What is Empadronamiento?
Anyone living in Spain has the obligation to be enumerated with their local council's census. This process is called "Empadronamiento". It's not optional and becomes expected once you have been living in a part of Spain for at least 6 months (getting a NIE is possible after 3 months). You'll need to have completed the Empadronamiento process in order to gain access to vital parts of life in Spain, such as the public health service and education.
This is one of the free bureaucratic processes and is essential to do so regardless of nationality. It's straightforward, making the Empadronamiento one of the more quicker processes that you'll encounter in Spain (don't worry though, there are other, more complicated ones ;-) ). In general will only take a few minutes because there's not usually much of a queue.
Becoming part of the census will give you access to even more social procedures like matrimonial union, voting, registering children at a school in Barcelona you have found, requesting a visa, requesting residence, registering with Social Security, getting a health card... You get the point.
If you change your address within the city, you'll have to register again with the local council of your new neighborhood.
What can an Empadronamiento be used for?
- Request legalisation of residential or work permits.
- Access municipal welfare services (e.g. social care and support).
- Obtaining administrative documents such as social security.
- Make changes to a driving license (or regulated driver's license depending on the country of origin).
- Inscribing children into a school
Documents needed for the Empadronamiento
Before you even step out the door to visit the council building, you'll need the following documents:
- The application form for the Empadromiento - available at the office or online.
- Proof of Identification: E.G. Your passport or drivers license.
A document showing where you live. E.G.:
- As a tenant. A rental contract signed by the owner.
- As a tenant not named in the original contract. You can improve your case by having the owner of the property sign a copy of their DNI for their confirmation and a signed statement supporting that you are living there.
- As a homeowner. Deed of the property. Purchase and sale agreement.
How can I get "Empadronated"?
Online and by mail
- Fill out the online form.
- You can send this form along with copies of required documentation by post to the indicated address. Be advised that it can take up to a month to process using this method.
- Confirmation of your entry into the census (empadronamiento) will be sent to your address in the post.
At a local office
The office for the Empadronamiento process is the "Ayuntamiento" or "Junta Municipal del Distrito" (the administrative offices nearest to you). If you want the process to go even more smoothly you can book an appointment visiting this webpage, which might save you some time or you can ask for one by calling 101 in Barcelona.
Here is a list of the offices in Barcelona open from 8.30 to 17.30.
Good luck with all the paperwork and have a happy stay in Barcelona! :D