Moving to Spain from US

Moving to Spain from US

Do you want to know how to move to Spain from America and how difficult it is? This depends on your background and circumstances. Relocating to Spain is easy for US citizens and EU permanent residents.

That doesn’t mean non-US or EU residents should be discouraged. This book will teach you all you need to know about moving to Spain, from obtaining a visa to navigating the housing market, selecting suitable schools, creating a bank account, and filing taxes.

Moving to Spain from US

That expats adore Spain is unsurprising It’s not only the beach or the food. Many people relocate to Spain for the work-life balance and quality of life. Spanish priorities include family, friends, socializing, and relaxation. A full-time worker, according to the OECD, spends around 65% of their time on personal care and leisure Enjoy the relaxed work environment, excellent international schools, and free public healthcare in this wonderful southern European country. Discover why living in Spain will enhance your life.

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You may need to complete some formalities before emigrating to Spain from USA. Getting a visa is one of them. A Spain visa allows you to enter Spain and stay for a set period of time. It is usually a sticker on one’s passport. The type of visa you seek for determines your activities in Spain. One must meet certain conditions, follow certain procedures, and pay a price to obtain a visa for Spain.

Spain visa for US citizens

If you want to move Spain from USA, then you can apply for a tourist, retirement, job, self-employment, or Spain Golden visa. The Spain Golden Visa allows you to go to Spain immediately if you contribute €500,000 in the Spanish economy.

Spain Visa Types

If you intend to visit Spain for a short period of time (less than 90 days), you must apply for a Schengen short-stay visa, often known as a C-type visa. You can apply for one of the following visa kinds for Spain, depending on your reason for visiting:

NumberVisa Types
1Tourist visa
2Work visa
3Retirement visa
4Study visa
6Self-employment visa
7The investor visa
8Permanent residency visa

Spain work visa for US citizens

Spain has much to offer long-term residents and workers. Work-life balance is good among OECD countries. Americans wishing to study, live, or work in Spain must get a visa from the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in their home state/country. After receiving a visa, travelers have three months to apply for permission with the Spanish authorities. Obtaining a residency or work visa is a complicated process; we recommend checking the Ministry of Interior’s website or calling them toll-free at 060. The Foreign Ministry also has a webpage.

Spain visa requirements for US citizens

Applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents. B1/B2 holders must apply for visas in their place of legal residence. You must apply at the Spanish Consulate in your area. You must submit your passport and visa to the Schengen border officials upon entering.

Some basic requirements are:

  • Visa application form
  • Photo
  • Passport.
  • Copies of passport pages.
  • Flight booking.
  • Accommodation proof
  • Health Coverage
  • Medical certificates
  • Proof of Sufficient Funds

Do U.S. citizens need a visa for Spain? Americans can stay in Spain or Andorra for up to three months without a visa. Regulations in Spain may require a return ticket or proof of finances. If you are an American citizen and intend to stay longer than 90 days, you must apply for a stay extension with Spanish immigration.

How do I get a visa for Spain from USA?

  • Determine the sort of visa you require.
  • Find out where you may apply for a visa to visit Spain.
  • Fill out the application for a short-term visa in Spain.
  • Gather the necessary documents for a Spanish visa.
  • Make an appointment for a visa interview.
  • Attend the interview in the Spanish Embassy/Consulate/VAC of your choice.

How much is a visa to Spain from USA? For US citizens, a money order or cash is required to cover the non-refundable visa fee of $190. The charge for those who are not citizens of the United States is $97.

How long does Spain visa process take? A short-stay visa in Spain can take up to 15 working days to process. However, depending on your circumstances, this period may be extended up to 30 days.


After ten years in Spain, you can seek for Spanish nationality. You can earn Spanish citizenship by marrying or birthing in Spain, even if you or your parents were not born there. Applicants must demonstrate good citizenship.

Spain citizenship requirements

Permanency in Spain is granted after five years of legal residence. They can seek for permanent residency and live in the country for the rest of their lives if they meet these exact criteria.

