Moving To Lanzarote
Many tourists who visit the island dream of moving to Lanzarote. And hundreds take the plunge every year, with sun starved Northern Europeans now accounting for around 12% of Lanzarote's official population.
Escape to the Sun
Amongst these émigrés, the British – the largest tourist group by nationality – also comprise the largest number of expatriate residents, totaling over 6,000 people according to the most recent government figures.
The Irish expatriate population is also growing apace – thanks to Lanzarote´s enormous popularity as a holiday destination there.
Lanzarote Entry & Visa Requirements
Thanks to freedom of movement within the European Union any EU citizen can basically get on a plane with a one-way ticket and turn up on Lanzarote. There are no visa or special entry requirements and you do not have to have employment arranged in advance of your arrival.
Working in Lanzarote
EU citizens also have the right to seek work in Lanzarote. In order to work legally you need to apply for a NIF number – a Numero de Identificacion Fiscal. Your NIF number is essentially a tax identification number – similar to your National Insurance number in the UK – and it is used in all tax related matters.
It is not uncommon to be asked to work cash in hand. And quite a few people do.However it is important to note that a NIF number also opens other doors. For example you need a NIF number if you want to buy a car or a house.
You will also need to enroll yourself with Social Security and make monthly payments as per the UK. These payments are either be met by your employer. Or yourself if you plan to pursue self-employment (autonomo).
Social security payments are currently around €240 per month. It is worth noting that the level of bureaucracy in Lanzarote is high – necessitating lots of paperwork and time spent queuing in various offices.
As a result Gestorias – companies that handle all sorts of paperwork, such as NIF and social security applications – are often used by people in order to save time.
If you don’t speak Spanish it will make life a lot simpler to employ the services of a Gestoria to handle your paperwork for you.
Applying For Residency
If you plan to stay on the island for more than six months then you used to have to apply for residency. A process that was once very time consuming.
Today, EU citizens no longer need to apply for a residency card. Instead you will need to obtain a Certificado de Empadronamiento from your local council (Ayuntamiento).
The application procedure is in Spanish but is relatively straightforward, requiring production of your passport, NIF number and usually some form of proof of address, such as a rental contract or utility bill.
Finding Long Term Rentals in Lanzarote
It used to be quite difficult to find long-term rentals on the island. But that has all changed in recent years. You can browse our selection of Lanzarote long-term rental property. Usually, landlords demand two months rent up front.
You will also have to add a finders fee of another months rent if you secure a property via an estate agent or rental agent. Long term rentals start from around €500 per month for a one bed apartment and from around €700 for a 2/3 bed apartment or small house.
Opening A Bank Account in Lanzarote
Opening a non-resident bank account in Lanzarote is a quick and easy process. You can apply in person in any bank and usually need to do little more than present your passport and complete some forms. Most banks in the main resorts have English-speaking staff.
Making The Move To Lanzarote
There are two main options. You can either attempt to drive yourself, family and belongings to the island via a three-day ferry journey from Cadiz via Las Palmas.
Or you can fly yourself here on a one-way ticket and allow a haulage firm to move your belongings for you. Most émigrés choose the latter option – as it rarely works out more expensively and saves a good amount of time.
A valid EU driving licence is valid for use on Lanzarote.