Deciding to move to a new country can be an important step, full of new opportunities but also challenges. Spain with its mild climate, rich culture and affordability is regarded as one of the most popular destinations to start a new life experience.
However, like any big change, living in Spain brings both advantages and challenges. There are also legal and bureaucratic aspects that need to be considered in order to settle in this country and start working there.
Life in Spain is often associated with a pleasant climate, especially in the coastal and southern regions, where the sun and sea create an ideal environment for a peaceful and pleasant existence. The cultural and historical richness of the Iberian country is reflected in its magnificent cities, art, music, and festivals, offering attractive and stimulating experiences.
Spanish gastronomy, renowned for its diversity and excellence and based on the Mediterranean diet, is another key aspect of the country’s attractiveness. In addition, the cost of living in several areas of Spain is lower than in other nations, making this country an ideal option for those seeking a balance between quality and affordability.
Specifically, the cost of living in Spain takes 69% of the average wage, but the situation varies between provinces: from Barcelona, where living costs 82% of the average income, to Ávila, with 42%.
Social life throughout the country is vibrant and pleasant. Spanish culture places great emphasis on spending time with family and friends, often in cafés, bars or at community events. There are countless celebrations and social events throughout the year, offering unique opportunities for entertainment and immersion in the local culture.
Spain is known for its excellent healthcare system, ranked among the best in the world. Residents have access to high-quality medical care, both in the public and private sectors. Health coverage is extensive and includes a wide range of services, ensuring that health and well-being are a priority.
However, residing in Spain as a foreigner also presents challenges. The language barrier can be a significant obstacle, as knowledge of Spanish is essential for daily life and integration into society. In addition, the country’s bureaucracy, known for its complexity and slowness, can make legal and administrative procedures difficult, especially when it comes to documentation and residence licences.
A particularly challenging aspect for foreigners moving to Spain can be the search for suitable accommodation. In popular cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Seville, the strong demand for houses and flats has led to rising rental prices and high competition.
The average rental price has risen by 15% in the last 6 months with the average price in January 2024 being around EUR 1821. This can make it difficult to find affordable housing, especially in central areas or near major places of work and study.
In addition, there are bureaucratic impediments, such as the need to provide financial documentation and references, which can be more difficult to obtain for those who have just arrived in the country.
The language barrier may also pose an additional challenge, making communication with homeowners or real estate agencies more difficult. For this reason, it is advisable to start the search for accommodation well in advance of the planned move-in date and, if possible, engage the help of local agencies or property consultants who can facilitate this process.
The labour market in Spain can be difficult to penetrate, with a relatively high unemployment rate and a strong preference for candidates fluent in Spanish. Access to the healthcare system can also take time and, in some cases, private health insurance is required.
When considering a move to Spain, it is important to be well informed about immigration regulations and visa requirements. Choosing the right accommodation, according to one’s personal preferences and needs, is another crucial factor. Furthermore, integration into the local culture requires openness and adaptability.
In this context, the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer becomes crucial (more information here). A legal professional can guide you through the Spanish bureaucratic maze, providing assistance in the preparation and submission of documents for visas and residence licenses.
An experienced lawyer can also advise on issues of labour law, real estate and insurance, making the process of relocation and adjustment as smooth and stress-free as possible. Immigration laws can also change rapidly: an experienced lawyer is always up to date on the latest legislative changes and can provide advice based on the latest laws.
Moving and living in Spain as a foreigner offers a rich and varied experience, full of opportunities to grow and explore. With proper planning, a good understanding of the challenges and qualified legal assistance, it is possible to turn this dream into a rewarding and satisfying reality.