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Moving to Spain

There are many advantages to moving to Spain from the USA. This country offers a pristine work-life balance, stunning views and many livable cities filled with opportunities. Once you move, you'll find the culture, lifestyle, and food worth the relocation!

Planning to move to Spain? Here's everything you need to consider when learning how to move to Spain from the USA or any other country.

Road Between Buildings in Barcelona

Why Move to Spain

Before you relocate, it's best to take some time to explore the different cities, cultures and food that the country has to offer. Here's what you can look forward to once you move:

The Weather

Spain's sunny and mild climate makes it perfect for outdoor activities all year round, offering plenty of sunshine and pleasant temperatures.

The Food

The local Spanish lifestyle is deeply connected to food culture, with bustling markets, family-owned restaurants, and a focus on fresh, high-quality ingredients.

The Culture

The cultural scene is lively and diverse, featuring stunning architecture in historic cities and vibrant flamenco performances. Spain’s rich history is showcased in its numerous museums, galleries, and historical sites.

Top Cities in Spain to Live in

Spain is filled with many beautiful and lively cities. When exploring different cities, always consider your unique goals and preferences to ensure you find a settlement accommodating to your needs. Some of the best cities in Spain to consider include:

  • Madrid - The capital and largest city, Madrid offers a vibrant culture, world-class museums like the Prado, and beautiful parks like Buen Retiro
  • Barcelona - Spain's second-largest city, Barcelona is known for its stunning Gaudi architecture, lively nightlife, beaches, and fantastic cuisine
  • Valencia - The third largest city, Valencia features a mix of ancient and modern architecture, a beautiful historic center, and is famous for its paella
  • Seville - Seville is the fourth largest city and a top destination for its Moorish architecture, lively tapas scene, and flamenco culture
  • Malaga - A stunning coastal city known for its Spanish cuisine and breathtaking ocean views. Malaga is a great place for foreigners wanting to settle down by the coast in a city deeply ingrained in Spanish culture. 
  • Bilbao - While not as well-known as the other cities, Bilbao has undergone a renaissance in recent decades. It offers world-class museums like the Guggenheim, a charming old town, and a thriving food scene.

Beautiful Weather

Most of Spain has pleasant weather all year. You'll find that most of the country is generally sunny year-round. Spring and autumn offer some of the best weather conditions for exploring and enjoying tapas in the countryside.

It can get quite hot during the summer. On an average summer day, the temperature will be around 90 to 95°F, the perfect time to retreat to the coast of Malaga, Sitges, or Marbella. 

The winters are relatively mild. However, if you enjoy skiing or snowboarding, you can visit the mountainous regions of Spain for a taste of winter!

Culture of the World

Spain has everything you need - great food, wine, cultural events, and a tight-knit community. No matter what city you're in, you'll find that the history of Spain is deeply ingrained in the community. You'll also find many cultural events and festivals to explore on the weekends. 

Food & Wine

The food in Spain will leave you wanting more. Spain is known for their small Spanish plates called tapas. Tapas are made to be shared with others and paired beside tasteful glasses of Spanish wine. Some of the most popular tapas include meatballs, shrimp and olives. Other popular Spanish dishes to consider trying include:

  • Gazpacho
  • Paella 
  • Patatas Bravas
  • Potato omelets
  • Iberian Ham
  • Churros

Moving to Spain Checklist

Whether you're moving to Spain from the USA or another country, there are steps you'll need to take to ensure you're prepared for the journey ahead. 

Here are some crucial things to keep in mind as a checklist before moving to Spain:

1. Move Your Belongings Internationally

If you plan to move to Spain permanently, you'll want to plan to ship your items internationally. The best way to do this is to work with an international moving company and look into different custom crating options they have. International movers will ensure your belongings are safely packed and secured before making the journey.

If you are only moving to Spain temporarily, consider renting a storage unit in your area. Affordable storage solutions are a great place to keep your belongings while you enjoy the country of Spain for an extended period. 

2. Get the Proper Documents (VISA)

Most individuals planning on moving to Spain from the USA must secure a Spanish visa before relocating. The proper documentation can take three to six months to receive, which is something to keep in mind while planning your move. 

Anyone wanting to live in Spain for over a year should apply for a long-stay visa. Long-stay visas will allow you to work and live anywhere in Spain. However, there are many different types of visas you can apply for. We recommend visiting their website for more information. 

3. Look into Health Insurance

Health insurance is free to all residents of Spain who work and live in the country and make social security contributions. To secure health insurance, you must visit a local healthcare center and provide the necessary documentation. 

If you plan on temporarily moving to Spain, consider purchasing health insurance from an authorized retailer. The cost is typically around $100 to $200 a month. 

4. Start Looking for a Job

Once your regular resident permit is approved, you can explore job opportunities in Spain. Keep in mind that it might take time to receive the proper paperwork that shows you are legally allowed to work in the country. Before moving to Spain from the USA, make sure you have enough savings to live off of before you secure a job. 

If you work remotely for a company in a country outside of Spain, you can apply for a self-employed work visa. This way, you won't have any delays in employment. 

5. Secure Your Finances

After you move to Spain and gain residency, you can open a bank and start planning financially. Most banks require that you have the following documents to open an account:

  • Proof of address
  • Proof of employment
  • Current passport 
  • Spanish tax number

6. Learn to Speak the Local Language

To commit to the Spanish lifestyle, you must learn to speak like a local! A great way to do this is to enroll in a Spanish class in your community. You'll be able to build connections with other foreigners, make friendships, and master your Spanish. 

7. Get an International Driving Permit

To obtain an international driving permit, you must enroll in a driving class in Spain. You'll be required to take a driving exam at the end of the class before receiving your international driving license.

How To Move to Spain from the USA

Moving to Spain from the USA isn't an easy task to take on all by yourself! If you need assistance, North American Van Lines is here to help.

We're a top-ranked international moving company with over 90 years of experience and expertise. We're here to help you navigate customs and ship your belongings overseas.