Visitors to Spain have various choices for residency. They are:

  • Short-term residency.
  • Long-term residency.
  • Permanent residency.

Permanence in Spain can be gained progressively depending on the type of visa requested initially. Then comes Spanish nationality.

You can gain Spanish nationality in four ways:

  • Having spent enough time in Spain (citizenship by residency)
  • Marrying a Spaniard (citizenship by marriage)
  • Being a Spanish citizen’s descendant or grandchild (citizenship by descent)
  • Through your kids (citizenship by option)

How to apply for Spain citizenship? This will allow you to stay permanently in Spain and enjoy certain rights such as the right to vote, move and work freely.

The most common route to Spanish citizenship is birth. You are a Spanish national if you were born in Spain and your parents are Spanish. Other procedures to obtain Spanish citizenship are recognized by the Civil Code. People who have resided in Spain for ten years can apply for nationality (citizenship by residency). But, as this article will explain, there are alternatives: marriage, descent, and choice.

Does Spain allow dual citizenship with US? Spanish law allows dual citizenship, but only in limited conditions. Generally, to obtain Spanish nationality by residency, you must relinquish your prior citizenship. Neither the US nor Spain has specific legislation outlawing dual citizenship, although the USA states that dual citizens “owe allegiance to the United States and are bound by its laws and regulations”.

How can an American get dual citizenship in Spain? The ability to retain dual citizenship depends on the country of origin. For example, if a US citizen gains Spanish citizenship, Spain asks them to relinquish their US citizenship, yet this is generally insufficient. In this case, Spain will treat the person as a Spanish citizen only, while the US will treat them as an American citizen. In reality, the person has dual citizenship in both countries.

Is Spain easy to get citizenship? It is not hard to get citizenship in Spain. After 2,5 or 10 years of living in Spain with your residency permit, you can easily get Citizenship by residency. If you get married to a Spanish citizen, you just need to live in Spain for one year in order to qualify for the nationality.

Can you buy citizenship in Spain? Spain introduced the golden visa in 2013. A €500,000 property investment will grant family residency. The investment visa is valid for two years. After five years, permanent residency is achievable, and ten years, citizenship.


Taxes are ubiquitous. Moving to Spain won’t help. Your new existence in the country will be incomplete without them (no matter if you are a tax resident or not). It is important to understand the taxation system in Spain, the tax year and your specific legal requirements.

Tax in Spain

From (euros)Up to (euros)Tax Rate
€60,000 & Above 45%

Tax in Spain vs US

Income (Spain)Tax rateIncome (US)Tax rate
€1 – €12,45019%$0 to $9,950   10%
€12,450 –€20,20024%$9,951 to $40,52512%
€20,200 –€35,20030%$40,526 to $86,37522%
€35,200 –€60,00037%$86,376 to $164,92524%
Over €60,00045%$164,926 to $209,42532%

Taxes in Spain for expats

Non-residents pay a fixed rate of 24% or 19% if they are expats.

Other income is taxed at the following rates:

  • Capital gains from the sale of assets are taxed at 19%.
  • Investment interest and dividends are taxed at 19%, though double taxation agreements usually reduce this. EU nationals are exempt from interest tax.
  • Royalties are 25% taxed.
  • Pensions are taxed at rates ranging from 8% to 40%.

How much tax do you pay in Spain? In general, non-residents pay a 24% tax on income earned in Spain and a 19% tax on capital gains and investment income earned in Spain.

Is the tax rate in Spain high? The IRPF was established in 1900. It generates around 38% of government revenue. Since 2007, the autonomous regions have collected 50% of personal income tax (although all the returns and amounts are actually received by the central tax authority on their behalf). A single rate applies to each tax band. Madrid has the lowest regional tax rate, whereas Catalonia has the highest.

How long can I live in Spain without paying tax? You are a tax resident if you spend more than 183 days in Spain every year. Living in the country for 1 to 182 days means you are a non-resident.

