Tag Archive for: Moving

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.

Knowing about the aspects of pets in Spain can be helpful when you want to retire in Spain or are going to buy a holiday home. Of course, it would be great to bring them with you. Currently, pets are allowed to come into the country and are welcome in many places, including designated parks, certain restaurants, and public transportation. There are also plenty of veterinarians and pet-related services available. This article discusses everything you need to know about pets in Spain.

Pets are legal family members

In the court system, dogs and other pets are regarded as “sentient beings” beginning January 5, 2022; they are no longer classed as “objects.”

Pets can no longer be seized, pawned, neglected, or removed from one of their owners in the case of a separation or divorce. When it comes to the fate of a pet during divorce or separation, the civil code now states that the animal has the same importance as that of the children and other family members. This way, shared custody is also possible.

Next to this, animal welfare is central, and owners must “ensure” the pet’s well-being if the family decides to separate according to the law. When a family member has a record of animal cruelty or badly treated the animal, they may lose custody.

Animal welfare and animal rights are becoming more and more critical to Spain; the government recognizes animals’ experience feelings, thoughts, and emotions.

Pet in Spain going to veterinarian

Traveling with pets to Spain

Be aware that traveling to Spain with your pets can pose some challenges, but don’t let this discourage you from making the trip.

Traveling from another EU country

If you are moving to Spain from another European Union country with a dog, cat, or ferret. They must:

  • Be at least 12 weeks and 21 days of age.
  • Carry a microchip or tattoo
  • Vaccination against rabies.
  • Have an EU pet passport.

Traveling from a non-EU country

If you are coming from a non-EU country, for example, you are moving from the US. You must declare the animal at the Guardia Civil’s Tax department as well. They must:

  • At least 12 weeks and 21 days of age.
  • Carry a microchip or tattoo.
  • Vaccination against rabies.
  • Have an EU pet passport.
  • Present animal health certificate in Spanish

To sign your pet up for traveling to Spain, go through the official website of the Spanish ministry of agriculture, fishing, and food.

Dog in Mallorca

Living with Pets in Spain

Below we discuss some topics of everyday life with pets in Spain.

Restaurants with pets

Some restaurants in Spain allow small dogs to eat at the outside tables. However, be aware that this is not a common practice in most country areas. In some situations, they may need to be muzzled or restrained.

Parks with pets

Many of the parks in Spain allow you to bring your pet, but there may be some restrictions on what breed or size. As long as they are not aggressive and under control, most likely no one will say anything. There are also dog areas in some parks and designated times and seasons for dogs to be allowed on the beach.

Pets and hotels

When seeking a place to stay, we advise that you verify whether you will bring your pet with you when making your reservation. If you cannot find this information on the hotel’s website, it is best to call or email them for confirmation.

Public transport in Spain

Small pets may travel on public transportation in most Spanish cities inside carriers. If your pet is bigger than 10 kg, they will require a ticket. Check with the transportation company to see what their policies are so you can plan accordingly.

Pet-friendly accommodations and apartments

While it is legal for landlords to deny renting to anyone with pets, there are plenty of pet-friendly accommodations in Spain. Speak to your landlord to find out if they allow pets. If your pet can behave, they might bend the rules for you.

Pet-friendly shops and services

If you need any pet-related products or services while in Spain, there are plenty of places like Tiendanimal. There are also many pet shops to find online.

Restricted dog breeds in Spain

There are no breed-specific restrictions in Spain. However, there are limitations for dangerous dogs. Dangerous dogs could be dog breeds like Pit Bull, Doberman, German Shepherds, Terrier, Rottweiler.

Dogs that are considered dangerous in Spain are typically those that weigh more than 20kg and have strong musculature. This includes dogs with bulky heads and short necks and dogs trained for attack or have strong jaws and a wide mouth.

To own a potentially dangerous dog, you must be at least 18 years old and in good physical and mental health. Next to this, dangerous dogs may need a muzzle, leash and be with their owner.

Pets in Spain

A word from SpainDesk

Having a pet in Spain can be a great experience; it is a beautiful country with vast areas to explore for your fellow companion. Fortunately, laws are changing, and so are people’s minds to ensure that animals have a better life in Spain.

Animals can provide companionship, entertainment, and even extra security for your home. It is best to prepare two months ahead of time if you want to bring your pet so you can be sure to enjoy your time in Spain with your friend by your side.

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 contact@spaindesk.com, 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.

The Beckham law creates opportunities for expats to save money. It is also know as the Special Expats’ Tax Regime (“SETR”) or Régimen Especial para Trabajadores Desplazados. Knowing the rules to take advantage of this law allows you to keep more money in your pocket when filing taxes. In this article, we will discuss what it is, what conditions their are, as well as how to file a tax return under these guidelines.

