Barcelona Tourist and Expat Guide – I'mMovingToBarcelona



When you get Empadronamiento in the city of Barcelona, you become a real resident of the city with its rights and obligations. You acquire the possibility to use public health service (Cat Salut) in the nearest clinic. You can take part in municipal and European elections and many more…

What is Empadronamiento – Padrón Municipal de Habitantes?

It means registering your residency in the city at the given address. Everybody who lives in Barcelona is obliged to register “empadronarse” in order to be able to access public services like health or education. So, it comes in handy if you’d like to do one of those things in Barcelona:

  • Apply for CAT SALUT – the public health insurance in your closest health clinic
  • Vote in municipal or European elections
  • Get your kids to school
  • Buy or sell a car
  • Get married
  • Apply for residency, etc.

What documents do I need to get Empadronamiento?

Here is the list of documents most often required:

  1. The application form – you will collect it an fill it in in the Ajuntament
  2. Passport or ID and NIE (as I mentioned before I prefer to have my passport with me for such occasions because sometimes ID is not considered as valid).
  3. Proof of your address – rental contract – it is good to have it on your name so that you can proof that you live on the given address, utility bill on your name. If you are renting a room and your name is not on the contract, you will need an authorization from the owner or another person that is registered at the given address.

If you want to get empadronamiento on behalf of other person you will need to have their Authorization signed along with their ID and the rest of documents.

Where can I get Empadronamiento?

Go to your local Ajuntament, City Hall. Check to which one you belong to and go there or make an online appointment before. Recently most local government offices in Spain require “cita previa” i.e. online appointments. It definitely saves your time. In order to get Empadronamiento you can do it as well but you can also go unannounced.

What should be done first NIE or EMPADRONAMIENTO?

It is an interesting subject what should be done first NIE or EMPADRONAMIENTO? After I came to BCN I didn’t have a permanent address but needed to have NIE for work, bank account, Spanish sim card, Bicing, etc. It all was necessary from the very beginning so I went straight to get my NIE. I only went to get Empadronamiento when I found out that I cannot use public health service if I don’t register in the Ajuntament. I already had a flat rented on my name. There are many articles on the Internet saying you need to have Empadronamiento first, but in my opinion the order doesn’t really matter. What matters is to have your documents in place.

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