Do expats pay tax in Spain? Expats who earn an income or own assets in Spain are required to pay taxes in Spain. Depending on your place of residence, you can be considered a resident or non-resident taxpayer in Spain.

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Moving to Spain suggests completing various steps among which searching for a house or a property after obtaining a visa is a must. However, foreigners seeking to immigrate to Spain can start searching for a property before starting the formalities to obtain the visa. Therefore, looking for a rental property in Spain would be ideal.

Renting Property in Spain

The real estate rental system in Spain will provide an advantage from protection from the rental property legislation that secures the relationship between owner and tenant. According to the legislation renting a property require:

  • Signing the rental contract with the house owner can be a long-term or short-term agreement.
  • The rights of the renter become more extensive based on there the day.
  • The property owner has the right of registering the renters with the Spanish authorities.
  • Without written consent from the tenant, the property owner cannot register the property.
  • The renters are required to submit their residence proof in Spain and provide an income certificate as proof to support the rental charges.

The documents that are required for renting a house in Spain for a foreigner are:

  • The passport
  • The tax identification number
  • Proof there able to pay the rental cost ( employment contract bank statement or payslip)

Can US citizens buy property in Spain? Yes, a US citizen can buy real estate property that includes commercial, residential, and plots of land in Spain.

Can foreigners rent property in Spain? There are no such restrictions on foreigners buying or renting a property in Spain. However, the buyer has to pay 15% of the property sale price primarily before owning a property.

Can an American citizen own property in Spain? Yes, of course, an American citizen can buy a property in Spain as there are no such restrictions on any resident or non-resident of the country to purchase a real estate property in Spain. Citizens of any nationality can purchase commercial or residential properties and lands in Spain.

Can US citizens get a mortgage in Spain? And US citizens can avail usual mortgages offered by Spain with extra expat-oriented Spanish mortgages provided by Spanish and international banks. Mortgages in Spanish banks do not have any restrictions on nationality or purchase price.

What is the average house price in Spain? The average house price in Spain would value around €2472 per square meter.


In Spain, many residents find jobs in various small and medium scale companies through formal and informal processes like networking, applying resumes, academic applications, and word-of-mouth. So, the applicant must not restrict the job search to only advertisements and agencies. You have to be proactive while searching for jobs and attend job interviews of large global companies of several sectors that recruit job seekers from time to time.

Job Market in Spain

The unemployment rate in Spain is among the highest in Europe and EU countries at 14.5% which is over double the average of 6.7%. Spain also holds the worst youth unemployment rate measuring at 40.8%. The Spanish government has made a special plan to sort out the youth unemployment problem. It has been noted that the highest unemployment levels are among the non-skilled workers.

Despite high unemployment one can still find opportunities in Spain in various sectors including the service sector, engineering, finance, healthcare, IT, pharmaceuticals, automotive, tourism, chemicals, food, and beverages. These job openings in the sectors depend on educational qualification and experience knowledge.

How to get a job in Spain as an American? Searching for a job opportunity in Spain that also pays well can be the toughest ride. But there are few approaches to find a suitable job in Spain

  • Print a stack of CVs and roam around in the streets to prove your existence. You will find many “waitress, salesperson wanted” posters on shop doors and bar windows.
  • Do popular temporary or odd jobs where English speakers are required like bartending, tourist guides, etc.
  • Visit a recruiting agency that will suggest a position based on your interest and experience and connect you within the organization.
  • Many organizations allow volunteers from across the globe for bartending or photography for a few days. You can volunteer for these projects as a visitor.
  • Join ex-pat Facebook groups to see job postings available in Spain.

Jobs in Spain for Americans

The unemployment rate in Spain is 14.6% which is one of the highest in the EU Nations in the last 5 years. With such a tough job market there are still some job sectors and industries that are searching for experienced employees and workers which can be a great opportunity for an ex-pat to move to Spain to apply for these job vacancies.

Here is a list of the popular jobs in Spain for Americans.

