Empadronamiento in Gran Canaria

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Empadronamiento in Gran Canaria

A comprehensive guide explaining what empadronamiento is, how to get empadronamiento in Gran Canaria and the benefits of doing it.

What is the empadronamiento?

Empadronamiento refers to the process of registering with your community’s padrón (city roll), also called the Padrón Municipal de Habitantes. The municipal padrón is the official record of all the people who live in a particular community and is the official way to verify or accredit your stay in Spain. By law, everyone who resides in Spain should be registered in the community where they live.

In practice, the empadronmiento is your key to becoming a member of your Spanish community and you can apply as an individual or as a family. Whether you are here in Spain legally or not, you should consider registering with your local padrón, as it provides innumerable benefits if you intend to live in Spain for any extended period of time.

What benefits do YOU receive from getting empadronado?
First, getting empadronado means that you’re considered an official resident of your community.  Second, the empadronamiento is the way that your stay or residence in Spain is verified or accredited – a necessity for a variety of administrative procedures.
For example, you will generally need a volante or certificado de empadronamiento to do the following things in your Spanish community:

  • Enroll your children in local schools.
  • Get married.
  • Apply for a local health card (el carnét para la asistencia sanitaria).
  • Vote.
  • Get travel discounts
  • For a multitude of random bits of paperwork

Important Note for Non-EU Citizens in Spain:
For those who don’t have their papers in order, you have nothing to fear from registering. The information you provide is considered confidential. In fact, it’s in the city’s best interest to have an accurate count of the number of people within their jurisdiction and you can rest assured that they will NOT use this list to go after illegal immigrants or those who overstay their visas.

What benefits does the CITY receive when you’re empadronado?
Based on the number of inhabitants, a city or town receives money from the government to provide services to those who live within its juridiction, which means that if you’re registered or empadronado, then the city receives money to provide services on your behalf, regardless of your legal status. It’s therefore in the city’s best interest (and yours really, for optimum service levels) to have an accurate count of who is really living in the community and using (or potentially using) the public services in question. It is for this reason that registration with the padrón is confidential.

Essential Spanish vocabulary: Navigating through all the padrón-type words
(el) padrón/Padrón Municipal de Habitantes=The official municipal record of how many people live in a particular area.

(el) empadronamiento=Registration with your municipality/community. ?(el) volante de empadronamiento=A temporary or informal certificate of your registration as a member of the community. For most of your local needs, this should be sufficient.

(el) certificado de empadronamiento=The official certificate of your registration as a member of the community. You may need it for certain legal procedures with national or foreign bodies.

(la) hoja de empadronamiento=The application form you’ll need to register with your community.

empadronado (for men)/empadronada (for women) (it’s used as an adjective)=Registered with your community.

estar empadronado (for men)/estar empadronada (for women)=To be registered with your community. ?(el)

ayuntamiento=City or town hall.

(la) junta/Junta Municipal de Distrito=A city’s neighborhood administrative office. For example, Madrid has 21 neighborhood admininstrative offices, which among other duties, process empadronamiento applications from neighborhood residents.

How and where to get empadronado in Spain
Getting empadronado is largely a question of filling out a form and gathering together the required documents. Considering the staggering amount of bureaucracy required for certain other official procedures, the empadronamiento is pretty painless.
To apply in person, you need to go down to your local ayuntamiento (to find out exactly where your local ayuntamiento is have a look at this website) where you

  • Request and pay for the form to fill in (under 1 euro) at the small office of the bank located within the town hall.
  • Wait in line and submit your application form along with your residencia (NIE), rent contract or house escritura and your passport.

Required documents for getting empadronado
Since you will be dealing with a bureaucracy, you will need to furnish both the original and a photocopy of each required document (though you won’t need to photocopy the application form itself).
Requirements may vary from municipality to municipality, so it’s best to check with your local ayuntamiento (city or town hall), but the most common required documents are:

  • The application form (hoja de empadromiento): The office that processes the applications will be able to provide you with one.
  • Documentation that accredits your identity (and those of your children if you are applying as a family): Passport, DNI or national identity card, residency card, NIE, etc.
  • Proof that you live where you say you live.
  • If you own your own house or apartment, you will need to provide a copy of your title deeds (escritura).
  • If you are renting a house or apartment, you will need to provide a copy of your rental contract signed by the owner, utility bills in your name, or receipts for utility bills that you have paid in your name.
  • If you are renting a room in a house or apartment, you will need your landlord (or a roommate who is already empadronado) to vouch that you are living at that address. This usually means that they have to sign your application form and furnish a photocopy of their DNI or passport, or even better is for them to accompany you to the local council to present their ID in person.

Renewal, moving, and other concerns
Renewal: If you are not a European Union national AND do not have a permanent residence visa (autorización de residencia permanente), you will need to renew your empadronamiento every two years. In all other cases, you will not need to renew. Your community will consider you a resident until they hear otherwise. However, if you move, have a child, or if any of the information you have provided changes, you will need to update your information with the padrón.

When moving to another community within Spain: Once you get empadronado in your new community, your old community will automatically be notified on your behalf.

If you are moving out of Spain: You will need to notify your community that you are moving out of Spain so they can update their records accordingly.

If you are moving to another address within the same community: You will need to notify your community that you have moved so they can update their records accordingly.

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