Welex, your leading law firm in Marbella, Málaga, Spain has answers and advice for you! If you are wondering if you can open an account in Spain when you are a foreigner, the answer is yes. Currently Spanish legislation and most banks in the financial system have the necessary resources and mechanisms for a non-resident to open an account, in addition to providing other types of actions and transactions.


Whether you are visiting for work, study, or just to come spend a few months in Spain enjoying the wonderful beaches of the Costa del Sol, Welex explains in this blog everything you need to know to open a bank account in Spain, whether you are a resident or not.


Differences between accounts for residents and non-residents.


When opening a bank account, it is necessary to remember that the legislation distinguishes between residents and non-residents, and therefore the advantages offered by banking entities for accounts, the requirements, and the documents required will be different depending on whether or not you are a resident in Spain.

Bank account for residents.


These accounts are for foreigners who have a residence permit. In these cases, the bank usually asks for fewer requirements and has greater flexibility when it comes to opening the account and charging commissions; however, this will depend on the services and products contracted.


Documents required to open a bank account as a resident


If you are a resident and you are going to open an account, the documents that you will be asked for are:


– Your NIE number (Identity Number for Foreigners).


– A document proving your address in Spain—a utility bill, such as electricity or gas; a rental contract; etc.


– A document that proves your employment status, such as an employment contract, a student card, or an unemployment document.


– Your passport, or, if you are from the European Union, the Identity Document of your country of origin, which needs to be valid and not expired.

Spanish bank accounts for non-residents.


These accounts are designed for foreigners who are staying for only a short time as tourists, for students, or for other people who are in Spain on a temporary basis. In any case, you can always change to a bank account for residents once you get the residence permit.


Documents required to open an account as a non-resident.


If you are non-resident and want to open your bank account, the procedure is a bit more complex and you will need:


– Passport or national identity document of your country of origin, validated and not expired.


– Document confirming your address in Spain, such as an invoice of a utility bill dated in the last three months.


– A document of your employment status, such as a paystub, income statement, or an official unemployment document.


– Certificate of non-resident: this document can be obtained at the National Police stations that have this service, by presenting  your passport or national document of your country of origin. Some banks offer the non-residence certificate if you pay a commission.


– In the event that the language is an impediment, the documents must be translated by a legal translator or sworn translator.


In addition to this, we must meet the other requirements that the bank requests from us to complete the contract.


Banks and commissions


Commissions vary from one bank to another, so it is advisable to look carefully at what each of the banking entities offer when choosing your bank. We must also bear in mind that the commissions will vary according to the conditions we meet.


Current accounts are usually, as a rule, cheaper than other types of accounts. In addition, if your salary is paid into the account, you can usually opt for more favourable benefits and commissions. Although the banks offer free products, they usually charge commissions for: opening the account and maintenance, withdrawing cash from ATMs that don’t belong to the bank itself, and commissions in certain transactions or transfers.


If you need a financial, tax or accounting advisor, Welex puts at your disposal a team of lawyers and accountants who will accompany you in any procedure you need, with the greatest efficiency and in your native language.