Immigrate to Spain. Things to consider before moving to Spain

Immigrate to Spain. Things to consider before moving to Spain

Once Spanish explorers reached the shores of the lands which are the Americas now. They settled down there, formed and expanded colonies, and spread out their cultural traditions and language across the territory. At present, many people from Spanish-speaking and some European countries, decide to immigrate to Spain. The major reasons for that include employment opportunities, favourable climate, and high quality of life. People moving to Spain from the USA or other developed countries also have their own reasons for relocation.

While reading this article, you will plunge into Spanish reality and explore it from the locals’ point of view. We will also provide some tips on how to get prepared for relocation to Spain, move personal belongings in a fast and cheap way, and alleviate the adaptation period.

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International removals to Spain for students and expats

Whether you are relocating from the USA to Spain or immigrate from any other region, you definitely need to learn more about this country and prepare all the necessary documents which will grant your legal stay there. Most likely you are also encouraged to move personal belongings to Spain safely. For that reason, we have prepared a brief guide with basic facts about this country and information about services for international removals to Spain. This will help you to better understand the country’s lifestyle, traditions, and bureaucratic procedures before moving to Spain from the USA or any other country.


LocationSpain is one of the largest European countries. It is situated in the south of Europe and occupies a larger part of the Iberian peninsula.
Capital cityMadrid
ClimateRegardless of the stereotype related to the year-round warmth and numerous sunny days, the climate is Spain differs across the country and ranges from north to south. Thus, it often rains in Galicia, Asturias, La Rioja, and Basque Country provinces because of the influence of the Atlantic air masses. Meanwhile, it can be extremely hot in Andalucia and Valencia during the summertime so that people are forced to take a siesta break from 2 pm till 5 pm.
CurrencyEuro is the official currency all over Spain. It is among the most stable currencies in the world.
PopulationAs Spaniards are very friendly, they are tolerant towards people of different nationalities moving to Spain for a temporary or permanent stay. More than 10 % of the Spanish population is comprised of immigrants coming from the Americas, Morocco, and other EU countries.
LanguageSpanish is the official language in Spain. Before relocating to Spain, you also need to consider the specific cultural and linguistic traditions of the province you will reside in. People officially speak Catalan in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, Galician in Galicia, and Basque in the Basque country. It is better to learn basic Spanish before you move to this country because most people do not speak English even in tourist zones.
TimezoneUTC +1
Surprising factFemale entrepreneurs set up 40% of all new businesses in Spain

If you need a cheap and convenient way to move personal belongings to Spain or send household appliances abroad with courier services, contact our logistics experts and they will gladly assist you.

Determine how long does it take for a parcel to arrive in Spain from your country here.



Living in Spain

Spain is tightly associated with siesta which is totally true in certain provinces. Given that Spain is made up of different regions that once were small kingdoms, the way of life and local traditions vary across the country. Living in the south of Spain makes you feel really relaxed, while Catalan residents are usually very busy. Living in Spain means that you will have to take root in a multicultural society.

To help you understand the local life in Spain better, we have prepared a short list of advantages and drawbacks both locals and expats usually mention.


  • A favourable combination of the Mediterranean Sea and constant sunlight results in a comfortable climate in the coastal areas. The temperature hardly ever goes below zero during winter time even in the northern regions of the country. Spain would be the perfect place for living with kids, retirement, and a long-term vacation.
  • A relaxing atmosphere. Spanish people prefer enjoying life, avoid stress, and do not hurry. However, in some urgent cases, this feature may turn into a disadvantage.
  • The quality of food. Owing to weather conditions in Spain, fruit and vegetables are grown locally. Their quality is excellent, while the price is much lower compared to that in the UK, the USA, or Nordic countries.


  • Spain used to be on the list of the safest countries in the world. However, crime rates are gradually rising because of the crisis. Moreover, there are many illegal immigrants who may go into robbery or pickpocketing to get some money for living.
  • Even though the Spanish infrastructure is pretty modern, the quality of rural roads is not superb. If you decide to live inland, be prepared for that.
  • The economy is facing a recession. It means that unemployment rates are very high and the average salary is much lower than that in Germany or in the UK.


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Cost of living in Spain

The cost of living in Spain may vary across the country depending on the differences among the provinces in terms of the quality of life, employment opportunities, and access to the sea. Anyway, it is definitely much lower than in the USA, the UK, or Nordic countries. If you want to live in commercial, urban, or coastal areas, prepare for higher prices for food and apartment rental costs. Everything will be more expensive in Barcelona, Costa del Sol, Madrid, Costa Brava, and Palma de Mallorca compared to Alicante, Seville, remote cities, and rural areas inland.

Visa regulations for Spain

According to the visa waiver agreement, citizens of certain countries do not need a visa for a short stay in Spain. However, you need to do some paperwork in case you are going to spend more than 90 days in the country. Before moving to Spain from the USA, Canada, Australia, and other non-EU countries, check visa types and determine which one is the most suitable for you and contact the local embassy for more information.

  • Work visa. If you are relocating to Spain 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 in an exchange program such as Erasmus, you can easily apply for this type of visa. Consider using our services for the international removals to Spain and get a discount to move personal belongings to Spain.
  • Family reunification visa. You can apply for this type of visa in case one of your relatives is a Spanish citizen.