  • Business consultant: You can work as an international financial director, collection manager, or consultant in any finance sector within an annual salary of €44,544.
  • IT jobs: If you have solid experience in IT jobs or the technology sector, you can get job positions in Android development, coding and programming, iOS and software testing and can earn €48,000 per annum.
  • Medical practitioner jobs: The healthcare system in Spain is one of the best in the world. So, healthcare assistants, elderly care professionals, and child care professionals’ job positions are the most demanding with an average annual salary of €40,699 – €80,544.
  • Industrial and mechanical engineering jobs: If you have an engineering degree with experience you can easily get an engineer job position in Spain as the demands of engineers are high. But you have to speak Spanish to communicate with your co-workers. The annual average salary of a mechanical or industrial engineer is €51,000 – €79,500.
  • Tourism and hospitality jobs: Bartending, catering, restaurant, hotel jobs are outstanding job options for those Americans who are looking for immediate work in Spain. These positions provide an average monthly salary of about €1135 – €1982.
  • English tutoring jobs: Working as a University level English teacher, or private tutor is one of the popular jobs in Spain for native Americans. You can expect around €15 per hour – €30,000 per year (University level teachers)  for this job
  • Skilled tradesman jobs: Job positions like welders, mechanics, plumbers, electricians are also popular jobs in Spain as people always look for remodeling and updating their homes. The average salaries may vary from €580-€1160 per month.

Can I work in Spain as an American? As the US does not come under the European Union, it is difficult for an American to work in Spain as a US citizen finding a job is difficult and tiresome.

Can you work in Spain if you are an American citizen? You can work in Spain as an American citizen if you have a work permit. Otherwise searching for a job by residing in Spain needs special paperwork to hold a position for working in Spain.

Is it hard to get a job in Spain as an American? Yes, it is difficult for an American to find a job in Spain because the European Union allows its residents to work in the country without a special permit, which is not applicable for non-residents. In this case, Americans have to do special paperwork that allows them to stay and work in Spain.


If you are working and living in Spain as an expert you will need access to the state’s free health care system which is partly paid by the social security payments that are deducted from your salary/wages. The below information explains more about the health care system in Spain, how to access them, and how it is different from the healthcare system of the USA.

Healthcare system in Spain

Spain’s health care system has been ranked one of the best as it guarantees overall coverage for all non-residents and residents of the country. The healthcare system in Spain consists of both public and private healthcare facilities with some hospitals offering both private and state healthcare services.

Over 90% of the country’s population prefer the public healthcare system, which is also known as the National health system that is decentralized with public service delivery set up by the Spanish government. The overall system is supervised by the Ministry of Health, Spain who deals with the budget and policy of the national health care system.

According to the Euro customer health index 2021, Spain has been ranked 19th on the list and receives applause for its improved health care facilities but at the same time over-reliance and unapproachable approaches of private health care are becoming problematic day by day.

Public vs Private Healthcare

Spain has both private and public health care systems which are financed by taxes on the residents’ salaries. The health care system in Spain is either low-cost or free for residents who pay for social security. Public health care covers 99% of Spain’s population whereas the remaining 1% access private medical care.

Public hospitals are managed by the Ministry of Health, Spain, and the rules and regulations of the hospitals are managed by their autonomous communities. The cost of public health insurance in Spain ranges from €100 to €200 per month depending on the individual’s income.

Private hospitals are entirely or partly financed by the National health care department till they are under contract. Finance in private hospitals is based on hospital or treatment expenses.

The cost of private health insurance in Spain ranges between €50 to €200 per month depending on the health care coverage.

Healthcare in Spain vs USA

The comparison between the healthcare systems of Spain and the United States are as follows:

Spain provides universal access to healthcare centers and hospitals making medical care even more accessible.The healthcare insurance coverage and cost are still issues in the US as a majority of the population are still uncovered and cannot access proper medical care.
Spain’s health care system has been ranked 7th in the world by WHO.USA’s health care system has been ranked 11th in the world by WHO.
Spain had been ranked 1st in organ transplantation in the world.USA had been ranked 1st in health care access and quality medical services.
The public healthcare system of Spain has high-quality facilities and well-trained staff.The public healthcare system of Spain lacks well-trained doctors and staff.
You may face problems finding English speaking staff in public care centers or hospitalsThere are no such language issues in the hospitals as all staffs speak the English language.