What is the Beckham law in Spain?

The Royal Decree 687/2005, popularly known as the Beckham Law is a special expats tax regime. It enables foreigners that are approved by the relevant Spanish tax authorities to pay a 24% flat rate for income earned in the country.

Expats who fall under this regime are not treated as tax residents whose worldwide income is taxed as an progressive tax rate of 19% up to 45%.

Normally when you move to Spain to work, you become a tax resident and are subject to the normal rate for Spanish citizens. However, with the Beckham law, instead of being taxed at the resident income tax rate, you can pay it as a non-resident.

Get taxes done more quickly and efficiently with our tax services in Spain

Beckham Law Spain

Types of residencies in Spain

To grasp a better understanding of what the Beckham law implies we discuss the different types of residencies and taxes for foreign workers in Spain.

Residents in Spain

A resident in Spain is someone that lives in Spain on a permanent basis. This means that their principal interests are situated in the country, not outside of it.

As mentioned before, there are several conditions that can lead someone to become a tax resident and thus be subject to the flat rate set for Spanish residents:

  • You live in Spain more than 183 days during the tax year (which runs from January 1 through December 31).
  • You live in Spain less than 183 days, but your spouse and children or those of your legal dependents stay outside Spain at least 183 days during the tax year. If you are present in Spain for more than 183 days, but this is not the case with your family members, you will be a resident for tax purposes.
  • Your center of economic interest is situated in Spain. This means that the main part of your economic activities and interests is carried out inside Spain, regardless of your physical presence or activity abroad.

Normal tax implications for residents of Spain

Residents of Spain are subject to the same Spanish income taxes as Spanish citizens, this tax is known as the Spanish Personal Income Tax (PIT), or Impuesto sobre la Renta de las Personas Físicas (IRPF).

This tax is levied on all income and capital gains, whether foreign or domestic. The tax is a progressive tax on income and capital gains with a tax bracket that starts at 19% and goes up to the top marginal rate of 47%.

Beckham tax spain

Non-Residents in Spain

A non-resident in Spain is a person who is not resident in Spain. The law states that you are considered to be a non-resident in Spain if one of the following conditions applies:

  1. You live outside the Spanish territory more than 183 days during the tax year (which runs from January 1 through December 31).
  2. You live in the Spanish territory less than 183 days, but your spouse and children or those of your legal dependents stay outside Spain at least 183 days during the tax year. In this case, those family members are also considered as non-residents.
  3. Your center of economic interest is situated outside Spain. This means that the main part of your economic activities and interests is carried out outside Spain, rather than in a country other than Spain.

Normal tax implications for non-resident of Spain

Non-residents in Spain are only required to pay income tax on their earnings from Spain. It is also known as the Non-resident income tax (NRIT) or Impuesto sobre la Renta de No Residentes (IRNR). In general, the flat tax rate for non-residents is 24%. For citizens from the EU/EAA the rate is 19%. They will be charged a flat and set rate.

Residents with Beckham law tax residence

When you are a resident in Spain, and you get approved for the Beckham law you will be considered as non-resident in Spain. This means that your worldwide income is not subject to Spanish tax, but only what you earn in Spain.In other words,

  • You can spend more then 183 days in Spain without having to pay taxes on your worldwide income.
  • You will only be paying taxes on your income in Spain
  • You won’t pay the progressive tax and instead a flat 24% up to 600.000 Euro. When this is exceeds you will pay a fixed 45%

As you can read, this Spanish income tax law is very attractive to foreign nationals who will need to work more then 183 days in Spain. With the Beckham law in Spain the tax burden can be significantly lowered.


What are the conditions for the Beckham Law?

In order to apply the Beckham Law, the person should not have been a resident in Spain during the 10-year tax period before the year they are settling in the country. Also, the applicant must be moving to Spain for work reasons. For this reason, you are required to have an employment contract where the employer is a Spanish company.

Other criteria that need to be met by expats that want to apply are:

  • To qualify, the applicant must be a first-time resident of Spain.
  • The applicant must have moved to Spain to take up a work contract.
  • Employment responsibilities must be carried out in Spain, but if they are required to perform part of their duties outside of Spain, the proportion of their income derived from these sources cannot exceed 15 percent.
  • Within 6 months of beginning the employment contract, the application must be submitted.
  • The agreement is valid for a total of 6 years.
  • All capital gains made in Spanish territory are taxed at a rate of 35%.

If you wish to be a director in a Spanish company, then you must have equity in no more than 25% of the company.

Applying for the Beckham Law

When it comes to the application process, the application must be submitted within 6 months starting from the date of the inscription in Social Security as an employee for the Spanish company. As a result, applications after the 6 months are promptly declined.

