Immigration to Spain

Immigration to Spain can be challenging. We offer a wide selection of articles about long term migration, short term migration, VISA’s, residents, non-residents, taxes, and documentations involved.

Crime in Spain is relatively low compared to other European countries. However, you should be aware of some common scams, thefts, and crimes. To ensure your safety while visiting or living in Spain, there are certain precautions you should take. It is important to understand Spanish laws and the legal system to know your rights and responsibilities when it comes to crime.

Is Spain a safe place to live in?

Despite its recent increase in crime rates due to the pandemic, Spain’s crime rate is still one of the lowest in Europe. Spain is still a highly secure nation to live in. The Global Peace Index of 2022 even ranks it amongst the most peaceful countries on earth – at an impressive 29th place. Spain is 100 spots higher than the U.S.A. and 5 spots higher than the U.K. Spain is much safer than many European countries as violence and property crimes are rare.

However, figures are always relative and the data available may not be completely accurate as it is affected by several factors such as the police force, media coverage, and politics.

Crime in Spain

What is the theft rate in Spain?

Theft rates vary significantly by region in Spain, with some areas experiencing higher rates than others. Below, we provide insight into the theft rates in different cities and regions of Spain.


With the highest population (17.84%), Andalusia unsurprisingly has the highest crime rate in Spain. The crime rate is proportionally higher in regions such as Seville than in other areas. It has a crime rate of 43.6 per 1,000 residents. The most common type of crime is petty crime, theft, robbery, and drug trafficking. In addition, the rate of homicide is higher in comparison to other crimes, such as driving offenses and petty crimes.


In Barcelona, most reported incidents happen in heavily trafficked tourist destinations. Some examples are Las Ramblas, El Prat Airport, Sants train station, Metro stations, and inside Sagrada Familia Area. Moreover, thefts occur frequently around Port Olimpic Area and its surrounding beaches. Other top attractions like Gothic Quarter Park Güell, Plaza Real, and numerous beaches along the coast also had their fair share of undesirable activities.


The crime rate in Valencia varied by 12.57 percent in 2022 compared to the same period in 2021. There have been a total of 43,085 criminal offenses, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior’s Crime Balance. Crime in Valencia stands at a rate of 67.6 criminal offenses per 1,000 inhabitants.

Canary Islands

Contrary to their proportion of the national population, which stands at 4.51%, the sun-kissed Canaries have a relatively higher number when it comes to certain crimes such as sex and homicide crimes (6.76% & 6.30% respectively) and robberies (9.00%).


Madrid and its surrounding region are the most secure of all large cities in Spain. However, tourists should be cautious when sightseeing around the Prado Museum, Atocha Train Station, Retiro Park, near the Royal Palace, and especially in Plaza Mayor. Most passport and bag thefts occur at Barajas Airport, local hotels, El Rastro (Madrid’s flea market), and within Metro stations. For those traveling to Madrid, it is best to remain aware of your surroundings to avoid becoming a victim of crime.

Types of Crime in Spain

Lottery prize scams

Recently, criminals from various European countries have been using lottery scams to target Spanish residents through emails and letters. In these messages, recipients are told they’ve won a large prize even though there is no evidence that they ever entered the associated foreign lottery draw. To be paid their monetary reward, “lucky winners” must provide personal information, including bank account details, and make an extra payment for so-called “expenses.”

Street swindles

Street swindles involve small groups of people stealing from tourists. Thieves distract tourists and then run away with their belongings, such as wallets, smartphones, jewelry, etc. They use tactics that challenge even the most creative of imaginations. Often, they work together in pairs or larger groups; one person distracts their victim while the others commit a crime. For instance, you might be approached with questions about directions and asked to look at a map – only to discover your possessions have been stolen from behind your back.

Alternatively, someone may “accidentally” spill something on you or pretend to help clean bird droppings off of your clothing as an accomplice makes away with any valuables you had tucked away. Criminals may drop coins or keys at your feet to distract you and attempt to steal your possessions. Fortunately, physical assaults are rare occurrences. However, there are times in which the assailants come from behind and wrap their arms around the victim’s neck to choke them while others rifle through or take away their belongings.

Home visitors scams

Home visitor scams are a tactic used by pickpockets and thieves to gain access to the inside of homes. They may pose as utility workers, postal employees, delivery people, or even police officers to gain access to a residence. Once inside, they can easily steal items that have been left out in plain sight. It’s best to never open the door to anyone unknown. If they do have valid identification, always ask to see it before opening the door.

Sometimes, the criminal masquerades as a worker from an energy provider, such as a gas installation company, to contact their target and lead them to believe that they must perform some kind of system check. Once the resident agrees, these criminals will take advantage of this opportunity by charging for services never actually done.

Housebreaking and Burglary in Spain

Foreigners are often victims of housebreaking and burglary in Spain, as criminals know many have items worth stealing such as laptops, cameras, or electronic devices. Installing an efficient alarm system and/or video surveillance cameras in your home is highly advisable to deter burglaries. If you live in Spanish urban areas, it is also important to be aware of the presence of gangs and organized crime groups that may target homes for robbery.

Domestic Violence

In Spain, there has been an increase in domestic violence over the years. This form of psychological or physical attack may be committed by a family member, a romantic partner, or someone with whom the victim has had previous contact. Violent conflicts can take many forms, from physical aggression to manipulation and control, and can occur in all socio-economic classes. The Spanish government has implemented a law to protect victims of these attacks and prosecute offenders to combat this issue.

Armed conflict

In Spain, several armed groups have been involved in conflicts over land resources and ethnic origin. These groups have been responsible for committing various crimes, including homicide, armed robbery, and causing predatory violence.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is a major issue in Spain, serving as an important transit point for drug traffickers. Drugs are often behind the motivation for most crime in Spain’s major cities. Drug users in Spain may be more likely to commit petty crimes such as theft and burglary to finance their habit. Spain is one of the primary entryways for cocaine and hashish into Europe, and it’s relatively easy to obtain drugs in urban areas. Though using or possessing soft drugs such as hashish is illegal, authorities often overlook its usage. It is common to see people smoking openly in various bars and clubs. However, the possession and use of hard drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin are strictly prohibited and punishable by law.

What to do if you’re a victim of crime

Spanish law differentiates between public and private crimes in its judicial system. Publicly-prosecuted offenses are handled solely by the authorities, meaning no external party would be allowed to participate. Private crimes, on the other hand, require a third party to report the crime in order for it to be prosecuted.

If you’re a victim of a crime in Spain, you must report it to the local police or Civil Guard and provide as much information about the incident as possible.

If you’re a foreign visitor, it is also advisable to contact your country’s embassy or consulate in Spain in case you need assistance.

Further questions about crime in Spain

Crime in Spain

Why is crime so low in Spain?

Even though there are very large urban populations in Spain, strong family patterns, often based around rural origins, keep society structured. This contributes to the lowest crime rate in Spain, which is lower than in many other European countries. Crime is higher in countries where the industrial revolution wiped out these family structures.

In addition, the Spanish legal system has tough penalties for certain types of crimes, such as intentional homicides and other violent offenses.

How is crime in Spain compared to the U.K.?

Crime in Spain is generally lower than in the U.K. Spain is one of the most secure countries in Europe, with only 48.8 criminal acts per thousand citizens reported – significantly lower than many other European nations such as the U.K. (79.5), Belgium (74.8), Germany (60.7) and Denmark (53.9).

Is Spain safer than the U.S.A.?

Spain is generally considered to be safer than the U.S.A., with a homicide rate of 0.6 per 100,000 people compared to the startling 6.3 murders in America’s population per 100,000– a difference that is tenfold. When looking at robberies specifically, the U.S. shows 314 occurrences for every 100,000 individuals while Spain only experiences 129 crimes out of each group of one hundred thousand citizens.

A word from SpainDesk

Crime statistics in Spain take many forms and affect the safety of individuals living in the country. However, it is essential to understand that the legal system serves as an important mechanism for justice – where those convicted are held accountable for their actions and victims can receive compensation to help heal. As the traveler, it is your responsibility to ensure that you comply with all foreign entry regulations and have the necessary documentation. We always encourage travelers to double-check content before departure from other reliable sources as information can change without notice.

Are you an expat or a self-employed individual living in Spain? Are you wondering how the Personal Income Tax (IRPF in Spain) works and what you need to do to accurately calculate it? This can be a confusing area of tax understanding for many expats moving abroad. However, in this article we will break down concisely all the information needed about IRPF so that you can confidently know exactly what your obligations are, and how to stay on top of them each fiscal year.

What is IRPF?

IRPF (Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas) is the personal income tax in Spain. It is a direct tax that is applied to the income earned by individuals who are residents of Spain. The IRPF tax rate in Spain is progressive. This means that the more income an individual earns, the higher percentage of tax they will pay. Tax rates for different income brackets range from 9% to 52%.

IRPF in Spain

How does IRPF work in Spain?

The income tax is designed to levy taxes on almost all the income an individual earns. This includes salaries, public pensions, investments, gambling winnings, rental income, and insurance payouts.

The tax authorities categorize this income to differentiate between earned income and savings income. Earned income is subject to general rates, while savings income is subject to specific brackets and scales.

Who pays IRPF in Spain?

Residents in Spain have to pay personal income tax (IRPF) on any income obtained in the country or worldwide. This includes employment income, rental income, capital gains, and other forms of personal income. IRPF is also due on foreign-sourced income if the individual is a Spanish tax resident. Non-residents in Spain must only pay personal income tax on any Spanish-sourced income obtained, such as rental income from a property in Spain.

Individuals earning more than € 22,000.00 a year

The personal income tax rate for individuals earning more than € 22,000.00 annually is progressive from 23% to 45%. There is also an additional surcharge of 3% on any taxable base above € 150,000.00. Individuals earning less than € 22,000.00 a year are subject to the personal income tax rate of 19%, which applies regardless of how much income is earned within the taxable base.


If you are a non-resident in Spain and have income sourced in Spain, you may be subject to Spanish tax laws and required to pay Spanish income tax. The Spanish tax system requires non-residents to pay taxes on income earned in Spain. This includes employment income, rental income, capital gains, and other types of income. The tax rates for non-residents vary depending on the type of income earned and the country of residence.

You must file a tax return with the Spanish tax authorities to determine your tax liability. The tax return should include all income earned in Spain during the tax year and any deductions or credits you may be entitled to. Failing to pay this tax will result in charges and penalties from the Spanish Tax Agency should you decide to sell your property. This tax must be paid yearly, from January 1st through December 31st of every year for the past year’s taxes.

Spanish Resident

If you are a Spanish resident, you will be taxed for your worldwide income. The personal income tax in Spain is progressive. It starts at 0% for those earning up to € 12,450.00 per year, and goes up to a maximum of 45% for individuals earning more than € 22,000.00 a year. In addition to personal income tax, individuals may be subject to other taxes, such as wealth and capital gains. Wealth tax is a direct personal income tax on the net worth of individuals, while capital gains tax is imposed on any profits derived from the sale of an asset.

In order to avoid double taxation, Spain has signed double taxation agreements with more than 90 countries worldwide. If you have paid taxes in another country and your home country has signed a double taxation agreement with Spain, you may be eligible for a tax credit or refund on the Spanish income tax you paid. When there is no treaty between your homeland and Spain, you can take advantage of foreign tax deductions and any foreign compensation. Your Spanish Lawyer will be able to work out these amounts for you.

You are expected to submit your personal income tax return to the Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria) before December 31st each year, covering all income earned from January 1st to December 31st of the previous year. Non-residents who spend more than 183 days in Spain are deemed residents for taxation purposes, regardless of whether they have secured a residence permit or not.

How much tax do you pay in Spain?

To determine the amount of IRPF tax an individual must pay, they must first calculate their taxable income. This includes income from employment, self-employment, investments, and other sources. Certain deductions and allowances are also available to reduce taxable income, such as expenses related to work, contributions to pension plans, and some family-related deductions. You must keep in mind that the exact amount due will depend on your region. To provide an estimate of what to expect, here are the income tax bands that the Spanish government state for 2023:

  • From 0 to 12,450 euros: 9.5% state rate and autonomous rate, or 19% total rate.
  • From 12,450 euros to 20,200 euros: 12% state rate and regional rate, i.e. 24% total rate.
  • From 20,200 euros to 35,200 euros: 15% state rate and regional rate, or 30% total rate.
  • From 35,200 euros to 60,000 euros: 18.5% state and regional rate, or 37% total rate.
  • From 60,000 euros to 300,000 euros: a 22.5% state and regional rate, or 45% of the total rate.
  • Over 300,000 euros: 24.5% state rate and 22.5% regional rate, or 47% total rate.

In Spain, everyone has a non-taxable personal allowance. How much this is will depend on your circumstances, and further allowances depend on your family, marital status, or several dependents.

Notice that to calculate IRPF in Spain, the Tax Agency offers you a free and simple program on its website.

Filing your Spanish tax return

All tax residents must file a Spanish annual return known as the Declaración de la Renta. During May and June, every individual must file their own income tax return.

In order to file your Spanish personal income tax return you will need to present all of your personal information. This includes your name and date of birth, personal tax identification number (NIF), a valid Spanish address, any personal income earned over the past year, and proof of residence. You must also provide information about any taxable capital gains from investments or property sales and details regarding rental income and employment income earned.

Once you have submitted your personal income tax return, the Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria) will review it and may require additional information or documents before levying any personal income tax. The agency then has up to four months to send a notification of taxation. The notification outlines the total personal income taxes due for the year. From there, you can make arrangements to pay any personal income taxes due directly to the Spanish Tax Agency.

As a Spanish resident, you must submit a tax return and pay income tax at a progressive scale rate determined by your autonomous community.

IRPF in Spain

A word from SpainDesk

To sum up, Spanish citizens need to understand how their income is taxed and how this tax is calculated. Knowing the IRPF Spain tax system allows expats living in Spain to benefit from understanding their obligations and allowances when filing a Spanish income tax return. Nobody wants to pay more taxes than necessary – understanding how to calculate taxes will help you optimize your finances. Furthermore, speaking with a qualified financial consultant during the preparation period of your IRPF declaration, can easily avoid confusion, incorrect representation of facts, or double taxation.

Taxation is inherently complex. In addition, the IRPF is one of the most complicated taxes to calculate, if not the most. This is the reason why it is convenient to have professional help and advice. SpainDesk has developed a wealth of expertise in the rule of law and accounting in Spain. We offer expert services in all aspects of Spanish law, for individuals and businesses. We will guide you through the process of establishing your company in Spain and provide prompt responses to any queries you may have. Contact us today!

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

Living in Spain as an American can be a thrilling experience. It’s a country that is full of culture, history, and great food. Spanish cities like Madrid and Barcelona are popular destinations for tourists and expats alike. If you’ve ever considered living across the world in Spain, then this post is for you. We’ll go over all the details of becoming an expat in Spain from the perspectives of various American citizens who have decided to make the big move.

Why would a US citizen prefer to live in Spain?

Living in Spain provides access to a vibrant local and expat community and allows for the enjoyment of an affordable lifestyle accompanied by breathtaking places and tantalizing cuisine. Spain has a unique charm that has always enamored visitors, especially Americans, and this is why some US citizens prefer to make it their home.

Living in Spain as an american

Here are the benefits to consider if you’re a US citizen planning to move to Spain:


If safety is a concern for you when relocating to Spain, fear not. According to four separate surveys, the country has earned its place among the safest 41 countries in the world. These rankings consider homicide rates, natural disasters, and economic/political risk factors. The cities of Barcelona and Madrid are cited especially highly: number 11th and 21st respectively on the list of global safe havens of 2021.


Spain has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, with a comprehensive plan that ensures access to quality medical services for Spanish citizens and non-EU residents alike. And if you’re working and living in Spain, you get free access to healthcare.

Working possibilities

The opportunity to work in Spain is a major benefit of living here as an American expatriate. US citizens can take advantage of the country’s booming job market and find various employment options such as teaching, IT, marketing, healthcare, engineering, and more. Those who wish to start their own business can also do so but should make sure they possess the proper documents and meet all necessary requirements.

Buy properties

Spain has various property options, from luxurious villas to city apartments. The great thing is that foreign buyers can buy property in Spain with the same rights as Spanish citizens. Major cities like Madrid and Barcelona are popular for both residential and investment properties. Still, smaller destinations such as Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca offer great value for money in terms of prices per square meter.

Investing in Spain is straightforward, and housing costs are far less expensive than in neighboring countries. Plus, if you invest at least €500,000 into property purchases you’ll receive your own visa to work and reside in Spain and bring any dependent family members with you.

Easy Visa

Several visas are available for those seeking to reside in Spain, making the transition a breeze. The Golden Visa is a great option for investors with €500,000 to purchase property or invest significantly in Spain’s economy—it grants you and your family working visas! Additionally, the non-lucrative visa allows those with sufficient funds to maintain themselves during their stay, making it ideal for retirees. Finally, Spanish student visa holders can extend their time after graduation via the job search visa which provides an additional year of residency while searching for employment opportunities.

Beckham’s Law

Relocating to a foreign land can be intimidating, especially if you don’t know what taxes are due. Fortunately for expats in Spain, Bechkam’s Law is here to save the day. This exclusive benefit grants up to 6 years of tax relief on worldwide income and only requires 24% taxation on Spanish-sourced revenue. Without this law, individuals could pay as much as 45% – a huge saving that will help make your transition smoother.

Family and retirement friendly

Spain is a great destination for families, as it emphasizes nurturing strong community and familial bonds. Expats often come here with their loved ones through the family reunion visa or to retire due to its non-lucrative visa, lower property costs, and excellent healthcare that’s either free of charge or offered at an affordable price. Young families usually choose Spain because children can attend good public schools and enjoy outdoor activities in parks and beaches.

Easily become an entrepreneur

Of the 3.4 million businesses across Spain, 1.9 million are registered as self-employed or Autónomos. This is especially popular among expats as it enables them to set their own rates and establish a successful business from anywhere with great flexibility. Expertise in a certain field will help you here, but the Spanish Government offers resources and incentives to support those just starting.

Great transport links

Spain is incredibly well-connected, with numerous public transportation options such as trams, buses, metro, and trains running locally. For longer journeys across the nation – or even further afield to other European countries- expats can take advantage of the high-speed train networks (Alta Velocidad) or utilize one of its many airports for visa-free travel.


Spain is a haven for pet owners, with numerous pet-friendly parks, beaches, and restaurants. From locals allowing their dogs in restaurants, bars, and businesses to cats roaming the streets with people stopping to feed them – you and your furry friend will feel welcomed everywhere! And whether you’re bringing your beloved companion from abroad or adopting one locally, there’s no doubt that both of you are sure to be spoiled by Spaniards’ love of animals.

Cost of Rent

If you’re looking to save big on your living expenses, then Spain is the place for you. Numbeo reports that renting costs are almost 58 percent lower than in America. One of the major expenses that significantly impacts the cost of living is housing. Spain offers a range of affordable options for renting properties, including apartments, houses, and even villas, especially in smaller cities and towns. The cost of renting a similar type of property in the United States is substantially higher, making Spain an attractive option for those looking to save money on their monthly housing expenses.

Americans Retiring in Spain

Spain’s sunny climate and luxurious lifestyle make it an ideal location for expats. With thousands of Britons, French, Germans, and increasing numbers of Americans calling the country home—the opportunities to meet others with similar aspirations are endless! So whether you’re looking to retire in one of the best cities or invest in a multicultural city, rest assured that you’ll find like-minded people wherever your journey takes you.

Spain offers an unprecedented opportunity for Americans looking to retire in a foreign land. With its diverse culture and affordable cost of living for most retirees, those who buy property at this time can find themselves with remarkable financial freedom. And with the Spanish bureaucracy being so easily navigable by US citizens, there’s never been a better moment to call Spain home.

Americans in Spain

What are the requirements for an American to live in Spain?

To start the process of obtaining a residence permit in Spain, American citizens must apply for a student visa or a work permit. One of the easiest ways to obtain a Spanish passport is to apply for a Spanish Golden Visa. If you invest at least €500,000 in Spanish real estate (or certain other investments) and have the required financial means, you can get a five-year residency permit. After five years of permanent residency, US citizens are eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship – which entails being entitled to free health insurance and access to all European countries.

For those who desire to stay in Spain for more than 90 days, a valid passport with at least six months of expiration is necessary to apply for a permanent residency visa. Furthermore, applicants must provide the Spanish consulate with a valid passport, proof of private health insurance, and sufficient financial means to sustain themselves. It’s worth remembering that for US citizens moving to Spain from abroad, their original American passport must remain valid for at least three months after arriving there.

For US citizens looking to relocate to Spain, there are several visa options from which you can choose. The top seven types of favored visas are:

  • Student Visas
  • Job Search Visa
  • Work Visa
  • Golden (Investor) Visa Spain
  • Non-Lucrative Visa
  • Permanent Spanish Residency
  • Family Reunification Visas

A word from SpainDesk

Living in Spain as an American is an incredibly rewarding experience, especially for those who are looking to become a Spanish citizen or establish their own business in the heart of Europe. With so many options available – from visas to healthcare and transport linksyou’ll find it easy to move and settle into your new home. If you are thinking about moving to Spain from the US, get in touch with us. One of our dedicated SpainDesk advisors will answer your queries. We offer a service tailored to your specific needs and requirements. Our team of experts will work diligently from start to finish, ensuring a successful transition to your new life in Spain. We look forward to helping you make the move.

Spain is one of the most chosen countries by remote workers who decide to migrate from their country of origin. In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about the digital nomad visa in Spain.

Why do people choose this beautiful country to live in?

Covid-19 has made changes in the world of work, with telecommuting being one of the most resounding consequences. This paradigm shift when it comes to performing work tasks has led more and more people to seek the possibility of working from home or anywhere. In this sense, remote workers choose to work in a country full of beautiful landscapes, friendly people and delicious cuisine.

In addition, Spanish citizenship offers the benefit of permanent residency, the right to vote, free movement and work within the European Union (EU). Although there are many options to obtain citizenship, the most common are nationality by residence, nationality by marriage and nationality by option. However, in this case, we will talk about the modality known as Digital Nomad Visa.

Who are the digital nomads?

Digital nomads are individuals who use technology to work remotely from anywhere in the world. They typically rely on laptops, smartphones, and internet connectivity to perform their jobs, which can include anything from freelance writing and web development to social media management and graphic design.

Remote workers often travel frequently and may live in multiple locations throughout the year while maintaining their work responsibilities. This lifestyle allows them to experience different cultures and environments while maintaining a flexible work schedule.

Digital nomad visa in Spain

What is the digital nomad visa in Spain?

In 2022, the Spanish Congress approved the Law for the Promotion of the Emerging Companies Ecosystem, also known as the “Startups Law“.

As reported by the Government in a statement, the objective of this legislation was to generate “an entrepreneurial ecosystem with an innovative vocation” which would encourage the “creation and relocation of startups” and attract talent and capital from other countries.

Within the framework of this law, the creation of a “special Digital Nomad visa for holders who work for themselves or for employers anywhere in the world, in national territory” was announced. This visa allows foreigners to settle in Spain and work remotely.  

One of the advantages is that the years spent in Spain working with the digital nomad visa count towards the application for Spanish nationality by residence.

How to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa?

To apply for the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Determine your eligibility criteria: Check if you meet the requirements to apply for the digital nomad visa. This includes having a job or being self-employed, having a reliable monthly income, and working remotely.
  2. Gather necessary documents: Collect all the required documents, such as a valid passport, proof of income, and valid health insurance.
  3. Fill out the application form online: Go to the electronic site of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration and fill in the application form online.
  4. Submit your application: Once you have filled out the form and attached all the required documents for the digital nomad visa, submit your application.
  5. Wait for a response: After submitting your application, wait for a response from the Spanish authorities. They may ask for additional information or supporting documents.
  6. Get your visa: If your application is approved, you will receive your Digital Nomad Visa. You can then travel to Spain and start working remotely.

It’s important to note that the requirements and process for applying for the Digital Nomad Visa may vary depending on the country you’re applying from, i.e your home country, and the country you’re applying to. So, make sure to check the specific requirements and guidelines for your situation. Also, there might be a visa application fee you will need to pay to get your digital nomad visa.

What documentation must be submitted to access the Digital Nomad Visa?

As established by the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, the following documents must be submitted:

  • Printed application of the official model (EX-05) in duplicate, duly completed and signed by the hiring company.
  • A complete copy of a valid passport or valid travel document.
  • Copy of the training required for the exercise of the profession, when applicable, duly approved.

In addition, a digital nomad must present the required documents to identify the company that is requesting the authorization:

If it is an individual entrepreneur

Copy of the NIF or NIE, or consent to check identity data through the Identity and Residence Data Verification System.