Healthcare in Spain for US citizens

Spain spends 9% GDP on healthcare. Public healthcare in Spain is fully funded through the country’s social security contributions. So, US citizens working or living in Spain can access free public health care. As an ex-pat, if you’re paying the social security payments then you can access the State health care. For this, you have to apply for a health card after registering on the social security system of Spain. A unique identification number will be provided seeking medical care in the public hospitals where you will be assigned free hospital visits, free doctors, and fewer medical costs.

Is healthcare in Spain good? The health care system of Spain had been ranked seventh-best across the globe by the World health organization as the system provides universal coverage to all its residents and non-residents with a guaranteed right to access both the private and public health care systems with fewer expenses, keeping the medicines cost aside.

Is healthcare in Spain free? The public healthcare system in Spain provides free health care to those who pay the social security system and to their families. The public hospitals also provide free treatment to retirees and foreigners.

Can US citizens get free healthcare in Spain? The healthcare system in Spain is universal for all, therefore, US citizens can avail themselves of free health care facilities.


The education system in Spain is formulated by LOMCE, Organic Law For The Improvement Of Educational Quality, under article 27 of Spain’s constitution of 1978. The Spanish education system is free and compulsory for children aged between 6 to 16 years and is supported by the Spanish government with other autonomous communities of the country.

Education System in Spain

In Spain, the education system might be a challenging task especially for those who have a language barrier. Fortunately for foreigners, the education system is relative of superior quality. Spain scores 491 in mathematics, science, and literacy which are more than the OECD average of 486. Moreover, children can study for nearly up to 18 years between the age of 5 to 39 which is even more than the OECD average that is 17.2 years.

The schools of Spain are managed by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training that works closely with the local autonomous communities for allocating the syllabus, funding, and supervising the education standards.

The schools in Spain are classified into three groups privately funded, state-subsidized private schools, and state-funded schools.

The education system comprises of four stages:

Stages of Education systemAge
Infant school0 to 6
Primary education6 to 12
Obligatory secondary education12 to 16
University preparation or vocational training15 to 18

Schools in Spain are compulsory for children between the age of 6 to 16. Afterward, students can pursue higher education in a vocational school or a University. Recently, the ministry of education and vocational training are working on the improvement of vocational education in order to meet the unemployment rate in Spain.

Education system in Spain vs USA

Here is the basic comparison table of education system in Spain vs. USA

Daily activitySchools in Spain provide an agenda book for the complete school calendar with all weekends and holidays outlined with the exam scores and trimester information. Children have to do their home assignments in the book. It also works as a communication book between parents and teachers.The teachers provide a weekly newsletter with the upcoming home assignments and activities to be done for the week. Teachers communicate with parents through email or phone calls
Daily time-tableThe daily class schedule comprises of different subjects but remains the same for every week. An exam in conducted for each subject every 18 working days.Same subjects are taught each day with electives like art, technology,  physical education, music, Spanish, and science.
WeekdaysMonday to ThursdayMonday to Friday
Homework duration1 to 2 hrs of Homework provided every weekdays and weekend.20 to 30 minutes of homework is provided daily.
School hours9 to 2 p.m. with 30 minutes of recess8:30 to 3:00 p.m. with the lunch break
Lunch mealKids bring their own lunch from home. The cannot buy food from outsideKids have to buy lunch located in the school.
RecessTeachers monitor children during recess.Teachers remain present with the children. They even roam out together, chat over the phone, and even smoke near the school gate.
Religious studiesReligion is not taught in public schoolsReligion is an option in public school where parents have to decide whether the student attends the topic or not.
Second languageSpanish is taught from K-6English start from K-6