The application process starts by first filling out and sending the Modelo 149, which informs the Spanish tax agency of the intention to benefit from the tax regime. Candidates need a passport, NIE number and Social security number.

Model 151

After applying via the Modelo 149, and getting accepted, the person must then do their tax declarations by filling out and presenting Modelo 151.


Other taxes and the Beckham law

Next to paying lower income tax, other taxes also need to be payed Spain. Below we discuss the taxes and how the Beckham law effects them.

Capital gains

Capital gains are not exempt under the Beckham law. Dividend gains, including profits earned from sales of movable and immovable assets (property), are charged at a fixed rate of 19%. As a non-resident, you are liable to pay income tax in Spain for any capital gains earned from outside Spain. Capital gains earned from outside Spain must be still paid to the corresponding nation per their taxation rules.

Wealth tax

When you fall under the Beckham law you will only have to pay wealth tax on your assets located in Spain. If you would fall under the PIT, then you would have to pay taxes on your worldwide assets.

The wealth tax is a tax payed on the net value of your assets such as real estate, stocks, accounts and life insurance.

Local taxes

A resident under the Beckham Law must pay local taxes. For example when you own property in Spain, you might have to pay local property taxes.

Help from experts paying your income tax

If you are looking to move to Spain, then we can help you with Tax advice in Spain. will help you decide what works for you based on your personal objectives, and current Spanish compliant requirements. If you qualify for the Beckham law, we will guide you through the entire process and describe all the steps you should consider to make more informed decisions.

Where did the Beckham law come from?

British Footballer David Beckham was one of the first foreigners to benefit from the decree, hence the popular name “Beckham Law”. He was taxed as a non-resident when he famously played for Real Madrid in Spain.

The Beckham Law is, without doubt, a significant tax benefit in terms of tax savings. It has benefited a diverse group of people including athletes, foreign entrepreneurs and wealthy expats. Essentially, it enables non-resident foreigners to make significant investments in Spain while being liable to pay less tax than a resident would pay. The special tax regime is ideal for foreigners who become Spanish tax resident because of an assignment to Spain.

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.

Get taxes done more quickly and efficiently with our tax services in Spain

Spain is home to some of the biggest banks in the world. These banks play a vital role in the country’s economy, providing financing for businesses and individuals alike. In this blog, we will take a look at the five largest banks in Spain.

Spain has a long history of banking, with the first recorded bank appearing in 1846. Since then, the country’s banking sector has grown to become one of the largest in Europe. Currently, there are more than 100 banks operating in Spain, with a combined asset base of over €1 trillion.

These banks play a vital role in the Spanish economy, providing financing for businesses and individuals alike. They also play an important role in promoting economic growth and stability. Spanish banks have been significantly affected by the global financial crisis in 2008 and the ensuing European debt crisis. However, they have slowly begun to recover and are once again playing a key role in supporting the Spanish economy.

What can banks in Spain do for you?

When it comes to finding the right bank for your needs, Spanish banks offer a wide range of options and services. From traditional banking products like checking and savings accounts to more specialized services like investment products, mortgage financing, Spanish banks can provide the financial support you need. In addition, many Spanish banks offer online and mobile banking services, making it easy to manage your finances on the go.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Spanish banks are a popular choice for both individuals and businesses. So whether you’re looking to open a Spanish bank account or more comprehensive financial services such as corporate and investment banking, Spanish banks are worth considering.

Choosing the right bank for your needs

There are a few things to consider when choosing a bank in Spain.

First, think about what type of products and services you need. Do you need a basic checking account or are you looking for more specialized services like investment products or mortgage financing? Once you know what you need, start comparing banks. Consider things like the fees they charge, the level of customer service they provide, and the convenience of their online and mobile banking services.

It’s also a good idea to check out what other customers are saying about a particular bank before you make a decision. Reading online reviews can give you a good sense of a bank’s reputation and whether or not they’re likely to meet your needs.

Once you’ve chosen a bank, be sure to take the time to open an account and get started with their services. With the right bank in Spain, you can enjoy all the benefits of modern banking with ease.

Most popular banks in Spain

Below you can find our pick of the most popular banks in Spain, based on assets, visibility, service level, and the number of branches.

1. Banco Santander

Banco Santander is the most popular bank in Spain and the largest bank in Spain in terms of lending, assets and deposits. Meanwhile, it has around 200 million employees, and 135 million customers. Banco Santander operates in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Its primary markets include the United Kingdom, United States of America, Argentina, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Portugal, Chile, and Poland.

Banco Santander Group has a big network of 13,277 branches throughout the world. Furthermore, it started operations in China and established offices in Uruguay and Puerto Rico.

2. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, SA (BBVA)

BBVA bank is the second largest bank in Spain. In 1999, It was merged from Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBV) and Argentaria. Nowadays, it serves 75.7 million customers, almost in 30 different countries. However, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, SA position is vital, especially in Latin America.

3. CaixaBank

CaixaBank is the third largest and most popular bank in Spain, and its headquarters is in Valencia. Also, it has a leading retail banking business in Portugal, with more than 2 million BPI clients. CaixaBank has9,335 ATMs, 15.7 million customers and 5,033 branches nationwide. CaixaBank was relatively founded in 2011, and its main shareholder is CriteriaCaixa.

4. Banco de Sabadell

Banco de Sabadell is the fourth largest bank in Spain that is located in Alicante. In 1881, this bank came into being by a group of 127 businessmen. Nowadays, serves 11 million customers, over 26,000 employees, and a network of 2,455 branches. Last year, Banco de Sabadell company had a market capitalization of $ 5.9 billion.

5. Bankia

Bankia is the fifth-largest bank in Spain. It has 2,200 ATMs, with a network of 2,300 branches, and serves 8.1 million customers. In 2010, Bankia was founded after seven savings banks in Spain were merged into the Institutional Protection System such as Caja Canarias, CaixaLaietana, Caja Madrid, Caja Avila, Caja Segovia, Caja Rioja, and Bancaja,

Meanwhile, Bankia offers banking insurance, real estate services, commercial banking, asset management, and online banking.

6. Bankinter

Bankinter is the sixth-largest bank in Spain, and definitely part of the most popular banks in Spain. It is considered as being one of the most profitable and leading banks in Spain. Bankinter provides corporate and personal services like insurance products, private banking, and mutual funds.

In 1965, It was established by a joint venture between Bank of America and Santander. In 1972, entered the Madrid Stock Exchange as an independent banker. Bankinter loan portfolio reaches 54.8 billion euros with total assets of 76.3 billion euros. Furthermore, it has 400 financial agents with 445 branches in Spain.

7. KutxaBank

KutxaBank is the seven largest bank in Spain located in the Basque Autonomous Community. It offers the services of debit and credit cards, savings accounts, checking, auto insurance, life insurance, online banking, retirement products, and many other services.

In 2012, KutxaBank was officially formed as a merger of Basque financial institutions, such as GipuzkoaDonostiaKutxa, Bilbao Bizkaia Kutxa and Caja Vital Kutxa.

8. Unicaja Banco

It is the eighth largest bank in Spain. In 2011, Unicaja Banco SA registered and built its leading positions in Leone, Andalusia, and Castile. It serves 3 a million customers nationwide with approximately 1,180 branches.

Unicaja Banco is headquartered in Malaga. It offers different services such as asset management, retirement plans, savings accounts, personal and commercial loans, investment products, and brokerage services.

9. Ibercaja Banco

It is the ninth-largest bank in Spain. Ibercaja Banco headquartered is in Zaragoza, it has 5,600 employees who provide a wide range of personal and commercial banking services. Ibercaja Banco has 1,475 ATMs and more than 1,150 branches throughout Spain.

The main domestic market for Ibercaja Banco is Aragon, which includes the three provinces of Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel, the autonomous community of Rioja, the municipality of Guadalajara, and Burgos and Badajoz.

10. Abanca

It is the tenth bank in Spain, as it is a large financial institution founded in 2011. Its headquarters is located in Betanzos, municipality of the Autonomous Community of Galicia, province of A Coruña. It is a subsidiary of Abanca Holding Financiero SA, which currently employs about 4,700 people. Abanca has more than 620 local branches and offices in France, Germany, Great Britain, Venezuela, Brazil, Panama, and Mexico.

Spanish Banking System

The Spanish banking system is a network of banks and financial institutions that provide services to the Spanish economy. The system is regulated by the Bank of Spain, which is the central bank of the country. There are a number of different types of banks in Spain, including commercial banks, investment banks, and savings banks. Commercial banks are the largest type of bank in Spain and offer a wide range of services, including loans, mortgages, and credit products.

Investment banks are focused on providing financing for businesses and projects. Savings banks are typically smaller institutions that offer savings accounts and deposit products. In addition to these traditional types of banks, there are also a number of online-only banks that operate in Spain. These banks offer a variety of products and services, including personal loans and credit cards.

A word from SpainDesk

Indeed, choosing the right bank in Spain is not an easy task, since all settlements in the modern world take place through banks, it is important to have a bank that is there for you. We hope we have shown you a few ideas by giving you 10 popular banks in Spain. If you want any financial help or want to open an account with the help of financial experts, consult SpainDesk.