If it is a legal entity (S.A., S.L., Cooperative, etc.)

  • Copy of the NIF of the company and copy of the deed of incorporation duly registered in the corresponding Registry.
  • Copy of the public document accrediting that the signatory of the authorization request is the legal representative of the company.
  • Copy of the NIF or NIE or consent to check the identity data through the Identity and Residence Data Verification System of the signatory of the application.
  • Signed work contract. Original and copy must be submitted. The copy will be stamped by the Immigration Office and returned for subsequent presentation by the foreigner together with the application for a residence and work visa.
  • Documentation accrediting that the national employment situation is not taken into account (See information sheet with the assumptions and the necessary documentation).
  • Accreditation that the company guarantees the necessary solvency, through the declaration of the IRPF, the VAT, the Corporate Tax, or the report of the labor life of the company (VILE), referred to the last three years. A descriptive report of the occupation to be performed must also be provided.

What are the requirements to obtain the Digital Nomad Visa?

The requirements to apply for the digital nomad visa are the following:

  • Not having a criminal record.
  • Have graduated from prestigious universities, professional training and business schools or have at least three years of professional work experience.
  • Work as an employee for a company registered abroad -or for more companies located outside Spain- or be self-employed. The latter cannot have more than 20% of their income coming from Spanish companies.
  • Demonstrate the existence of real and continuous activity for at least one year of the company with which they maintain the labor or professional relationship.
  • Demonstrate an employment or commercial relationship with the company for at least the last three months prior to the presentation of the application, as well as documentation that the company allows them as workers to perform the work activity remotely.
  • To have medical insurance.

Digital nomad visa in Spain

Tax advantages of the digital nomad visa

Apart from all the advantages offered by this residency seen so far, one of the main attractions of this new permit comes from the tax side.

The additional argument created to make this permit an even better option is the special tax regime that will allow digital nomad visa holders to save taxes. Basically, you will be taxed through a tax regime under the income tax as an optimized non-resident.

After understanding how taxes in Spain really work for foreigners, we can easily understand that paying non-resident income tax instead of the general income tax that residents must pay allows you to pay much less on the income it generates.

How it works

In case you have not been in Spain for the last 5 years (instead of 10, as the general rule establishes); you will be allowed to pay a flat tax rate of only 24% on your income. Instead, you would pay a progressive rate that can go up to 48%.

In order to be considered a non-resident for tax purposes, you will have to initiate a separate application process from the residency process. You will do so with the Spanish Tax Agency within 6 months of obtaining your residency authorization. This is a process comparable to the Beckham Law.

This, in addition to allowing you to pay only 24% on income derived from work up to €600,000, will also save you the need to pay wealth tax or have to make the informative declaration known as model 720.

Finally, digital nomad visa holders will be able to request the deferral of the IRNR in the first and second years with a positive taxable base (without interest).

This advantageous tax regime will be extended for 5 years as long as you maintain your residence as a digital nomad, subsequently moving to the general regime.

Special visa conditions for digital nomads

Residence limit

According to the Official State Gazette (BOE) published on December 21, 2022, the visa for teleworking, of an international character and oriented to digital nomads, authorizes its holders to reside in Spain for up to one year.

Once that time has elapsed, the option to apply for residency is enabled, whereby the holder could stay three more years in the country. Permanent residence can be applied for after five years of residence “as long as the conditions that generated the right are maintained”.


One of the conditions of the digital nomad visa is that the person must be a university graduate, have professional training in schools of “recognized prestige”, or have more than three years of work experience.

Employment status

The visa will be considered when the interested party seeks to reside in Spain “for teleworking of an international character”. This means to exercise a professional or labor activity at a distance for firms established outside the country, “by means of the exclusive use of a computer, telematic and telecommunication means and systems”. The law also states that the holder may perform work for a company registered in Spain, as long as the percentage of such work does not exceed 20% of the total professional activity.

Tax advantages

The Law for the Promotion of the Emerging Companies Ecosystem allows digital nomads to be taxed under the Non-Resident Income Tax instead of the Personal Income Tax (IRPF). They will also have access to the special tax regime, which applies to workers who relocate “with the aim of attracting foreign talent”.

Benefits of the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain

There are many benefits to getting a digital nomad visa in Spain. Some of these benefits include:

  • The ability to live and work in Spain for up to a year
  • Easy access to other European countries
  • High quality of life
  • Great weather
  • Beautiful beaches and scenery
  • Vibrant culture and nightlife
  • Low cost of living compared to other European countries

Digital nomad visa in Spain

Best Places for Digital Nomads in Spain

Spain is an excellent destination for digital nomad visa holders seeking adventure, good weather, great food, and a relaxed lifestyle. With its vibrant cities, beautiful beaches, and rich culture, Spain is an ideal place for remote work. Here’s our list of the best places for a digital nomad in Spain.

Barcelona: Experience a Vibrant City Life

Barcelona is a vibrant city with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving culture. As a digital nomad, you can enjoy working in a coworking space, exploring the city’s many coffee shops, and taking advantage of its bustling nightlife. Barcelona is home to several startup hubs and co-working spaces, including Betahaus, a popular spot for entrepreneurs and freelancers.

Valencia: Enjoy the Best of Both Worlds

Valencia is a beautiful coastal city located on the eastern coast of Spain. It offers a perfect blend of modern and traditional lifestyles, making it an ideal destination for digital nomads. The city boasts an impressive startup ecosystem, with several co-working spaces and startup accelerators. The city also has a rich cultural heritage, including the famous Las Fallas festival. This makes it an exciting place to live and work.

Madrid: The Heart of Spain

Madrid is the capital of Spain and the country’s largest city. As the hub of business and culture, it attracts many digital nomads from all over the world. The city is home to several co-working spaces, including Impact Hub Madrid and La Guarida Creativa, where you can network and collaborate with other freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Malaga: A Sunny Coastal Town

Malaga is a charming coastal town with great beaches, a relaxed lifestyle, and a low cost of living. It is an excellent destination for digital nomads who want to enjoy the Spanish way of life without breaking the bank. The city has several co-working spaces, including Coworkidea and La Colmena, where you can work and network with other remote workers.

Granada: Experience a Rich Culture

Granada is a historic city located in the south of Spain. It is famous for its stunning architecture, beautiful old town, and rich cultural heritage. The city has several co-working spaces, including La Expositiva and Cowork Granada, where digital nomads can work in a collaborative environment while enjoying the city’s charming atmosphere.

A word from SpainDesk

If you’re a remote worker looking to live and work in European countries, Spain is a great option. With the new digital nomad visa, it’s easier than ever to stay in the country for up to a year. With its beautiful weather, beaches, and culture, Spain has a lot to offer digital nomads. So, start planning your trip today and discover all that Spain has for you.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

Bills in Spain can vary greatly depending on the required electricity, gas, water, and other services. Before taking the plunge and investing your time, energy, and finances into living in Spain, you should consider some practical matters. One of those is understanding what kinds of bills and expenses you can expect as a resident. Read on to learn more!

What bills do you pay in Spain?

Trying to guess how much your utility bills in Spain will cost is almost impossible, as the amount varies drastically depending on the size and condition of your home. However, if you already own a Spanish property or know what kind you want to buy, it’s possible to use this info in order to calculate an estimate of what your monthly payments may be.

Bills in Spain

Local Property Tax

Once the title deed is signed before the Spanish Public Notary, you must pay the local property tax, IBI (Impuesto de Bienes Inmuebles). This is a yearly tax that depends on the cadastral value of your house. However, you can sometimes receive your first one for up to two years. These bills are sent directly to a Spanish property’s address. The specific percentage of taxes owed ranges from approximately 0.405% to 1.166%, depending on the province where the property is located. It’s worth noting that the cadastral value of a property is reevaluated periodically to ensure that taxes remain up-to-date.

Electricity Supply

Your energy supply bills vary hugely depending on electricity prices, the electricity company you use, and your own electricity consumption. When setting up an electricity supply to Spanish property, electricity companies will require proof of ownership (title deed) and proof of residence in Spain (a Spanish bank account).

If you’re living in Spain, it’s normal to expect your monthly electric bills to be between €60 and €100. But that can change depending on the contracted kW of your home, its size, and how much time you spend there. Small or medium-sized homes should have a 3.45kW contract. Larger homes need 5.75kW, while those with heavy electrical consumption require 10.35kW. To reduce electricity bills in Spain, it’s worth considering electricity-saving measures such as using energy-efficient appliances and installing solar panels.

Water Supply

Water in Spain is provided by local authorities and municipal authorities, although in some areas, there are local public services responsible for water supply. Approximately one quarter of the country relies on privately owned suppliers, another half primarily utilizes public sources for their supply, and the remaining area relies on private and public entities to maintain adequate water service. The price for a monthly water bill can fluctuate depending on the amount of water you use and how many people live in your home. The cost of a monthly water bill is usually between €30 and €150 depending on your location, consumption, and the type of contract you have in place. You should expect to pay between 40-60 euros each month for your water expenses.

When relocating to Spain without utilities, make sure the water contract is transferred into your name. Head over to the local town hall or check online for details on how to register as its new owner. Notice that this process may differ depending on where you live. You need to bring your ID and your address with you to register.

Bottled Gas

Bottled gas costs vary greatly depending on your location and the bottle size you purchase. The gas is used to heat water and cook food, so the cost can be quite high. After moving into your new home, contact your local gas supplier and request that they turn on the gas. Selecting the perfect gas supplier for your home in Spain is just as easy as selecting an electricity provider. Each region has its own primary supplier; however, you still have a few options. Once this has been done, a meter reading will be taken and you’ll become an official customer. Fortunately, these can easily be organized with your provider at around €60-€70.

Community Fees

In addition to electricity bills, utility bills, and water bills, you need to consider community fees if you own property in Spain. As a homeowner of property in a “community”, you are responsible for contributing financially towards the upkeep and maintenance of communal facilities. The amount allocated for these fees depends on various elements. Community fees can vary greatly depending on the region and size of the property, but they usually range from €50-€250 per month.

Bills in Spain


On average, you will be spending anywhere from 30 to 55 euros each month for your landline phone and broadband internet connection of between 50Mb to 300Mb. Most telephone companies offer discounts for long-distance calls and data packages.

Grocery Bills

Grocery bills in Spain also vary greatly depending on where you shop and the type of food/drinks you purchase. The average grocery bill for a family of four is €150-€200 per month. Supermarkets such as Carrefour, Mercadona, or Lidl typically offer the best prices.


If purchasing a home is not an option, you may consider renting in Spain. Rent cost is cheaper inland than it is along the coast and more expensive in tourist areas. A 1-2 bedroom apartment outside of a city typically costs €500 per month while one inside a city can range from €675 – €750. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something bigger such as a villa complete with its own pool, expect to pay at least €1,000+ per month.

Running a Car in Spain

The public transportation system in Spain is outstanding. Still, many choose to purchase a car after they relocate since it’s the fastest and most comfortable way to get from one place to another—especially if you live in an isolated holiday spot. Car insurance rates can vary significantly depending on the size and model of your car, but expect to pay anywhere from €85-€150 each month for a medium-sized vehicle.

Insurance in Spain

Depending on your age and history, life insurance can be costly. Health insurance is necessary and you should budget at least 30 euros per month for it. Additionally, be ready to spend around 250 euros yearly on building and content coverage.

A word from SpainDesk

If you are preparing to move into your new Spanish residence, opening a local bank account beforehand is essential. Not only is this the most convenient way of collecting utility bills via direct debit, but it will also simplify many everyday tasks. Bills in Spain are paid through automatic transfers from your bank. Therefore, you’ll need to input these data when signing up. While it’s possible to use other payment methods, this will likely remain the easiest option.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

Spain offers some of the best Spanish Islands to live on, with their warm climates, picturesque nature, and cultural diversity. Spanish Islands are some of the best places to call home, from the Canary Islands off North Africa’s coast to the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Canary Islands are home to incredible beaches, resorts, volcanoes, and vibrant cities like Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife. The Balearic Islands boast a mix of country villages, cities brimming with nightlife, and stunning shorelines with crystal-clear water. Whether living near major cities or in smaller towns, Spanish islands offer a unique experience that can’t be found elsewhere. Let’s learn more about it!

What is the nicest of the Spanish islands?

Spain is a heavenly travel destination for those who seek sunshine, coastal breeze, and rich island culture. Among the many stunning Spanish locations, there are 10 islands that stand out for their natural beauty, cultural diversity, and welcoming locals. Below, we describe each of them.

best spanish islands to live on

1. Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is one of the best Spanish Islands to visit and settle. People know it as a “mini continent.” Gran Canaria has an important historical, cultural and artistic heritage, among which the Casa de Colón Museum stands out. The beaches can be bright and golden, black from volcanic ash, or even a mix of both. And when it comes to nightlife, Gran Canaria offers plenty of attractive experiences.

For those who crave a unique combination of culture, nightlife, and nature, Gran Canaria is just the place to visit. The island is one of the most important tourist destinations in Spain, with nearly five million tourists a year.

2. Fuerteventura

If you’re seeking a beach getaway, Fuerteventura is the ideal destination. As Spain’s second largest island and part of the Canary Islands, this scenic paradise showcases remarkable beaches formed by its legendary winds that have sculpted its picturesque scenery since antiquity.

Fuerteventura’s coasts offer many activities from sunbathing to beach volleyball that will delight any traveler. Those seeking an adrenaline rush can partake in water sports like surfing and windsurfing, canoeing or even diving. Whether you’re looking for leisurely days by the sea or thrilling adventures, this destination will provide it all.

3. Mallorca (Majorca)

The largest of the Balearic Islands, Mallorca can easily be recognized for its stunningly picturesque towns and rolling hills sprinkled with vineyards that produce some of Spain’s most sought-after wines. Mallorca’s views are breathtaking, from exquisite beaches and shallow bays boasting the most vivid of blues to quaint hilltop villages and towns tucked away in lush mountains.

No matter where you decide to stay, be it Palma or Alcúdia on the island’s northern side; white sand beaches will greet you just steps away from your accommodation. And if that wasn’t enough, fantastic nightlife options and plenty of eating and drinking establishments across all budget ranges await your exploration.

4. Tenerife

The largest island of the Canary Islands, Tenerife, will blow your mind. Along with its incredible beach scenes and constant sunshine can be found in intriguing ancient towns, bustling cities, vibrant nightlife spots, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The Teide National Park -a UNESCO World Heritage Site- is home to Spain’s highest peak, Mount Teide, and can be found at the island’s center.

Additionally, Tenerife’s climate can provide a paradise to those seeking relief from the winter chill with its warm temperatures year-round. Whether a holiday destination or a new home base, this Spanish Island will surely have something for everyone.

5. La Palma

As one of the lesser-known Spanish Islands, La Palma can offer a truly unique experience. Nicknamed the “Island of Eternal Spring,” its lush forests can provide a tranquil respite to those looking to escape it all. Whether you’re looking for a secluded beach or simply wish to explore – La Palma can offer plenty of diverse activities.

With its quaint towns, coffee plantations, and stunning parks – you can explore a vast range of nature, culture, and history. And with its mild climate and sunshine year-round, La Palma is sure to be a favorite destination for holidaymakers.

6. Ibiza

A list of Spanish Islands is not complete without mentioning Ibiza. This island is a top vacation spot full of luxury and entertainment. Whether you’re lounging on stunning sandy beaches that stretch out into captivating blue waters or journeying back in time and exploring 16th-century Phoenician ruins, there’s something for everyone! Make sure to book one of the best hotels located close to the beach for an unforgettable stay.

Beyond its stunning white-sand beaches, the turquoise waters of Ibiza are a haven for an endangered monk seal that finds refuge within the endemic seagrass beds. When night falls, revelers flock to beach raves and glamorous pool parties for nonstop fun until daybreak.

7. Formentera

Escape to the dreamy, unspoiled shores of Formentera – Ibiza’s sister Balearic island. Marvel at its picture-perfect white sand coastline lined with intimidating cliffs and spectacular blue lagoons. Dip your feet in Mediterranean waters as you bask on golden sands like Cala Saona, Es Pujols, or Migjorn for an unforgettable beach experience.

Ibiza’s partygoers have discovered that Formentera is the ideal island to retreat and relax when they need a break from their hectic nightlife. With regular ferry services, it only takes half an hour to get between islands — perfect for anyone looking for a quick escape. As the smallest of the Balearic Islands, Formentera can provide visitors with a unique experience – one that can be found between mainland Spain and Ibiza.

8. Menorca

As the second largest Balearic Island, Menorca can provide an ideal holiday destination for those looking to relax. With its vast array of beautiful beaches, clear waters, and ancient architecture in its towns, this island can offer plenty of idyllic scenery. The coastal town of Ciutadella is a must-see with its picturesque views and can provide an excellent spot for a larger shopping trip. Additionally, Menorca can provide ideal conditions for young families looking to retire abroad – as there are plenty of international schools and a large expat community.

9. Lanzarote

Visit Lanzarote, a UNESCO biosphere, to explore its otherworldly beauty–like the Timanfaya National Park. Its vast volcanic wasteland displays fiery-red sand dunes and frozen lava fields that resemble something straight out of Mars. Not only is this an extraordinary landscape to wander through but it has also provided the island with some of its iconic black sand beaches for you to bask in.

From the stunning Playa Blanca to the sheltered Papagayo, your eyes will be filled with beauty while you explore this region. Restaurants and accommodations are abundant in these areas for a convenient stay. Famara Beach is an absolute must-see. It offers waves of different heights for surfers of all levels. The beach can be found on the island’s north-west coast, with other popular destinations like Costa Teguise and Puerto Calero close by.

10. La Gomera

The lesser-known island of La Gomera, situated between La Palma and Tenerife in the Canary Islands, is an adventurer’s paradise. Preserved in time through its stunning natural beauty and vibrant culture, it boasts breathtaking beaches and plenty of trekking opportunities. It is a hidden gem that will truly take your breath away.

La Gomera’s Garajonay National Park boasts a captivating landscape of lush laurel rainforests showcasing diverse biodiversity and magnificent rocky monuments. Moreover, the locals are renowned for their extraordinary ability to communicate across deep ravines through centuries-old whistled speech, known as the Silbo Gomero. So, if you’re looking for the best Spanish island to live on with natural beauty, plenty of outdoor activities, and can experience something unique – La Gomera can offer all this and more.

Which Spanish island is the cheapest?

When it comes to budget-friendly travel, the major islands of the Canaries are a great option. Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura are the best Spanish islands to live in. They provide plenty of package holiday deals with an extensive range of accommodation choices compared to their smaller counterparts. Maximize your savings while still having access to all that these beautiful destinations have to offer. 

What Spanish island is close to Africa?

The Canary Islands, also known as the Canaries, are situated off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 62 miles west of the southern border of Morocco. As a Spanish archipelago, the eight main islands are part of Spain’s capital city, Madrid. With its mild climate, canary island life can provide an ideal getaway all year round. Offering diverse landscapes such as black sand beaches and golden sands, along with plenty of activities such as water sports and national parks, this is a popular destination for holidaymakers and expats alike.

A word from SpainDesk

Having taken a closer look at 10 of the best Spanish Islands to live on, one can clearly see a wide variety of options available for any individual looking for a change of scenery. Rich with diverse cultures, beautiful landscapes, and abundant natural resources, it’s easy to understand why more people are making the move to the vibrant islands of Spain every day. So whether you’re looking for an adventure abroad or a relaxed tropical atmosphere to enjoy your retirement, Spain’s Canary and Balearic Islands will give you just what you want. From spectacular viewpoints to endless nightlife activities, there’s truly something special waiting around every corner.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

Living in Spain as an expat can be a great experience. For many people around the world, even the thought of moving to Spain appears like an enchanting dream. However, expats can face various difficulties when moving abroad there for good. So, which is the truth behind expat life in Spain?

To help you weigh out your options for living in this lovely country more carefully we’ll discuss both pros and cons associated with becoming an expat in Spain.

Before making any vital decisions about where life could take you next – make sure to read through this list carefully so that ultimately you land on what’s best for you. 

What’s it like living in Spain as an expat?

It’s understandable why so many people fall in love with Spain. From its stunning beaches and balmy weather to the sunny skies that appear around 300 days out of the year, it has something for everyone.

Even if the beach isn’t your favorite lifestyle, there’s still plenty of beauty to discover in Spain. Barcelona, Madrid, and Seville are all teeming with culture and flair! Arts aficionados can admire buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi while appreciating museums dedicated to Salvador Dalí or Pablo Picasso. Plus, indulge in delectable tapas, and savor exquisite wine offerings – not to mention an indulgent nightlife scene – making it obvious why so many people love vacationing here.

But vacationing and visiting is not the same as living there. Starting a life and career in Spain isn’t the same as an extended holiday. It isn’t easy to be away from family and old friends and to navigate the challenges of moving to and settling in a new country.

The truth behind expat life in Spain

What are the advantages of expat life in Spain?

Spain is known for its heavenly weather, stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and diverse atmosphere — all of which have made it one of the hottest tourist destinations in Europe.

Beyond being a vacation hotspot, Spain has become an increasingly appealing destination for most expats looking to take up residence abroad. From sandy beaches to lively cities, there are countless attractions that make this Iberian country an ideal home away from home.

It has the best leisure options worldwide

From the beaches of Costa del Sol to the bustling major cities, Spain offers plenty of leisure options for all. It is home to some of the best beaches in Europe and its capital Madrid is one of the most vibrant cities in Western Europe with its many attractions.

In addition, expats living here can also enjoy the mountainous regions, Balearic Islands, and the countryside.

Cost of Living

The Spanish economy has grown substantially over the past few years, making Spain one of the cheaper countries to live in in Western Europe.

The cost of living in Spain is generally quite low, especially when compared to other European countries. For instance, rent in London is a whopping 120% higher than in Barcelona. And with little luxuries like an imported beer costing 73% less in Barcelona compared to London. Those numbers clearly show why many expats choose Spain over other European countries. Plus, rent costs are 45.28% lower than they do in the U.S., making this country one of Europe’s hidden gems when it comes to inexpensive living costs.


The weather across most of Spain will be warm all year round. For several people, Spain can be an ideal destination for an escape from the cold winters in the United Kingdom.

The Canarian island is arguably the best vacation or living destination because it’s far more south than the Spanish mainland. If you are lucky you can experience temperatures as low as 21 degrees Celsius during the coldest months. Temperatures will still fall in the winter month, and northern Spain will see colder temperatures than southern Spain.


Spain boasts more than 3,000 miles of coastline – filled with an abundance of sun-soaked beaches that offer stunning views. Most can be found near major cities and may become crowded during the summer when locals and tourists alike flock to them for some fun in the sun.

Food and Cultural Opportunities

Spanish cuisine is as diverse and exciting as its culture. With influences from all over the world, you can expect to find a variety of flavors – from traditional paella to more modern dishes like smoked salmon with mango salsa. Tapas are the typical meal restaurants tend to offer. These small dishes are perfect for sharing among friends and make an excellent accompaniment to an afternoon meeting after work.

Easy-to-Buy Property

It’s rather simple for expats to buy real estate in Spain! In fact, most Spaniards own their own homes, making possessing property in Spain an achievable goal compared to many other European countries. The government has even encouraged foreign investment by offering a special Visa for those who acquire a property worth more than £500,000. With these incentives and accessibility available, now is the perfect time to make owning Spanish real estate part of your reality.

Good Healthcare system

Spain is thought to have one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Spanish citizens and expats who are working in Spain or over retirement age can use the Spanish National Health System, which covers most basic and preventative care free of charge. However, many expats still choose to get private Spain health insurance to ensure short wait times for treatments.

Laidback Lifestyle

Spain is renowned for its relaxed lifestyle. Expat life in Spain is easy and chilled out. Taking a break after lunchtime is often accepted in some regions, and restaurants usually serve more simple meals for lunch instead of their heaviest dishes. This differs significantly from several other countries’ practices.

People take pleasure in spending quality time with their friends and family. In fact, eating together can last two or three hours. Furthermore, there are always plenty of places to visit at night throughout the country.

The truth behind expat life in spain

What are the disadvantages of living in Spain?

High Unemployment Rates

Despite the attractive cost of living, Spain’s wages and economic growth remain lagging. Not only that, but its unemployment rate is incredibly high. This makes many expats have a hard time trying to find a secure job.

Spain has one of the highest unemployment rates in Europe, which means the job market is very competitive. That said, this land does present an excellent option for those who are either retired or self-employed rather than actively seeking employment.


Expats relocating to Spain must be prepared for long bureaucratic processes, which are likely a result of the country’s relaxed environment.