Education in Spain facts

5 important facts you must know about the education system in Spain are as follows:

  1. The Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports govern the education system in Spain.
  2. According to Spain’s ministry of education and vocational training, education is compulsory for children ages 6 to 16  where the education system incorporates 6 years of primary education later by 4 years of secondary education. However, pre-schools are available for kids below the age of 6 but are not mandatory. Likewise, University education is available after the age of 16 but is also not mandatory.
  3. Experts find an international school in Spain as a great option for the children as they can continue their studies in English rather than sending them rather than a public school.
  4. The public and local schools are governed by the state government where education is universal for everyone. Whereas private schools are partially subsidized by the state government. The entire syllabus is in Spanish and the entire curriculum is the same as the local schools.
  5. Children in Spain enjoy long holidays that start from mid-September to mid-June which is divided into three times at an interval of 11 weeks each. Basically, they get 2 weeks of holidays for Easter and Christmas and 10 to 11 weeks of holidays for summer vacation.

Is public education free in Spain? Public education in Spain is free for every child including experts as long as they have registered themselves in the municipal register of the local Townhall.

How does the school system work in Spain? The school system in Spain consists of four stages:

  • Infant school: age 0 to 6
  • Primary education: age 6 to 12
  • Secondary education: age 12 to 16
  • Vocational training or University preparation: age15 to 18

Cost of Moving

If you have been fascinated by the thought of immigrating to Spain then initially you must think about the cost of moving and the obvious expenses such as buying an air ticket, finding a place to live, and so on. But you must not forget to calculate the additional costs while moving to Spain that can quickly be added up.

Cost of moving to Spain from the US

If you are simply moving to Spain with a suitcase and handbag, the cost of moving could be as high as purchasing an air ticket. If you want to move with your household belongings then you may need an international shipping company. The charges of moving may vary depending on how many goods and belongings you want to move depending on the transportation method, size, and weight which can affect the final expenses.

How much money should I save before moving to Spain? Before moving to Spain you must save at least $3000 to $5000 that would cover basic and auxiliary expenses like background checks, visa applications, flight tickets, health insurance, etc.

Cost of Shipping

The cost and process of moving to Spain can be hurdle-free if you follow the right procedures to ship your belongings to Spain. Whether you plan to ship your goods by land, train, air freight, or sea you will get many options to select from.

Upon arrival, your goods will be checked through Spanish customs whether you have shipped at the airport or the harbor. If you have carried restricted items then you have gone through the declaration process and if not then the process is easy. So, try to make sure of bringing such items that are allowed in the country to avoid problems at the border.

Cost of shipping to Spain from the US

The average international shipping costs are calculated for several of our most in-demand journals from the top US cities to the most popular cities in Spain.

Los Angeles to Valencia$254125 days
Houston to Barcelona$193515 to 17 days
New York to bilbo$92510 days

Note: These shipping costs from the US to Spain exclude typical add ons such as basic insurance coverage, packing and unpacking, and door-to-door delivery. The shipping suppliers usually add these services to their prices and sometimes do not.

What is the cheapest way to ship to Spain from the US? The cheapest way to ship up your parcel from the US to Spain is via a tracked mail service i.e. EMS parcel or EU parcel post.

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The only idea that gets into your mind while moving from the US to Spain is the love of living in a city of Spain that is rich in history and culture. But the reality is that the city’s expatriates face a lot of difficulties in their way of living and lifestyles.

Living in Spain

Living in Spain comes with a huge set of rules and regulations. If the cost of living is considered then Spain will be one of the most reasonable places to move to among the EU Nations. The housing prices and living costs are stable as compared to the average income. The rental prices in Spain are 50% lower than in the US. But one thing you have to keep in mind is that there is a  vast cost difference while buying or renting in the smaller and larger Spanish cities.

