Planning to Move to Spain? Read This First – Ultimate Checklist!

planning to move to spain

There are many reasons why people leave behind the comfort of their homes and relocate to an entirely new country or even a whole different continent in some cases. They want to visit new places, study in prestigious universities, or apply for new jobs.

Others want to just explore the country without doing any professional work. Spain provides such people with non-lucrative visas with the chance to get permanent residency. And that’s a great deal for people looking for the easy route to settle there.

According to the statistics, the number of people moving to Spain from America alone has surged by 13% overall. Spain offers them an incredible climate, job opportunities, a world-class healthcare system, and a high-quality communal living experience.

If you are one of those, this brief guide will be a helpful resource to guide you in relocating to Spain.

Do Initial Research

Maybe you know the country well, or maybe you just know that Madrid and Barcelona are in Spain. Still, you have to do the initial research before packing bags. It will not be like a general Google search, but you need to connect with the locals online to understand the country.

Assess your situation first. From where do you belong, and what are your requirements? Do you prefer to live in more English-speaking areas? What housing and healthcare can you afford or prefer? These are the questions you must know the answers to.

Arrange Visa, Work Permits, Residence Permits

It is the most critical and important step. And it has largely to do with the purpose of your relocation and your origin country.

For example, you can:

  • Get a short-term student visa if you are looking for the best study opportunities in Spain
  • Work permit or work visa if you have got a job offer from a company
  • Start your own business or startup as a foreigner

But before that, you must check that from an EU or non-EU country.

If you are from a country that is included in the European Union (for example, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece), you can easily travel to Spain for 3 months. Plus, you can work and live without any legal hassle. You just have to get a special EU registry certificate. After 3 months, you would need to register with the local authorities of the city you are living in.

If you are from any non-EU country, the visa process can be a little complicated. Generally, the short-term visa is valid for just 90 days, and then, if you want to extend it, you can get a long-term visa. Moreover, as a non-EU foreign resident of Spain with a 1-year resident permit, you can bring your fiance or civil partner to Spain via the fiance visa spain.

The visa application process is the same as for any other country. First, you would submit the application to the Spanish Consulate in your current country. After getting the visa, you must fly to Spain in 90 days.


There are two options for you. Either you rent a property in Spain or buy it. However, before stepping into this debate, keep in mind that there are many bureaucratic steps you would come across in both options.

The Spanish government does not restrict any foreigner over ownership rights of the property, unlike the Government of the Philippines, which does not allow foreigners to buy land in their country.

However, if you ask the experienced expats, they will suggest you ‘BUY’ the property in Spain instead of going on rent. Still, you should weigh all the pros and cons of both options before making any decision.

If you have plans to explore different areas and cities, a good option would be to rent an apartment. Or if you have already seen and experienced the country and have decided on the locality, buy your own house. In fact, if you invest more than 500,000 EUR to buy a house, you will get a Spanish golden visa, or in other words, the investor residence permit.

Manage Finances or Prepare a Budget

It is a good practice to keep everything under budget. But you should be ready for any unexpected expense when moving to any new country. You should try to open a local bank account in Spain as early as possible to avoid any trouble.

Or you can rely on international bank transfers that support multi-currency accounts. It makes it easier for you to make money transactions until you open an account in Spanish Bank.

Necessary Documents You Need


To do all of the above, you will need an NIE number. It is a unique and personal identification number that is allotted to foreigners. Whether you need to buy a property as a non-resident (and who is not paying taxes), do a job, or even open a bank account, you will need this number. On the other hand, if you are from an EU country, you do not need an NIE number.


It is a sort of Foreigner ID Card needed to live in Spain. In simple words, the purpose of TIE is a document that proves that you are a legal foreign resident of Spain. It includes your credentials, the type of resident permit you have, and the number of children under 18.

The major difference in both documents is that when you travel to Spain, you are automatically assigned by NIE. On the other side, you would need to apply for TIE yourself when you receive a residence permit.

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There are many entryways for starting a new life in Spain, and all of them have different procedures. To keep everything smooth, you must understand the legalities and processes comprehensively. So, the better and safer option is to hire an immigration lawyer to do the intricate work for you.