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Embassies and consulates in Spain

If you own a property in Spain it is likely that at some time or another you will have contact with your national consulate or embassy. In Spain, different countries have an embassy in Madrid and consulates in other Spanish cities. In your own country there will be a Spanish Embassy in the capital and Spanish consulates in different regions.


British consulateHere we take a look at the differences between embassies and consulates and their functions.

What does an embassy do?

The function of the embassy is to protect the interests of a country in the country the embassy is located. Its activities might include:

• Negotiating with the host country’s government
• Promoting a good relationship between the two countries
• Formulating methods of encouraging economic, cultural and scientific growth
• Preparing treaties (commercial and political)
• Organising state visits

There is only one embassy of a particular country to be found in a host country and it is usually located in the capital city.

Spanish and foreign consulates

There can be numerous consulates of one country in a host country. Their function is to advise and assist their citizens when they are outside their homeland. Usually a consulate department is attached to the main embassy.

Here are some of the most important functions of the consulate:

• Issuing and renewing passports and official documents.
• Registering births, deaths, marriages, divorces, adoptions that have occurred in the host country
• Assisting with limited financial help in situations of absolute emergency.
• Assisting citizens detained by the authorities or in prison and monitoring legal procedures
• Issuing visas and provision of information in relation to entrance, residency and work permit requirements of the host country

In the consulates and embassies of your home country in Spain you can sign notarized documents before the consul. These documents are valid without needing further authentication. The most common notarized document is the Power of Attorney. You might need to sign a Power of Attorney to deal with

• Property purchase or sale
• Obtaining an NIE (identity number)
• Inheritance issues

It is beneficial to familiarise yourself with where your nearest consulate is and how to contact it. Just in case.

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Ábaco Asesores

Ábaco Asesores is a firm of lawyers and tax advisers established on the Costa Blanca in 1999. We have clients all over the world and provide legal and tax advice in seven different languages.

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Category: Expats, Spain Expat, Spain News
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