Cost of living in Spain vs the US

On average, the cost of living is 35% less than that of the US. Spain had been ranked 39th in the list of the costliest countries in the world whereas the US has been ranked 10th in the list. The average salary can cover enough living expenses for about 1.5 months in Spain whereas it will take two months in the US.

Living expensesSpainUSA
Cost of living for one person$1261$1951
Cost of living with a family of 4$2881$1951
House rent for an individual$672$1209
House rent for a family$1050$1976
Transport expenses$96.5$95.4
Food expenses$368$505
Monthly salary after-tax deduction$1638$3904
Health care expenses$3.5$78.8

Living in Spain as an American

Spain is one of the most beautiful countries across the globe. The stunning buildings, gorgeous beaches, mountains, cities, delicious ham, and wine, romantic castles and numerous fiestas grace this fiesta-filled country in such a way that foreigners end up staying here for the rest of their lives. Every year more than 600 + Americans visit Spain and end up living there for the long term. This is the reason why Spain was considered the second most visited country among the EU Nations. The famous cities of Spain offer affordable living, beautiful villages, great public transportation, international amenities, breathtaking nightlife, and attractions as compared to other capital cities around the globe.

Pros & Cons

The pros and cons of living in Spain are as follows;

Lower living cost Expert families like the familiar and friendly culture of SpainRents and property prices can be higher in the largest cities of Spain. Senior citizens may not accept the advanced culture of Spain  
Spanish people are the nicest and most welcoming people in the worldIf you are a peaceful person, late-night parties and loud music might shock you.
Life runs at a slower pace in SpainSlower service and standing in a long queue can be stressful
Spain has beautiful weather amazing beaches and coastal townsCoastal areas get crowded in summer
Affordable healthcare facilitiesYou have to avail of private health insurance when you reach Spain
Food and alcohol are quite inexpensiveSpain taxes on the worldwide income of the foreigner
Reasonable housing rentsAs there are many great towns and cities it might be difficult for you to decide where to stay
Properties are less expensive in Spain than in any other city in Europe.  The overall cost involved in buying a real estate property is quite expensive
You may need time to change yourself into the culture and legacy of Spain

Can I live in Spain as an American? Yes, you can live in Spain as an American as Spain provides a lot of visa options from non-lucrative residency visas to students visas which allow every foreigner to live in Spain with or without a permanent job. All you need to do is to apply for your visa at the consulate general in the US.

Is it expensive for an American to live in Spain? Spain is not that costly city to live in for an American as it has a lower average salary, a high unemployment rate that makes the price level relatively low. This is the reason why an American find Spain an affordable country to live in.

Is Spain a good country for American ex-pats? Spain has always remained on the top list for American experts as it is a wonderful country to stay in. Spain’s distinct culture, low cost of living, warm weather, and welcoming people make it a big draw for American experts to move to Spain in the long term.

Best place to live in Spain

Where the sun tickles your skin and the flow of life gives you a new sense of time, Spain is the place for you. Here are 10 best places to live in Spain.


Work in Spain’s best city. The Spanish capital is self-explanatory, but we’ll do it anyhow. Madrid has it all: beautiful architecture, hot summers, moderate winters, great nightlife, and regular carnivals.


Best family resort in Spain Marbella, on the Mediterranean-facing Costa del Sol, has long been a favourite of Brits of all ages. So it’s no surprise that Marbella’s city and resort region attract so many foreigners.


Ideal for young professionals. Barcelona is a rare combination of a vibrant city with a vibrant nightlife and magnificent sandy beaches. 


Best place to retire in Spain. Alicante, with its long, lush Costa Blanca and popular holiday attractions like Benidorm, has the highest proportion of foreigners in Spain.


Cheapest place to live. Valencia, like Barcelona, has that perfect mix of city and beach. Get some sun on the gorgeous dunes of Playa de la Malvarrosa. Afternoon sips from a chilled glass of local wine. Share a paella, a Valencian classic.


The best of both worlds in Spain. Despite its reputation as a British expat hotspot, Malaga has much to offer. Malaga, on Spain’s southern Mediterranean coast, has year-round sunny, sand, and sea weather. And it has significant cultural ties to the rest of Spain.