Dealing with Spanish bureaucracy can be frustrating and time-consuming. Many official procedures require a lot of paperwork, and the process can be slow and complicated. You’ll see many forms to complete and multiple offices you have to register with on your journey. Hence, expect queues that last forever and days -or sometimes weeks- until ordinary tasks can be wrapped up.

Social Exclusion

Whilst the Spanish people are generally friendly and welcoming, many expats may still feel excluded from social life activities as English is rarely spoken outside of larger cities. As a result, learning the local language is essential if you want to integrate fully into Spanish society. It’s worth noting that in some places, expats may still feel like an outsider despite speaking perfect Spanish – the locals tend to stick together, so don’t be surprised if you witness this.

Poor Roads/Facilities in Spain

Spain has poor infrastructure in many parts of the country. Outside the major Spanish cities, it can be difficult to find reliable public transport and roads tend to be winding and poorly maintained. The roads and highways are great since many EU funds were awarded to Spain, but local road conditions are terrible. There’s no drainage, which makes for unsafe roads during the wet season. The Spanish government has taken steps to improve infrastructure, but it’s still a work in progress.

Crime in Spain

Spain, on the whole, is a safe country and there are few violent crimes reported. However, petty crime and pickpocketing can be more common in larger cities or tourist hotspots. It’s important to take extra care of your personal belongings at all times while out and about.

Annual August shutdown

In August, most people in Spain will go on holiday. This means that lots of businesses essentially shut down for the month, and people will have to wait a month to get things done. On the other hand, expats living in coastal towns or popular tourist areas will find that life gets much busier, with crowds of tourists, traffic, and other disruptions.

Considering that Spain is a popular tourist destination, some beautiful beaches can become full of people during the summer months. Expats who live in those tourist areas may find it difficult to find peace and quiet during the peak tourist season.

Potentially disruptive schedule

Whilst not as popular as it once was, many areas in Spain still implement the siesta into their working day. This means that people will work from around 9 am to 2 pm, have a break for a siesta for a few hours, and then finish the working day in the evening. Not only does the daily siesta result in longer working hours but it also means that lots of restaurants and shops shut for a few hours in the middle afternoon, which can be a hassle if you’re trying to find food or complete an errand.

Spaniards also typically hold a different meal schedule from what expats are used to. Locals will usually begin the day with a small breakfast and then have a more substantial meal mid-morning. Lunch is be the biggest meal of the day, with a light snack in the afternoon and a late supper. Expats may take some time adjusting to this routine if they’re used to eating three meals a day, with a large dinner in the early evening. However, this culture shock is completely normal.

Language barrier

Spanish is the official language of Spain, but there are many different local dialects or regional languages such as Catalan and Basque. Even if you’re fluent in Spanish, you could find that you face a language barrier with the varied regional dialects. Avoid culture shock by learning Spanish because English is not widely spoken in Spain. Expats that can’t speak Spanish may find that they need to have a translator with them for things like sorting bureaucratic processes and for healthcare.

A word from SpainDesk

Spain is a very popular destination for expats from all over the world. This country has a lot to offer, from its beautiful scenery and rich culture to its affordable cost of living and friendly people. However, like any other place, it also has its share of challenges. Expats who are considering starting a new life in Spain should weigh the pros and cons carefully and decide if it is the right place for them.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

The cost of living in Spain is a popular topic among those looking to relocate to the country. For most people, the cost of living is a major factor when deciding on a place to live. Whether you’re relocating for a job, retiring, or starting a new adventure in the sun, finding out how much things cost can be helpful in preparing financially.

In this blog post we explore exactly how much money you need to afford a comfortable lifestyle in Spain – so read on for an inside look into one of Europe’s most beautiful countries.

How much do people need to live comfortably in Spain?

According to some research, a single person can live in Spain for about 665.5€ (rental prices not included). As for a family of four, the average prices per month without rent are around 2,326.8€.

Cost of Living in Spain With Numbers To Help You Budget Better
Spanish currency banknotes and coins

Housing rent and utilities in Spain

Rent prices in Spain vary widely depending on the city and location. For example, in major cities like Barcelona, living costs and average rental prices can be quite high. This is due to its popularity as a tourist destination. However, it is considerably cheaper to rent in other cities. The average monthly rent in Barcelona is around €1000 per month for an apartment in the city center.

In Madrid, a beloved city for expats, renting an apartment in the center can cost around €900 per month. Conversely, if you choose to live outside of downtown Madrid, the average price for one-room accommodation drops to an affordable €700 each month.

If you’re on a budget, Seville is your perfect destination. You can rent an apartment in the city center for as little as €600 or outside of town for even more savings at only €450. It’s an ideal city for those looking to live abroad on a tighter budget.

Buying property in Spain

Spain is an excellent option for those wanting to purchase the property. Property prices vary from city to city, as well as region to region.

Generally, the average price of a house in Spain is much lower than in other Western Europe countries. The average house price in Spain is €3.183 (per square meter) in 2023.

Cost of products in Spain

Food costs in Spain are quite reasonable, making living comfortable and easy on the wallet. Although it can be difficult to calculate individual grocery costs, $100 per couple per week is usually enough. Furthermore, if you’re used to eating out often, you’ll likely spend less than that on your grocery bills.

The country’s strong agricultural industry produces many local products. Also, its hot weather makes it possible for food items to be available at an affordable cost. Various fruits and vegetables are grown here within its extended growing season, making them accessible even when they’re considered gourmet produce in North America.

Locally sourced meats such as lamb are a bargain at only $10 per pound. Instead, fish and shellfish from coastal regions cost anywhere between $2 -$7 depending on the variety.

The Mediterranean diet is made easy with an abundance of affordable products such as olive oil starting at just $4 a liter or local wine for an unbeatable price of $3.75 per bottle. Spain’s answer to Italy’s cured ham, Jamón serrano, can also be bought easily in the region so you can eat both healthily and well without breaking the bank.

Restaurants in Spain

If you’re looking for a great deal at a low-cost restaurant, save money with the menú del día (menu of the day or special lunch menu). Most places offer this meal between €10 and €15 per person. You’ll enjoy a salad, soup, paella, or vegetable dish as an appetizer, followed by meat/fish entrees (and even vegetarian options), bread, and sometimes dessert & coffee. Washed down with beer or wine- all included in one price.

Enjoy a romantic evening out without breaking the bank. A dinner for two at an average restaurant is only €40, and drinks are budget-friendly too – beer: 2.5€ or less; wine: 5€; cappuccino: 1.65€.

Public transport in Spain

With its longstanding and dependable public transportation system, exploring Spain has never been more convenient or economical. Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Valencia each have an efficient metro network to get you around the major towns and cities with ease; numerous buses offer intercity routes as well as regional services. High-speed trains are also available for those who want to cover greater distances in a shorter amount of time – all while staying within your budget.

A bus ticket for a one-way ride will cost you about €1.5, and if your stay is longer than that, then the monthly pass costs between €35 to 45, depending on the city. Book your tickets at least two weeks before departure to save some money while traveling from Madrid to Barcelona by train.

Car in Spain

In Spain, owning a car is hardly essential. Spanish cities are designed for pedestrians and most areas can be reached easily on foot or public transport. Furthermore, in big cities like Madrid and Barcelona parking spaces are always scarce to come by.

Additionally, fuel costs an average of €1.3 per liter while routine maintenance will set you back around €150 each month. This is rather expensive if you don’t plan on traveling a lot.

Suppose you are planning on traveling by car. In that case, the cost of buying and insuring one in Spain will vary depending on your age and driving record. Expect to pay around €2,000 for an entry-level model with basic insurance coverage.

Health care

As a citizen or permanent resident of Spain, you are entitled to free healthcare that is funded by your employer through social security contributions. However, in certain circumstances and depending on the region where you live, some treatments may incur an additional fee.

Aspiring expats tend to opt for private health insurance plans as they offer greater coverage and protection. Generally, these types of policies will range from €30-€50 each month for those in their 20s or 30s. However the price increases with age or pre-existing medical conditions. To ensure a secure and tranquil journey in Spain, we highly recommend that you get travel insurance. It is the best way to guarantee your safety when traveling abroad.

Entertainment costs, sports, and leisure in Spain

Investing in a fitness club subscription in Spain costs just €40 per month. If you want to get active, you can also book an hour’s tennis at only €11.

If the movies or theater are more your style, two tickets will set you back at least €16 and €52 respectively. Spain offers plenty of cost-effective activities for backpackers or those traveling on a shoestring budget. Bar hopping is always an option with the average cost of beer per pint at €2.50 and that of cocktails at €5.

Frequent questions about the cost of living in Spain

Cost of Living in Spain With Numbers To Help You Budget Better

How much does it cost to live in Spain?

If you’re alone, you can live on €1000 per month in Spain. This includes room rent, groceries, health insurance, rare use of public transport, eating out a few times a month, and shopping moderately. If you want to eat out regularly, shop frequently, and travel in or around the country, then a budget of €1700 is enough to live comfortably. Families with children should budget €2,200 to €2,881 per month. This includes the cost of groceries, rent and utilities, public transport, shopping, education/preschool, and insurance.

This is greatly attributed to its lower per capita income than many other Western European countries. According to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Spain exhibits superior performance in various well-being aspects in comparison to other nations featured in the Better Life Index.

The country notably surpasses the average in crucial areas such as fostering a favorable work-life balance, ensuring the population’s health, cultivating strong social bonds, and maintaining safety. However, it lags behind the mean in generating job opportunities, providing quality education, as well as in promoting life satisfaction among its citizens.

Cost of living in Spain vs the USA

If we compare it with the United States, it’s clear why so many Americans opt to work remotely from Spain. The average salary in Spain is twice as low as those in the US.

US citizens who move to Spain for work, study or retirement will relish the considerably lower living expenses. You only need around 750$-1000$ a month to cover all costs compared to similar accommodations in the United States. If you’re daring enough to make the move from an expensive city, such as New York or San Francisco, to a Spanish city like Barcelona—you’ll notice how cheap everything still is.

Cost of living in Spain vs the UK

Spain has been and continues to be a relatively popular destination for the British. More and more Brits are planning to move to Spain after Brexit to enjoy the warmer temperatures, beautiful beaches, and cheap cost of living.

On average, the cost of living in Spain is 114% cheaper than in the UK, and the biggest cost differences are in rent, utilities, and daycare. Although some prices are pretty similar, such as water bills, the Spanish landmass could offer more economical options. For instance, telecommunication companies in Spain give packages including phone and television for your entire family, which can significantly reduce expenses.

Cost of living in Spain vs Canada

Canada and Spain have a few similarities, such as beautiful nature, friendly people, and great healthcare. But perhaps what gives Spain an edge is its cheaper cost of living, access to healthier food, and warmer climate for those looking to get away from Canada’s winters.

On average, the cost of living in Spain is 59% cheaper than in Canada. Although gym memberships and utility bills can be slightly more expensive in Spain, you’ll find the biggest differences in the rent costs, groceries, alcoholic drinks, and daycare.

A word from SpainDesk

Living in Spain is a fantastic experience. Spain is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Spanish culture is full of art and outdoor attractions. But, like in all other countries, all the major cities have their own unique cost of living.

With this valuable insight into how much you can expect to spend each month on rent, groceries, utilities, and other expenses in Spain, you can budget better during your stay.

Moving to a new country can be tricky financially but having an idea of what to expect can help make the transition smoother. So if you’re planning on heading to Spain soon – use this guide as your starting point for creating a budget.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

To say, it is easy to live in Spain as a foreigner, depends on the individual situation. Spain is renowned for its 8000 km of stunning beaches and draws in tourists from all corners of the world and those aspiring to start a new life here. The legal process for acquiring your residence permit can be daunting – but have no fear. This blog post provides detailed advice on how to immigrate to Spain easily. From accessing healthcare and navigating cultural differences to finding housing and discovering job opportunities – learn about how simple or difficult (or both!) living in Spain can be for foreigners.

Is it easy to go live in Spain?

As said previously, the “difficulty” level of living in Spain will depend on your circumstances and where you come from. Although it is easy to move to Spain for EU nationals, or people with permanent residency in an EU member country, those outside the European Union need not be discouraged. There are still many options and opportunities for non-EU citizens wanting to live in Spain.

Choosing where to live in Spain

Spain is home to 17 autonomous regions and a variety of beautiful coastlines. It’s important to consider where you would like to live when you move to Spain, as this could impact the type of residence permit required and the documentation needed for your visa application.

Understand your rights and responsibilities

Once you have received the appropriate visa, it is crucial to understand your rights and responsibilities as an expat living in Spain. This includes understanding the country’s taxation system, registering with the relevant tax authority, and familiarising yourself with social security contributions.

Buying and Renting property in Spain

Buying Spanish property can be an attractive option for those who wish to stay long-term. When purchasing property, it is important to understand the local laws, taxes, and fees that may apply. It is generally recommended to seek professional advice from a Spanish consulate before entering into any legal proceedings.

For those who wish to stay in Spain for a shorter period of time, renting is generally the best option. When selecting your preferred property, it is essential to ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of your rental agreement.

Cost of living in Spain

Spain offers a lower cost of living compared to the UK and other Western European countries, although wages may be slightly lower too. According to Numbeo – an online resource for the cost of living comparison- dining out for two people at the beginning of 2023 in Spain was only £44 (in contrast to £55 in the UK), while monthly utilities were just a fraction at £112 compared to the hefty price tag of £187 within Britain.

Cultural differences

It is important to note that Spanish culture may differ greatly from your native country. It may be beneficial to familiarise yourself with the norms of Spanish society to ensure a smooth transition. Additionally, learning the language can benefit communication and integration within your new home country.

Visas and residency for British nationals post-Brexit

A valid passport and healthcare insurance are necessary to enter Spain. Additionally, a visa may also be required depending on the length of your stay in Spain. For those wishing to stay longer than six months, you should apply for a long-term visa or residency permit.

Applicants must have been verified by the state’s official registration system and have sufficient financial means to support themselves. Other documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, may also be necessary, depending on your family situation.

The main visas/residence permits are as follows:

  • “Visado de trabajo y residencia”, a combined residence and work visa that allows you to work and live in Spain
  • “Visado de estudios”, a student visa that is valid for the duration of a permitted educational course
  • “Visado de residencia”, a visa for family retirement

Driving in Spain

If you wish to drive in Spain, you must obtain a Spanish license or an international driving permit. This is quite straightforward, however, the process may vary depending on your nationality and place of residence. If you are a foreigner from the UK, you have 12 months from your arrival in Spain to apply for a license. Similarly, if you are from another EU country, you have six months to obtain a Spanish license. Notice that if you live in Spain or the UK for at least six months without changing your British license to Spanish, you won’t be able to travel on a UK license.

Education in Spain

Education is compulsory up to the age of 16 in Spain, and international students can attend local public schools. Additionally, many private international schools offer a good standard of education. These may be more expensive than public schools; however, they usually provide more specialization and language options for those wishing to study Spanish as a second language.

Healthcare and insurance

The Spanish healthcare system is one of the most advanced in Europe and offers citizens free access to a range of services. If you are not a citizen, you must have private health insurance to use the public system. Additionally, it is advisable to purchase additional private insurance for emergencies or specialist care.

Opening a Spanish Bank Account

If you are not a Spanish citizen, open a bank account in Spain when moving to the country. This will make transferring money, paying bills, and purchasing goods and services easier. EU bank accounts can be opened without a Spanish residence permit, however, non-EU nationals may need one to open a bank account.

Most Spanish banks also offer the option to open an international bank account, which allows customers to access funds from their home country. This can benefit those who frequently travel or have family and friends in different countries. When selecting your preferred bank, research and compare different bank accounts to find the best one for you.

Taxes & Pensions

Taxes in Spain work differently than they do in the UK and other Western European countries. Residents in Spain must pay taxes on their income, whether from employment or investments, and non-residents must also pay taxes on any Spanish-sourced income. UK nationals and British expats who move to Spain must pay taxes like Spanish citizens. We recommend seeking professional advice when it comes to your taxes to ensure you are compliant with the Spanish authorities.

Please note that Pensions are also taxed differently in Spain than in the UK. As a resident of Spain, you are generally liable for tax on your pension income from any source, either within Spain or abroad. Non-residents are generally not liable for Spanish tax on pension income from outside Spain.

Frequent questions about moving to Spain

Many people usually wonder: Is it difficult to live in Spain?

Can I move to Spain with no job?

Relocating to Spain without a job offer can complicate certain aspects of your move, such as getting a bank account and residence permit. As noted earlier, receiving a work permit (which requires an employer to make an offer) is one of the best ways to obtain residency status.

Is it easy to get a job in Spain?

Jobs in Spain for foreigners are hard to come by, unlike Spanish citizens. A foreigner in Spain is only hired if the occupation is listed on the shortage occupation list. The list is published quarterly by the Public Employment Service and lists the high-demand jobs.

Spanish employers prefer to hire locals over foreigners for a variety of reasons, including language barriers and complex residency paperwork. It is important to be aware of the job market before moving to Spain. Learning about the types of jobs available will also be useful. You should also consider the availability of other options, such as working remotely or becoming a freelancer.

Do I Need a Visa to Move to Spain?

If you are a foreigner who wished to move to Spain you will need a visa. Depending on the length of your stay and your citizenship, different types of visas are available.

Any British citizen who wants to move to Spain must apply for a visado nacional (long-term visa) to stay for over 90 days. This includes British citizens with second homes in Spain, but no Spanish citizenship.

You will also need a Spanish visa if you wish to work or study, as well as for business purposes and family reunification.

A foreigner can move to Spain legally through the following routes:

  • Spain post-Brexit: UK citizens can generally remain in Spain for up to three months without a visa. If you wish to stay longer than this, you must apply for an appropriate visa.
  • As a student: International students can stay in Spain for up to six months on a student visa.
  • As a self-employed person: Self-employed individuals can move to Spain to set up a business. You will generally need a residence permit, proof of sufficient financial means, professional advice, a business plan, and all the relevant documents. You have at least £2,000 a month coming into your bank account.
  • As a family member: A Family member who is a Spanish resident or EU citizens can generally enter Spain without a visa. However, they must apply for a residence permit and register at their local town hall within 30 days of arrival. If you wish to move to Spain as a worker and your family will join you, you must meet additional financial requirements. You will need to show that you have an extra £500 per month for each family member.
  • As a UK citizen: British citizens who wish to move to Spain have generally been able to do so up until the end of the transition period.

A word from SpainDesk

Living in Spain as a foreigner is easy as long as you have the necessary paperwork and documents. The country is filled with culture and diversity and offers a variety of experiences for its inhabitants. Adjusting from home life to Spanish life might take some time; however, it is possible with the proper resources and research. The Spanish people are welcoming and friendly towards foreign citizens, making adapting to their customs and lifestyles a bit easier.

When it comes to places to consider when relocating to Spain, there’s a lot to choose from. From its stunning coastline along the Mediterranean Sea to its vibrant culture and lively cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia – there are countless reasons why so many people choose this unique country as their home away from home.

For many of us, the idea of moving to a whole different country can be incredibly daunting. But if you’ve ever dreamed about packing up your bags and jetting off for a change of scenery, then relocating to Spain is an experience that you won’t soon forget. Whether it’s for work or pleasure, here are 9 places in Spain that will provide you with both beauty and comfort during your relocation journey.

Which are the best places to live in Spain for expats?

After you know how much to ask when living in Spain, then it’s time to choose a place to stay. The decisions may depend on the climate, cost of living, bank-friendliness and more. There are so many places in Spain that offer a good quality of life for expats. It all depends on your preferences, budget and lifestyle. Some popular destinations include Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and the Canary Islands. Below are the 9 places to consider when relocating to Spain:

9 places to consider when relocating to Spain

1. Madrid

Best job opportunities

When it comes to the perfect home-away-from-home, Madrid stands out among all other cities in Spain. it’s a bustling hub of culture and enterprise, and its world-renowned nightlife draws hundreds of thousands of expats each year. With stunning scenery, a plethora of activities to enjoy, and an ever-growing community; there’s no surprise that almost one million people now call Madrid their second home.

As the capital of Spain, Madrid is a great choice for those who want to experience all that this country has to offer. It’s one of the places to consider when relocating to Spain because its lively atmosphere, museums, and incredible architecture are enough to attract anyone.

2. San Sebastián

Best for Food and drink

San Sebastián, situated on Spain’s north coast is the nation’s food capital. Home to some of the world’s best restaurants and bars, San Sebastián is a top destination for expats who want to explore Spain’s finest culinary offerings. Explore the 11 Michelin-star restaurants offering unique culinary experiences that range from coastal prawns served with crispy tempura to succulent slow-cooked beef simmered red wine. And of course, no meal is complete without a glass of local txakolí white wine.

3. Marbella

Best for Families

Are you considering relocating to Spain with a young family? Look no further than the Mediterranean coast of Marbella, where your family can settle into a new life abroad with ease and comfort. Tourists flock to Marbella, specifically Brits who frequent the Golden Mile bars and delightful entertainment venues. But let’s not forget that this Spanish city has a family-friendly side too.

Marbella’s remarkable renaissance-style architecture, cozy cobblestone streets, and beautiful beaches attract visitors from all corners of the globe. A quarter of Marbella’s residents are expats—allowing newcomers to quickly settle in and find companionship with those who understand the transition process best.

Worried about the Spanish education system? Don’t be. Marbella is home to some of the finest international schools in Spain, such as the Deutsche Schule Málaga and Swans International School—giving your children a high-quality education in a multicultural environment. It is one of the places to consider when relocating to Spain as it allows children to thrive and excel academically while receiving an outstanding education.

4. Toledo

Best for Affordable property

Spain stands as one of the most cost-effective countries to live in Europe. However, when seeking a place with ultra-low costs on property investments – Toledo tops them all. Toledo is an ancient city filled with lush gardens and historic landmarks. It is renowned for its breathtaking views of the Tajo River from its old town walls and a plethora of influential artworks from the Middle Ages.

The city is home to British families and native English-speaking expats who opt to move to Spain each year. Renting a property in Toledo won’t set you back too much and purchasing property prices are even more affordable in comparison to other European countries. Furthermore, the low cost of living, combined with a great work-life balance, further entices many people to make the move.

5. Barcelona

Best for Culture

Barcelona can’t miss on the list of 9 places to consider when relocating to Spain. It is one of the most popular cities in Europe, with people drawn to this vibrant location for its culture and attractions. Barcelona offers something for everyone; whether it be beach lovers, art enthusiasts, or foodies – this city has it all. This vibrant city in Catalonia boasts a unique culture and lifestyle that can’t be found anywhere else. The city’s bustling food scene alone could keep you occupied for months, offering endless varieties

The Catalan capital is the ideal destination for those who want a new life abroad without straying too far from their home country. With a sizeable British population, Barcelona offers expats an accessible way to get used to the Spanish culture and language. English is widely spoken in the city, but those who wish to learn the native tongue can easily find one of the many language schools available.

6. The Canary Islands

Best for Climate

The Canary Islands, located off the coast of Morocco in the Atlantic Ocean, are one of Spain’s most popular tourist destinations. With warm temperatures all year round and a mild climate, the islands are known for their beautiful beaches and clear waters. The archipelago consists of several islands, all of which attract a large number of tourists and expats looking to move to Spain. From the bustling city life of Tenerife to the tranquil Lanzarote and its national parks, the Canaries provide a perfect balance of urban and natural attractions.

With its warm climate, gorgeous beaches, and modern infrastructure, the Canary Islands make an ideal destination to relocate to. From its enhanced bank account regulations to its low property prices and excellent public transport, the islands offer a secure foundation for settling in Spain.

7. Malaga

Best for favorable climate, and great food

Malaga is a vibrant coastal city located in the south of Spain. From its rich cultural heritage and well-preserved historic sites to its excellent nightlife and delicious cuisine, Malaga is a top choice for those looking to relocate to Spain. It is well known for its 12th-century Moorish fortress and its stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Malaga’s mild winters, beautiful beaches, and coastal regions further entice expats to make the move.

Malaga is much loved by expats especially the Brits looking to retire to a warmer climate. The city is home to delicious tapas, making it one of the best places in Spain to experience traditional cuisine.

8. San Sebastian

Best for surf and great restaurants

San Sebastian is a picturesque seaside city located in the Basque Country of northern Spain. This popular vacation spot is known for its stunning coastline, laid-back atmosphere, and delicious cuisine. The city’s long sandy beach is popular amongst surfers, while the charming cobblestone streets and elegant buildings make it a great destination for exploring. San Sebastian is also one of Spain’s most food-focused cities, known for its world-class restaurants.

San Sebastian is one of the popular 9 places to consider when relocating to Spain. With its mild climate, friendly locals, and excellent public transport, San Sebastian is a great choice for those looking to experience Spanish life.

