact with their skin that they yearn to tan.

However, love at first sight is not enough, there must be something more that helps to explain this love story. The delicious gastronomy, cheerful character of the locals, rich history and an endless number of other factors have led British people to fall deeply in love with the Spanish coast.

And Mallorca far exceeds the requirements needed to capture the hearts of the British. So, if you are a British person reading this, hesitate no more and come to Mallorca to show your love for Spain by purchasing a house.

What documents do I need to purchase a house in Mallorca?

What documents do I need to buy a house in Spain if I’m a foreigner? The answer to this question is very simple: it is compulsory to have one’s Número de Identidad de Extranjeros, commonly called a “NIE” (pronounced “nee-ay”).

What is the NIE?

The NIE is the identification number for foreigners, a personal, unique and exclusive number which has the function of identifying foreigners having any interest in or relation with Spain. This will be used in all documents, forms and correspondence with the state.

Thus, the NIE is the sole obligatory document that a foreigner must have in their possession before beginning the acquisition process of a house in Spain. While it’s true that the purchase can require new documents, initially the only one really necessary is the NIE.

The Número de Identificación de Extranjeros, is the only compulsory document in initating the process of purchasing real estate in Spain.

How to get your NIE

In order to acquire the NIE you must appear in person at the Oficina de Extranjería (immigration head-office) located in the polígono de Levante in the south-east corner of the city of Palma de Mallorca. Beforehand however, you must request an appointment, in order to be attended on that same day and ensure you will not need to return again another day.

You must be present for your appointment with your Passport or identification card from your own country as well as a copy of this ID. You will also need to hand over a printed copy of a normalized and fully filled-out application form. If you are not a resident of the European Union then you will also need to provide a notarial certificate justifying the reason for which you are requesting a NIE number.

Once all of the paperwork has been accepted, all that will be left is to pay and return with the receipt from the bank. At the extranjería office you will be given a payment form or formulario de pago which you will then pay at a nearby bank. Once you have paid, you must hand the bank’s confirmation of payment in at the extranjería office and you will be assigned your NIE number.


Other things to bear in mind

You must be clear on the fact that having a NIE number does not imply Spanish citizenship. The NIE is an identifying number for foreigners which serves the purpose of identifying them in all of their interactions with the Spanish state. The NIE is therefore necessary for owning a property in Spain as it is used for identifying a person as the owner of their new home. We must, however take into account certain legal issues.

If we have bought a property in Spain it will not be enough to have a NIE, as that house is located within a municipality and we must therefore go (after purchasing the house) to register in the local township’s registry in order to be counted amongst the neighbours of the town.

With the NIE and the municipal registry we can peacefully reside in our Brand new home, but we may not, for example, work legally in Spain. To this end we must apply for a work permit (permiso de trabajo) or a resident’s permit (permiso de residencia). With the new laws relating to immigration we can obtain a temporary residential permit if we buy a property priced at over €500,000.