How to get “Empadronamiento” in Barcelona: Resident Register

how to get empadronamiento in Barcelona

You already have your Spanish visa. After preparing and sending all the required documents, you have finally got the approval. You have even bought your plane ticket to Spain. At last! Administrative dizziness and boring legal proceedings are over.

ERROR! There are still certain steps that you will have to take when arriving in Spain. Essential procedures like the one we will talk about today. Getting the “padrón” or resident register. 

Anyone (whether national or not) who lives in Barcelona has to apply for a census certificate. By law. So, in this post we will show you how to register in Barcelona as a resident and get the padrón step by step.

The padrón is a document signed at the town hall in which your address in Spain is registered. That is, it indicates exactly where you live, and with who.

Thus, it is a fundamental document to prove how long you have been living in Barcelona. If you want to apply for social arraigo, this is an essential proof.

This city registration is one of the first procedures you do once you arrive in Barcelona (or any other Spanish city). In fact, we advise you to do it in the first 2-3 days in the country to avoid any legal problem.

And not only will you need it, but the law requires you to register in the region where you reside regularly (more than 183 days a year, being a resident).

That is, if you are a resident in Spain, you are required to get your “padrón” or “empadronamiento”. Regardless of your nationality and legal status.

We are talking about a very quick procedure to do. In addition, it is completely free.

Keep in mind that you will have to do this process again in case you change your address.

Who can request the "padrón" and register as a resident?

Basically, there are two groups of people who can get it:

  • People who are over 18, who can register both themselves and their family (children and spouse), in the case of living in the same home/address.
  • Although under 18 individuals cannot register, they can do so with their designated legal representatives. This also applies to people with limited legal capacities.


Do you have doubts? Get personalized advice from one of our immigration lawyers: 

Why is the "empadronamiento" that important?

There are 4 fundamental reasons (in addition to others) for which it is essential to register as a resident in Barcelona:

  • First, to get your residence permit and realize other immigration procedures. Once you enter Spain with your visa, you will need to get your residence card. And for this, you will have to provide the census. Especially for procedures such as family reunification or arraigo, it is essential.
  • To be able to enjoy public services such as taking your children to school or public health.
  • Perform administrative procedures, such as getting married or buying a car.
  • Receive grants and subsidies from the government.

What documents do I need for padrón?

The required documents to apply for apply for a census certificate are quite simple. Identity documentation is basically required of both the person to be registered and the property where she lives.

Thus, the documents necessary to get the padrón are:

In case you are renting in the property where you live and the owner cannot accompany you to register, take note. She will have to fill out a form authorizing you to register at her property.

What to do in cases where I can’t prove I have a fixed abode or I don’t have a fixed abode? Then you must apply for resident registration without a fixed address, and you can find all the details here.

The 3 ways to get empadronamiento in Barcelona

There are three main ways to register on the Municipal Register of Residents:

  • Online. You will have to fill out a form and upload all the required documentation.
  • Going there personally. You must get an appointment or go directly to the city hall office that corresponds to you.
  • By phone.

Let’s look at each of them in more detail.

Going personally after booking an appointment

The process is very simple.

First, you will have to prepare all the documentation we have seen in the previous section.

Second, choose the citizen’s attention office in Barcelona that corresponds to you.

There is one in each district. The one that corresponds to you will depend on the area in which you live. Although this is a procedure that is managed by the town hall, the address you must personally attend will not be the same if you live in Sant Gervasi, in Clot, or in Poblenou; to name a few examples.

You can find the office that is closer to you here.

Once the office is located, you must request an appointment.

Although you can go directly without an appointment, asking for it will save you time. How do I ask for it? Entering the following link:

On the day of the appointment, you must submit all the documents prepared above.

They will give you the padrón in just a few minutes; it is a very fast process.

Get the padrón online

The online procedure is equally simple.

The first thing you will have to do is fill in the following form, which you can find here:

Once completed, they will send you by ordinary mail (to your home mailbox) the application form that you must fill out.

This in addition to the instructions on everything you should do, and how to do it.

You will have 30 days to send all the required documents (same as in the previous case).

Once your request is processed, you will receive the “volante padronal” directly at your address.

Via phone

The process to get the padrón by phone is very similar to the online method.

The only difference lies in the way to start the process: you must call the telephone number 010, and they will ask you for the address to send the letter with the instructions and form to fill out.

Again, you will send all the documentation, and the procedure is finished!

Do you need help?

So far we have seen the step-by-step process to register as a foreigner in Barcelona.

No doubt it is something very simple to do. However, if you still have doubts or want us to manage it for you, do not hesitate to contact us:

Get in touch with our lawyers and let us guide you step by step:

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how to get empadronamiento in Barcelona

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