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Spain Expat Forum

Moving to Spain

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dzharris
3/11/2017 10:46 EST

How difficult is it to move to Spain?

Should we hire a lawyer to help with the process?

baklavaa
3/11/2017 11:51 EST

It depends on where you are coming from. What is your passport?

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dzharris
3/11/2017 17:00 EST

I have a US passport

dzharris
3/12/2017 09:51 EST

We have US Passport, i know I need to get he ball rolling here, I have a consulate in Atlanta.

Dhw
3/13/2017 05:57 EST

I have just retired to Spain from Seville. Applying for your visa at the consulate is a straightforward process. Just follow the instructions on the website of the specific consulate you will be dealing with. It appears that they each interpret the process somewhat differently so this is quite important I suggest you query this site for others who have worked with the specific consulate you will be dealing with who could give you some advice.

There is no need to have a lawyer at this phase of the process. Once in country and working in a 90 day window to complete the final steps to secure your NIE or foreigners ID number and the last step in the visa, process, you may benefit from the help of a gestor or lawyer depending on your language skills. I don't speak Spanish yet so I used a local attorney who also spoke English. He expedited the process in a way that would have been impossible for me. I considered his fee a part of my moving expenses.

I will be happy to respond to other questions - feel free to send me a private message.

Dhw
3/13/2017 06:36 EST

I just noticed that my previous message said I had retired from Seville. Sorry - I meant to say I retired from US - Tampa to Seville!

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Dhw
3/13/2017 06:36 EST

I just noticed that my previous message said I had retired from Seville. Sorry - I meant to say I retired from US - Tampa to Seville!

cwells67
3/13/2017 10:52 EST

Dhw, that is excellent advice. I had friends there who helped shepherd me through the process, but I also ended up making three trips to the consulate in Miami to get my visado nonlucrativo. I'd be happy to answer questions, too.

Davidson
3/14/2017 00:53 EST

I am from Alabama so had to apply for non lucrative visa at the Houston Consulate. When sheduling appointment, I asked the lady if she was the person I could email questions. She said yes. Afterwards, she ignored all of my emails. I had to fly to Houston to pretty much ask questions she could have answered by email. I asked her if I could mail this info to her to save another expensive trip with hotel, rental car, etc. . She said no further telling me I should have emailed her because she answers them all day. I showed her the emails she ignored. She could have cared less. I am going to Spain in 3 weeks to find a place to live. I have to fly back to Houston to apply in person. Sbe reuros my emails now for whatever that is worth.

Albertfernandez
7/11/2017 11:14 EST

Greetings from Tampa. My wife and I also are considering a retirement move to Spain, probably to a destination farther North. I am curious to see your progress so far. Have you made the move? Any unexpected issues you'd care to alert me to? I hope you are enjoying a wonderful retirement in Spain.

anlgza
7/11/2017 14:07 EST

Be careful what you read. Most retirement resources can be overly positive and some ranking lists are misleading. For example Barcelona is "expensive." It is compared to more southern parts of Spain. Compared to urban Texas it is actually cheaper. We love it....rent and utilities are cheaper and medical care as well as transportation are also. We don't have a car so you can just imagine all the costs associated with ownership that we save.

On the other hand, income taxes are rarely discussed. You have to do specific research to get the details. And many seem to "fly under the radar" by not filing. I knew that Spain charges on worldwide income but did not know about its wealth tax. It also has to be filed annually and is based on your net worth. If you don't have a government pension which is exempt, this gets very expensive. Another example is that the foreign earned income credit and housing allowances are well advertised. But if you don't have a job with an established Spanish company neither of those deductions apply. Personally and sadly we will be leaving because we can't justify paying the wealth tax on our life savings every year. Though Spain has suspended it in the past, our local CPA told us that it will be in effect again this year. We did get a substantial deduction for the income tax we paid in the US on our Spanish income tax because of their tax treaty.

So I encourage you to come here and spend at least a few weeks to determine for yourselves if you really want everything that comes with living here. This forum is also an excellent resource. Try to read the previous relevant posts before adding more questions.

Dhw
7/11/2017 14:20 EST

Albert,

I moved to Seville in January and for the most part it's been a very good decision. I came with no Spanish so navigating the systems while learning the language has had its challenges. Other than that I am very happy with my new life. Seville is a beautiful, vibrant city with much to do. I am here alone but have found it fairly easy to meet friends in the expat community and I am slowly bridging into the local community. The issues are the same that most expats mention - an obtuse ans slow moving beauacracy and very little English. Of course that might vary elsewhere but not in Andalusia. I came to enjoy a new and ifferent life and have found that wonderfully possible here. Have you looked at the visa application process? It's time consuming but fairly straightforward. Feel free to contact me directly by email at if you have questions. I benefited from the advice of others who had already gone through the process so will be happy to assist in any way I can. Good luck.
- Donna

john98103
7/11/2017 19:42 EST

What did the lawyer charge you?

Lucy69
7/16/2017 14:04 EST

I am seeking live in position. I am 24 year old, slim size 12 and 5’ 10’’ tall. English speaking.
Any area of Costa Blanca, Spain considered. Personal assistant, secretary, carer, environmental engineer, etc.
Hobbies include water sports, riding, gymnastics.
Have 6 O levels and 4 A levels.

Beltzator
7/18/2017 05:35 EST

Hello,
The best thing is that you hire an expert immigration lawyer, I know some immigration experts, they are called Carbray, they are immigration lawyers.

regards

Titimejias
6/29/2019 15:09 EST

cwells67,
I see that you did your process at the Miami Consulate which is where I'll be doing mine.
Is it OK if I ask you a couple of questions if they come up while doing my paperwork?
Thanks

cwells67
6/30/2019 05:20 EST

Sure - I'll send you a private message.
Best, Christopher

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