9. Valencia

Best for affordable living and great food

Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain, located on the east coast of the Iberian peninsula. It’s a popular destination for expats, who come to experience its culture and cuisine, as well as its famously mild climate. Valencia is a popular area to live in for those that love great food. With its rich gastronomic heritage, Valencia is a top destination for those that love to eat.

Valencia’s beaches are one of the best attractions for expats looking to move there. With over 20 kilometers of stretchy sand, Valencia is home to some of the most stunning beachfronts in Spain. For families that want to move to Valencia, there are plenty of international schools to choose from. Its language schools are among the best in Spain, and it has a large international community.

relocating to Spain

A word from SpainDesk

Though there are many places to choose from, these locations should be at the top of your list of 9 places to consider when relocating to Spain. From bank account regulations and health insurance to language schools and Spanish culture, Spain offers a range of benefits for those looking to move abroad. Whether you’re seeking a new life in the Mediterranean or just need some sunshine, these cities have something for everyone. With its warm climate, stunning beaches and delicious cuisine, Spain is an ideal destination to relocate to. If you plan ahead, deciding where to move to in Spain can be an exciting experience.


Spectacular road trips around Spain provide the perfect opportunity to explore this diverse country. From its lush green north and majestic mountainous interior to its captivating coasts, Spain has always something wonderful to offer. Enjoy Spain’s scenic drives in Barcelona’s vibrant attractions, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and the historic cities of the inland regions, or bask under Andalucia’s sun-filled days. 

The truth is that there is no better place than Spain if you’re looking for an incredible road trip journey. Our best Spain road trip itinerary provides a mix of culture, nature, and stunning views as you explore this beautiful country. Let’s begin!

Is Spain good for road trips?

Absolutely! Road trips around Spain are an amazing way to explore this country. From the rugged northern coast, lined with small fishing villages, to the vibrant cities and its magnificent beaches, Spain has something magical to offer every traveler. Thanks to its mild climate, Spain also offers great conditions for road-tripping year-round. Whether you’re looking for a road trip Spain itinerary or want to head out for a day trip, Spain is sure to offer an unforgettable experience.

If you have an international driving permit, it’s easy to explore Spain by car. There are many rental car options available at most of the major airports and towns. You can drive around the country on your own and discover its many wonders. Plan out the best Spain road trip routes to hit all the highlights!

How long does it take to drive around Spain?

Depending on your route and your time, the best road trips around Spain could take from two days to several weeks. However, planning your road trip carefully will ensure you make the most out of your journey and see some of the country’s incredible sights while avoiding unnecessary delays.

How do I plan a road trip to Spain?

Planning the best road trips around Spain is easy. To start, decide on your starting point and the route you want to take. Consider the cities and attractions you’d like to visit, the type of accommodation you’d prefer, and plan your budget. Consider the weather in each destination before booking a car and accommodation. Before embarking on road trips in Spain, make sure to research the language spoken in each region and get an international driver’s license if necessary, as well as a map of your route.

Road trip around Spain

What are the best road trips around Spain?

1. Castille-Leon

Embark on an unforgettable seven to ten-day road trip across the majestic landscapes of northern Spain. Explore frontier castles, traverse winding roads that extend far into the horizon, and climb rugged mountains while admiring high plateaus. For the best Spanish road trip, Castille-Leon offers a unique mix of Roman, Muslim, and Christian history.

You can drive from Castille- Leon to Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important destination for pilgrims.

  • Where to stay in Castille-Leon

In Castille-Leon, there are plenty of accommodation options for any budget. For a unique experience, stay in one of the many rural guesthouses and enjoy the hospitality of Spanish families. If you’re looking for something more luxurious, there are plenty of high-end hotels in Zamora, which is 2 hours away from Castille-Leon.

2. Costa del Sol

Discover spectacular road trips around Spain at Costa del Sol. Make your way from Marbella to Mijas and beyond, passing through quaint villages and discovering some of Spain’s most beautiful beaches. Explore Malaga, or head inland for breathtaking scenery in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Enjoy the sparkling Spanish beaches in southern Spain’s most popular coastal destinations. This road trip will take you from Reinoso to Torremolinos, stopping at just about every beach town and city along the way.

  • Where to stay in Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol offers various accommodation options from budget hostels and apartments to luxury resorts. For a unique experience, stay in one of the many small villages and explore Spanish culture firsthand or splurge on a five-star escape.

3. Mallorca Road Trip

Discover Spain’s hidden gem on an unforgettable road trip around the stunning island of Mallorca. Explore the capital city, Palma, take a day trip to the tiny village of Soller and admire the spectacular beaches on the north coast. Explore Mallorca’s rugged mountains and picturesque towns, or take a cable car ride up the iconic hill of Puig Major.

  • Where to stay in Mallorca

Mallorca offers a range of accommodation options from beachfront hotels to luxurious Spanish villas. Stay in one of the many hostels or rent an apartment for a more budget-friendly option.

4. Barcelona

Barcelona is the optimal starting point for an incredible journey through Spain. In your journey, you’ll learn about the gorgeous Gothic Quarter, and admire striking architecture like that of the Cathedral de Barcelona. La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s masterpiece, is a must-see! This unique building and its spiky towers will make you fall in love with Spanish architecture. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Spain’s most iconic landmarks.

Remember to check out the bustling markets and beaches as well. The Boqueria Market is a unique spot full of delicious samples of regional specialties. Enjoy some Spanish olives, cured meats, and smoked cheeses, or admire the colorful displays of seafood and fresh fruits. On the other hand, La Barceloneta is a seaside neighborhood where you can relax on any of its pristine beaches, taste new seafood dishes and drink refreshing Long Island spritzers.

Unwind with a free night at the Museu Picasso. It’s an unforgettable experience. Take your memorable evening to the next level and watch a show at Palau de la Música Catalana. Devote a minimum of three days in Barcelona to get the most out of it and witness its highlights. With its impressive public transportation system, there is no need for a car here – it would only be an obstacle during the busy morning hours.

  • Where to stay in Barcelona 

When it comes to planning your journey in Barcelona, the right accommodation choice can save your entire trip. For spectacular road trips around Spain, ensure to invest time researching and understanding all of the city’s distinctive inner-city areas so that you can make a well-informed decision on where to stay during your visit.

The Gothic Quarter, for instance, offers an array of accommodation options ranging from bed & breakfasts to luxury resorts. The Born district is perfect for those seeking a more vibrant area with plenty of nightlife. El Raval and El Poble Sec are two lesser-known spots offering affordable apartments and great tapas bars. The Eixample district is worth a visit for the spectacular architecture of its buildings, and it also has great accommodation options. Finally, those seeking something more luxurious should look no further than the exclusive neighborhoods of Ciutat Vella, which offer top-class hotels and spas.

5. Basque Country and Northern Spain

Take an ultimate Spain road trip through the beautiful lands of the Basque Country and Northern Spain. Start in San Sebastian. This is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain and a world-famous culinary scene. Continue your journey through tiny villages and picturesque towns. Enjoy the northern Spain road trip route and explore its amazing towns, such as Avilés or Gijon.

  • Where to stay in Basque Country Northern Spain

Choosing the right accommodation option is key to having a fantastic road trip experience. There are plenty of boutique hotels that will be perfect to rest and explore the Basque Country and Northern Spain.

A word from SpainDesk

Spain is a renowned tourist destination for good reason. With jaw-dropping scenery, historic sites around every corner, and delicious food and wine to enjoy, it’s no wonder why people love it. Whether you choose to stay in luxurious accommodations or try the more traditional options, Spain has something for everyone. If you’re looking for an unforgettable road trip experience, be sure to add Spain to your list. Plan your itinerary carefully, choose the right rental car, and get ready to explore Spain on an unforgettable road trip!


Most of the best Spanish islands to live in are located in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. However, you can find more awesome islands in the Basque Country, Cantabria and Andalusia too. Most of them attract visitors from the rest of Europe and the world thanks to their spectacular sun-drenched beaches and immense natural beauty.

Experience the Mediterranean dream with a trip to any of the fascinating Spanish islands off the east coast of Iberia! Marvel at Gibraltar and marvel even more at its sister Balearic Islands across the Strait. You’ll be astonished by what each island in this idyllic location offers–from UNESCO World Heritage Sites in The Canaries, bobbing on Atlantic waters, to our carefully curated list below. Take advantage of your opportunity for an unforgettable getaway in the Atlantic Islands or the Balearic Islands, each of which offers up unspoiled scenery and private beaches for you to explore.

Top 9 Spanish Islands to live in

The best islands in Spain depend on what you are looking for in a getaway. Take a look at the list of the best islands in Spain!

Top 9 Spanish Islands to live in

1. Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is the 3rd largest Canary Island. It is often referred to as a mini continent due to its vast range of natural sights. You can ascend Pico de las Nieves in the center of Gran Canaria and travel through luscious laurel forests before descending into a desert-like environment at Maspalomas Dunes an hour later. The beaches on this gorgeous island are incredibly diverse; you could bask in the sun or surf along Playa del Inglés’ golden shoreline, while others opt for dolphin watching off Puerto Rico Beach. It is one of the Spanish islands to visit for those who want to experience the vibrant nightlife and ample nature trails.

2. Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is one of the best islands in Spain for a beach holiday. It is the second largest island of the Canary Islands and boasts some of the world’s best beaches, thanks to its remarkable strong winds that have sculpted its stunning landscapes since immemorial. Besides sunbathing or playing beach volleyball on these coasts, one can also enjoy a variety of water sports, such as surfing, windsurfing, canoeing, and even diving, with great visibility nearly all year round! This makes Fuerteventura an ideal destination for both leisurely days at sea and thrill-seeking adventure enthusiasts.

3. Tenerife

Boasting its temperate climate, Tenerife is the largest among the seven main Canary Islands and known as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’. You can revel in year-round pleasant warmth here amid rugged volcanic landscapes.

Even during the winter months, you can bask in Tenerife’s blissful sunshine on its beaches and pristine coves, while trekking through the snow-dusted trails of Teide National Park.

4. Mallorca

Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic islands, is a well-known Mediterranean paradise. Photographers flock to its picturesque beaches and coves that sparkle in glimmering shades of blue beneath sunny skies. Meanwhile, hilly villages decorate the lush sides of mountains like emerald jewels set against a canvas of vibrant green.

Whether you stay in the vibrant resort city of Palma or the northern beach town of Alcúdia, Mallorca offers a variety of picturesque, sandy bays just outside your doorstep. Plus, great nightlife options are always nearby should you want to explore. No matter what budget range you fall under, delicious food and drinks are abundant for everyone’s enjoyment.

5. La Palma

The nicest of the Spanish islands is definitely La Palma, which lies off the western coast of Africa in the Canary Islands. This tiny island is known for its unspoiled scenery, with dense pine forests and wildflowers clinging to its steep mountainsides. The island also has some of the most beautiful white sand beaches and clear blue waters in Spain, making it a paradise for beach lovers. With its unspoiled natural beauty, the island’s capital; La Palma is the ideal spot for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of life and relax in a quiet corner of paradise.

6. Ibiza

Ibiza is renowned worldwide as a party island, but it is so much more than that. During daytime hours, marvel at its stunning sandy beaches and crystal clear waters while exploring ancient 16th-century Phoenician ruins. Choose from some of the best beach resorts in Ibiza to complete your ultimate dream vacation.

Ibiza’s stunning seafloor is home to an intricate ecosystem of rare endemic seagrass that houses the endangered monk seal. During the day, bask in its beauty; by night, dance beneath starry skies or explore Ibiza’s all-night clubbing scene for a truly unforgettable and thrilling experience.

7. Formentera

This Spanish island is known for its gorgeous white sand beaches lined by picturesque blue lagoons and encircled by tall cliffs. Its spectacular shorelines like Cala Saona, Es Pujols, and Migjorn provide a peaceful respite in the still waters of the sparkling Mediterranean Sea.

It’s understandable why Ibiza-goers head to Formentera whenever they need a reprieve from all the partying. In just 30 minutes, ferry services can transport you back and forth between both islands. So get started and your escape today!

8. Menorca

Menorca is one of the best islands in Spain and the least urbanized of the Balearic Islands. It is known for its pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and untouched beauty. The island is home to some of the best beaches in Europe, from idyllic coves surrounded by stunning rock outcroppings to sun-kissed sandy shores. Delve into Menorca’s rich legacy with charming 13th-century villages and megalithic structures that have stood for centuries, some of which trace back to the very earliest Bronze Age.

The Balearic island is also rife with history and there are plenty of options for watersports enthusiasts.

9. Lanzarote

Home to Timanfaya National Park, Lanzarote is a UNESCO biosphere that captivates its visitors with otherworldly landscapes. Majestic fire-red sand dunes and frozen lava fields make the park a breathtakingly surreal experience – especially when contrasted against the island’s black sand beaches. Visiting this volcanic wasteland can be an awe-inspiring journey of discovery.

You can relax in the picturesque landscape of Playa Blanca, explore the hidden coves at Papagayo, or enjoy a thrilling surf session on Famara Beach’s 5 kilometers of coastline. There is something for everyone here. Furthermore, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and accommodations nearby each destination.

A word from SpainDesk

There are many wonderful Spanish islands to live in, each with its own charms. We hope this list has helped you narrow down your choices and decide which beautiful island is right for you. Whether you’re looking for a tranquil island escape, a thrilling nightlife scene, or a breathtaking view of unspoiled nature, Spain’s beautiful islands have something to offer everyone. Do you have any other favorite Spanish islands that didn’t make our list? In the comments below, let us know your list of the most popular Spanish islands.


Spain is one of Europe’s most picturesque and romantic countries, with many destinations and attractions ideal for couples in love. From Barcelona’s bustling city life to the rolling hills of Andalusia, each region has something unique and special to offer you as a couple. We’ve dug deep into the country’s best getaways – from world-famous wine regions to charming small towns – to show you the 14 most romantic places in Spain. 

Lovely Spain: 14 romantic places to visit

Spain is a scenic setting for many romantic stories and the ideal destination to start your own. Whether it’s for honeymooners, couples looking for an idyllic escape, or those seeking adventure in national parks – this country has something special tailored just for you. Discover the most romantic towns, quaint villages, and picturesque islands as you embark on your journey of love with that special someone (or alone too!). Here are some of the top romantic places to visit in Spain:

1. Barcelona

For those seeking romantic destinations on your honeymoon trip, Barcelona is an ideal destination. This city has it all! It Offers breathtaking architecture and unparalleled views, coupled with the opportunity to explore nature’s beauty, savor exquisite food and soak up a vibrant historic atmosphere. A romantic getaway in Barcelona simply cannot be beaten.

When visiting Barcelona, make it extra special by taking your loved one on a Tapas and Wine Walking Tour. Opt for an intimate two-person or small group tour with a knowledgeable guide. An unforgettable experience awaits you and your partner!

Barcelona is one of the most romantic places in Spain


2. The Canary Islands

The party lovers’ paradise, the Canary Islands is a fantastic destination for romantic getaways. They have picture-perfect sun-drenched beaches, tranquil waters, and lush surroundings. Take yourself away to one of the most peaceful places on earth for some quality time with that special someone.

Whether relaxing on a beach, exploring the islands’ rugged terrain, or indulging in exquisite seafood the Canary Islands offer couples an unforgettable experience.

3. Albufera Natural Park

Spain offers many wonderful romantic places and Albufera Natural Park is definitely one of them. Located in the Valencia region, this park boasts a unique landscape with dense Mediterranean vegetation, marshlands, lush countryside and stunning views across the ocean. Albufera Nature Reserve is a mere 10 km from Spain’s largest city and is an amazing day trip from Valencia. The nature reserve comprises a vast lake, making Albufera among the most important wetlands on the planet with plenty of hiking paths and huge rice fields. There are infinite opportunities for a peaceful time and romantic moments with your loved one.

4. Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol is an idyllic destination for honeymooners or those seeking a romantic getaway. This region has all you need: sun-drenched beaches, palm trees, a balmy climate, and delicious food. From vibrant beach life to elegant museums to luxury hotels, the Costa del Sol offers couples an unforgettable experience. Its stunning scenery and welcoming atmosphere make it one of the most romantic locations in Spain.

5. San Sebastián

If you are looking for romance, then San Sebastián is the perfect destination famous for Pintxos. It also has idyllic beaches, lively nightlife, and plenty of parks to take romantic strolls. San Sebastián is one of the most beautiful cities in Spain, with its stunning architecture, narrow streets and hidden gems that make it a unique experience for every couple. This city offers everything you need for an unforgettable honeymoon or romantic getaway – from luxury hotels to romantic dinners, and endless activities to cozy cafes. And the best part? You’ll never run out of romantic things to do in San Sebastián. The city has two beaches, La Concha and La Zurriola, perfect for surfing and diving, making it Spain’s most beautiful honeymoon destination.

6. Granada

Granada is a picturesque city with plenty of history and culture in the heart of Spain’s southern region. It is home to some of the most beautiful churches and breathtaking architecture that will take you back in time. A romantic stroll through Granada’s old town will reveal its hidden gems and provide you with a truly magical experience that your partner won’t forget. The city also offers some of the best tapas bars and delicious local cuisine, making it one of the most romantic places in Spain.

7. Seville

One of southern Spain’s most romantic cities, Seville is known for its beautiful architecture, charming streets and romantic atmosphere. Take a stroll around the city center, explore the many attractions, or sit back and relax as you watch the sunset over the river. All of these activities will make your holiday extra special. Whether enjoying delicious tapas at one of the city’s traditional bars or taking a romantic dinner cruise along the river, Seville will surely provide you with an unforgettable experience.

8. Cala Vadella, Ibiza

The Ibiza party area has plenty of beaches for fun-loving couples, but the Cala Vadella is the perfect spot for a romantic holiday. This secluded beach is relatively quiet on the western shore and offers breathtaking coastline views, idyllic sunsets and plenty of activities for all ages. From swimming and sunbathing to watersports and beach sports. This is also very popular with family – and if you want something quieter, you will need a trip up or down the coasts. Choose between sandy or softer pebble beaches to set up your parasols to enjoy the atmosphere. Make sure you don’t forget your camera – this destination will provide you with an unforgettable honeymoon experience.

9. Cadiz 

Cadiz is one of Europe’s oldest cities and still holds an old-world charm. This fascinating city offers plenty of romantic activities – from exploring its ancient castles to taking a romantic stroll through the narrow cobbled streets or simply enjoying a sunset by the deep blue sea. Cádiz also offers delicious local cuisine and plenty of shopping opportunities, making it the perfect destination for couples exploring the beautiful Spanish culture. It is also home to many UNESCO World Heritage sites, such as La Giralda tower and El Castillo de San Sebastian, which make this romantic city even more special.

For its intriguing monuments, crazy carnivals and incredibly romantic beaches, Cadiz is a must-visit destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway.

10. Cabo de Gata Natural Park

Cabo de Gata Natural Park is an incredible natural landscape in the Andalusian territory just outside of Almeria. This unique area features stunningly clear waters, a mesmerizing coastline, and volcanic rock formations. It is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Spain and a plethora of wildlife you can observe up close. Couples can enjoy romantic walks along the beach or take a boat tour to explore the area’s astonishing beauty. No doubt that it is one of the most romantic places in Spain and a perfect destination for couples who are looking for an idyllic honeymoon. 

11. Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela is known for its impressive churches, medieval architecture, and stunningly romantic atmosphere. The old town features a large garden and cobble-stone streets, which opens unexpectedly on sunny plazas dotted with idyllic coffeehouses, and plenty of shopping. There are cozy restaurants on Franco Street that offer romantic dinners. Couples can also explore the famous pilgrimage route to Santiago, or take a stroll through the lush meadows and forests of the surrounding countryside. Santiago de Compostela is a romantic city and it’s worth exploring if you are looking for some sweet memories to take home.

12. Mallorca – Luxurious Adventures

If you’re looking for a romantic destination with plenty of luxury, Mallorca is the place to be. This Balearic Island features stunningly beautiful beaches, clear waters, and plenty of activities for couples. Mallorca is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway, from romantic sunsets to delicious tapas bars. There’s nothing more romantic than taking an ice cream at the picturesque Puerto de Palma or visiting one of the many boutique hotels and luxury villas that Mallorca has to offer. Couples can also explore the idyllic villages, visit ancient churches, or take a romantic picnic in one of the four theme parks. Mallorca is also known for its unforgettable parties and lively nightlife, making it a great place to take your honeymoon.

13. Benidorm – A Fun-Filled Getaway

Benidorm offers adventure lovers and adventurous couples an unforgettable experience. This popular Spanish city is known for its vibrant nightlife and theme parks, but it also has plenty of romantic moments in store. Take a romantic stroll along the beach or through the narrow alleys of Benidorm’s old town, taste delicious local cuisine and enjoy breathtaking views from the top of the city’s famous tower. Benidorm is also home to some of Spain’s most delectable beaches, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the sun. Whether you’re looking for a romantic escape or a fun-filled getaway, Benidorm is the perfect place to explore.

14. Alicante – Romantic Nightlife

Alicante is a romantic city that offers couples plenty of fun activities and attractions. This coastal town has plenty of narrow alleys, elegant museums, beautiful churches and lively nightlife. Couples can explore the city daily and enjoy stunning sunsets. There are plenty of romantic restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy delicious local cuisine and exciting drinks. The surrounding countryside is also home to some of Spain’s most idyllic beaches, making it a great place for couples to relax and unwind. Alicante is perfect for romantic getaways and honeymoons, offering something for everyone.

A word from SpainDesk

Visiting the most romantic places in Spain is like stepping into a magical fairy tale. The sights, sounds, and smells all combine to create a captivating atmosphere that both locals and tourists alike can appreciate. From sandy Mediterranean beaches to mountain cliff-sides, there’s something for everyone in Spain. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or just an exciting adventure, Spain is sure to deliver an unforgettable experience. So why wait? Pack your bags and head off to the beautiful cities of Spain. With all the amazing sights it has to offer, it will be impossible for you not to fall in love with Spain!


Are you ready to have an unforgettable experience on your first time in Spain? This country is an ideal destination for any traveler. Its rich culture, history, and stunning Mediterranean beaches will leave you breathless. From bustling cities like Madrid and Barcelona to more off-the-beaten-path experiences in locations like Seville or Granada – you’re sure to find something that will suit your interests. Get ready to explore this vibrant country with our essential guide to some of Spain’s best places to visit.

What do you need to know before your first time in Spain?

Spain is a world-renowned destination for first-time travelers. With diverse cultures, vibrant cities, and fascinating historical sites, it’s easy to see why. But there are certain things first-time travelers need to know before they visit Spain.

  • You’ll find that meals are often served later than in other places in Spain.
  • Though siesta time is a popular concept, most folks don’t actually take naps during this period.
  • Furthermore, activities or events rarely begin at the designated times and public transportation is quite reliable throughout the country.
  • Interestingly enough, Spanish isn’t even the only official language here. Other languages such as Catalan, Galician, and Basque, are also spoken in certain autonomous regions of Spain.
  • While paella and sangria might be typical Spanish cuisine dishes, they aren’t ubiquitous everywhere – the same goes for Flamenco, which isn’t necessarily Spain’s traditional dance style either.

12 places in Spain to visit for the first time

Spain is a captivating fusion of ancient and new, modern and traditional. While visiting the country, be prepared to explore bullfights, awe-inspiring cathedrals, incomparable artworks from renowned artists worldwide, and remnants of Muslim palaces in Granada’s Alhambra fortress area, colorful folk music performances depicting their culture and traditions along with picturesque whitewashed villages basking under abundant sunshine.

first time in Spain


Located in the heart of Andalusia, Seville is where Flamenco was born. As you wander through its age-old streets made of stone, you will be instantly captivated by locals performing traditional dances to live music – it’s truly a magical experience. Seville is an amazing place for every explorer; you can discover and immerse yourself in its long musical history and enjoy some of Spain’s most exquisite culinary delights. Whether this is your first time or second or even beyond that, there are so many things to do and explore in Seville.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Despite being incomplete, it remains an uncontested emblem of Barcelona and one of Spain’s top tourist destinations. The Sagrada Familia is the first place to visit if you want to truly see Barcelona; this is a must-see from the stunning architecture to its beautiful stained glass windows.

San Sebastián

This stunning Basque city is a first-time traveler’s dream. You can explore the old town, go to one of the many beaches San Sebastian offers or enjoy a pintxo (tapas) tour. There is also the option of visiting its world-renowned Guggenheim Museum and Royal Palace, both of which will give you a glimpse into Spain’s rich history and culture.

Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands are an archipelago of Spain, located in the western Mediterranean Sea. This stunning destination is ideal for first-time travelers looking for a little more adventure. With its laid-back atmosphere and stunning beaches, this is the perfect spot to unwind while also exploring some of Spain’s most beautiful locations.

Sierra Nevada

This mountain range in Southern Spain is a first-timer’s paradise. You can explore the stunning mountain trails, ride a cable car, or ski down its slopes. This area is also home to some of Europe’s most spectacular natural parks and a world heritage site. It’s the perfect place to escape it all, while still taking in some of Spain’s best attractions.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are a first-time traveler’s dream. Located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa, this archipelago is home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches and luxurious resorts. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the local culture, this is a great first-timer’s destination.


If you’re aiming to explore Andalusia for seven days, visiting Granada and Seville in the same time frame is possible. Located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada offers beautiful Islamic architecture and many outdoor activities such as hiking and skiing. Besides being relatively close, these two places will give you unique perspectives on Spain – from cultural attractions in one city to an active lifestyle in another.


Ibiza is one of Europe’s most sought-after destinations for those seeking an unforgettable nightlife experience. The energy here in contrast to mainland Spain is unparalleled -the island offers something unique you won’t find elsewhere! For first-time visitors looking for a memorable experience, look no further than this magical place.


As the capital of Spain, Madrid is an obvious first-time tourist spot. This city boasts grand architecture and a vibrant cultural life that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe. From world-class art museums like Prado and Reina Sofia to its stunning parks and squares like Plaza de España, there’s no shortage of awesome things to do in Madrid.


For families looking for an escape, Mallorca is the perfect destination. From a beachside retreat in Formentera to exploring its ancient architecture, there are countless activities that this Mediterranean Island offers. Plus if you’re visiting Barcelona, it’s only a short seaside journey away. With so much to see and do – it’d be hard not to get inspired by Mallorca’s beauty.

World Heritage sites

First-time travelers should get to know the main tourist attractions in Spain, first and foremost its many World Heritage sites. These include the Plaza de Espana in Seville, which is a stunning example of Renaissance architecture, the Royal Palace in Madrid which stands as a shining example of Baroque architecture, and the Prado Museum with its world-class art collection.

Best Art Museums

Spain is home to some of the best art museums in the world. In Madrid, first-time travelers should visit the Prado Museum to see its incredible collection of classic art from Goya and Velazquez. The Reina Sofia in Madrid is home to some of the world’s best contemporary art. In Barcelona, first-time travelers should visit the Guggenheim Museum to get a unique insight into modern and contemporary art.

Should I go to Madrid or Barcelona?

It all comes down to what you’re looking for on your first trip to Spain. Madrid and Barcelona are two of Spain’s biggest cities and are great first-time destinations. Madrid is home to some of the world’s best art museums, including El Prado and its Royal Palace, while Barcelona is filled with stunning architecture, such as the Sagrada Familia and La Rambla. Both big cities are hubs for nightlife, offering first-timers a chance to truly experience Spanish culture


What month is the best for Spain?

Plan your trip to Spain during late spring (April to May) or early autumn (September to October) for the perfect combination of stunning weather and fewer crowds. Yet regardless of where you go, be assured that there is always something enthralling awaiting discovery in this beautiful country.

From November to March, when the off-season is in full swing, expect shorter hours of operation and more breaks for lunch. For additional certainty with your sightseeing plans while traveling during this period, always confirm locally before considering other alternatives. Though it is brutally hot in the summer, winters can be bitterly cold, and spring and fall can be crisp.

Visa information to visit Spain

If you’re an EU citizen, visiting Spain requires nothing more than a valid ID or passport. For travelers from other parts of the world, Spain is one of 26 European countries that make up the Schengen Zone which provides entry without the need for additional visas once “entered”. Many major non-European passports (such as Canadian and American) are granted 90 days within 180 total days – plenty of time to explore all this beautiful country has to offer.

While you’re safe to roam within Spain for a few weeks, don’t forget to consider any trips through other Schengen countries that come before or after. It’s essential to research and look into the visa requirements of your own country so everything is predictable. If you need a travel visa for the entire Schengen Zone, make sure to apply for one beforehand to avoid any complications later.

A word from SpainDesk

Spain is a great place to visit for the first time, no matter what you’re looking for. From its vibrant cities like Madrid and Barcelona to the natural beauty of its countryside, there’s something for everyone. Spain has it all whether you prefer big city energy or long, leisurely days in nature. Consider also the delicious local cuisine and diverse culture found here — there are so many ways to immerse yourself in this wonderful country. Even if this is your first visit to Spain, you won’t have any problem finding the perfect spot. So go on, and explore the land of sun, beaches, and art – Spain awaits.

Ready to embark on your journey and take up residence in the delightful country of Spain? Making the checklist for moving to Spain is essential if you want your relocation to be as smooth and stress-free as possible. 

We all know moving to any new country can be overwhelming. However, if you do some research and plan well in advance, your stay in Spain will be enjoyable from the get-go. Check you have everything prepared for a smooth transition with our ultimate checklist before relocating to this spectacular nation. 

With its stunning scenery, delectable cuisine, and classic leisurely pace, there’s no doubt that you’ll be proud of this new home soon. Keep on reading!

Can I just move to Spain?

Before you move to Spain, there are a few essential things that must be settled first. Immigration requirements and finding an appropriate school for your children are issues you should bear in mind. 

For example, British nationals can move and live in Spain for three months as long as they have a valid passport. However, if you are British and you wish to stay longer or acquire residence permanently, you must follow certain legal processes. 

To guide you as you plan this significant journey, here’s our comprehensive checklist for moving to Spain to ensure all bases are covered.

Do your research

Gather as much information about your new home before making the move. From education and housing to the cost of living, you should research all facets. To get more detailed answers, join expat communities on online forums or Facebook groups where people can provide helpful intel and advice.

Decide where you want to live

After gathering the data and answers to all of your questions related to living in Spain, it is time for you to decide on where exactly you will settle. Of course, those who have work or family ties already established may not need to worry about this step since their location has been predetermined. But if that’s not the case, there are plenty of incredible places in Spain available.

Research real estate options and find the ideal neighborhood for your family. Consider the distance between family and friends, proximity to major cities and airports, schools, shops, restaurants and more. Once you have established where you will live, it’s time to start looking into rental options or buying a home.

Make sure to review contracts and legal documentation for any rental or property purchase. In this sense, having a real estate lawyer review all paperwork is a great idea to avoid any potential surprises. 

checklist for moving to Spain

Health Insurance & Bank Account

You must find appropriate health coverage prior to your relocation to Spain. With both public and private healthcare systems available, it is easy to access the necessary services such as doctors, hospitals, or specialists. If you plan on staying in Spain for a longer period, you may want to consider private health insurance rather than relying on the public system.

Next, you’ll need to open up a Spanish bank account to facilitate your day-to-day banking needs. To open a Spanish bank account, you will need your passport –or any other valid identity card-, a Spanish address, your NIE number and proof of your employment status.

Removal Company & Costs

Experienced expats can confirm that one of the most difficult aspects of relocating overseas is transporting your personal items to your new dwelling. Depending on where you are coming from and what possessions you need to transport, moving to Spain will be an entirely different process. 

Choosing a removal company can sometimes be stressful. However, finding information about costs and doing your research regarding the company’s reputation, will help you make the right decision. Clear your doubts as regards customs regulations before hiring a moving company. 

It’s also important to note that if you’re moving large furniture, there may be additional removal costs involved. Be sure to plan for unexpected costs and factor in any additional fees before signing a contract.

Start looking for a job 

In Spain, the job market varies from region to region. For instance, Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao offer more international companies with English-speaking opportunities while coastal regions and island communities like the Canaries and Balearics largely rely on tourism as their economic staple. To ensure you’re in a place that suits your career needs best, it’s wise to take some time to research what kind of job possibilities are available before making any decisions.

Moreover, if you’re a self-employed expat or planning to set up a business in Spain, there are some important things you must take into account beforehand. From obtaining the correct licenses to considering local taxation regulations and double taxation agreements; all scenarios require a good amount of prior research.

Sort out your finances

The checklist for moving to Spain must include financial planning when transferring overseas. Expats must also remember to factor in any currency exchanges, bank charges, and understand the rules that different countries apply regarding withdrawals and deposits. Furthermore, keep in mind that many UK banks have ceased offering services throughout Spain due to Brexit – so you’ll need to switch over to a Spanish one.

As soon as you start the process of relocating to Spain, open a Spanish bank account. This will give you ample time to get acquainted with the banking system, as well as make sure that all of your financial transactions and payments are made in Euros. Another solution is to use online money transfer platforms, which will enable you to bypass any bank charges when transferring funds into Spain.

Residency Applications & Documents

In order to live in Spain, both British and non-British citizens will need to obtain residency status. This involves submitting a residency application at the local town hall, as well as providing documents such as passport copies and marriage certificates (if applicable).

Meanwhile, for those looking to stay permanently – you’ll need to apply for the EU’s ‘Certificado de Empadronamiento’. This certificate states that you are a legal resident of Spain, and it is necessary when registering at the local health center. For further information regarding residency in Spain, be sure to contact the Spanish government directly to find out what the latest rules and regulations are.

14 things Spain is known for

Spanish Education

When relocating to Spain with school-aged children, research the education system and start planning well in advance. You essentially have two options when considering schooling: public or private. Public schools are generally more affordable than their private counterparts. However, public schools are a great environment for your children to become immersed in the local culture. Private schools, on the other hand, usually offer international curriculums such as British or American. Though it is more costly than traditional schools, doing thorough research ahead of time can help you make an informed decision.

Get an International Driving Permit

If you’re dreaming on Spanish roads and are over 18 with a valid license from your home country, then your dream can become real. You must also get a Spanish license or an International Driving Permit (IDP) that allows you to drive in Spain and any other country as long as you have a valid driving license from your home nation. To apply for an IDP, visit your local post office or automobile association and follow their instructions as well as the steps listed by the DGT (Dirección General de Tráfico).

Learn some Spanish and familiarize yourself with Spanish culture

Before you relocate to Spain, equip yourself with the essentials. Learn the native language and familiarize yourself with the cultural nuances. Understanding the language will not only make you feel more comfortable in your new home but will also help you connect with locals. Whether it’s Castellano (what most call Spanish) in Tenerife or Tarragona, or other specific dialects such as Catalan and Basque for local areas – having a few phrases of each language can go an exceptionally long way. Get ready to embrace your new home by getting familiar with its culture, customs, and ways of doing things.

A word from SpainDesk

With these 10 essential steps, you will cover the essential aspects of a successful move to Spain. Planning and research are key when it comes to such an endeavor, but enjoying the culture of a new place can in turn enrich your life. Don’t forget to keep an open mind while living in a new environment, as this will make the transition smoother. All in all, if you plan ahead and stay organized, there is no reason why the adventure of moving abroad shouldn’t be thoroughly enjoyable.

Living in the Canary Islands is a dream come true for many. With year-round sunshine, warm temperatures, and stunning beaches, what’s not to love? Located in the sunny Atlantic Ocean, just off Africa’s west coast, this magical Spanish archipelago has everything. Its stunning beaches and awe-inspiring volcanic landscapes will take your breath away. But before you pack your bags, you must ensure you have all your paperwork sorted out. In this quick guide, you’ll learn about the main requirements for applying for residency in the Canary Islands. Looking beyond the typical tourist attractions, this guide dives deeper into what Las Islas Canarias has to offer those interested in relocating.

Living in the Canary Islands: What is it like?

The Spanish archipelago located off the northwest African coast has breathtaking Islands that are an ideal location for living and the perfect place to call home. Life on the islands is relaxed and easy-going and the living costs are much lower than in most other European countries.

There is a fantastic choice of European and local cuisine, plus a wide range of cultural activities. Shopping here can be varied and convenient too. There are bright bazaars close to popular tourist areas and plenty of supermarkets to stock up on essentials without venturing too far. The larger islands like Gran Canaria and Tenerife also have shopping malls for larger shopping trips.

Which Canary Island is the best to live in?

The best Canary Island to live in largely depends on personal preferences. Each of the main eight islands has something unique to offer: beautiful beaches, mountainous landscapes, vibrant cities, and remote villages.

Of the eight main islands, Tenerife and Gran Canaria are the two most popular ones. Gran Canaria is the third largest island in Spain. Tenerife and Gran Canaria are both famous for their year-round sunshine and lively culture. Meanwhile, La Palmas is also a great destination as it offers both city living and resort towns. It is the most metropolitan island with plenty of shopping opportunities. Fuerteventura offers a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere with its secluded beaches and lush forests.

Living in the Canary Islands

Applying for residency in the Canary Islands

You must obtain a residency permit if you are looking for a long-term stay or remote work opportunity in the Canary Islands. You must apply if you are living or working there for more than 90 days. This guide will provide some insight into achieving legal residence status; however, it’s always best to get information from reliable and official sources for double assurance.

Obtain a Foreigner Identification Number

The NIE (Foreigner Identification Number) is an individual code the Spanish tax agency assigns to foreigners. This personal number appears on all issued and processed documents except for visas, including passports and identity cards. It serves as a form of identification for individuals when dealing with governmental institutions in Spain.

If you want your NIE, providing evidence of where you live such as a rental agreement or hotel/hostel booking receipt, is essential. This number is needed for many tasks like paying taxes and fees, owning property, acquiring a driving license, or starting a company – all activities that require finance transactions.

Work for a local/national company

European citizens with a legitimate job contract from a regional/countrywide organization do not need to meet other stipulations. The agreement must be formalized, and include at least 20 hours of labor per week. However, it does not necessarily need to encompass full-time employment. The European Union has a number of regulations and directives that regulate working conditions; your employer must adhere to current legislation and register the job contract with social security services.

Have private health insurance

Private medical cover is a requirement for those living in the Canary Islands for more than 90 days. Obtaining comprehensive health coverage ensures access to high-quality healthcare services, both public and private, throughout the region. In most cases, your employer will likely cover this cost; however, if you are a self-employed worker or freelancer living in Spain, it is essential to obtain your own policy.

Apply for a student visa

If you are planning on studying in the Canary Islands, then, of course, you will need a student visa. To apply, you must submit proof of enrollment at the respective educational institution and all documentation proving financial stability and health insurance.

What happens if you work for a non-local/national company?

If you’re an EU, EEA, or Swiss national who a local or national company doesn’t employ, has no work contract with one, and works for a foreign business instead – it is essential to demonstrate that you have enough income to sustain living on the islands. Moreover, private health insurance is also required in such cases.

What happens if you are a non-EU citizen?

Non-EU/EEA and Swiss citizens must visit the Oficina de Extranjería (Immigration Office) to fill out an application for a residency permit. Additionally, they should demonstrate that their stay on the Islands is financially viable by providing evidence of sufficient financial resources.

A word from SpainDesk

The Canary Islands are the perfect destination for career switchers pursuing a more relaxed, beach-centric lifestyle. Applying for residency in the Canaries is easy, with many options available. To gain full access to all the benefits of living in the Canaries, you will need to apply for a resident permit for at least six months before moving there. Some key application requirements include a valid passport or ID card, proof of address, health insurance, and documents that reflect your income sources. Once approved, you can stay in the islands indefinitely, provided that you meet all of the legal requirements associated with your resident permits, such as residence taxes and mandatory medical exams. Keeping in mind these steps, you’ll be ready to enjoy life in this beautiful part of the world!

In order to reside in Spain, individuals must have the appropriate visa and immigration documentation. The type of Visa an individual needs depends on their reason for wanting to live in Spain. There are a variety of Visas available in Spain, including Visas for students, workers, and retirees. In addition to the appropriate Visa, individuals must also have the correct immigration documentation. This article will provide an overview of the different types of visas and immigration documents available in Spain.

Types of Visas for Spain

If you are planning a trip to Spain, it is important to understand the visa requirements for your country of origin and the purpose of your visit. Depending on your nationality and the length and nature of your stay, you may need to obtain a visa in advance in order to legally enter and stay in Spain.

The process of obtaining a visa can be complex, involving several requirements and procedures, but with the right preparation and documentation, it is possible to obtain the necessary visa to visit or live in Spain. Here is an overview of the different types of visas available in Spain:

Golden Visa

The Golden Visa in Spain is also called the investment visa. It is a residency permit granted to foreigners who invest a large amount of money in Spain. For property investments, this is €500,000, and for other investments up to €2 million. There are also other strict requirements to get a Golden Visa.

The Golden Visa gives quick access to permanent residency. After five years, it is possible to gain permanent residence and, after ten years, citizenship.

EU Blue card

The European Blue Card is a residence permit that allows highly skilled workers to work in Spain. To be eligible for the Blue Card, you must have a valid work contract and meet specific educational requirements. The permit is valid for 1 to 4 years; when the same conditions apply, the immigration office will give an extension of the residency permit.

Student Visa

The student visa in Spain helps international students study in Spanish universities and schools. Applying for a student visa is possible if you are accepted to a school or university in Spain and meet the other requirements. The Visa is valid for the duration of your studies.

Non-lucrative residence Visa

The Non-lucrative Visa is for people that don’t intend to work in Spain. Non-lucrative residency is ideal for pensions, and that is why this Visa is also called the retirement visa, and it is indeed made for retiring in Spain. To pass the application for non-lucrative residency, you will need sufficient financial means to sustain yourself in Spain.

Visas in Spain

Entrepreneurs visa

The entrepreneur’s Visa in Spain is for foreigners who want to start or buy a business in Spain. Starting a business in Spain is not enough; you should also support yourself and your family during the first months of the company and contribute to the Spanish economy.

Work Visa

This work and residence permit is for foreigners who have a valid job offer from a company in Spain. The company must be registered with Social Security and meet other requirements. The work visa is good for the duration of your employment contract. Your employer will have to put the application process in motion.

Permanent residency permit

After residing in Spain for 2-10 years on a temporary residency permit, it is possible to apply for a permanent residency permit. The time when you can apply for it depends on many factors. In general, we can make the applications after staying for five years.

Spanish citizenship

After holding several residence permits, you can apply for Spanish nationality. Spanish nationals have other rights and benefits, such as voting and working rights in any country in the European Union. To apply for Spanish nationality, you will have to meet specific requirements, like passing a language test and proving your knowledge of Spanish culture. The NIF number is the tax identification number that every Spanish citizen holds. This number will be obtained for you when applying for Spanish citizenship.

NIE Number

For many bureaucratic procedures in Spain, you need a NIE. It is a tax identification number for foreigners, and it is necessary to get certain services, open a bank account, buy real estate, etc.

Visa application process

In short, to immigrate to Spain, we will apply for a visa to the Spanish embassy in your home country. The embassy then transmits the paperwork to the Spanish authorities. If granted, you’ll be required to pick up your Visa from the embassy before coming to Spain.

Our team has many years of experience with the Spanish visa system and will help you submit a robust application. However, the Spanish visa application process can be tedious, but our immigration lawyers will guide you through every step of the way. Contact us today for more information.

Application appeal

Spanish immigration law can sometimes be challenging; we will handle the entire administrative appeal procedure if the initial filing is refused. We understand that immigration is a complicated process for you. Still, you don’t need to worry anymore because we have a team of immigration lawyers in Spain that completes the process on your behalf.

Visas in Spain

A word from SpainDesk

In conclusion, obtaining a visa for Spain can be a complex process, depending on your country of origin and the purpose of your visit. However, with the right documentation and preparation, it is possible to obtain the necessary visa to enter and stay in Spain legally. It is important to carefully review the requirements and procedures for obtaining a visa well before your planned travel dates to avoid any potential delays or issues. Once you have your visa, you can look forward to exploring all the wonderful attractions and experiences that Spain has to offer.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

If you’re an expat planning to move to Spain, one of the most important things you need to look at is Spain’s healthcare system. What’s the system like? How much will it cost? What do you need to do to get set up? This article will provide a comprehensive guide to healthcare in Spain for expats.

Types of healthcare systems in Spain

Spain has a diverse healthcare system that includes both public and private options.

Healthcare in Spain

Public healthcare system

The Spanish public healthcare system is one of the best in the world. The national health system is praised for its high quality, efficiency, and accessibility. It provides free or low-cost healthcare to all citizens, regardless of income. The system is funded mainly by taxes, and the Ministry of Health oversees it. Healthcare facilities are typically clean and well-equipped and wait times are usually short.

Spanish doctors are highly trained, and they often speak multiple languages. In addition, Spain has several world-class hospitals, making it a popular destination for medical tourism. The public healthcare system in Spain is awe-inspiring, and it is an essential part of the country’s quality of life.

Some healthcare costs are not covered under public medical insurance in Spain. For example, specific medicine, dental care, and cosmetic surgery are not included. In addition, some services may have a co-pay, but these are typically small expenses.

Private healthcare system

Private healthcare is also available in Spain; you can get treatment from a private doctor or hospital. Although private healthcare is not free, certain private hospitals or care facilities in Spain offer higher quality and more attention than public ones. They have more modern and better equipped than public hospitals, and they typically have shorter wait times.

Around 15% of the population in Spain has private healthcare, which is lower than the average in developed countries. This is because the public healthcare system is so good that many people don’t feel the need to pay for private healthcare.

Cost of Healthcare in Spain

The cost of healthcare in Spain is relatively low compared to other developed countries. The government subsidizes a large portion of the cost of healthcare, and this keeps the overall cost down. In addition, many private healthcare providers offer discounts to expats.

Public health insurance cost

You will need to pay social security contributions to access public health insurance. These are deducted from your salary if you are employed, or you can pay them yourself if you are self-employed. The amount you will need to pay depends on your income, but it is typically around 60-100 euros per month.

The autonomous regions set the number of social security contributions to healthcare. The social security you need to pay depends on the employed and self-employed income. If you don’t have a job, you don’t pay health insurance.

Private health insurance cost

Private health insurance is not mandatory in Spain, but you can choose it if you want extra private care. The cost of private health insurance depends on the provider and the type of plan you choose. Plans can range from around 30 euros per month for a basic policy to 200 euros or more per month for a comprehensive policy.

It is important to note that if you have private health insurance, you will still need to pay the social security contributions mentioned for public health insurance in Spain. This is because private health insurance only covers certain services, and the public health system covers the rest.

Options for private insurance companies include:

Healthcare in Spain for Expats

Many expats choose to move to Spain for its warm weather and Mediterranean lifestyle. But what about healthcare? Can foreigners get the same level of care as Spanish citizens? In short, yes. The Spanish healthcare system is known for being both high-quality and affordable, and expats are entitled to the same level of care as Spanish nationals.

You will need to register with the local healthcare system / social security system (Seguridad social) to access the Spanish healthcare system. This can be done at your local town hall, online or at a health centre. Once you have registered, you will be given a European health insurance card (Tarjeta sanitaria Europea) which you can use to access all public healthcare services.

Qualification for public healthcare services

Expats can have access to public healthcare in Spain if they meet any of the following criteria:

  • Employed in Spain (expat or not)
  • Receive Spanish retirement
  • Europeans with a European health card
  • Self-employed in Spain (autonomo)
  • Residence permits are registered with the town hall
  • A student enrolled in a Spanish university
  • Students under 26 and from an EU
  • Certain expats with universal healthcare
  • Pregnant women and mothers with children
  • Divorcees who used to hold healthcare from partners
  • Europeans with a European health card

You will not be eligible for free medical treatment under the Spanish public health system if you are not a pensioner, worker, or legally residing in Spain.

Private insurance for residency

Specific visa requirements such as the (non-lucrative visa) or the (retirement visa) require that you have private medical insurance to obtain your Spanish residency permit.

Healthcare in Spain

Health Centres and health clinics in Spain

Primary healthcare in Spain is provided by General practitioners and healthcare centres known as centro de salud (CS) and centro de atención primaria (CP). The health centres are situated all across the region with a number of multi-specialities teams, including GP, paediatricians, nurse gynaecologist physiotherapist.

A list of the nearest health centres to your location can be found on the website of your autonomous region. For example, in Andalusia, you can find a list of all healthcare centres here and via the following links:

Dental care in Spain

Typically dental care is also accessible in Spain. However, it takes a couple of months to get an appointment, and therefore Spanish residents typically choose private dental care, which is quicker.

For those on a budget, there are still many public dental clinics. Just make sure to make an appointment in advance.

A word from SpainDesk

The Spanish Healthcare system is one of the best globally, and health insurance in Spain is typically not needed since healthcare services are public and free for residents. However, there are some cases where you will need to have private insurance to obtain your residency permit.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal or financial advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal or financial expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

During the withdrawal agreement of the UK with Europe, the Spanish government created the TIE card for UK citizens. It is helpful for UK citizens who want to retire in Spain, start a business, or buy property in Spain. This article discusses why Spain created this card, why citizens of the UK like it, and how to get one.

