Moving to Spain


A Guide for a Smooth Transition

Spain has always been a top choice for expats seeking adventure, thanks to its sunny climate, rich history, and vibrant culture. If you're thinking of moving to this captivating country, there are a few important things to consider. In this article, we'll discuss these considerations in simple terms and in a logistical order:

1. Legal Requirements and Documentation: Before you move to Spain, make sure you understand the legal requirements for any required VISA/residency and gather the necessary documentation. Depending on your situation, you may need a visa, work permit, or resident registration. There are multiple types of VISA for entry to Spain such as the Digital Nomad Visa, Non Lucrative Visa and Self Employed Visa. Simply Insurance have several partners all over Spain who specialise in Visa applications and we would be happy to put you in touch should you need some assistance.

2. Cost of Living and Housing: It's crucial to research the cost of living in different regions of Spain to plan your budget effectively. Major cities like Madrid and Barcelona are generally more expensive, while smaller towns offer a more affordable lifestyle. There are plenty of platforms where you can ask for feedback but one thing that is commonly known is that the Cost of Living in Spain is significantly lower than that in many other European countries.

3. Healthcare and Insurance: Understanding Spain's healthcare system is essential for your well-being. While public healthcare is available, many expats prefer private health insurance for a wider range of services. Depending on whether you are applying for a VISA or residency, you will also need some form of health cover. It is possible to pay into the “Convenio” which gives access to the public healthcare however it is typically more expensive than paying for private healthcare. We will be happy to assist you and give impartial advice on what type of you cover you need and is best for your circumstances.

4. Language and Cultural Adaptation: Spanish is the official language in Spain, so learning it will greatly enhance your experience and integration into the local culture. Most expats in Spain report feeling for inclusive when even trying to speak Spanish, regardless of their level.

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5. Education and Childcare: If you're moving with children, consider the quality and availability of education and childcare services. Research international schools and local education options in your desired area. There is varied feedback available online about the benefits and downfalls of international schools vs state funded schools however it is a very individual thing based on many factors. Typically, the younger the children, the easier it is for them to adapt to the change.

6. Employment and Entrepreneurship: Finding a job or starting a business in Spain requires careful planning. Research the local job market, employment regulations, and business opportunities in your field. Again, should you be applying for a VISA, it’s important that you have the correct type of VISA to allow you to work and even then, the set up for your employment/self employment in Spain is something that needs significant attention. Again, we would be happy to put you in touch with one of our partnering companies who specialise in this.

7. Financial and Banking Services: Setting up a bank account in Spain is necessary for managing your finances. There are several banks to choose from in Spain but in the first instance, we would recommend setting up a foreign exchange bank account. Our personal preference is WISE as they offer the current exchange rate (unlike typical FX companies), allow you to open an account with multiple currencies and all able to be done from your own home. You can open an account here. It is also worth noting that once you have a WISE account set up, you can receive a debit card that will allow you to make payments in Spain or your origin countries without paying any additional commissions to your bank.

8. Leisure and Travel: Spain offers a wide range of leisure and travel opportunities, from stunning beaches to historical landmarks. It has something to offer for everybody but if you know what you love to do, research which areas have more of what you love for greater variety.

9. Final Moving Thoughts: There will be many things that you’ll think of during and after your move but one of the most important things is getting yourself a Spanish telephone number. Many of the bureaucratic processes in Spain need a dedicated Spanish number and their systems aren’t able to accept other country codes. Our recommendation is to set up a Lobster Mobile phone number which carries a very low monthly fee and no fixed contract. You can arrange for a Sim Card and Spanish telephone number here with €5 off your first month.

In conclusion, moving to Spain can be an exciting adventure, but it requires careful planning and consideration. By addressing the key factors mentioned above, you'll be better prepared for your new life in this beautiful country.