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The adoption process in Spain

The adoption process in Spain

A new life in Spain can be accompanied by a decision as important as an adoption, so to create the home you have always dreamed of. In this sense, Spain is a flexible country regarding the requirements for adoption.

Because the good life is better when shared. 😊

What is adoption? A legal procedure to start a new family

Adoption is a process through which a family welcomes a homeless child, to offer all the vital, emotional and physical needs that a structured family offers.

Children looking for an adoptive family come from unstructured families, orphanages or unwanted pregnancies Thus, the host family commits to offer an environment of affectio and protection necessary for the development of the infant.

In this sense, the adoption process in Spain allows the adoption of a child to both Spaniards and foreigners. And although the process is strict to guarantee the protection of minors, it is true that the system is one of the most accessible in Europe. Because nothing should stand in the way of creating a family and a home. 👨‍👧‍👦👨‍👨‍👧‍👧👩‍👧‍👦

Even more, there are many things to do with your family. Here you can see the best plans in Alicante with kids!

Who can adopt? Requirements and legal framework in Spain

  • One of the parents must be at least 25 years old.
  • Both must be more than 15 years older than the adopted child.
  • The social services of the respective Autonomous Community (region) will determine through a rigorous evaluation process if the family is suitable to adopt the minor. The evaluation includes a psychological and economic certificate. The evaluation includes emotional state, maturity, nationality, or economic status of the couple, among others.
  • Depending on the Autonomous Community, the mother should not be over 40 in the case of babies. Each community sets the details of the criteria, for example, in Andalusia, the difference between mother and child cannot exceed 42 years.
  • Both parents must have lived together for at least two years.

These are the general lines, however, as mentioned before, each Autonomous Community has its own legislation.

FAQs about the adoption process in Spain

  • Can I adopt if I am a foreigner? The answer is positive, anyone who is a resident in Spain, whether Spanish or foreign, can request an adoption.
  • Can we adopt if we are an unmarried couple? A priori, it is easier for marriages. However, unmarried couples can also adopt, although the process involves more paperwork.
  • What does the law say about gay couples? Gay couples have full rights to adopt. However, they must be married.
  • Hown long is the waiting time? Although the wait is worth it, you should know beforehand that the time is long. It can vary between 8 and 20 months, depending on the context, the child’s nationality or the couple’s suitability for adoption.

Discovering Spain’s most magical corners with your family will make all of this worth it, for sure!

Procedures and adoption process in Spain

Although the adoption process in Spain is more flexible compared to other countries, it is true that from an administrative point of view it is a tough process that tests both future parents.

  • If the administration and supervision of social workers is harsh in national territory, this is complicated if the child is of foreign origin, since it may entail regulatory trips and periods of stay in his / her country of origin.
  • As for the paperwork, it may vary from one region to another, but the base is usually the same; a birth certificate, the marriage certificate (for a married couple), medical certificates, a certificate attesting to the absence of a criminal record, and a certificate certifying your income level. If you are from another country with a different language, it is necessary to officially translate the documents.
  • Regarding the stages of the process, once the analysis by social workers and the submission of the documents is done, relevant authorities finally accept or deny the granting of the adoption.
  • If the answer is positive, the minor spends a period of coexistence with the new adoptive parents, if everything goes well, finally the adoption is officially approved, and the minor is entered in the registry with the new parents’ surnames.

We wish you can create a family and enjoy your home in Spain as soon as possible. At Sonneil, we really want to help you, and that is why we offer you wonderful homes in Spain so that you can design a new life with your family.

Our homes are designed for you to find the house of your dreams!

Inheritance taxes in Spain. What do you need to know?

Inheritance taxes in Spain. What do you need to know?

Okay, the topic of taxes is not the most pleasant thing in the world, but it is necessary to know the types of taxes in order to avoid any surprises. The inheritance tax is one of them.

Whenever there is a donation, inheritance or transmission within Spanish territory, the scale of rates of the well-known Inheritance and Donations Tax is applied automatically and without exception.

This is a tax that also applies to foreigners or owners in Spain, whether they are residents or not. Do you want to know more about the inheritance tax in Spain? Today at Sonneil we have prepared a guide for you with all the keys to understanding more about what exactly this tax consists of and how it is applied in your case.

And, if you want to know more about other taxes, here is information about all those that affect you.

What exactly is the inheritance tax in Spain?

The inheritance tax in Spain is known as the Inheritance and Donations Tax, and it is one of the taxes that generates the most revenue in Spain, affecting residents, non-residents and foreigners.

The Inheritance and Donations Tax is applied at the time of inheriting any type of property, whether real estate or monetary.

