How to Relocate to Spain

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Do you want warm weather, affordable living costs, and a less hectic pace? Then you should consider immigrating to Spain. The Spanish lifestyle offers more than just delicious tapas and paellas. Here are some reasons why moving to Spain will pay off in your professional career:

In this guide, we’ll discuss how you can move to Spain and the key steps involved. We’ll cover everything from managing the visa process to finding the perfect place to live. 


Relocate to Spain → 


Planning and preparation

Relocating to Spain, like with any country, requires planning. Spanish people say that “it’s better to prevent than to treat” which basically means, “measure twice, cut once!” If you plan your move correctly, the transition will be smooth. You can start your planning here:


Find a job to relocate

As you might have realised, it’s considerably easier to move to Spain if you have a job lined up in the country. If you’re a professional, the company might even consider financially supporting your relocation. Check out local job boards to find opportunities and expand your search to larger job boards in Europe. For IT professionals, check out — the platform lists job advertisements from companies who offer relocation support in Spain and other European countries. As an English speaker, you’re best searching for a job in Madrid, Alicante, or Barcelona. 


Language learning

Start learning basic Spanish phrases and consider further language learning resources. Compared to other European countries, Spain ranks lower on the list in English proficiency. The 2023 English Proficiency Index ranks them 25th in the EU. Only around 27% of the population claims to speak English to some extent, but many do so at a basic level. To forge connections and to integrate into the community, Spanish language skills are necessary. 


Learn about the many Spains within Spain

Spain is a multilingual country. Everyone speaks Spanish (some call it Castilian — Spanish and Castilian are synonyms), but some families might speak a different language at home. These are languages, like Catalonian and Galician which at first might be harder to understand even with basic language skills. Of course, you won’t have to learn Catalonian if you’re working in a tech role, and rarely a company will expect that, but don’t be surprised if you’re misunderstood even when speaking Spanish. A tip for interviews might be to figure out where your hiring manager is from and lean into that.


25 Questions To Ask Your Future Employer (Before Relocation) →


Administrative steps

The following are the paperwork-related steps you need to go through if you want to work in Spain. (You’ll notice that these steps are noticeably easier if you’ve got a company that is supporting your move!)


Obtain a residency permit

There are three types of visas for relocation to Spain. Have a read, and figure out which one suits you best:

Register with Social Security

Registering for Social Security is mandatory for most residency permits. It’s also crucial for your life as a resident. It’s your gateway to essential benefits like public healthcare, unemployment assistance and pensions. You can either do an in-person registration through your nearest “Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social” (TGSS) office.


Get an NIE (Foreigner Identity Number)

The NIE, in simple terms, is like your individual identification number in Spain, but specifically for foreigners. Need a bank account, a flat, or a job? The NIE opens those doors. It also serves as your connection to crucial government systems like taxes and healthcare. And if you hope to have a long-term stay in Spain, the NIE is the initial stepping stone towards official residency. You can either apply online (with a digital certificate) or visit a police station in person.


Get a TIE (Foreigner Identity Card)

While your NIE opens doors to daily life in Spain, the TIE is the official seal of your legal residency. It’s essential for activities like obtaining a driving licence, buying property or registering for utilities. It also allows visa-free travel within certain European countries and enables you to participate in Spain’s public healthcare system.


Moving to Spain from the US

If you’re a US citizen, the Spanish government will ask you for an ETIAS visa if it’s short term or a D-visa and residence permit if it’s long term. These are the details for moving to Spain from the US:

Requirements according to the length of stay:

Requirements according to the reason for relocation:

General requirements (all categories):


Logistics and settling down

Once you have dealt with the most tedious part of the process — except if you are an exceptional personality who enjoys bureaucracy — you can get on with other things, such as finding a nice place to live and choosing your health insurance.


Rent a home

Whether you prefer the stability of a long-term lease or the flexibility of a short-term stay, you can explore options on local platforms like Idealista, Fotocasa or Spotahome. Remember, contracts matter! Carefully review terms and familiarise yourself with tenant rights. Local agencies also offer valuable expertise. Generally, securing a flat through a local real estate company is going to cost less and potentially have better options. Don’t be afraid to schedule viewings, negotiate rent, and connect with local communities for insider tips.


Research international healthcare options

Public options offer broad coverage but can have wait times, while private insurance guarantees quicker access for a monthly fee. Explore both options based on your residency status and budget. If you’re coming from outside of Europe, you’ll probably have to get some type of insurance until you’ve got a work permit, ID and are paying taxes. EU citizens might benefit from reciprocal healthcare agreements. Ask co-workers or the expat community for recommendations of local practitioners — often there are Facebook groups with compiled lists for the larger cities. 


Financial aspects

These are the money-related aspects you should consider if you want to enjoy Spain’s thrifty European economy. Let’s have a look at them in detail.


Open a bank account

Big banks like Santander offer widespread networks, while local options can be cost-effective. Choose a current account for daily use, savings for long-term goals or even an international account for multi-currency flexibility for seamless finance in Spain. Prepare your documents, visit a branch or explore online options like N26, Bunq or Monese (easiest for the short term, and simple to set up).


Understand tax implications

As a resident, anticipate income tax based on your global earnings, and on top of that, add in local taxes.’s salary calculator might be useful for that. Social Security contributions apply too. Digital nomads are fortunate to enjoy lower taxes for the first year (24%). Consulting a tax advisor and exploring official resources like the Spanish Tax Agency website are prudent moves. Understanding tax treaties with your home country can save you double taxation headaches (US citizens). Remember, regulations change all the time, so stay informed and seek professional help if needed.


Find a tech job in Spain →


Additional considerations

Finally, check out these other items you should consider when starting a new life in Spain.


Travel insurance

Consider getting temporary coverage, especially during your initial settling-in period, to protect against unforeseen medical or travel hiccups.


Register as self-employed (optional)

Interested in going freelance? Explore official resources for registration details. Remember, higher income tax rates and advance payments apply, along with Social Security contributions (if you are freelancing within the country). Self-employed individuals are better going for a nomad visa and looking for work outside of Spain. 


We can help you relocate to Spain with an IT job

If you’re thinking of relocating to Spain, a great place to start your search is on our job board. There, you’ll find a number of great job opportunities throughout Europe from companies who support international relocation, which means you won’t have to sponsor your move to Spain. Good luck, or ¡mucha suerte!

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