November 11, 2021

Scottsdale Living

Moving to Spain from the U.S.? Here’s what you need to know

Did you know that over 40,000 American citizens reside in Spain? While most live in Madrid, Catalonia, or Andalusia, these individuals are sprinkled all across the country, even in the remotest provinces!

Of course, it’s no surprise that so many Americans choose to live in Spain. The country boasts an excellent public healthcare system, affordable living, and a healthy Mediterranean diet rich in seafood and fresh produce.

Are you exploring the idea of moving to Spain from the U.S.? If so, keep reading as we share some important immigration information!

Obtaining a Visa

Before you can even think about moving to Spain from the U.S., you’ll need to research visas. There are many different residency permits, but we’ll briefly look at the most common among Americans.

Student Visa

A student visa is quite easy to obtain. The first step is to find a university or other official school and apply to an eligible program. Then, you’ll need to submit some paperwork, such as a medical certificate, and prove you have no criminal record.

Self-Employed Visa

If you are a freelancer or want to have your own business, a self-employed visa may be the right choice for you. However, you’ll want to work with a Spanish accountant as the process is quite confusing, even for locals. Moreover, you’ll also need an American accountant to help you work out the tax implications of moving to Spain from the US.

Non-Lucrative Visa

If you are retired or can prove that you have enough money to support yourself without working, you can apply for a non-lucrative visa. Usually, these visas only last for a year, but you can reapply without leaving Spain. And, you can eventually modify your status if you decide you want a different type of visa.

Other Visas

Of course, there are so many other types of visas, including those for highly qualified professionals. And, if you are willing to teach English in public schools part-time, you can apply for an “auxiliar de conversación” visa. 

Finding Housing

If it’s your first time living in Spain, you’ll probably want to rent an apartment. However, doing so can be a huge challenge in the big cities where affordable housing is limited, especially since landlords usually require you to have a permanent contract with a Spanish company.

Nevertheless, there are ways to appease landlords, such as showing proof of foreign income or paying for your stay in advance. Just be sure to bring along someone who speaks Spanish so that you understand the terms of your contract.

Perhaps a simpler option is purchasing a home, as you won’t have to worry about a landlord. If that’s something you are interested in, check out

Tips for Moving to Spain from the U.S.

Moving to Spain from the US is a huge decision, but with the right information, you can come prepared! Remember that Spain is infamous for its bureaucracy, so things may not always work out on the first try. But, if you are patient and persistent, you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful life in Spain!

If you would like more travel and immigration tips, be sure to check out more of our posts!