Thus, by accepting the inheritance, you also accept the payment of this tax, which is quite significant and can result in the loss of more than half of the inheritance, or you might even end up owing money.  Therefore, based on one’s economic situation, it is convenient to think twice if it is really advisable to accept an inheritance transmission.

The inheritance is received after payment of the tax due.

The deadline for settling the tax payment is 6 months with the possibility of extending this deadline by 183 days.

Or, optionally as long as the corresponding administration accepts it, it can be paid in installments.

Come on, come on, it’s not all taxes. Look at the places we enjoy in Spain!

The legislation in force

The donations tax is stipulated and regulated in the Spanish Civil Code although, in Spain, the regional system has variations on the specifics of this tax depending on the Autonomous Community.

Each Autonomous Community has its own criteria when levying the Inheritance and Donations Tax.

In this sense, inheritance taxes in Spain are assessed differently according to the Autonomous Community: a resident of Madrid may end up paying twice as much as a resident of, for example, Barcelona.

However, it should be noted that national or regional legislation may be applied to inheritances, depending on each case.

For example, for foreigners habitually resident in Spain whose period of residence is greater than five years, the Autonomous Community legislation on inheritance and donations apply.

National legislation is applied to non-habitual residents abroad and non-resident owners.

Who must pay the inheritance tax in Spain?

The tax must be paid on a mandatory basis if the heir:

  • Option A | Is resident in Spain, but receives assets from abroad.
  • Option B | Is also a foreigner, resident in Spain, and the assets received are in Spanish territory.

Inheritance tax rates

The inheritance tax in Spain is calculated based on factors such as age, residence, relationship with the deceased… All these factors are included in a calculation whose result indicates the percentage to be paid.

Therefore, it is difficult to establish in advance and in a general way the exact amount to be paid.

However, as a guide, let us look at some examples based on national legislation:

  • For an inheritance of € 8,000, you will pay approximately 8%.
  • For values between € 8,000 and € 32,000 the rate ranges from 8% to 12%.
  • For values between € 80,000 and € 240,000 the rate ranges from 16% to 22%.
  • € 240,000 – € 400,000: 25.5%
  • € 400,000 – € 800,000: 50%
  • And finally, values over € 800,000: 40%

*Approximate calculation

Now that you have some more information about the taxes that affect Spain, are you ready to take your place in the Mediterranean? At Sonneil we offer you apartments in Spain so that you can enjoy the good life on the coast whenever you want. Our promotions are designed to help you find the home you need, so all you have to worry about is enjoying it.

Because the good life is waiting for you.

How to get a mortgage in Spain

How to get a mortgage in Spain

If you don’t know how to get a mortgage in Spain, you will be so glad after reading this post! Did you know that the granting of mortgages in Spain is one of the most advantageous in Europe? This means that you can buy a property with minimum interest rates, and all this without the need to be a resident of Spain.

Because living the good life should be this easy, don’t you think?

Do you want to know how to get a mortgage in Spain? In today’s post we will give you some tips.

And here you can check out the requirements when buying a property in Spain. You fullfil them all, sure thing!

Mortgages in Spain, an opportunity in Europe

The mortgage legislation in Spain for the sale of property to foreigners or non-residents is one of the most advantageous compared to other European countries.

One of the main advantages has to do with the low interest rates of the transaction, as well as the flexibility to become an owner.

Main advantages

Exemption from payment of Stamp Duty

With the new mortgage law of 2019, mortgage holders have more advantages and flexibility, including the cancellation of associated costs such as registration fees or notary fees, among others.

Associated costs, such as Stamp Duty, are now the responsibility of the bank.

So, what do you have to pay in terms of associated costs? The fee for assessing the real value of the property, which varies between 300 and 500 euros, as well as the agreement fee, which is between 1% and 1.5%, depending on the bank. Although it should be noted that some banks are starting to assume these costs.

Low interest rates

Interest rates on mortgages in Spain are among the lowest in Europe. This has been the case for more than 30 years. 🙌🏻

Payment with foreign currency

If you come from a non-European country, the good news is that the mortgage payment can be made in any currency other than Euro. This also applies to UK citizens.

The advantages are great, right? Now, it is time to know how to get the mortgage and start discovering Spain as soon as possible. Keep on reading!

How to get a mortgage in Spain

General guidelines for getting a mortgage in Spain

  • For foreigners in Spain, as a general rule, a maximum of 60% or 70% of the value of the property is granted.
  • To obtain 80% or more of the financing, it is necessary to demonstrate that you have lived in Spain for at least two years, having made the relevant tax payments.
  • As for residency, it is not necessary to live in Spain: you can buy a home even if you spend only a few days a year in the country. However, in the case of non-residents, the interest rate is higher.

