Opening a bank account in Spain is easy!

If you are a non-resident foreign national and want to open a bank account in Spain, it’s easy!  The bank account in Spain is essential if you decide to live there or invest in it, or if your children want to study there. The opening procedure is very simple


Is non-resident in Spain who is not resident! In the case of natural persons, the notion of residence is defined in Article 9 of Law 35/2006 of 28 November 2006 regulating the IRPF (income tax) of residents.

A natural person is resident in Spanish territory if they are in any of the following cases:

  • Lives in Spain for more than 183 days during the calendar year. To determine the length of stay in Spain, temporary absences are taken into account.
  • The main center or base of its professional activities or economic interests is directly or indirectly located in Spain.
  • The spouse from whom he is not legally separated and the minor children dependent on him usually reside in Spain.

Conversely, a natural person is deemed to be NON-RESIDENT in Spain since they do not fall into any of the above cases.


The choice of the bank

You are completely free to choose the bank in which you want to open your account. Depending on the services and tariff conditions offered, or the geographical location of the bank.

You can open an account at an online bank or at a traditional bank. In the latter case, you have to go physically to the branch or office to open the account. Or go through an intermediary who assists you in opening the bank account, and thus avoids all travel. We are at your disposal to provide you this service.

The documentation needed to open a non-resident bank account

You will need to provide:

  • a piece of identification (passport, national identity card);
  • a proof of address (electricity bill of less than 3 months old, last notice of tax or non-taxation, rent receipt less than 3 months ol;d);
  • proof of status or professional activity (pay slip, proof of pension, student card, etc.)

It is preferable that these documents be translated into Spanish.

In recent years, more and more Spanish banks have also requested a certificate of non-residence (“certificado de no residente”). You can obtain this certificate from the Spanish consulate closest to you at a cost. Allow at least ten days to get it. This certificate is valid for 3 months. You can also get it in Spain at any police station.

Our advice: ask directly your NIE (Foreign Identity Number or “Identification Number of Extranjeros”) at the consulate. For a few euros more and for the same duration of obtaining, it will provide you with more benefits than the certificate of non-residence. The NIE is particularly essential if you want to invest or rent in Spain, or even study.

How the non-resident bank account works

The non-resident bank account works in the same way as the resident account. The cost of operations and commissions is the same. You benefit from an online service, do not forget to ask the bank if it has a version in French. Inquire beforehand because some banks may not give credit cards or offer a smaller discovery than for residents.

Attention, you are obliged to renew every two years your certificate of residence (or your NIE) and present it to the bank or they could close your account.

Tip: Do not fund your account with checks because processing times are long.

Declaration in your country of origin

Taxpayers domiciled in or from the United States must declare to the tax authorities the accounts “open, held, used or closed” abroad. (FinCEN Form 114 – Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts,’ also known generally as the Foreign Bank Account Report or ‘FBAR’)

The penalty for non-willful nondisclosure of specified foreign financial assets under FATCA is $10,000 per year for every year of nondisclosure up to the six-year limit

Find out about declarations in your country if you are in another English-speaking country.

We are at your disposal to open an account without you moving: do not hesitate to contact us.


If you are a foreign resident, to open a bank account, you will need:

  • a piece of identification (passport, national identity card);
  • a proof of address (recent electricity bill, latest tax or non-taxation notice, recent rent receipt);
  • proof of status or professional activity (pay slip, proof of pension, student card, etc.)
  • your NIE


With more than 20 years of experience in real estate acquisition procedures in Spain, we are at your disposal to assist you with all the necessary steps from the search for a property to services offered after the acquisition. When you are buying a home in Spain we help with organizing the visits of properties, the legal verification of the properties, the obtaining of a mortgage, the administrative procedures and the signature of the different notarized documents.
Do not hesitate to contact us!
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