Immigrate to Madrid. Things you should know before moving to Madrid

Madrid is the sunniest capital in the world and one of the richest cities in Europe. Indeed, Madrid is bright and bonny, so it attracts many foreigners from all over the world. Expats and students are moving to Madrid from the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, Latin American and African countries. This city hosts many nationalities which peacefully co-exist together. If you are about to immigrate to Madrid and join the expat or ERASMUS student community, do not make any spontaneous decisions but get well-prepared for the relocation. Check this article before moving to Madrid from the USA, the UK, or any other country to find out exclusive tips from expats who once decided to immigrate to Madrid and settled down there for long.

International removals to Madrid with Eurosender

Whether you are relocating from the USA to Madrid or immigrate from any other region, you definitely need to learn more about the capital of Spain. For that purpose, we have prepared a brief guide with basic facts about this city and information about services for international removals to Madrid.

LocationMadrid is located literally in the centre of Spain. Madrid is the third-largest city in the European Union.
ClimateMadrid has an inland Mediterranean climate.
CurrencyEuro (EUR)
PopulationThere are about 3 million people living in Madrid, while more than 6.5 million people are residing in the metropolitan area.
LanguageSpanish is the official language of Madrid and Spain in general.
TimezoneUTC +1
Surprising factMore than 6 million foreigners visit Madrid every year.

You already know a few basic facts about this land, but it is also worth discovering a cheap and convenient way to move personal belongings to Madrid or send household appliances abroad with courier services. Decide what items need to be shipped and contact our logistics experts for requesting an individual offer.

Living in Madrid

Spain is associated with seaside, joy, and siesta time every afternoon. Even though Madrid is the capital of Spain, its lifestyle differs from that in the coastal areas. Spain has gone through the recession and economic downturn, but Madrid remains the financial and business centre of the country and southern Europe in general. That is why expats and students are moving to Madrid in search of the tempting combination of warm sunny atmosphere and career development opportunities.

Many people immigrate to Madrid for work and study purposes. Thus, you will find a huge ERASMUS community there with students from all over the world. Moreover, your colleagues at work would be from different countries most likely. Many immigrant workers and expats are moving to Madrid from Latin America, so you need to learn Spanish beforehand in order to feel comfortable in the Spanish-speaking community.

Madrid is considered to be a safe place to live in and police officers do everything possible to support its status of a secure city. Anyway, there are many cases of pickpocketing in the streets of Madrid. Take care of your personal belongings, especially when going out to spend lovely evenings in crowded places.

If you are going to immigrate to Madrid to work in the company or be self-employed there, you will have to deal with terrific bureaucracy. You will have to wait long when your documents are processed, but ‘no hurry’ is typical for Spain and Madrid as well but to a lesser extent. The same goes when you apply for a residence permit or have any other issues where you have to deal with the administrative institutions.

Cost of living in Madrid

Luckily, Madrid is not a very expensive city to live in. This is especially convenient for students and fresh graduates who usually have a scarce budget. At the same time, the average salary is not that high as in London or Paris, so typical expatriates find it challenging to save some money in Madrid. Let’s figure the cost of living in Madrid by taking a look at the table below with the average basic expenses in the capital of Spain.

Apartment rental750 € (1-bedroom apartment)
Utility bills120-150 €
Internet42 €
A meal of the day10 €
A cup of cappuccino1.7 €
International school (optional)550 €

Visa regulations for Madrid

Citizens from non-EU countries will have to apply for a visa in case they are going to immigrate to Madrid and stay there for long. Before moving to Madrid from the USA, Canada, Australia, and other non-EU countries check visa types and determine which one is the most suitable for you depending on the duration and purpose of your visit.

  • Work visa. If you are moving to Madrid as an expat, ask your employer to provide the necessary documents and contracts related to your job in Spain.
  • Student visa. If you are enrolled in a Spanish university or travel to Madrid as the ERASMUS student, then you can easily apply for this type of visa. Consider using our services for the international removals to Madrid and get a discount to move personal belongings to Madrid.
  • Family reunification visa. You can apply for this type of visa in case one of your relatives is a Spanish citizen or resides in Madrid on a permanent basis.