If you want to know how to get a mortgage in Spain, today at Sonneil we have prepared a guide with only 6 steps to get your dream apartment on the beach. 🏖

1. Prepare the appropriate documents for the bank. The mortgage should be signed with the bank that offers you the best guarantees. To do this, prepare all the necessary documents such as your payment slip and the ones concerning income, existing liabilities and the taxes you pay. An official translation of each and every document is required, such as a copy of your passport or your income sources if you work abroad.

2. Receive the offer. The bank will then make you a personalised offer based on your situation.  Please note that the first offer is not always the best.

3. Open an account to make your mortgage payment.

4. Compare and accept the offer. It is time to compare counter-offers with your bank.

5. Sign the final mortgage documents.

6. Contract additional services, such as insurance.

Do you want to have your place reserved in the Mediterranean paradise? At Sonneil we offer you apartments on the beach and we accompany you through the whole bureaucratic process, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed.

Our developments are designed to help you find the home you need, and all you have to worry about is enjoying yourself.

Because that’s what life is for. Don’t you think?

How to buy real estate in Spain: requirements

How to buy real estate in Spain: requirements

Are you looking for your dream home in the best place in the world? First of all, make sure you know how to buy real estate in Spain and meet all the requirements.

Also, here you can check out the taxes and cost of purchasing property in Spain.

How to buy real estate in Spain

Everything in life has its requirements. Buying a house in Spain is no exception. (Certainly fewer than for finding a partner).

Identification Number for Foreigners or NIE

If you are a foreigner, among the steps of the house buying process in Spain, obtaining a NIE is one of the most important. It is an identification document that foreigners who are connected to Spain must have. It is necessary either to work in a Spanish company, to become a Spanish resident or, as is the case, to buy a house. This number is personal, unique and exclusive.

You have two options: you can apply for it from your home country or once you are in Spain. To find out how to do this, check out our post on how to obtain a NIE.

If you are Spanish, we assume that you have a Tax Identification Number or NIF. Either that, or you are a hermit. 


If we ask ourselves how to buy a house in Spain or anywhere else, we will all come up with the same answer: money. Unless the day comes when houses fall from the sky, we need cash, bucks, gold, dough, chips, bread.

You may already have this figured out. Problem solved! If this is not the case, you can apply for a mortgage loan to buy a house in Spain. You should visit several banks to find out about the conditions.

Sign an earnest money contract

Relax, it’s not like you’re marrying someone. The earnest money contract is usually signed prior to the signing of the deeds before a notary public. It’s a sales agreement. Buyer and seller make a commitment and the buyer pays a portion of the final price. Therefore:

  • The buyer reserves the right to purchase.
  • The seller undertakes to deliver the property.

Prevention of Money Laundering

It sounds like a Scorsese movie, but it is a mere formality (although essential for buying your home). Since the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering was passed in 2010, anyone who wants to buy a home in Spain must justify the origin of the money that will be used to do so.

To this end, you need to sign a document provided by the developer or real estate agency. It includes your data, economic and professional situation and the origin of the funds.

Don’t worry, it sounds worse than it actually is. 😉

If you are lucky enough to find the house of your dreams in Spain, you might need some advice on the moving process.

How to buy real estate in Spain: tips

Our tips are like an apple a day at keeping stress away. You can take them if you want or decide not to. (But it’s better to play it safe).

Hire a lawyer

Paperwork can overwhelm us all at times. To avoid any concerns, hire a specialist lawyer and stop worrying about how to buy a house in Spain. The lawyer may represent you before the notary public, carry out procedures on your behalf, handle your application for a Foreigner Identity Number (NIE), etc. It is important to hire the services of a lawyer before signing any type of document or paying deposits.

You can start looking for housing lawyers on the AIPP or the RICS member lists.

Just behave better than De Niro in Cape Fear.

Foreign Exchange Specialist

When transferring large amounts of money to another country, or doing so on a regular basis, it is best to hire a currency specialist. The specialist will get you a more favourable exchange rate, acting almost like a superhero!

Normally, their services cost between 3 and 4% of the exchange rate. Trust us: you will save a lot of money. They are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are as safe as a traditional bank.

Opening a bank account

More than a procedure for buying a house, opening a bank account in Spain is a recommendation. This way, you will avoid headaches when making transfers, paying bills by direct debit, etc. Find out about the conditions of the accounts offered by the different banks. It’s a drag, yes, but it’s worth it!

