One of the most important tasks that a person from another country must do when they arrive in Spain is to open a bank account.
Having a bank account will allow you to withdraw money from ATMs, make and receive money transfers, online purchase payments and receive your salary or pension.
Over time, having a bank account will also allow you to request consumer loans or even mortgage loans, if necessary.
Spanish banks are increasingly easing the process of opening accounts, thanks to digitalization. However, it is convenient to read the conditions carefully, because the conditions and the commissions they charge for their services are not the same depending on the bank you go to.
Finally, there are a number of common legal requirements that the account holder has to meet. Conditions change a bit depending on whether or not you are a permanent resident.
Resident bank account
If you are a permanent resident in Spain, when you visit a Spanish bank office to open an account, you will need the following documents:
- Passport or if you are an EU citizen other accepted national identity card.
- Proof of address in Spain, for example a utility bill less than three months old or a recent bank statement from another Spanish bank.
- Proof of employment status, such as your employment contract, a receipt for a payroll (nómina, in Spanish), an unemployment card or student card.
- Spanish Foreigner Identification Number or Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE). This is an identification and tax number for foreigners issued by the Spanish authorities. It also certifies your right to reside in Spain legally for more than six months.
Non-resident bank account
Non-resident foreigners in Spain can also open a bank account. But for that purpose they must provide some different documentation.
In general, when you apply to open a bank account for non-residents, you will be asked for the same documents as a resident, but you will also be asked for a 'Non-resident certificate' (Certificado de no residente, in Spanish).
To obtain the Non-Resident certificate, the applicant must go with their passport to the nearest Police Station or Immigration Office with the relevant forms and pay the fee. If the applicant is abroad, it is possible to do it through the Consular Offices of Spain abroad.
You can download the official form that you must fill out from HERE
The certificate usually takes approximately one week to issue and is valid for three months.
The main Spanish banks
In Spain the number of banks and financial institutions is large. Currently, the main Spanish banks are:
Some of them also offer the possibility of opening accounts online.
Again, it is advisable to review the conditions and charges that each one applies, since they can vary a lot.