Moving to Mallorca: Everything you need to know
Moving cities can be daunting, especially when you add a cultural and language barrier. Luckily, the Mallorcan capital Palma is home to a cosmopolitan mix of expats who enjoy its laid back lifestyle and the combination of an easy-going beach vibe with all the amenities of a major Spanish city. It’s no wonder since it was recently voted ‘The Best Place to Live in the World’ by the Financial Times. Still there are a few things you must know and prepare for before making the big move to the Balearics.
Our Palma office is home to 64 talents of which half moved here from abroad, so our Palma Business Partner and Talents Integration person have quite some experience helping people relocate to Mallorca. In this article, we want to share these insights with you and hopefully make your move here as smooth as possible!
The first and most important thing you must do before moving to Palma is ensure you can legally work in Spain. Those with EU citizenship do not need to worry about applying for a visa and can move to Spain to work relatively easily. For those without EU citizenship, you can enter Spain without a visa (depending on your citizenship), but you cannot work without a working permit. It is best to check with your local Spanish embassy to see which conditions apply to your country. Find out more about applying for a work visa in Spain.
Finding an apartment
Finding an apartment can be challenging, especially during high season (April-August). The landlord or rental agency will often require a copy of the employment contract plus your most recent payslip. If you rent through an agency, which is quite common in Palma, the agency fee is one month’s rent. When you move into a new flat, one or two months’ rent is required (depending on the landlord) as a deposit, which is of course repaid when you move out, as long as the apartment is in a good condition.
Something to note about flats in Palma is that they usually don’t have heating systems, which is fine in winter as it’s not so cold. On the other hand, we recommend trying to find an apartment with air conditioning the summers can be quite hot here!
If you’re wondering in which neighbourhood to start searching, we’ve got you covered! There are different districts (barrios) in Palma: You might prefer to look for a flat close to the trivago office (El Terreno or Cala Major), within walking distance from many restaurants and bars (Santa Catalina) or in the city centre (Casco Antiguo). In general the city is well connected by different bus lines, but you can also get around easily by cycling or walking, especially with the view of the beautiful harbour and beaches along the way!
Registering in the city
When moving to Palma and Spain in general, you have to request a NIE (Tax Identification number for foreigners). You’ll need it in order to get a social security number, file tax, buy property, establish a business, open a bank account and for almost all other forms you fill out. We’d recommend making an appointment quite in advance – book your appointment here as soon as possible.
Once you’ve booked your appointment to get a NIE (the appointment is enough), you’ll need a Spanish social security number and access to the healthcare system in order to start your employment relationship. All foreigners in Spain are entitled to a social security number. Once you have it, you can access the Spanish security system. In order to get your number, you just need to go to the Social Security office (preferably in the morning) with your passport, a copy of your work contract and proof of the NIE appointment you made, and then you’ll receive your social security number.
The third and last step is the actual registration in the city, called “Empadronamiento”. Once you’ve found an apartment, you can request an appointment for registration at the closest office to your address from this link. Remember to take your rental contract and identification documents (passport and NIE if you already have it). Once you’re registered in the city, you’ll be eligible for discounts on flights to/from Spain and on busses within the city of Palma.
Opening a bank account
As soon as you receive your registration documents you can open a Spanish bank account. In Spain there are two options: Register with a traditional bank (La Caixa, BBVA etc.) or sign up to one of the new online banks (eg. N26). To register with a bank in Palma, you usually don’t need an appointment. You just need to bring all your documents (passport, NIE, copy of your work and rental contract) with you.
You can also open an account with an online bank such as N26. You can sign up by simply completing a verification test over video call (have your passport handy) and submitting some documents electronically. Although it’s much easier to register with an online bank, they have no physical branches and limited support, which is often the reason people still choose to go with a standard bank.
The Spanish Health Insurance is cost free. Once you have your health insurance card, you’ll be assigned a public doctor who you can visit for check ups and who’ll provide you with sick notes and prescriptions. Ask for your Health Insurance Card at the corresponding hospital, which you can find by calling +34971170051. You’ll have a designated hospital which is assigned to you depending on the neighbourhood you live in. They’ll probably ask you for your Certificado de Empadronamiento (city registration document), ID photo and payslip. We also offer a special deal with a private and voluntary Health Insurance, which also covers you for dentists, orthopedics, dermatologist check ups etc.
Well, there you have it! Now that the boring stuff is out of the way, check out this article by trivago engineer and travel photographer, Sayon, about his experience of visiting the Palma office for some inspiration!
Thank you to our Business Partner Luca for sharing his expertise on relocating to Palma with us!