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How to Immigrate to Spain: A Guide for First Movers

By Carla Gonzalez

Last updated on: Apr 11, 2020

University of Birmingham Online MBA

Summary: An overview of how to move to Spain and immigration options for non-EU citizens. Covers different long-term visa options.

How to Immigrate to Spain - A Guide for First Movers

Many people have an ultimate goal to move from their homeland to another country, being reasons for migrating quite diverse but always having to do with poor economy, close-minded nations, political issues or some others that can be a lot more complex.

Be that as it may, millions emigrate from their countries of origin to other ones searching for an opportunity to have a better quality of life in general, and while there are many nations to go to, some offer better or worse conditions to emigrate, in terms of documentation and legalization requirements.

That is without mentioning aspects of culture, language and places that usually are quite relevant at the moment of considering moving to another country.

It seems that Spain is a nation that actually meets with all of these characteristics for being considered an immigration country. And that is a fact, with thousands of visitors arriving in Spain every year from all over the world.

But, what is it that Spain has that thousands want to live there? We will be answering that question, along with a few steps on how to immigrate the

Hispanic country if you are a first mover.

Why moving to Spain?

Spain is a transcontinental country located in the Iberian Peninsula, and that already means a location of privilege with no doubt, with the country surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and basically entries from every side. And such position in the world also means other thing: 8.000 kilometers of beaches with crystalline and turquoise waters.

Apart from that, Spain is a country that is ideal for immigrants and expats on other many ways, with great reasons on why moving and make a new living there. Here are a few of those reasons:

Just being a beautiful and touristic country

Spain is a beautiful country, with amazing architecture and places to go to: from bars to restaurants, square plazas and beaches. Gastronomy is outstanding with the paella and other delicious dishes.

However, the aspect that really shines about Spain in terms of culture and tourism that everyone wants to visit is the amazing number of cities, which with ease are of the most desired to live and know by people from the world with no doubt. Madrid and Barcelona, two of the greatest Spanish metropolis have millions of visitors per year, even more than the city of Paris, France.

Tolerant and open-minded society

Tolerance is an important matter for those that want to immigrate and arrive from countries with ruptured freedom. Spain is a nation that really stands out in terms of tolerance, and to prove that there are laws like the same-sex marriage that was introduced in 2005.

According to diverse surveys, Spanish people consider themselves as "open-minded" at least in 80 percent of the sample that was queried. This is ideal for people that feel pursued in their countries of origin when they belong to the LGBT community. This open-minded characteristic has to do with culture diversity, which is the next point.

Diverse culture

Spain is a country built from the very beginning from diverse groups, and in the last hundred years becoming an immigration land, that has as a result a variety of cultures and people from virtually anywhere in the world. From Latinos and Afro Americans to Indians and Muslims, different ethnic groups can be found in every Spanish city.

This translates into outstanding ease for immigrants and expats to integrate into the Spanish society, even if they do not speak the language that well.

Expat or immigrant communities

Being an immigration country, in all over Spain you will be able to find expat communities, very organized and supportive for new people arriving the different cities and helping to find "piso", along with recommendations and documents that are required to start putting together residency and other aspects.

Not only that, since there is nothing like home immigrant communities can make feel expats like they are in their own countries, in terms of traditions and celebrations, food and culture and even way of being.

How to Move to Spain

Moving to another country may seem intimidating at first, due to all requirements it may involve. Nevertheless, with the right advice and recommendations it can be a lot easier to go to Spain and even get residency.

In order to move to Spain, you will need to follow the following steps:

  • Decide which is the right residence permit or visa for you.
  • Then, you must check the specific requirements for that permit.
  • Understand if you can apply directly from Spain while being a tourist, or you need to submit your documents from your home country.
  • Prepare the documentation and send it to the competent institution.
  • Get your visa and travel to Spain.

Requirements for Immigrating to Spain

The previous steps can be considered a little too easy or simple, and they are. In order to know a bit better what you will need, you can read the next advice and tips to get a visa that is valid to live in Spain.

  • If you are an EU or Switzerland citizen, you do not need a visa. If you are a citizen from other country, you need to apply for a visa. That is key to know.
  • You can ask for the Entrepreneur visa or High Qualified Professional visa, being the process the same about gathering the personal documentation and submit it to the Spanish Consulate. It is important to ask for a job offer in Spain before starting, helping a lot.
  • Visa should arrive in 30 days and the flight must not surpass the 90 days-period to get the country.
  • For work permit process, the immigrant cannot be in the country and developing the procedures from the outside and asking for a job offer inside Spain from there. This is imperative.
  • For immigrants arriving Spain, to get the NIE ID number is important, allowing them to open a bank account and perform economic activities. It must be asked in a Spanish police department, in order to check criminal records and background, health insurance and passport.
  • Bring all documents translated into Spanish.

Wrapping Up…

Following these recommendations, the process can get a little bit easier and save time, and most importantly to avoid setbacks that usually occur when requiring a visa to go to Spain, but due to the ignorance about details or important things. At the end, sacrifice and work will worth it to find a better life in a beautiful country like Spain.

About the Author

Carla Gonzalez is the Content Manager for MySpanishResidency, a small blog for expats looking for information on moving to Spain. She started this blog when she moved from Brasil to Spain, with the objective of clarifying all the legal procedures when coming to the country. Now she's partnered up with some law boutiques to offer more and better information for readers.

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Updated On: Apr 11, 2020

First Published: Apr 11, 2020

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