What is the TIE Card Spain?

The TIE card is also known as the Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero or TIE. The TIE Card is a residence document created by the Spanish immigration office for citizens of the United Kingdom who were residents in Spain at Brexit. The Spanish government issued the TIE card for UK citizens covered under the Withdrawal Agreement. The card also functions as a residence permit for UK citizens that applied for a visa after Brexit.

The TIE Card is a biometric card and replaces the green paper document issued to residents. In other words, it is a Foreigner Identity Card and proves your residency in Spain. The TIE card is a small green residency card the size of a credit card, and it holds your fingerprints, passport photo, name types of residency, and NIE number.

How long is the TIE Card valid?

Depending on how long you stay in Spain, the TIE card is valid for five years (temporary residents) or ten years (permanent residence).

Types of TIE Cards

There are two types of TIE cards. When applying, you will need to signal which card you want.

The first one is for UK individuals who were previously residents and are thus protected by the Withdrawal Agreement before its effect in 2021.

The other TIE card is for UK nationals who have acquired residency after the UK left the EU. This one is more difficult to attain because you need to go through the normal residency application process.

TIE card in Spain

When do you need a TIE Card in Spain?

The TIE Card is a card that holds the NIE number and your residency status in Spain. The government does not require it since a green residence permit, and an NIE document have the same purpose: proving residency and your tax obligations.

As stated before, it replaces the old paper a4 NIE paper and A4 green residence document. Reasons, why you might want to request a TIE Card, are:

  • You have a green residency card and a more straightforward credit card size TIE card
  • When you want a document with a new photo
  • When you want to show a document that quickly shows your rights as a resident
  • When you want a small document for crossing borders that is more recognisable by the authorities
  • When you want a more durable document
  • When you want to show your NIE number easily

The TIE residence card is a more straightforward residence document, and we recommend getting it because of this fact.

What are the disadvantages of the TIE Card?

The TIE card has an expiry date, while the green residence document does not. Therefore, you will have to renew your TIE card every 5 years.

How to get the TIE Card

How to get a TIE Card in Spain?

You can apply for the TIE via the Oficina de Extranjeros. Below are basic steps:

  1. Select the province where you live
  2. Select the police station or foreigner’s office where you want to pick up the TIE card
  3. Select the procedure for the TIE card
  4. Select a date and time and make the appointment

The website will also show which documents you need to bring with you. These include passport photo’s, receipts, filling in application forms, your residency permit, and others.

Get advice if you have trouble understanding the procedure; it might change in the future.

A word from SpainDesk

If you need assistance with the TIE residency card or any other services for living in Spain. Our immigration lawyers will help you. Just fill in the form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We can assist with property buying guidance, golden visa applications, residency permits, and Spanish taxes for businesses and individuals.

Moving to Spain from the US can be a daunting task. It is not without its challenges, but it is also full of rewards. If you are thinking about making this move, we have written this article to help you learn some things about the move and your new home country.

Why do people move to Spain from the USA?

There are many reasons why people choose to move from America to Spain. As a general rule, expatriates moving to Spain tend to be young, well-educated professionals who have the great desire of seeing the world and experiencing different cultures first hand.

Another group that often wants to move to Spain from America are people that want to retire in Spain. They often want to move for the culture, weather, language, and type of property they can afford in Spain.

Benefits of living in Spain as opposed to living in the USA

The main reasons why US citizens move to Spain are the cost of living, Spanish culture, Sunny weather, rich culture, and Spanish food. Below we go through the top reasons why many people are moving to Spain from US.

Cost of living in Spain

The cost of living is lower in Spain. When renting, the monthly fee for an apartment will be between 500 and 1000 Dollars per month. However, this depends also on the area. It can vary greatly depending on where someone chooses to live, but it is possible to get a lovely house with a garden for 150,000 Dollars or less.

Food in Spain is also very reasonably priced, and in general, there are much more reasonable prices. A decent meal out can be purchased for 20 Euros. A bottle of wine costs around 3 Euros, and you can get a week groceries for approximately 60 Euros.

You will find around a 40% discount on most products and services compared to the USA.

US citizens enjoy Spanish Culture

Spanish culture

Spain and the USA have very different cultures and social life. People are generally calmer, and the pace of life is slower. In general, Americans will find it to be a much more peaceful society compared to their own country while at the same time having many things in common with them.

Another considerable difference between the Spanish and American cultures is that Spain is less money-focused. As a result, there is less pressure to work and earn money.

While Americans tend to be very career-oriented, the Spanish spend more time with family, friends and social life. There are fewer demands on people in terms of work hours or working days. There is also a great emphasis on community life, so new expatriates will often find themselves adopted by Spain quickly.

Sunny weather

The weather in Spain is another huge reason why people move to this sunny country. The main benefit of the Spanish climate is that there are long, warm summers and short winters so that you can enjoy the outdoors for most of the year. People who want to escape the cold winter months will significantly appreciate living in Spain, where they can enjoy sunshine throughout December.

Rich history

Spain is rich in traditions and history, with many ancient monuments to visit. Many fascinating Spanish historical sites will impress even the most demanding travellers. There is history from the Roman, medieval, Moorish times and even Greek times in Spain.

Spain is home to some of the most important historical monuments from Europe, such as The Alhambra Palace in Granada or The Real Alcazar in Seville.

Of course, there are also many modern cities that you can enjoy visiting and living in. Cities like Madrid or Barcelona have a vibrant, urban life that will provide countless opportunities to the ex-pats who move to Spain. Next to this, visit the many Spanish festivals, and you will learn more about the country.

Spanish food

Spanish food is very diverse, as you can find food from many different regions. The different cultures and history of Spain have formed a unique and mouthwatering cuisine that will never disappoint. Spanish gastronomy boasts the freshest ingredients prepared by talented chefs who often use recipes handed down through generations.

The cuisine in Spain is known for having very healthy choices, and there are plenty of vegetarian options as well. It is also good news that many ex-pats will find that their taste buds will change to prefer Spanish food over what they ate back home.

Spain is a country filled with contrasts and diversity, even when it comes to food. Famous dishes include tapas and paella, which you eat in casual settings with drinks and friends.

There is also a great wine culture throughout the country where you will find hundreds of different wines from all over Spain. Such as the famous Rioja wine from the La Rioja region, Sherry, and many others such as Cava, Priorat, and Albariño. Sangria is also another trendy Spanish drink that you will enjoy.

There is not much fast food in Spain, and the leading chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King are not as prevalent. If you love to eat out, you will find a very diverse choice of cuisines (Italian, Chinese, Japanese and many more) and no shortage of great restaurants where you can enjoy food at reasonable prices.

Spanish Visa for moving to Spain by US citizens

How can a US citizen move to Spain?

When you are moving to Spain, you will need to obtain a Spanish visa. You can apply for several visas, but the most common are the Employment Visa, Non-lucrative Visa, and the Golden Visa. The main requirement for these visas is that you have the financial resources to support yourself and proof of health insurance. It’s also essential to show that you won’t burden the Spanish social security system and that your stay in the country will be temporary.

If you want to get permanent residency in Spain, you must show that you have been living in the country for a certain number of years with temporary residence. The legal process is also very complicated, and it can take several years.

Employment visa

A Spanish work visa is an excellent option for Americans who wish to move to Spain and work there. The employment visa is also called the work visa. You can get this residence visa if you are a higher educated person. To start with, you will need to get a job offer from a company in Spain that can help you apply for this type of visa. The employer will need to provide proof of the Spanish payroll in place.

Non-lucrative visa

If you already have enough financial resources to support yourself and do not need a job offer in Spain, then you can apply for a non-lucrative visa. The non-lucrative visa allows US citizens to live in Spain without working there. Non-lucrative visas are also called retirement visas.

Golden visa

In Spain, you can also get an investor visa after buying Spanish property. This visa is called the Golden Visa. This option is prevalent among wealthier people who want to invest in Spain. It allows them to live in Spain very quickly.

You can get the Spanish Golden Visa for real estate if you invest in Spanish property worth more than 500,000 Euros. There are also other ways to get a Golden Visa, such as investing in a company, starting a business, or buying bonds.

Entrepreneur visa

You can apply for an entrepreneur visa when you bring a business idea that benefits the Spanish economy. Getting the entrepreneur visa is a complex process requiring many documents and paperwork (such as a business plan and financial statements). People that want to get this type of visa should contact a corporate and immigration lawyer to increase the successful application.

How to get Spanish citizenship

In general, people from abroad, such as the USA, can get Spanish citizenship in two ways: through naturalization or marriage. The process of acquiring Spanish citizenship through naturalization takes place after you have lived in Spain for about ten years.

After this period, you can apply for Spanish citizenship. The requirements to become a Spaniard are very strict, and there are many documents required. You will need to get certified translations of your diplomas, birth certificates and marriage certificates.

The Spanish government does not let USA citizens get a dual nationality in the country. Once you become a Spanish citizen, your USA citizenship has to be given up.

If you marry a Spaniard or your spouse is from Spain, you should apply for Spanish citizenship after only two years of living in the country. There are not many documents needed in this case, and no translations of official documents will be necessary.

Alternatively to Spanish Citizenship, one can also get permanent residency. Permanent residency means that you are not a Spaniard, but you have the right to work and live in Spain without any restrictions. You can get permanent residency after five years of work or residence in Spain.

Costs for moving to Spain from US

Below we talk about the costs of moving from the US to Spain. There are many different costs involved when you move from one country to another, and these costs depend on your situation.

The cost of moving depends on a lot of factors, such as the type of services you need, how much stuff you bring with you, whether or not you use a moving company, how many people are moving, the distance between your city and Spain, and whether you’re going to live in a big city or a small town.

Property prices

The property price will depend on what you want. The most popular areas for ex-pats are Madrid, Valencia and Barcelona. Prices vary greatly depending on the location, but usually, you will find two-bedroom properties between 250.000-350 000 Dollars in these cities.

Rural areas are much cheaper. For example, in the town of Pinoso (Alicante), you can find prices at around 80.000-170.000 Dollars. It is, therefore, an attractive option for people with a lower budget.

If you are looking for a villa in Spain, you can go as far as you want in luxury and price. The more luxury you want in a mansion, the higher the cost, but there are excellent prices for less luxurious properties from 500.000-1.00.000 Dollars. But if you are looking for modern luxury in Marbella, very close to the beach, a villa with a swimming pool will be available for around 1.500.000-6.000.000 Dollars.

When buying a property in Spain, you should calculate around 10-15% on top of the property’s sale price. These costs are for stamp duty, taxes, legal fee’s, notary fee’s, agent fee’s, and other extra expenses when buying property.

Renting a property

When renting a property in Spain, you won’t have to deal with these costs, but you will have to pay for the rent. If you are looking in Madrid or Barcelona, an average rent monthly costs around 800-1500 Dollars. If you live in a rural area like Pinoso, your monthly rent can be around 350-700 Dollars.

Taxes in Spain

Taxes in Spain

When you are staying in Spain, you will need to get a NIE number (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros). This number is your foreign identification number, and it is similar to the social security number in the USA. The NIE number is needed for paying taxes and opening bank accounts, renting property, and buying property, among other things.

In Spain, there are two different statuses you can have when staying. These are tax residency and tax non-residency. Depending on your residential situation, you will need to pay taxes on your worldwide income and assets or not. If you are a tax resident, you will need to start paying taxes over your worldwide income and assets in Spain. You will become a tax resident when you stay in Spain for more than 183 days in a calendar year.

Spain has income taxes, property taxes, inheritance taxes, wealth taxes, capital gain taxes, and municipal taxes. Our accountants in Spain can also help you with your tax returns, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Health insurance in Spain

When you are moving to Spain from us, you will probably want to know how the health insurance in Spain works. When you are living in Spain, it is mandatory to have health insurance. The Spanish healthcare system has a state-funded part and a private part. Citizens or residents who live in Spain must take out private health insurance for the medical costs that the public system does not cover.

The public system covers preventive healthcare, emergency healthcare and primary healthcare, and the costs of these treatments are low. The state-funded part of the public system is good. It covers surgeries, prescriptions and emergency transportation by ambulance to a Spanish hospital.

Where to live as a US citizen

The place where you want to live also depends on what you want to do in Spain. Many US citizens often reside in Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Marbella, Tenerife, Ibiza, Torrevieja, and Benidorm. If you are looking for a more quiet and authentic site, it is better to look towards rural areas like Pinoso, but if you are looking for beautiful beaches, then coastal areas like Alicante or Marbella can be excellent.

Southern coast in Spain

The southern coast in Spain is close to the Costa del Sol, one of the most popular places for many ex-pats and holidaymakers. The coastline is flat and clean with many resorts, which are the best places to live. The main draws are the sun, beach and sea as you would expect, but there is also an extensive range of bars and restaurants in great locations with views out to sea.

Major cities in Spain

The Spanish capital Madrid is a great city with lots to do and see. Barcelona is also an excellent city for visiting and living in because it has beautiful beaches and bars, making it ideal for tourists who want an authentic experience. Barcelona is also a great city for nightlife. Other cities in Spain are Valencia, Zaragoza, Pamplona, Seville, Bilbao, Vigo and Málaga.

Moving to Spain from the USA

Differences between USA and Spain

When you are thinking of moving to Spain, you must know the differences between USA and Spain. Although many things in life are similar, there are also some differences that you will need to get used to if you want to live in this beautiful country. The most notable difference is the fact that Spaniards speak Spanish and not much English.

Language barrier

The language barrier is perhaps the most significant difference between USA and Spain. It can be one of the hardest things to get used to as a US citizen, but learning some Spanish before you go will make it easier for you when living there. You should know how to speak Spanish and learn about Spanish culture and customs so that you can fit in and not feel left out.

Spanish economy

Another notable difference between USA and Spain is that America has a more robust and more advanced economy than Spain. It is easier to get around and find jobs in America than in Spain. However, some vacancies have English as a requirement, making it easier to find work. As long as you speak Spanish and English, you should be able to find a job that suits your skills and qualifications.

Salary rates

Salary rates in Spain are very different from the USA. While depending on the field that you operate in, when working in Spain your salary will be often lower. Spain has a high unemployment rate, and the average salary in Spain is below that of the USA. but taxes are also lower. This means that you will have more disposable income after paying taxes.

Spanish bureaucracy

While the USA is infamous for long lines at the DMV, Spain has another kind of bureaucracy. The work permit application process can take a long time because Spanish authorities are very demanding about details and paperwork.

Because of this, you must read all the information provided carefully on your application documents. This is the same for other things such as buying property, visiting your local tax office, and contacting your local town hall.

While you can choose to do your dealings with the Spanish government yourself, it is common among Spanish citizens to get a lawyer to help you with the big stuff like property purchase and getting a work permit. These tasks will add up, but they are necessary if you want to do live or do business in the country.

Our office works with US citizens to help them move to Spain from the US. We can take care of many tasks for you and make the transition smoother and more manageable.

Moving your belongings overseas

You will need to make sure that you move everything correctly and safely when moving your belongings overseas, especially if they are expensive items. You can hire a professional mover or transport company to ensure that your things arrive at your new home in Spain. We suggest searching online, to move your stuff to Spain should cost 5 euro per kilo max.

Choose to send your belongings by aeroplane, and it will take around seven days for them to arrive. There are multiple shipping companies that you can choose to use for this. Such as Eurosender, and Parcel ABC.

Sending your belongings with sea freight can take up to 30 days for it to arrive, and you can send as much as you like. This should cost around 0.50 euro per kilo. You can put your stuff on a container ship. Some of the top shipping companies for this include Eres Relocations, and IContainers.

Frequently asked questions

Is Spain a good place for Americans to move

Yes, Spain is excellent for Americans. The low cost of living and beautiful weather makes it an ideal destination.

Can I live in Spain without speaking Spanish?

Although most people would recommend that you learn some Spanish before moving to Spain from the USA, it is entirely possible to live there even if you do not know the language at first. Spaniards are patient and kind with tourists that are making an effort to speak their language. It is also possible for you to find work without speaking any Spanish, although it will be more challenging.

Can a United States citizen move to Spain?

Yes, they can. The process is slightly different in Spain, but it is still possible for US citizens to move there. We work with many people that have decided to do just that and live their dream life in this beautiful country full of history and culture. The easiest way to get a visa is to buy a property worth more than 500.000 euro’s in Spain; this will qualify you for the Golden Visa. Other great options are applying for a non-lucrative visa and work permit. However, these hold more requirements.

Can I move to Spain without a job?

Yes, it is possible to move to Spain without a job. However, you will need to prove that you can financially support yourself here.

How much money do you need to move to Spain from the USA?

When you are getting a work permit, you won’t need a lot of money. However, when you don’t, you will need to have approximately 25.000 dollars per year that you are staying.


There are many reasons you might want to move to Spain, whether it is for work, vacations, or just because you love the country and its people. We suggest you save money before moving to Spain and be sure to check with a Spanish immigration lawyer about any legal requirements that you might be missing. This can help you avoid future hardship or complications.

If you are moving to Spain, our company can help you with taxes and legal issues. Our English speaking accountants and lawyers are experienced in assisting people in moving from the USA to Spain. For example, we can assist you with starting a company, buying property, and Spanish taxes. Contact us today, and we will help you get started on your journey to living in Spain from the USA!

Spain has become a popular retirement destination for people abroad in recent years. There are many reasons for this, such as the climate, healthcare, and culture. This article will explore some of these reasons and explain how to retire in Spain.

Why Spain is a great place to retire

The climate is one of the main reasons people consider retirement in Spain. While Spain is famous for its Mediterranean climate, which means it is hot and dry in the summer and not too cold in winter (with some rain), there are locations where it can rain all year round and even snow.

People also retire in Spain because of the coastline, sometimes referred to as “8th continent” because of its geography. People from all over Europe enjoy Spain’s beaches during the summer months, and it has a wide choice of coastal towns to choose from depending on your preferences.

Retiring in Spain is also popular because Spain has a strong and diverse culture, making it an exciting place to live, with many Spanish traditions. Popular traditions in Spain can be experienced through the Spanish festivals that are unique in almost every town and city. Many of these festivals are associated with the country’s strong Roman Catholic roots, such as Semana Santa (Holy Week), which is celebrated across Spain during Easter.

Seville, Barcelona and Madrid are other great places for foreign retirees to live in Spain. The country’s cities are cosmopolitan and very westernised, with a vibrant nightlife. They also have many amenities for retired ex-pats, such as museums, art galleries, theatres and libraries.

Considerations before you retire in Spain

Some downsides of retiring in Spain are the taxes and the visa requirements. Before making any decisions, it is essential to consider what you will get in return for your payment. The Spanish tax system, for example, is often regarded as complicated by foreigners who are new to living in Spain. You may also need a visa if you want to retire in Spain. Some types of visas allow retirees on lower incomes to live in Spain, whereas others require you to prove that you have financial backing.

Another consideration is how comfortable your retirement condition will be based on the area you choose to live in. It’s essential to consider public transport and whether there are shops, banks and supermarkets nearby (if not having a car). If you enjoy sport, it’s worth checking what facilities are available for you.

Weather conditions in Spain

Being a tax resident vs tax non-resident

You are a tax resident when staying in Spain for more than 183 days. For people with a wealth of more than 700.000 euros, this means you will have to pay wealth tax. Next, you will need to pay income tax on worldwide income.

However, being a tax non-resident also has its perks as it means that you have the same rights to use public services and social security.

If you are a non-resident for tax purposes, you will only pay tax on Spanish source income, both earned and unearned (capital gains), and not foreign source income.

Retiring in Spain

Spanish Healthcare System

The country has an established and high-quality health care system used by ex-pats and locals alike, but it is cheaper than in other countries such as the United States. Spain’s hospitals provide a full range of services, including specialised treatments and surgeries for cancer and heart disease conditions. Under certain circumstances, you can also collect foreign social security benefits in Spain.

Private health insurance

Private health insurance is available in Spain and is a good idea if you do not want to be treated by the state system. However, some ex-pats prefer to be treated at a public hospital because they feel more accessible and efficient care.

It is important to note that ex-pats living in Spain who are a part of the European Economic Area can buy health insurance from their home country. For example, German ex-pats can get a German-based private health plan before living in Spain.

Public healthcare system

The red cross insurance funds the Spanish public health system. It would be best to take out this insurance when you register in Spain. The state takes care of the poor and people that do not have their healthcare insurance.

Another thing you should know about the healthcare system in Spain because it may be more challenging to find a doctor who speaks your native language, and this is because most of them are trained in Spanish.

To sum up, Spain has a robust social security system, and the public healthcare system provides good services for its people. However, if you want more personal attention and care, it’s important to take out private health insurance.

State pension and resident permit in Spain

Best places in Spain for retirement

Spain offers a variety of climates, topography and culture which means there is a place in the country for everyone.

Costa del Sol

The Costa del Sol is the most popular place for ex-pats to retire in Spain. It has a Mediterranean climate that gives way to hot summers and mild winters, which makes it an ideal choice for winter sun-seekers who want to get away from the cold, grey days of Europe’s Northern climes.

If you love golf, you can choose from a wide variety of golf courses on the Costa del Sol. Apart from that, you can also enjoy the pristine beaches dotted along this area.

It’s not only adults who will find fun in this region, but there is also plenty for children and adolscents. They can ride in quad bikes and 4X4s in some areas and take horse riding lessons in other spots. Other activities include going to outdoor adventure parks, paintballing and indoor water parks that are open throughout the year.

Costa Brava

Spain’s north-eastern region is another popular location for those who want peace as well as a taste of beach life. The Costa Brava has beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters, and many places offer sailing lessons to those who want to try something new.

You can head inland and visit medieval towns such as Pals and Begur, known for their well-preserved streets and architecture. A trip to Barcelona is also a must when visiting in the Costa Brava region.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are a popular option for those who want to retire in Spain. There are plenty of activities to keep you occupied, such as hiking, whale and dolphin watching and sherry tours. You can also try water skiing, surfing and kayaking in the sea.

Some islands have golf courses, so if you love this sport, you will be spoilt for choice! There is a range of restaurants and bars where you can enjoy the local cuisine, and there is ample opportunity for sightseeing and exploring the history of these islands.

Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca is a stretch of the coastline in Spain, where you can spend your twilight years. It has a range of restaurants and bars that serve a range of delicious foods to enjoy. You won’t go hungry at all!

There are many activities from cycling paths, golf courses, spas and horse riding lessons to museums and art galleries. The Mediterranean climate also means that you can spend time at the beach sunbathing, swimming and sailing. All in all, there is something for everyone here!

Golden Visa and Retirement

How to not feel like an outsider

When you retire in Spain, you might feel like an outsider because of the language barriers. When you want to feel less like an outsider, it’s essential to take language courses.

Spanish people are famous for being very warm and friendly so you shouldn’t have a problem making friends. They will be delighted that you have taken the time to learn their language! However, below you can find four tips to make you feel better:

1. Learn the language

There is no denying that not knowing the language will make you feel like an outsider. When you want to avoid this, it’s essential to learn some basic words and phrases before you go. After arriving, choose to continue your learning at a language school or on one of the online platforms. Spanish is a beautiful language to learn.

2. Make friends with other foreigners

To help you settle in, make friends with other ex-pats in your area. You can even hire a caretaker or a housekeeper who speaks the language to help you learn everything from counting money to going grocery shopping. This will also mean that you won’t have to spend time alone and you’ll be able to get things done without having to ask for help.

3. Join a community

Joining a club will also help you integrate into the local culture. You can start by attending a Spanish class and then joining a group that does things together such as going to concerts or plays, going out to restaurants or trying new sports –it’s up to you!

4. Make time for yourself

It’s important to make time for yourself to ensure that you are not feeling dependent. You can take up a hobby or walk when everyone else is sleeping in beautiful Spain. This way, you’ll feel good about yourself, and in turn, it’ll be easier to welcome others into your life instead of just reacting when they’re around.

Cost of living and House prices in Spain

Cost to live in Spain

Spain is known for being a very cheap country to live in. There are many budget options available for accommodation, food and entertainment. If you make sure that you have enough money saved up before moving, you will be able to experience the best that Spain has to offer at an affordable price.

The lifestyle and the costs

Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the costs that you may incur when living in Spain:

  • Groceries: for 30 euro you can have food for a week.
  • 20-minute taxi ride: around 25 euros.
  • 3-course meal: 25 euros.
  • Monthly rent two bedroom – Touristic city: 500-750 euros.
  • Monthly rent two bedroom – Big city: 800-1000 euros.
  • Internet and TV: 30 euros per month.