Whichever type of visa you apply for, you will need to get a tax identification number called Número de Identificación de Estranjeros before relocating to Spain from the USA, Canada, and or any other country, including the EU ones. You need to prepare the necessary documents (application form and its copy, a passport and its copy, a receipt as a proof of paid service fee, and the documents indicating the reason for your long-term stay) and go to the Extranjería, police office, or social security office in your city of residence. It will take no longer than 15 business days for your NIE to get ready. You will need that tax identification number for multiple purposes: official employment, opening a bank account, making contracts, starting entrepreneurship, signing rental agreements, etc.



Healthcare in Spain

Spanish National Health System (SNS) is highly developed and modern. You will have access to it if you are the EU national living in Spain or a legal resident paying for social security. Illegal immigrants are eligible for urgent treatment only in the emergency room. Even though SNS covers most medical services free of charge, many Spaniards and expats prefer private insurance. However, it imposes additional costs for a doctor’s visit, emergency room visit, pharmacy, etc.

Once you get insurance, you need to register with a general practitioner. In public hospitals, doctors usually have a long list of patients, which results in longer waiting periods that may last for several weeks. In contrast to public health services, it is much easier to access a general practitioner and other doctors under private insurance coverage. This is really helpful when one needs urgent treatment or is not willing to wait for weeks.

Consider that most doctors and medical specialists speak Spanish only. It will be more difficult but still possible to find an English-speaking doctor.

In case of emergency, dial the following numbers in any region across Spain:

  • 112 – ambulance
  • 091 – national police

School and education

There are several levels of education in Spain, starting from kindergarten to university studies. It is compulsory for all children to visit a primary and secondary school in Spain. Public schools are free of charge and they provide educational services exclusively in Spanish. Once you become a resident of Spain, you can go to a local kindergarten or school and make a registration for your kid.

Private schools are also popular in Spain because they have smaller class sizes, better facilities, and extracurricular activities. If you want your children to learn in their native language, you can find some private international schools in urban and metropolitan cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, or Malaga.

University studies are not compulsory in Spain. Once you decide to enrol in a Spanish university, you will usually have to pay a tuition fee. There are many renown universities in Spain such as the Autonomous University of Barcelona or the University of Salamanca which accept international and exchange students.

The job market in Spain

Nowadays, employment is not the major reason for relocating to Spain from the USA, Latin America, and European countries because the unemployment rate in Spain is about 20% at the time due to the crisis and limited job opportunities.

You need to be proficient in Spanish (Castellano) and consider that there are other official languages in some provinces when applying for a job in Spain. The most popular types of job opportunities for expats are in agriculture, tourism, construction, and IT sectors. Highly qualified professionals, executives, and IT engineers may apply for multinational companies in Madrid, Valencia, Barcelona, or Seville. Meanwhile, tourist areas have many offers for hospitality industry workers and instructors for water sports.

Property information

It is very important to find a dwelling or take care of the rental agreement before moving to Spain from the USA, Canada, or the EU countries. As the cost of living in Spain varies depending on the region, the prices for property and apartment rent differ as well. We have prepared a list of average prices for monthly apartment rental costs for some Spanish cities.

1-bedroom apartment2-bedroom apartment3-bedroom apartment
Madrid€500 – €1,000€900 – €1,400€1000 – €2,000
Barcelona€500 – €1,000€900 – €1,800
Alicante€250 – €500€450 – €750
Seville€300 – €500€400 – €1000€700 – €1,200


Check this list of websites where you can rent an apartment or buy a house in Spain (mainland and islands)

  1. A Place in the Sun
  2. Idealista
  3. Spain houses

Driving in Spain

The rules on Spanish roads are similar to those in most European countries. The fines for violation of driving rules are very high.

Speed limitscity areas – 50 km\h

highways – 120 km/h

The documents you needa valid driving license,

ID or passport,

vehicle insurance,

vehicle registration document


Need to move your car to Spain?

Cost of moving to Spain

Relocating to Spain from overseas is not an easy thing for sure. To get prepared for relocation, you need to discover the average moving costs to Spain, check how long does it take for a parcel to arrive in Spain, find out what items could be sent abroad, and learn how much is shipping from the USA to Spain. We have prepared the answers to those queries and some tips for moving houses.

What are the average moving costs in Spain?

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 houses to Spain and tell you how much is shipping from the USA to Spain.

See the most popular destination from where you can move to Spain

Moving to Spain from Austria

If you are moving to Spain from Austria and looking for an affordable solution to send your packages, suitcases, or pallets, Eurosender can offer you access to a wide network of international logistics companies. By using our online platform, you can automatically see the cost of your shipment and the estimated delivery time. Get more details about shipping services from Austria to Spain.

Moving to Spain from Germany

If you are moving to Spain from Germany, you need to find the cheapest way of shipping furniture internationally and moving your personal belongings abroad. Luckily, Eurosender offers the most affordable moving costs and the most reliable shipping services from Germany to Spain.

Moving to Spain from the UK
Before moving to Spain from the United Kingdom, it is better to plan everything in advance. With Eurosender, you do not need to compare prices of removal companies any longer because we offer the most affordable shipping services from the United Kingdom to Spain.

Moving to Spain from Sweden

If you are moving to Spain from Sweden and looking for an affordable solution to send your excess baggage, Eurosender platform will generate the best offer in terms of the price-to-performance ratio. It is easy to place an order or ask for an individual offer and instantly get the estimated delivery time. Check more details about shipping services from Sweden to Spain.

Moving to Spain from Canada

Relocating from Canada to Spain could be really exhausting and costly. However, Eurosender offers exclusive shipping services from Canada to Spain to grant a positive experience for you.



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.