Fortunately these days, if you don’t know the Spanish language, translating basic documents is relatively easy. There are abundant translation apps such as the popular Google Translate which a quite accurate. Of course, if you need to have a Spanish translation of a more detailed or official document, you’ll need to get someone to do the translation for you.
There are various types of official document translations and certifications that you might need when living in Spain or during the process of applying to do so. E.g. for visa and residency applications.
These are translations done by an official translator who is legally authorised as a translator. Sworn translations, are accompanied by a signed declaration from the translator attesting to the accuracy and authenticity of the translation. The translator appears on an official list of certified translators and interpreters approved by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The translator will sign and certify any translations they complete.
Sworn translations have a formal status with authorities, so these are what you have to get when you need to translate documents for things like visas, residency applications, social security etc.
Registering on the ‘padrón’ helps the local town hall to apply for funds from central government to bolster their municipal budgets. For this reason, many town halls are keen to get more inhabitants to register on their ‘padrón’, and often campaign to persuade more people to do so. In touristic and popular holiday home areas such as Costa del Sol, these campaigns are often targeted at the high numbers of foreigners who have homes in the locality. This includes both residents and non-resident holiday home owners.
Aside from the potential benefits to the area where you live the `Certificado de Empadronamiento´ is useful for a number of other purposes. These include proof of address, entitlement to local and reduced price services, and eligibility for subsidised rates of locally collected taxes – IBI,
Registering on the ‘padrón’. Do you need to?
The Convenio Especial is Social Security scheme which allows individuals who don’t otherwise qualify Spanish state healthcare, to make voluntary social security payments to access the system.
You can apply to register in the Convenio Especial scheme in your region, if you have been resident in Spain for 12 months.
The Convenio Especial social security payment is €60 per month if you are under 65, and €157 for those over 65, and gives you full access to the Spanish state healthcare system. Pre-existing conditions are covered, however, general pharmaceutical prescriptions, ortho-prosthetics, dietary prescriptions and non-urgent medical transport are not.
What’s required to apply for Healthcare under the Convenio Especial?
You’ll need the following:
- Application form*
- NIE, residency certificate or TIE (some places will not accept NIE – only green residency certificate or TIE)
- Padron Certificate
- Proof of non-entitlement to healthcare provided by another country
*Note – each autonomous region has its’s own application form and process. Below is is a link to the form for the region of Andalucia:
The ‘padrón’ is the municipal register of inhabitants. It records how many people are registered as living in each Town Hall ‘municipality’. The list is also used by the National Institute of Statistics, the INE, (Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España) to complete a national census every year. The word ‘padrón’ is an abbreviation of the word ’empadronamiento’ which means census.
The Origin of the ‘Padrón’
The origins of the ‘padrón’ have been traced back by historians to a census conducted in Spain called the `Secretaría de la Balanza´ who put forward the national control of the population – the `Padrón de Calle-Hita’. Today’s laws regarding the ‘padrón’ stipulate that everybody who resides in Spain should be registered on it. Part time residents, such as holiday home owners can register voluntarily.
When you register you are given a certificate, (certificado de empadronamiento), which is often required by the authorities as proof of where you live, when you use or apply for public services. The registry entry should therefore also record all the names of all people living at the address, including children, so that they appear on the certificate, as well.
Some examples of things that a padrón certificate is required for are-
The NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero), meaning – Foreigners Identification Number, is the identification number issued to people who are not a Spanish nationals.
The National Police, (Cuerpo Nacional de Policia), handle the issue of NIE’s, and any one planning to carry out a transaction in Spain, e.g. buying a car, holiday home, or various other interests, needs to have one.
The NIE identifies you whenever you do something official, or which involves the authorities. For example paying taxes, buying a property; signing a document at Notary; starting a business; or becoming a director of a Spanish company.
The NIE is not a fiscal (tax) residency identification – you can have a NIE and be fiscal resident in another country, however it is used to link payments to you that may be due, including tax amongst others. Both EU citizens and non-EU citizens are issued with NIE’s, and if you become resident, you keep the same NIE when you apply for your residence certificate or card.