The minimum amount of money for retirement in Spain

When you want to retire in Spain, we recommend having a minimum of 90,000 euros in your account. If you would like to buy a property, we would recommend 200.000. If you want to enjoy all that Spain has to offer you will need more than this. In general, you can retire comfortably on 2.000 euro per month in Spain, but you will have to make sure that your monthly costs are well controlled.

How much can you save living in Spain?

As mentioned earlier, it depends on how much money you want to live a comfortable life in Spain. But in general, Spain is around 30 to 40% cheaper than the UK, USA and other western countries so you can save a lot.

House prices and retiring in Spain

Renting or buying a property in Spain

In general, the market is going up, so it’s a good idea to start renting for a couple of years and then if you feel that you can settle down there, begin looking into buying your place.

Renting a property

Renting a property is one of the best things you can do if you want to save up money and see how you like living in Spain. If you are not yet familiar with living in Spain, you will be able to test out your retirement and decide if you want to continue living there or not.

You can find very affordable properties in Spain (depending on where you look), you can already rent a property for 200 euros, and for around 500 euros near the coast. Make sure you get a good location because roads can sometimes be difficult to navigate in Spain.

In general, it’s good to have a contract for at least one year. This will make sure you can’t be kicked out of your home too quickly and give all parties a full year to figure out if they want to continue living together or not. Also try to negotiate other terms before signing a contract, such as how much your deposit is, when you have to pay the rent, what are the responsibilities of each party etc. Be careful with scams, talk to locals to help you out, and contact a lawyer to assist you when things are unclear for you.

Buying a property in Spain

If you want to buy a property, you have two options, search for property yourself, or get a real estate agent to help you. A Spanish real estate agent knows the market and the region very well and will be able to answer all of your questions without pressure. The costs of hiring an agent would be around 2-3% of the property’s value, but this depends on how big it is and what area you are looking in. Other costs for buying property in Spain are notary costs, lawyer costs, and taxes.

Properties in Spain can be very affordable, you can find great properties for as low as 80,000 euros. The popular areas close to the sea or major cities are usually more expensive for properties. To buy a house in Mallorca, for example, you would have to pay around 400,000 euros. The prices are negotiated between the two parties involved. If you want to assure you are not being scammed, you can contact one of our experienced property lawyers in Spain who knows about the complex Spanish real estate. There are many pitfalls when buying property in Spain. Buying property in Spain is challenging. Therefore it is normal to get a property lawyer involved, even for locals. Reach out to us when you find a property you like.

Residency visa and visa options

Retirement in Spain and your Nationality

When you want to retire in Spain, and you are not Spanish, you will need to be allowed to by the government. Because Spain is part of the European Union, you are allowed to by European law when you are from the other European countries.

Non-EU citizens need to get a residence visa to retire in Spain. The process of applying for a visa can be lengthy, problematic, and expensive, and it is best to get the help of a Spanish immigration lawyer to guide you through the process. Below we discuss the two typical visa’s people use to retire in Spain.

Golden visa

The Golden Visa in Spain is a visa for people that invest money in the country. Most of them do this through the buying of property. To obtain the Spanish Golden Visa, you must invest €500,000 in real estate on your own. You can purchase land, plots, buildings, homes, beaches, commercial properties, parking lots, garages, holiday home’s, apartments, flats beaches, and so on to make the €500.000 real estate investment.

The Golden Visa document gives you the right to reside in Spain for one year. After one year, you can extend your visa for two more years. After this period has passed, you may apply for permanent residency in Spain.

The application for the Golden Visa needs to be done diligently, the same as buying the property. We offer package deals to get your Golden Visa and property purchase done properly.

Non-lucrative visa (retirement visa)

The non-lucrative visa is the most chosen Spanish retirement visa. This retirement visa allows you to reside in Spain for one year after entering. To renew, you must spend at least 183 days in the country. This also implies that you will become a tax resident, and the government will tax your worldwide income (subject to double tax treaties). After renewing twice, you can get a permanent visa.

Although the visa does not oblige you to invest in Spain to obtain it, it does not prevent you from doing so. You need to demonstrate that you have adequate funds (and your family) to support yourself and live comfortably in Spain. This residence visa does not allow you to work in Spain.

The three main requirements are:

  1. You need to be able to have sufficient funds (between 25.000-30.000 euro).
  2. You must have a health insurance policy.
  3. Pass an interview/check at a Spanish consulate.

Getting a non-lucrative visa is more complicated than the Golden Visa, but it is still possible.

Spanish Citizenship

When you get a residence visa in Spain and stay in Spanish long enough, you can get Spanish citizenship. Spanish citizenship means you will hold Spanish nationality. In general, it is not possible to keep dual citizenship in Spain unless for a few exceptions. Mainly historical Spanish territories (Iberoamerican countries).

Expats retiring in Spain can apply for Spanish citizenship between 5 to 10 years of holding the residential permit. Spanish Citizenship will give you access to Spanish state healthcare, you will be able to vote, and your children will be citizens of Spain.

Retiring and Citizenship in Spain

Pension considerations

In Spain, pensions are taxed as general income, so you will have to pay Spanish income tax over it.

When you get residency in Spain, you may take your pension pot with you. To make this happen, you can transfer it to a qualifying recognised overseas pension scheme (QROPS).

Keep in mind that if you retire in Spain and receive a pension, your monthly amount is fixed on the currency you receive it in. However, if you receive it in another currency than the euro, this amount can change over time.

It’s worth keeping in mind that private pensions are less common than in other European countries. Private pensions will also be taxed as you may deduct general income and taxes from them. We advise speaking to a pension expert about this.

Wealth tax for tax residents in Spain

Typical tax obligations in Spain for retirees

There are many different types of taxes in Spain. Typical taxes for retirees are discussed below.

Wealth tax

There is a wealth tax in Spain, but only for tax residents. The wealth tax is a progressive tax which means that the more assets you have, the higher rate you will have to pay. Wealth tax in Spain is paid by tax residents who have a net worth higher than 700.000 euros.

Property tax

There are multiple property taxes in Spain you will have to pay. There is a communal tax, a land registry tax, a stamp duty, and rental income tax. Most of these taxes will have to be paid to the town hall you live in.

Inheritance tax

You will be subject to Spanish inheritance law when you own Spanish assets. Inheritance tax in Spain is only payable by the person receiving the Spanish inheritance, not the estate itself. The person who gets the inheritance will need to pay the tax, whether a resident or non-resident—the inheritance tax rate scales on a progressive tax. The more the person inherits, the more Spanish tax they will pay.

A word from SpainDesk

In short, it’s worth considering whether you want to retire in Spain or not. On the one hand, there are some great benefits such as a warm climate and good food. On the other hand, it is essential to consider the language barrier (although you will most likely speak some Spanish).

At SpainDesk, we offer immigration service, tax services, and purchase guidance to make your retirement easier. Our experts provide professional advice to ex-pats. Contact our office via, or learn more information from one of our accountants or lawyers in Spain. We can assist you with immigration Spanish tax forms and property buying guidance. We will help you with all your needs when moving to or living in Spain.

The Spanish government has approved a residence visa for investors known as the Golden Visa Spain. Through the Spain Entrepreneurs Law, they introduced the residence visa in Spain. This Visa is for investors who are not a member of the European Union.

Spain appealed to investors worldwide with the introduction of the law. The Spanish authorities hoped that it would be a new stimulus for investment in Spain from non-EU citizens.

What is the Golden Visa Spain?

In short, it allows obtaining an official residence permit by investing in certain areas under Spanish government conditions. The Visa is an authorisation that will enable foreigners to reside in the country, and for Spain, it presents a new opportunity to increase investment in the country.

What are the requirements for the Golden Visa Spain?

Next to a significant investment that you need to make. The other requirements are:

  • Your age should be over 18.
  • Able to get a NIE Number (Foreigner’s Identification Number).
  • Not refused a previous visa or entry into the Schengen Area.
  • You don’t have a criminal record.
  • Not entered or stayed illegally in Spanish territory.
  • You need to provide bank statements showing that you have enough income to support yourself (and any family that might join you).
  • Won’t become a burden to the Spanish public health system or social security, and have proper health insurance.
  • Not on any kind of blacklist (terrorist list).
  • Not be a citizen of EEA, EU, Switzerland.
  • Make the investment in Spain needed.

If you are not sure you are eligible, we can help you. Contact us. We can go through your details and see if you qualify.

Travel to Spain for the Golden Visa Documents

Investment to obtain the Spanish Golden Visa

There are multiple ways within the Spain Golden Visa Program. The five investment options for the application are:

  1. Purchasing a property for 500.000 euros or more.
  2. Forming and investing in a new business.
  3. Becoming a company shareholder and depositing in a Spanish bank of at least 1,000,000 euros.
  4. Investing in the Spanish public debt of at least 2,000,000 euros.
  5. Making a Spanish Bank Deposit.

Below you can find a description of each investment option.

Spain Golden Visa: Residency by investment

Purchasing a property for 500.000 euros or more

The first option of purchasing a property for 500.000 euros or more isn’t the only option to get a Spanish Golden Visa, but it is the most common way of investment among ex-pats.

Investing in property is the cheapest option to get the Golden Visa Spain. You cannot apply for residency more than 90 days after buying property. It is therefore essential that you plan your whole process carefully. Spanish bureaucracy is difficult because their processes are done in Spanish and take a lot of time.

You can buy anything more than 500.000 euros. So you can choose to purchase land, plots, buildings, houses, beaches, commercial properties, parking lots, garages, holiday home’s, apartments, flats, beaches, and so on. Next to this, you can buy any number of real estate properties as long as the total is equal to or greater than the minimum required. Buying multiple properties can be a wise investment option. Renting out numerous properties is often easier and more reliable. If you want to rent out your property, you will have to pay the rental income. Renting out properties in Spain is popular because there are short-stay ex-pats, tourists, and people retiring in Spain.

Million euros villa for residency permit

To get the permit, you have to make the 500.000 euros real estate investment on your own. You can borrow the rest of the money from a bank via a mortgage. Getting a mortgage in Spain can be difficult, and you need income and credit history to get the mortgage approved.

Other transaction costs such as taxes are not included in the 500.000 euros. It will cost you more than 500.000 euros to get the application done. The added cost depends on the type and location of the property. The main cost will be VAT (IVA), but other expenses include Stamp Duty and fees. Investors should budget for around 15%. You should also count on lawyer fees and real estate agent fees as well.

A notary deed concludes the acquisition of a property, and the document must bear an official stamp from the notary. The purchase price recorded on the deed is the investment value that the government will consider for your residency application.

Starting a company in Spain

Unlike the other investments, starting a business in Spain doesn’t require a minimum amount of investment. However, the company needs to create new job opportunities, contribute to scientific or technological innovation and make a social-economic impact in the location where your business will be located.

Starting a business can be more complicated than purchasing property and has higher requirements. Hence, we recommend you contact us to guide you during your application process. We offer services to start your company in Spain, and these services range from the company formation itself to bookkeeping and accounting.

Becoming a shareholder of a Spanish company

There is also another option for obtaining a Golden Visa Spain. You can invest at least 1,000,000 euros and become a shareholder of a Spanish company. This option is the second most common way of investment and has fewer requirements than starting your own business.

When applying for the Golden Visa via Shareholder, you must transfer the million euros via a bank deposit. You will need a statement of where you have a million euros investment, and you can get this document from the Spanish Registrar of Investments.

Invest in the public debt of Spain

Investing in the public debt of Spain is another way to get your Golden Visa Spain. You can buy 2,000,000 euros worth of Spanish public debt. This option means you don’t have to invest in a Spanish company or in real estate, which saves on transaction costs such as taxes. However, the downside of this option is that it’s riskier. Spanish public debt can be risky because you’re investing in a government hit hard by the economic crises of 2008. While it has improved, the country is still suffering after the crisis, and everyone knows that the government’s solvency can change fast.

To get the Golden Visa Spain with a public debt investment, you will need a certificate from the bank of Spain or another financial institution stating that you are the owner for at least five years.

Making a Spanish Bank Deposit

The final option to get the Golden Visa in Spain is depositing 1000,000 euros in a Spanish bank/Spanish financial institution. You should maintain the deposit for at least two years, and the money must not be from illegal sources. This option is less expensive than investment in public debt, but the downside is that it’s more challenging to get your money back if you ever need to make an early exit and return home.

Benefits to getting the Spanish Golden Visa

Having a Golden Visa of Spain has many benefits. It gives you:

  • Entry into Spain and the other 26 EU countries (Schengen Zone) (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland)
  • You only have to visit Spain once a year to keep your permit, and you don’t need to stay long.
  • You will be able to enter and leave Europe at any time, without going through procedures with different Consulates and Embassies.
  • With the Golden Visa Spain, dependent parents can obtain a residence as companions.
  • Your spouse, and children under the age of 18 can also apply for residency.
  • Children over 18 who are dependent on you, and don’t have a family of their own can also apply for a residency permit.
  • Includes work, live and retire permits for the investor and their families.
  • Obtaining Spanish nationality by residence. A person who has a permit, such as a Golden Visa Spain, may opt for nationality because he has been in a residential situation.
  • The duration of a Golden Visa Spain is similar to other visas. The initial residence authorisation is valid for one year. After that, you can request the renewal of the residence permit for successive periods of 2 years.
  • You will have access to public services (health care, schooling, etc)

Spanish Golden visa for Non EU-Members

Golden Visa Spain application process

Below is a simple outline for the application process of a Golden Visa Spain.

  1. Before you apply for this type of residence visa, the applicant should prove their foreign citizenship.
  2. The applicant must then submit an application form and documents which will support their family ties (apart from the financial ones) to Spain.
  3. Get your passport ready. The government will scan biometric data, passport pictures, and documents proving that the applicant is not a security risk.
  4. Confirmation of your investment amount (which depends on your investment option) and documents related to it, which the Spanish authorities will check for compliance with regulations and due diligence procedures (to prevent money laundering).
  5. Bank documents related to required funds (money invested into the country), such as recent bank statements, tax forms of the most recent years, income declarations for the last three years.
  6. Evidence that applicant has sufficient funds available to maintain themself and their family members during their first year in Spain.
  7. The Spanish authorities will then process the application, who will conduct a due diligence search on your background for the previous five years.
  8. If all documents pass through scrutiny successfully and visa requirements meet. The application will get invited to an interview with Spanish consulate officials in their home country.
  9. The government will not process an application until all fees are paid (first stage of 100€ and second one – 250€ per applicant ).
  10. The outcome of the due diligence and processed application will be your Golden Visa which are valid for 12 months.

As you can see, taking into account all possible stages of applying for a Spain investor visa, it is not easy to get one. Before starting the procedure and obligatory required documents, there are many things to bear in mind before starting the procedure. However, if you fully meet the law requirements, this type of Visa will be your much-wanted golden chance to live in one of the most beautiful countries in Europe – Spain!

Golden Visa Spain Process: Investment in Real Estate of Spain

List of documents required

To apply for the Golden/Investor Visa, you will need to provide the following documentation during your appointment.

  • Criminal records certificate: You must also translate this into Spanish. It cannot be more than three months old.
  • National visa form: To complete it, you need to sign it and date it.
  • Photocopy of all passport pages
  • Birth certificate: This must be translated into Spanish be signed by the translator. The translator must swear that they will do a good job.
  • Bank certificate: Which shows you have financial means to satisfy the income requirements.
  • Private health insurance:  If you want to live in Spain, you need health insurance, and it should be from a company that is authorised to work in Spain.
  • A recent photo with white background
  • Valid residence permit and photocopy
  • Valid passport or travel document: You need to have a passport with at least 12 months left and two pages blank.

Documents Needed for Golden visa Investment

Getting permanent residency in Spain via the Golden Visa

Basically, to obtain this residency in Spain, the applicant must prove that they have lived in this country for at least five years. If an applicant has already got their Golden Visa, extended it and stayed for over five years, they can apply for a permanent residence. By further proving your ties with Spain, you will more likely get permanent residence in Spain from the Spanish Consulate. You can also apply for permanent residency sooner than five years; however, if you have resided in Spain on your papers for a cumulative period of 5 years, then obtaining permanent residence is easier.

To make sure you are doing the right thing and applying for this Visa correctly, I recommend that you work with an immigration agency such as ours, which will help you through the entire process. We will provide you with all the necessary documents and make it a success story.

Spanish Golden Visa Residence Permit FAQ

Below you can find common questions asked related to the Golden Visa in Spain.

What are the benefits of a residence permit in Spain?

The main benefit is that you will be able to enjoy all of Spain’s merits. Next to this, you will get permanent residence in Spain after five years of legal residence. After this period, you can travel across Europe (Schengen Area) without needing a Visa. The countries included in the Schengen Area are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Income requirements for the Golden Visa Spain?

When you have invested in the Golden Visa Spain, you also need to have enough money to support yourself and your family.

Investors – To support the principal applicant, you need to have a monthly income of 400% of the IPREM, which is €564.90 in 2021. The principal applicant must show that they make at least €2,259.60 per month. If you have more family members, it costs more money, which is €564.90 per month extra.

Entrepreneurs – They will need only to prove that they are 100% of the IPREM, which is €564.90 per month in 2021. 150% of the IPREM per month is needed for each family member. More than two more members mean 50% of the IPREM for each family member per month.

Business investment in Spain

What is the NIE number, and why do I need it?

The NIE (Numero de Identificacion Extranjera) is an identification number for foreigners living in Spain. You need the NIE number to purchase real estate in Spain. Through the Power of Attorney, we can acquire the NIE for you, and this way, you don’t have to travel to Spain.

What countries are excluded from the Golden Visa arrangement?

In 2012 the Spanish authorities excluded some countries from eligible nations for the Golden Visa Spain program. The following countries are taken off “list A”. They, therefore, will no longer be qualified to obtain the investor visa: Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Macedonia (FYROM), Mauritius, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, and Sri Lanka.

Who can apply for the Spanish Golden Visa?

Any foreign citizen who invests 500,000 euros or more in Spanish real estate can apply to the Golden Visa Spain. The owner should be a non-EU national (not from Spain or other countries of the EU).

How much does it cost to get all the documents?

Most of the required documents and the investment fee are free of charge. The only cost you will have to pay is the first stage (100€) and the second one (250€). The first stage consists of applying all required documents, and the second one is a payment for further processing of the file.

Real Estate investing for residence permit

How long does it take to get a Spanish Golden Visa?

A minimum would be 20 working days for a Spanish Residency Permit. Sometimes it can take up to 45 working days because some embassies will not issue visas in less than four weeks. Spanish bureaucracy can take time, but that is also part of the Spanish lifestyle. In the summertime, the Spanish administration is slower than in other year periods.

A date needs to be scheduled when you will hand in all required documents at the Spanish consulate. At that point, you will need to be physically present at the consular office in your country, and we recommend being punctual as some embassies tend not to grant flexibility on particular moments.

Just keep in mind that getting the papers can take up to two months to complete.

Will my family members be able to stay in Spain with me if I get the Golden Visa Spain?

Yes, they will be able to stay in Spain with you. Your family can apply for a residence permit after you obtain your Spanish Golden Visa, and they will be able to work, study and live in Spain. Family members that are allowed to stay are:

  • Your children under 18 years old. You must prove that you are the legal guardian of those children.
  • The spouse, if the marriage is valid in the country where it was registered, and there is proof.
  • If they are over 65, and your parents do not have a pension to cover their daily expenses, they will need to prove that they can.

Golden Visa investment: Residency for children and family

What if my last name is different from my spouse’s?

If you are married, your last name doesn’t matter. Your marriage certificate should confirm your marriage. All that matters is that you are legally married and can prove this fact with necessary documents.

Do I need Spanish knowledge?

Most documents are in Spanish. However, it is not needed to know Spanish to get this residence permit. We can help you with the Spanish documents required to obtain this residence permit.

What type of property can I buy to get a Spanish Golden Visa?

Your investment can be by purchasing new buildings or apartments in Spanish cities. Some small towns are not allowed because they are not seen as real estate investment locations. The property can be located in a city where you want to live or just close to it (50 km) because Spanish residency laws say that the property should be located within 30 minutes from your place of residence by car or train. You will not need proof that you will reside at that property. The local authorities will make the final decision when you apply for a Golden Visa.

How can I show that I have enough funds?

You will need to prove that you have enough funds available and that they come from legal sources. There is no official documentation required, but it is advisable to bring all bank statements of the past six months to show the Spanish authorities. We can help you with that too if needed.

How can I show that I have a clean criminal record?

You must prove that you have a clean criminal record from your country of origin or from the country where you are currently living. You can get this document at a police station. However, some countries do not provide this information and our lawyers can raise this issue to find the best solution for you.

Is it possible to hold two passports in Spain?

Yes, you can have dual citizenship with your home country (passport from your country of origin) and Spanish passport (Spanish citizenship). The Spanish passport is good to have because you do not have to apply for a residence card anymore. Next to this, you can travel across the Schengen Area without visa requirements, and you will receive discounts on different attractions and purchases in Europe when showing your Spanish passport. A way to get it is by following these three steps.

  1. Invest 500.000 euros or more in real estate and apply for a Golden Visa residence
  2. After five years, apply for a residence permit
  3. After five years, apply for Spanish Citizenship.

How long can I stay in Spain with a Golden Visa?

The document gives you the right to reside in Spain for one year. After one year, you can extend your Visa for two more years. After this period has passed, you may apply for permanent residency in Spain – Residence Card for Permanence. A permanent residency means that you can reside in Spain indefinitely (you can stay there as long as you like), and your family members can do so as well. After five years of permanent residency in Spain, if you wish, you may apply for Spanish Citizenship. Spanish citizenship means that you can have dual citizenship, which will allow you to hold a passport for two countries at once.

Golden Visa investment types for Non EU citizens

Can I purchase property through a company registered outside Spain?

Yes, you can buy a property with a company registered outside Spain under the following conditions:

a) The company must have a legal representative who is a Spanish resident.

b) This person must be the one in charge of all transactions and demonstrate control of the business (think about signing documents with your solicitor, doing checks for you or even sending bills to the bank).

c) The company is not present in a tax haven jurisdiction. Tax haven’s include countries like the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Jersey, and the Cayman Islands.

d) The company should prove that its capital comes from legal resources and not the illegal money laundering channels (the Golden Visa Law says this in detail). We can help you because we know which companies can help you buy property under your name.

Can I submit a Golden visa application without actually travelling to Spain?

You can buy a real estate property through the Power of Attorney. This way, you don’t have to be physically present in your country to complete the process. Often investors choose to buy a property via the Power of Attorney. Purchasing a property through the Power of Attorney means a lawyer will buy the property on your behalf. We will make certain legal requirements and laws in Spain are met so that there will be no problems later on with your Spanish investment visa.

Does the property investment threshold of 500.000 euros include taxes?

No. The 500.000 euros is only the property value and should not be included with any taxes related to the investment. Taxes also vary depending on what type of property it is, and where the property is located. Generally, you will need to pay an additional VAT tax on new properties and ITP when buying resale properties. Additionally, fees are paid at the notary office, registry office, stamp duty for your property documents. We recommend getting in touch with us for an accurate presentation of your investment.

Do I have to live in Spain to get the Golden Visa ?

No, you only need to be a legal resident of Spain (this means having a NIE number, and renting or owning a house). You do not have to live in Spain. This is one of the most significant advantages compared to Portugal’s Golden Visa. It is an advantage because you can purchase property in Spain and still travel freely through the Schengen area.

Can I renew this residence permit?

Yes, you can renew your Golden Visa residence after it expires without any problem as long as you keep complying with the requirements for Golden Visa program.

Can my children work and study when I have the residence permit?

Yes, your children can learn a new language and study in Spain. They will have a residence card (below 18 years) or their ID (above 18 years). If they decide to study abroad from Spain, you will get them enrolled in an international school.

Are my pension rights recognised in Spain?

Yes, your pension rights are recognised in Spain, and you can collect your retirement benefit anytime while living as a legal resident of Spain. That is another reason why this residency permit is attractive to many people. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us, and we are more than happy to help out.

How much tax will I pay for buying property in Spain?

If you are buying a new property, you will have to pay VAT, which varies depending on your property’s region. Generally, it is 10%. If you buy a resale property, you will not have to pay VAT, but you will be required to pay ITP. The amount of tax you need to pay depends on the property.

Apply for a Golden Visa in Spain

How do I find a Spanish Property for my investment?

There are many property investment options. You can find a Spanish property on well-known property websites in Spain such as Fotocasa, Idealista and some smaller local websites. All of these websites are free to use. We recommend using a property agent to look for the property as it will be faster. Property agents can help you find the ideal property for you and arrange a viewing for you. We work with a group of property agents to recommend the best one for you.

How do I know that the property is legal?