Whichever type of visa you apply for, you will also need to get a tax identification number called Número de Identificación de Estranjeros when relocating to Madrid from the USA, Canada, and or any other country, including the EU ones. You need to prepare all the required documents (application form and its copy, a passport and its copy, a receipt as proof of paid service fee, and the documents indicating the reason for your long-term stay) and go to the Extranjería, police officer, or social security office in Madrid. It will take no longer than 15 business days for your NIE to get ready.

Healthcare in Madrid

The Spanish healthcare system is accessible to legal residents. Everyone who pays social security contributions is eligible for medical services in public healthcare institutions. However, expats usually opt to purchase private health insurance additionally in order to have access to a wide range of private clinics with English-speaking medical staff.

Here is the list of the most popular hospitals among expats living in Madrid:

Hospital la Moraleja

El Hospital Universitario HM Madrid

School and education

If you are moving to Madrid from the USA or Latin American country where Spanish is spoken widely, then you do not need to make any extra effort in learning the local language and so do your children. Public schools are free of charge for legal immigrant workers and expats. They also have a Spanish curriculum, so all the lessons are conducted in Spanish. Most private schools also stick to the national curriculum, but they have smaller class sizes and an in-depth study of certain subjects. Moreover, some private schools offer bilingual education or even international curricula. Here is the list of the best international schools of Madrid:

Aquinas American School

British Prince School

Dallington School

Eurocolegio Casvi

International School San Patricio Toledo

The job market in Madrid

Even though Madrid is the major business centre in Spain, it has not fully recovered from the economic crisis. The unemployment rate is still high, while many expats report that it is difficult to find plenty of job opportunities in Madrid. There are many qualified local experts and those from Latin American countries who also struggle to find a decent job opportunity even with the perfect knowledge of Spanish.

Nevertheless, do not get despaired and surf online websites with vacancies to find out if there is anything suitable for you. For now, native teachers of English and IT professionals are in demand. There is also an option to immigrate to Madrid as a part of the intra-company transfer. Anyway, you need to learn Spanish intensively before moving to Madrid to reach at least the level B1. Even when you find a job for English-speaking professionals where Spanish is not required as such, your co-workers will communicate in Spanish and you will have to understand them.

Property information

Expats usually see no point in buying real estate property in Madrid if they are moving there for several years and do not have exact plans for the future. The price for 1 square meter in Madrid ranges between $2,000 and $7,000 depending on the district of the city and the condition of construction. The cost of apartment rental also depends on the same factors. However, there is no wide gap between the prices for flats in the central regions of Madrid and its outskirts. You can find accommodation starting from 500 € in the suburbs of Madrid. If you are moving to Madrid with a partner or family, bigger flats are available at affordable prices as well. The cost of 2-bedroom apartment rental will be about 800 €, while it is possible to find a bigger dwelling for 1000 €.

Driving in Madrid

In 2018, a new project Madrid Central came into action. This set of regulations was designed and implemented with the aim to reduce pollution in the centre of Madrid by imposing restricted traffic regulations for vehicles. Meanwhile, Madrid Central gives a priority to pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport. If your office or working place is located in the central part of Madrid, it is better to get there by bus, metro, or bicycle.

In case you plan to drive a car in Madrid or want to travel across Spain, then you have to stick to common rules for drivers. The main of those concern permitted blood alcohol level, a ban on talking over the phone, seatbelt requirements, and speed limit regulations. Furthermore, take all the necessary documents with you while driving in Madrid and consult local authorities whether you need to get a local driver’s license or you can use the one issued in your home country.

Cost of moving to Madrid

Eurosender offers exclusive shipping services for expats and international students planning to move personal belongings to Spain. When using Eurosender platform for booking shipping services, you get a range of benefits:

If you need to ship multiple parcels or heavy items, contact our logistics professionals for organizing an individual offer for you. They will also estimate the cost of moving house to Madrid and tell you how much is shipping from the USA to Madrid.

Other destinations?

Disclaimer: The materials provided in this article were collected from other credible resources to be used for general information purposes only. Given that the legislative basis of the country and its economic development have a changing nature, the information provided in the article could be subject to change. Whilst we endeavour to keep the information up-to-date and correct, Eurosender will not be liable for any inappropriate, incomplete, or inaccurate information. Certain links will lead to websites which are not under control of Eurosender. Thus, Eurosender accepts no liability in respect of materials, products or services being not under control of Eurosender.