Best coastal town in Spain. A Mediterranean paradise, Majorca is home to endless beaches, coves, restaurants, and bars.


The best spot to reside in Spain for cheap wine. Bilbao is unlike the other places we’ve discussed. For starters, it’s less popular with visitors and expats. Second, being on the Atlantic coast, it doesn’t have the same year-round good weather as Valencia and Marbella.


The most luxurious place to live in Spain. Sotogrande, on the Costa del Sol, is an opulent dreamland of luxurious homes and yachting harbours. The wealthy and powerful flock here. Yachting, golf, and good dining are just a few of the premium activities available. It’s also a major polo venue, known as the Wimbledon of the sport.


Best spot to live for a party. You may know Ibiza as Europe’s sun-soaked party island with world-famous DJs, and that’s partly true. Yes, some of the world’s top nightclubs are here. But there’s another, less-publicized aspect to this Mediterranean island.

Culture and Climate

Spain’s culture is distinct, and the country is famed for its exotic beaches and sunny weather. Spain is also known as the land of bullfighting due to its popularity. The climate in Spain is similar to the US in that it changes greatly. It’s the most climatically diversified European country, but it’s still warm.


Spain has been designated one of Europe’s cultural hubs for several years. The artistic tradition of Spain is unparalleled; Francisco de Goya was a famous 18th-century painter. The Spanish still have his royal images because they are considered remarkable. Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and Salvador Dali were among the many artists who influenced Spanish culture.

Flamenco music and dancing, bullfights, beautiful beaches, and sunshine are all hallmarks of Spain. People forget that Spain has been one of Europe’s cultural hubs for thousands of years.

Spain’s culture is influenced by many historical influences, most notably the civilization of ancient Rome. Spain was a major player in the Greco-Roman world for ages, and even its name originates from the Romans, Hispania.


Temperatures rarely fall below 40°F in the winter and often exceed 90°F in the summer. In the north, surrounding cities like Bilbao or La Corua, expect heavy rainfall, especially throughout winter, while in the rest of the country, expect dry weather all year. You might also expect sun. New York, Houston, and Atlanta are among the cities that get between 2,500 and 3,000 hours of sun per year.

What should I know about Spanish culture?

People in Spain live life to the fullest. But not hastily. Instead, Spaniards tend to appreciate the world and people around them slowly. Spain’s population like extended multi-course meals and exploring lively villages and towns.

Does Spain have 4 seasons?

Spain has all four seasons, with the Continental Zone having the most dramatic seasonal changes. In Western Europe, Spain has a Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry, and winters are chilly and damp. Northern and southern temperatures fluctuate, with Andalucia being extremely hot in the summer.


Spain is a parliamentary democracy with a prime minister and a monarch as head of state. However, each of Spain’s 17 autonomous regions has its own government and language. Separatist movements, particularly in northern Basque Country and northeastern Catalonia, threaten national unity and represent a weakening European Union. Achievements in culture, such as the works of Velazquez, Goya, and Picasso, and traditions such as flamenco music and dance, foster national pride and unity.

Spain ranking

The country’s tourism, housing, and construction industries grew into bubbles that burst during the global financial crisis, plunging Spain into a recession in 2009. A resilient export market and a 2014 EU-funded restructuring initiative have helped Spain recover. Despite labor, pension, health, tax, and education reforms, about a quarter of the population remains unemployed.

Education #17
Cultural Influence76.7#6
Open for Business56.7#27
Quality of Life46.2#19
Social purpose37.5#18
Income (personal) Tax47#14


Spain welcomes visitors from the United States. Moving to Spain from the United States is a good idea because of the incredible diversity and low cost of living in the country.

The country of Spain offers a variety of living options, whether you choose to be by the sea, in the mountains, or in the countryside. Furthermore, purchasing Spanish real estate is simple, and there are no restrictions on foreigners who wish to invest in Spanish real estate.

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