For an EU or EEA citizen, beginning a new life in Spain is relatively easy as there is no necessity for a visa or residence permit to live and work in this European country.
Before deciding to immigrate to Spain, you should start by looking up information on the area you plan to move to:
- How convenient is the location in relation to your need – is it isolated? Are you close to a big city? Do you have places to follow your hobbies and interests?
- Check local information on housing, jobs, schools, childcare, opportunities to integrate within the community, cultural and lifestyle choices. Having friends close to that area would make it easier for you to relocate as they will give you insight into life with your chosen community.
- What type of properties can you afford – to rent or buy? Consider other living costs as well.
- Population – do you want to live in a less inhabited area or the opposite? Would you prefer a more diverse community where you can meet people from different European countries or from around the world?
- Transport – are there buses to take you to different locations? Where is your nearest airport and how do you get there?
Once you found information on this, it would make a lot of difference if you could try the whole moving to Spain idea by renting somewhere and looking at life through a resident’s eyes, not a visitor or a tourist.
Legal steps to take when moving to Spain
EU citizens can spend up to three months in Spain without the need for a document. After this period, it is a legal requirement to register with the local authority and request a registration certificate. You will need to present a proof address and show you have sufficient financial reserves to support yourself and your family in the country when applying for the residency card.
In order to be able to register to live permanently in Spain, as an EU national, you need first to have your living address sorted. You can either rent or buy a property; though, homeowners will find the whole process more straightforward than the ones renting for a short term.
If you buy your property, you will find the need to hire a lawyer so that you are legally represented for all documentation, including the NIE. This number attests to your fiscal identity, and you will find that it makes a significant difference in how fast things are moving your way.
In terms of the legality of working in Spain, EU nationals aren’t requested to provide a work permit. You can commence your role from day one in any suitable position according to your area of expertise.
In certain areas, like teaching, for example, you may need to check how your experience and your Degree are upheld against the Spanish one.
All these steps can be done on your own. However, the best way to do this, especially if you don’t speak Spanish or have a non-EU family member, is by contacting Spanish immigration lawyers who speak your language and representing you in front of the authorities.