Do you want a Golden Visa?

If you are a non-EU citizen, you might be interested in getting a Golden Visa. This is a residence visa that is granted to non-EU citizens who buy a property in Spain with a value equal to or greater than 500,000 euros.

So, if you were thinking of investing almost that amount, pour a little more in and you will become a Spanish resident.

Now that you have a clearer idea of the requirements for buying a house in Spain, it’s time to start looking for it! At Sonneil we offer you homes in the best areas of the coast. You just have to fulfill one more requirement: to be a good life lover

Voting and running for office in Spain

Voting and running for office in Spain

A little-known fact among expats living in Spain is that if you are a full-time resident in the country you are entitled to vote in local and European elections. An even lesser known fact is that you can actually stand as a candidate in local elections and even run for mayor. All EU citizens have “the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal and European Parliament elections regardless of whether they are a national of the EU country in which they reside,” the European Commission confirms on its website.

However, only around 54 percent of EU citizens are aware of this provision, according to a 2016 survey. 

If you want to participate in local politics in Spain, the first thing you need to do is to get registered on the municipal census (empadronamiento) at the local ayuntamiento or town hall. This will allow you to register on the Spanish electoral lists and vote in municipal and European elections.

Voting in Spain

You can vote and stand as candidates in the municipal elections under the following conditions: 

That you be a national of a Member State of the European Union 

That you be registered on the municipal census in Spain and domiciled in the municipality where you want to vote.

That you be at least 18 years old

You will need to provide the town hall with a written declaration stating your nationality, address in your home country and your right to vote there. Except in special cases, in order to vote, you must register before the end of the year preceding the poll.

And that’s it!

It’s worth mentioning that registering to vote in Spain doesn’t mean having to give up your right to vote in your country of origin. Some Member States allow you to cast your vote overseas, whereas others, like Ireland, require that you return home to vote in person. 

Standing for election

According to an EU website “Nationals of another EU country must be resident in the EU country where they wish to stand as a candidate and comply with the same conditions as set out for nationals,” However, the website adds “No person may stand as a candidate in more than one EU Member State at the same election.”

Spain reported the highest number of non-national candidates standing in municipal elections: 1,913 in polls before 2018. And unlike many other EU member states, in Spain, nationals from other EU countries can even run for higher offices such as mayor.

The requirements for standing as a candidate are the exact same as those required to vote, on top of which, of course you will need to register your candidacy with the relevant authorities.

Suscribe to an electricity provider in your new home

Suscribe to an electricity provider in your new home

If you just moved in your apartment and you find the electricity shut down, you should know that you will have to contact an  electricity provider and sign a new contract.

It is important that you do it as soon as possible, since subscribing to an electricity provider usually takes between 5 and 9 business days, so it is important that you do it as soon as possible if you want to have electricity in your home, whether it is for light or gas.

How to subscribe to an energy provider in your new home?

For everything to go correctly, you must contact the provider assigned to you according to your zone and request for a new contract. In this first step, you’ll have to give the contracted provider all the information they need as well as the contracted power.

The contracted power you will need is very important, since if you subscribe to a one that does not fit your needs you will have future problems, such as the common power failure.

To know what contracted power you will need for your home, we advise you to use a gas and light comparator that will help you know which light company to hire and which is the best electric company in the market Knowing the best electric company to subscribe to is important, as it will facilitate the management of supplies and save energy.

Another important aspect is the requirements needed to register to that new provider. To register the light with Endesa, Iberdrola or another company, you will need to provide a series of documents, as well as know the subscription price. For example, the documents you will need to subscribe are the following:

  • Name, surname and national identity document, whether National Document of Identity, or passport.
  • Exact postal address of the home where the subscription will apply.
  • CUPS Code (JE SAIS PAS CE QUE CEST) that will be provided by the company itself if it is the first time you request that provider.
  • Certificate or the Electrical Bulletin that states that the electrical installation is in good condition…
  • The current account number (IBAN) for the payments.

Once you provide the documents, most companies spend between 5 and 9 days to craft the contract. When registering, the user must pay fees divided into rights of access, engagement and extension, and are usually linked to the provider of electricity chosen.

To do this, we advise you to contact the company in question and ask the conditions of signing a new contract.

Create a sustainable and efficient home

To create a sustainable home, it is not only necessary to take into account electrical supplies, you should also consider consumption habits. The routines that are followed at home and the type of installation will be key to creating an efficient house.

Some aspects, such as good thermal insulation, the installation of LED bulbs or appliances with an A +++ efficiency label will be the key to energy savings. If you want more advice, Fotocasa gives them to you in your last article.