We have helped many people buy properties in Spain, and we use only reputable property lawyers to make sure your transaction is legit. If any irregularities with your real estate property would put you at risk, our lawyers will let you know. There can be a lot wrong with Spanish properties like illegal structures, illegal constructions (e.g. a pool), etc. Our lawyers can help you identify these problems to correct them before you buy the property in Spain. Next to this, we ensure your documentation is taken care of according to Spanish law.

What kinds of property can I buy to get the Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa is for purchasing any kind of property in Spain. You can buy a house, apartment or land. It is entirely up to you what type of property you want to buy. We recommend getting an independent and experienced lawyer who specialises in real estate transactions in Spain so that they can look at the market prices and advise you on the most suitable purchase for you.

Our company has been working with local property agents in different regions of Spain (Costa Brava, Costa del Sol, Alicante, Ibiza, and many other places). If you need any help or recommendations on buying a property in Spain and to get the Golden Visa in Spain, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help you in your search for the ideal property.

Can I sell my property later on and keep the Golden Visa?

Yes, you can sell your property and keep the Golden Visa. However, you need to re-invested the money in another property in Spain.

Living with a Spain golden visa via property investment

Is there a minimum stay requirement to keep the Golden Visa Spain?

No, you do not need to stay in Spain for any minimum time. You can come and go as you like but remember that the Golden Visa is only valid for one year at a time. You only need to enter Spain once with your Golden Visa to renew it for the following year. When your Golden Visa expires, you can get a temporary residence permit that is valid for either one or two years.

What makes Spain a great country to live in?

Spain is an open, easy-going society with a lot of history. Spanish people are predominantly relaxed and friendly, which many foreigners like. It has fantastic weather (most of the time), beautiful beaches, mountains, and cities with lots to do. It is a great place to live all year round.

Investment options in Spain

A word from SpainDesk

The Golden Visa in Spain is a fast way to live and work in Spain as it gives you full access to health care, education and employment. The Spanish Golden Visa gives you easy access to all of these services and makes it easier for foreigners who want to have a life here.

Getting a Golden Visa can be time-consuming and complex, especially if you don’t speak Spanish fluently. SpainDesk has immigration lawyers that can help you. Contact us, and we will get you your Spanish Golden Visa as fast as possible.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal advice. We highly recommend seeking guidance from a legal expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

This article is about the process of acquiring Spanish citizenship, obtaining Spanish citizenship, and the benefits of Spanish citizenship are discussed. Anyone interested in Spanish citizenship should read this article. While this article gives an overview of the process to be followed, it is advisable to seek advice from an immigration lawyer.

What is Spanish citizenship?

Spain Citizenship is the general term referring to holding the citizenship of Spain. In other words, it means that you hold Spanish nationality, and you will be upheld to all of the rights and duties associated.

Permanent residence vs Spanish citizenship

It is possible to reside in Spain and preserve your citizenship and your passport through permanent residency. Permanent residents will get most of the same benefits as Spanish citizens. Below important considerations are discussed:

Spanish residency

Spanish permanent residency means that you can acquire certain rights included staying in Spain for an indefinite time, working and living there.

  • Can still live in Spain for as long as you want
  • Can apply for it after 5 years of living in Spain
  • Can move around the EU, with permission
  • Must be able to financially support ourself
  • Can move around the EU for limited periods, and longer with permission
  • They can take away your visa

Spanish citizenship

Spanish citizenship means you acquire Spanish nationality. This means that you are under Spanish jurisdiction.

  • Have the legal rights as Spanish citizens
  • Have to surrender your original passport and nationality unless you qualify for an exemption.
  • Have to pass the exams of Spanish language and culture
  • Able to vote in Spain
  • Can move freely around EU without permission
  • You will have to go through the Spanish citizenship Application
  • They can’t take away your Spanish citizenship

Spanish Residency

How to become a Spanish citizenship

You can become a Spanish citizen in multiple ways. Below we will highlight the most common methods that are used.

Spanish citizenship by birth

This is the most common way to obtain Spanish citizenship. Every child that was born in Spain or any of its territories acquires Spanish citizenship. So if you are born in Spain, you automatically will be a Spanish citizen (unless your parents were foreign nationals, and chose otherwise).

It is possible to acquire Spanish citizenship by birth if you were born outside of Spain to parents that are both Spanish. In general, if one of your parents is Spanish, you won’t be denied attaining Spanish nationality.

It is also possible to get Spanish nationality if you are an adopted child under the age of 18 to a Spanish mother or father.

There is also another way to become a Spanish citizen by birth (or in this case, the descent would be more proper).

Spanish citizenship by descent

Spanish citizenship by descent is one way of acquiring it, through your parents or grandparents. Basically, this type of citizenship recognizes the right to acquire it automatically, without having to request documents or do any kind of procedure.

Cases, where you can get citizenship by descent, are:

  • When you are a child of a Spanish parent who got their nationality through historical memory, you can become a Spanish national.
  • When you are a grandchild of a citizen of Spain, who did not become a Spanish citizen before you were 18, you can become a Spanish National.
  • Spain grants citizenship to children born in Ibero-American countries to Spanish parents who are also citizens of the other country.
  • When you are a grandchild of a Spanish national who left Spain before you were born, you can become a Spanish national
  • When you are a grandchild of a Spanish woman who was born in Spain and married a non-Spanish citizen before the creation of the 1978 consitution, you can become a Spanish national.

As you can read above, there is a lot of ways to get citizenship. The laws around Spanish citizenship also changes with time, and Spain is no exception. That’s why it is a smart idea to contact a Spanish legal advisor or do your own due diligence on Spanish Citizenship.

Spanish citizenship through a visa (residency)

Another way of acquiring Spanish citizenship is through a visa. If you are staying in Spain long enough to acquire residency, you can apply for it.

To be able to stay long in Spain on a visa in general you need enough money to sustain yourself and your family.

There is no exact time you need to stay, but you will for certain be able to ask for Spanish citizenship after residing 10 years in Spain. Factors that can decrease that time are visa type, nationality, circumstances of your arrival, and if you have family in Spain.

Other requirements include a valid residency card, uninterrupted living in Spain, and good conduct.

Spanish citizenship through marriage

Another way of acquiring Spanish citizenship is through marriage. If you are married to a Spanish citizen, then you will be able to request Spanish citizenship by the right of your spouse.

Spanish Nationality

Benefits of Spanish nationality

There are many benefits of getting Spanish nationality. These include

  • Live and work in Spain as well as anywhere else in the EU.
  • Able to apply for local jobs in Spain without requiring any work permit. This includes working as a civil servant or for the Spanish army, police or Guardia civil.
  • Able to send your children to Spanish schools.
  • Improved chances of applying to study at Spanish universities.
  • Being able to send your children to Spanish schools without them requiring a visa.
  • Being able to receive medical treatment in Spain with the European Health Insurance.
  • Having the right to vote in all elections that are held in Spain, both national and municipal elections.

Access to European Union

The Spanish passport is good to have. It gives you the right of living and working in any other EU country without requiring a visa or work permit. You will not be subject to any controls at the borders, you can move freely within the countries of the European Union (plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland).

Tax Resident vs tax non-resident

When you are a citizen in Spain, you are not a tax resident automatically. You are a tax resident in Spain when you stay more than 183 days a year. If you don’t, then you are a tax non-resident and you will be taxed at different rates.

Spanish nationality law

There are some laws that will have an impact if you want to acquire Spanish nationality. These laws are as follows:

Dual nationality

You can get your dual citizenship if you are from Andorra, Portugal, Equatorial Guinea, the Philippines, or a Latin American country. However, in other cases, you will need to renounce your original nationality. Therefore if you want to keep your own nationality, you should instead renew your visa every 5 years.

Spain allows people born in Spain to have two citizenships. You can do this as long as you tell them that you want to keep your Spanish citizenship within three years of getting another citizenship.

Criminal record

If you have a criminal record, then it is likely that the Spanish government will not allow you in becoming a citizen. If you do want to become a Spanish citizen and hold a criminal record, then wait for at least a ten year period. But in general, you will get rejected when you apply for a Spanish passport. Because the Spanish government is pretty strict and does not want people with criminal records to become citizens.

Types of visa’s

If you want to become a Spanish citizen through residency, then you will need to obtain a visa. There are several types of visa’s that you can obtain depending on your situation. These include

Golden visa

The Golden Visa in Spain allows you to get a Spanish residency in exchange for investing at least 700.000 € on real estate. You will get a visa for 1 year, after which you can apply to extend the visa. Extending the visa is not a problem.

Non-lucrative visa

A non-lucrative visa means is a visa for people that have enough money to sustain themselves and do not need to work. It is often used by people that retire in Spain, and therefore called also called a pension visa, or retirement visa. This visa will allow you to stay in Spain for 1 year after which you can apply for an extension

Work visa

A work visa is for people that found a job in Spain. This is an ideal visa if you are looking to stay long term in Spain. This is also called a Blue Card. In general, you will need professional experience or have at least a university degree. Your employer can apply for this visa.

Other visa’s

There are also other visa’s which are not as common. These include students visas, au pair visas, and trainees visas.

How to apply for Spanish citizenship

In this section, we will explain step by step how to apply for Spanish citizenship.

Gather all necessary documents

Required documents include:

  • Residence permit
  • Passport and NIE
  • Birth certificate (and children if applicable)
  • Criminal records
  • Marriage certificate (for citizenship by marriage)
  • Receipt of payment for processing documentation
  • Show of sufficient economic means

Taking the required exams (A2 and CCSE).

If you pass the two required tests, DELE A2 and CCSE, you will receive a certificate that must be included in your application. The DELE A2 is a basic language, while the CCSE is a test that verifies basic knowledge in Spanish history.

Foreign nationals that are not from a Spanish speaking country, should sign up for classes to prepare for these tests. You can take these courses at universities or with recognized Spanish language institutions.

While passing these tests is a great achievement, we recommend keeping practising to make your full integration into Spanish culture. Taking classes may be a fantastic way to learn Spanish, but it can also help you get involved in Spanish culture. Try to speak Spanish everywhere and embrace the Spanish traditions and go to Spanish festivals.

Submitting your application

After you have completed all the paperwork and exams, submit your application to get the Spanish nationality. This can be done online or you can visit them in person.

Waiting for the response

Waiting for a response from the Spanish government can take up to 6 months. They will inform you via email when your application is approved and what the next steps are. Which is pledging allegiance to the Spanish government and renouncing your current nationality. This is something you can do before a Spanish notary, at the Spanish consulate or at the Civil Registry.

After which you will receive a document and you can go to the local police station and get your passport and Spanish identification number (DNI). The final stage is to obtain a concordance certificate so that any public and private bodies know your new ID information.

Costs for getting citizenship

Applying for Spanish nationality by residence costs € 103.20. You can pay this fee online or at the police station. The fee is a tax that goes to the government. The CCSE and DELE exams cost around 85 euros.

The cost of obtaining Spanish citizenship are non-refundable, even if your application gets declined.

Obtaining Spanish Citizenship

Frequently asked questions

Below we discuss some frequently asked questions about Spanish citizenship.

Is becoming a Spanish citizen worth it?

Becoming a Spanish citizen is definitely a personal choice. While obtaining Spanish nationality can have many perks, it also has some downsides. We recommend taking into consideration your personal pros and cons before applying for Spanish nationality.

Is the DELE 2 and CCSE difficult?

It really depends on your level of language skills, and your interests in Spanish culture. But in general, the DELE 2 is a complex test while the CCSE can be quite simple. The government has set up study centres that offer classes for learning these exams. We also recommend practising online. It is a good idea to practice for the exams, because of the costs to take them.

Do I need to take a course for the exams?

You are not required to take a course. But if you want the best results, it is recommended to take classes for both exams.

Do I need an immigration lawyer to get become a Spanish national?

No, you don’t need an immigration lawyer to help you with the process. You can do everything yourself. However, if you want to make the process as easy and error-free as possible, we recommend hiring an immigration lawyer. It is well worth your money if your time is limited.

Can I still apply for Spanish citizenship after my visa has expired?

Not necessarily, if you want to acquire Spanish nationality through residency, you need to have a visa. Of course, you can obtain Spanish nationality without a visa through birth, marriage and descent.

Can I get a Spanish passport?

When you obtain Spanish nationality, you will receive a passport. You can also opt-in for the ID card, which is easier to carry around. The ID card can be used across Europe, however, you need a passport to travel outside of the European Union.

Is it possible to be a citizen of both the United States and Spain?

If you are from the united states, it is not possible to be a citizen of both countries. Spain does not allow dual citizenship.

How long will it take to get Spanish Nationality?

It takes around 6 months to get Spanish nationality. But it can take up to a year, and in some cases, they request further documents. The time is greatly dependent on the Spanish Government and your local authority.

Can you buy Spanish citizenship?

It is not possible to buy Spanish citizenship specifically. However, you can get a golden visa by buying property in Spain. This will get you a Spanish residency permit, which eventually can lead to obtaining Spanish citizenship.

Do new Spanish citizens need to take an oath?

When you want to obtain Spanish citizenship, you will need to take an oath in front of a notary, the Spanish consulate or at the civil registry. During the ceremony, you will be required to sign the Spanish constitution. The process is quick and straightforward, there are no surprises. It is just a fun and simple ceremony, often done with friends and family.


Spain is a beautiful country with rich culture and history. The Spanish government has made it easier to become a citizen of Spain by streamlining the process for those that are already residents in the country or have bought property there.

There are many perks of obtaining Spanish nationality, but you can also obtain a permanent residency. When you want to apply for Spanish citizenship, it can be beneficial to hire a lawyer. They know the process, and they can make sure you do not forget anything important. We can take care of your Spanish residency for a fixed fee. It is well worth your money if you want to save time.

We also have other legal services such as buying property, setting up a company, and tax advice. Have a look at our website for more information.

We will be more than happy to answer your questions about legal and financial situations in Spain.

If you are a foreigner coming to live or stay in Spain for the first time, you will be surprised at how much paperwork is necessary. One of the most important documents is called the NIE which stands for Número de Identificación de Extranjero. It’s an identification number that every person who lives in Spain must have. In this post, we’ll explain what a NIE Number is, how to get one, and other things you need to know.

What is the NIE Number?

The NIE number in spain is a foreign identification number that is issued by the National Police of Spain (Policía Nacional de España). It is a unique tax identification number that you need for legal or tax activity in Spain as a foreigner.

For what situations do you need a NIE number in Spain?

You will need a NIE for many situations in Spain. Below you can find the most common cases, but if you are not sure whether you need it or how to obtain one, do not hesitate to contact us. We can help you with any legal process.

And many other legal, social, and investment activities.

The NIE number for starting a company

Everyone who will be a director or stockholder in the company must have an NIE as a result of the Fraud Prevention Act when creating a firm.

The NIE number to buy property

When you want to buy a holiday home in Spain you must have a NIE. Even if you won’t be there more then 3 months a year. You will also need the NIE number of the seller. It is recommended to get in touch with a Spanish property lawyer if you are buying a property in Spain.

The NIE number to get a driving license

You must have an NIE number if you want your driver’s license renewed, want to apply for a drivers’ license, or if you need to be tested in order to obtain a licence.

NIE number for buying a house in Spain

At what time do you need a Spanish NIE number?

To stay in Spain for less than three months, EU citizens only need to have their valid passport or identity document. If the stay is longer than three months, the citizen must request Spanish NIE Number at the Foreigners Office of the Police Station.

As a foreigner in Spain, you must obtain an NIE if you have economic, professional, or social interests. Because the NIE is a tax identification number for the Spanish Tax Agency, in this case, it doesn’t matter how long you stay in the country.

The two types of NIE certificates you can have in Spain

There are two types of NIE certificates in Spain. The NIE card and the NIE number. Which NIE number certificate you need, depends on the activities you have in Spain.


The NIE number is written on a A4 paper. It is useful for non-residents that need a tax number for financial and legal activities such as purchasing property, investing, or setting up a business. This number is not a proof of residency.

TIE card (NIE card / residency permit)

The TIE card (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) is a blue residency certificate the size of a creditcard. It replaced the old green A4 residency document in mid-2020.

This card contains the NIE number on it. It is an identification ID as well in Spain, however It cannot be used for identification purposes in any other country besides Spain. It is required for stays exceeding 3 months. It contains your first name and last name, photo, the NIE number, your address, date awarded, birthplace, and a chip with your personal data.

NIE card (TIE-card) Spanish NIE Number

What is the necessary documentation to get a NIE?

The Spanish government requires people who want to obtain the NIE that they will be registered inside Central Registry of Foreigners. To get registered you need to provide the following documentation:

  • An official NIE application form filled out properly
  • Passport photos
  • Passport / ID and a photocopy

Make sure you have all the proper documentation filled out. For example, you will need to state why you need the NIE. This could be for financial, professional or social affairs.

Getting a NIE appointment can be very difficult, it can take up to 10 weeks for some locations to get an appointment. The procedure is very strictly official, if your documentation is not in order, the procedure will be halted immediately and you will need another appointment.

Spanish consulate or police station

Where can I get my NIE?

While residing or touring in Spain, you can submit your NIE applications to a Spanish National Police station (Comisaria de Policía para Extranjeros) or immigration authority (Oficina de Extranjeros). You will need to have an appointment.

You can also acquire an NIE number at the Spanish embassy / Spanish Consulate in your country.

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of requesting your NIE, as your Spanish lawyer, we can also request it for you, and send it to you when we have received it.

Nie number fast

How long does it take to get a NIE?

The process of applying for the NIE has become much more difficult in recent years. Whereas before 2004, even a broker may simply submit an application for the NIE document on behalf of the clients and encounter little resistance. Now the applicant must give an original and sworn translated notarial Power of Attorney to a broker or other intermediary like a lawyer.

A police officer will then thoroughly examine all documentation. If even one document or attachment is missing, a new appointment needs to be made, which as stated before can take up to ten weeks again.

The waiting period at some police stations is even so lengthy that making an appointment is (temporarily) impossible, in this case the appointment system is blocked.

We can get you your NIE number in Spain

If you want to get your NIE number fast, and your immigration taken care of, consult SpainDesk. We are here to provide help in arranging your Foreigner Identity Number (NIE). Our team of professional lawyers provides guidance on how to get your NIE within a few days. We know the legal process of NIE, so trust SpainDesk and consult us today.

Getting your NIE online

The NIE form 790 is available on the internet. The form is in Spanish and can easily be completed online. Once this NIE application has been filed, you will receive a reply with the date and time of your appointment at the Spanish National Police station. You must make sure to show up on time or else you might miss your interview and have to wait 90 more days before reapplying again.

Where can I get the traditional paper NIE form?

Some police stations may want a traditional paper NIE form version. You can get this document from a national police station dealing with foreign documentation.

The necessary documentation for a traditional paper NIE form:

  • Fill out an application for the NIE (EX 15 form)
  • You will need a passport as well as one photocopy
  • Two passport photos

FAQ about the Spanish Number

Frequently asked questions

Below we listed some frequently asked questions about the NIE number

Is the NIE document an ID document?

The NIE is not a document that proves your citizenship. As a result, in addition to your NIE, you must carry a corresponding identity document (passport, identity card, etc.) from your nation at all times.

How long does it take to get a NIE?

It takes at least 3 weeks to get your N.I.E. or certificate when applying through this Consulate General.

What does the NIE look like?

The NIE is made up of three parts: a ‘X’ or ‘Y,’ or ‘Z’ followed by seven digits, and then another letter (dígito de control).

Foreigners who applied for an NIE before July 15, 2008 received an X as the first letter, while those who applied after that date received a Y or Z.

How does the NIE application process go?

The NIE application process begins by making an appointment online. When you come to the office, applicants will need to provide their passport or id card and sign the application form. The documentation will then be reviewed and if everything is in order, you will receive your NIE number.

Is the NIE the same as a residency card?.

The NIE number is not a residency card, it does not state where you are a resident or citizen of. The NIE number is used by the Spanish government to process yearly income tax payments.

Do I need a NIE number as a Non Resident?

Some companies ask for a NIE number as a Non Resident. However, the Spanish tax authorities always require a NIE number from NON RESIDENT individuals or companies that have any taxable income within Spain, a company, or maintain bank accounts with a Spanish financial institution. If you have any legal or tax activities in Spain, it in many cases required.

Do I need a NIE as a residence?

Yes, when you have a Spanish residence card (VISA), you will also need a NIE number.

How can I replace a lost NIE card (TIE) or NIE number?

If you have lost your NIE card or NIE number and need a new one, you can request another appointment with the Spanish Consulate, or local National police station dealing with foreign affairs. You can make another appointment online and request the letter for the number again. Your personal NIE number will be the same as before.

To get a replacement for your NIE card (TIE), you will need to fill out another application form, and provide your passport or id card and two photos again.

How to get your NIE fast?

In order to get your NIE fast, you have to prepare the needed documentation and submit it at the Spanish embassy in your country. SpainDesk can also help you with that.

How does the Spanish Government use the NIE Number?

The Spanish Government uses the NIE number to assess and process yearly tax payments such as income tax in Spain (IRPF) and the annual wealth tax in Spain (Patrimonio). The NIE number doesn’t deduct taxes, but you can use it to file your tax returns during the same time period.

How do I renew my NIE?

The Spanish NIE number does not expire, this number will stay the same for your identification purpose. however the NIE card (or TIE) does expire. The expiration date of the NIE card, is on the card itself. When it expires, you need to start the renew process.

You do this by demonstrating that the reason why you got the NIE card initially is still true at the time of renewal.

Where is the application processed?

When you apply in Spain, the Provincial Immigration Office (Oficina de Extranjería) in the province you applied in will will process the application.

When you applied abroad, the Spanish embassy or consular section in the country will process the application.

How did getting a NIE change during Covid?

When All face-to-face procedures have been required to be scheduled a visit (cita previa) since COVID-19 began. On the official Spanish-language website, you can schedule the cita previa.

What is the difference between a NIF number and a NIE number?

While the Spanish NIF number (Numero de Identificaco Fiscal) is for Spanish nationals (Spanish passport holders), the Spanish NIE number (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) is for foreigners in Spain, whether EU, or non EU citizens and residence, or non residence holders.

For Spanish nationals, the NIF number is on the DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad), which functions as the Spanish ID card.

As a foreigner, you can also need a NIF /CIF number. When you are starting a company in Spain, you need a NIF number as well.

Getting the NIE number


The NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) is a foreigner’s identification number for tax and legal purposes in Spain. It does not function as a personal identification card. For example, you need it to pay taxes, buying and selling motor vehicles.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal advice. We highly recommended seeking guidance from a legal expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.

When you live in a country that is not part of the European Union, or Schengen Area. You will have to request a visa to live in Spain. One of the requirements of the visa’s are minimum incomes. The minimum income requirements for residency in Spain can change every year. Next to this, the minimum requirements depends on the category of visa you will apply for.


In Spain, the IPREM (Indicador Público de Rentas de Efectos Múltiples) is used to calculate your eligibility for subsidies. The amount for 2021 is €564.90 monthly and €6,778.80 yearly. To prove that you have adequate resources to support yourself and any dependents, you must provide proof of the following minimal income levels:

Minimum income for Non Lucrative visa

The non lucrative visa in Spain does not allow you to work or receive salaries. However, it does allow you to have income from other sources.

The minimum income requirement for Non-lucrative visa is €2,259.60 per month, which means that an individual would need to provide proof of a yearly income of €27,115.20.

For every additional family member, the IPREM demands 100% of the cost, which in 2021 is €564.90 per month or its equivalent in foreign currency.

Minimum income for the Golden visa

The Golden Visa in Spain requires a minimum of investments of €500.000. You will need to provide proof of adequate revenue for yourself and your family by setting up a bank statement in the applicant’s name with at least €30,000 on deposit. The importance is proving to have a clean source of funds, because any undocumented income will cause the application to be denied.

Minimum income for the Business visa

The Business visa does not have a minimum requirements, but certain documents are needed to apply. For example, you will need to show that you already have clients for a self employed work visa. For the entrepreneurs there are also complex requirements which should benefit Spain.

Minimum income for EU Blue Card

You must have a contract which pays you at least 50% more than the average wage in Spain OR 20% more if the skills are in demand.

Minimum income Au Pairs visa

There is no minimum income requirement, however in Spain, au pairs are paid a minimum of 70 euros per week in pocket money from their host family. Board and lodging are both complimentary.


These were the minimum requirements for residency in Spain. However, they can change every year. Make sure you consult with your local authorities or a lawyer well before submitting any applications.

If you have any questions about visa requirements for Spain, feel free to contact us. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

Disclaimer: Information on this page may be incomplete or outdated. Under no circumstances should the information listed be considered professional legal advice. We highly recommended seeking guidance from a legal expert if you lack extensive knowledge or experience dealing with any of the procedures outlined in these articles.