Everything to Know When Moving to Spain 

Are you thinking of moving to Spain? Spain is an excellent choice whether moving temporarily, permanently, alone, with a family, for work, love, or adventure.

The country has an affordable cost of living, great weather, and a relaxed lifestyle. Plus, it’s easy to get around, and there are plenty of things to see and do.

Not to forget, Spain has an excellent health care system, accessible public transport, and is considered a safe country to live in. Here’s all you need to know about moving to Spain.

The Visa Type Determines How Long You Can Stay or Work

When moving to Spain, first determine your visa type. The Schengen visa is the most common, allowing you to stay in the country for up to 90 days. A Spanish retirement visa enables you to live indefinitely, provided you have a minimum income.

You can also apply for a student or work visa if you plan to study or work in Spain. Some Visas, such as the non-lucrative visa, do not allow you to work in Spain but permit you to stay for an extended period.

things you should know about moving to spain

Related: 25 Best vacation spots in the United States

You’ll Need to Get a Residency Permit

If you plan to stay in Spain for more than 90 days, apply for a residency permit. You can do this by going to your local Spanish consulate or embassy and submitting the required documents. 

These include your passport, proof of income, and a criminal background check. You’ll also need health insurance that covers you in Spain.

At first, you may be issued a temporary residency permit, which you can later convert to a permanent one after five years.

Learn the Language

While English is widely spoken in Spain, learning some Spanish is still helpful before moving.

It will make it easier for you to get by daily life and make friends. Plus, it will help you integrate into Spanish society. To learn Spanish, take classes at a language school or use one of the many available online resources.

However, as you will soon realize, there are other languages spoken in Spain, Catalan and Galician being the most prominent. While not necessary, learning some of these languages is beneficial.

learn the spanish language

Register with the Local Authorities

After arriving in Spain, register with the local authorities. It’s known as the ‘empadronamiento,’ and it’s necessary to get a residency permit.

To register, go to the local town hall with your passport and proof of address. You can then apply for your residency permit.

Related: 6 Travel mistakes to avoid if you’re a first time tourist

You’ll Need a Spanish Drivers License

If planning to drive in Spain, get a driver’s license by taking a driving test at your local traffic office.

The test consists of a written and practical exam. Enroll in a driving course at a local driving school to prepare for the test.

Meal Times and the Time Zone are Confusing

One of the biggest culture shocks you’ll experience when moving to Spain is the difference in meal times. Lunch is typically served between 2 and 4 pm, while dinner is between 9 and 11 pm.

This is a problem if you’re used to having lunch at noon and dinner at 6 pm. However, you’ll quickly get used to the new schedule.

Mealtimes in Spain are a vital part of the day spent with family or friends. It’s not uncommon for lunch to last for several hours. Everyone leaves other obligations to sit down and enjoy a good meal.

The time zone can also be confusing. Spain is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in the Central European Time Zone. However, the country also observes daylight savings time. It means that it’s two hours ahead of GMT during the summer.

If you love snorkeling, there are great snorkeling spots in Spain that you can try out.

Experience a New Culture and Lifestyle

Moving to Spain is a great way to experience a new culture and lifestyle. The country has something to offer everyone with its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and delicious food.

If you’re thinking of retiring, studying, or working in Spain, follow these tips to make your transition as smooth as possible.

What did you think? Did you find these tips to be helpful? Let’s have your comments in the box provided below.

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