Move to Spain from USA

lucia lagunas reyes - Our Move to Spain from USA lawyer expert

What do I need to moving to Spain from US?

Have you been thinking of the steps you need to make to move to Spain from the USA? Spain is a dream country for most US citizens. Whether you prefer the wonderful crowded city life, beach town, the countryside, or life in the mountains, you are covered perfectly. The process is also relatively easy if you have the correct requirements to travel to Spain from the USA and follow the set procedures keenly. From the moment of arrival in Spain to the application process, we can guide you every step of the way.

  • Obtain a Spanish visa.
  • Rent or buy a home.
  • Obtain the padron.
  • Get a TIE (Foreigner Identity Card).
move to spain from EEUU

What if I want to move to Spain for a year? 

People who ask these questions want to settle for business purposes and go back to their countries. Fortunately, it is possible with Spain, as a hub of business, many people opt to go to Spain to enjoy the high market in the country and later go back to their homes. Therefore. You can move to Spain from USA easily by following this guide. You will find everything you ought to know about lifestyle, people, business, education, and more information about the country.

Equally important, the Spanish cities are a marvel and attract many people worldwide to visit and live there. The real estate market is still at its peak, and you are sure of getting spaces for business or residence easily. It would be best to understand how to obtain a visa, navigate the housing market, get good schools, open a bank account, and file your taxes while living in Spain.

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Spain is also an ex-pat favorite for several factors. It offers sunny weather with wide beaches, and you also experience amazing Spanish life with good traditional food. Also, the work-life balance is the most appropriate worldwide. The country’s general quality of life is considered average like any other European country, offering more benefits than any other region.

The people in Spain are also an essential factor you may want to live in the country. They always set clear priorities according to their culture. Relaxing comes first, and they always find ways to associate with friends and family socializing together. Research on the country’s lifestyle shows that 65% of Spain’s typical day is spent on personal care and leisure. It is, therefore, undoubtedly the best place to enjoy your retirement days or your long year holiday.

Most people who move to Spain from the USA also explain that the relaxed work culture, free public health insurance cover, appropriate public transport, and good international schools are essential to their lives and make the country a destination to many Americans. 

Spain will effectively improve your quality of life if you moving from US to Spain.

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If you want to enjoy a country with a tolerant society, Spain is the place to go. It is one of the most open-minded countries in the world. They have been living in harmony, and the country’s citizens enjoy ex-pat freedom from the government. Facts like same-sex marriage have been legal since 2015, and nobody is discriminated against. Adapting to the country will be smooth, and there is no need to cage your cultural habits to fit in the country.

The diverse culture experienced in the country makes many people adapt quickly and smoothly. Since Spain’s origin, the cure has been constructed upon varied and heterogeneous groups worldwide to settle in this adventurous country. Everyone, therefore, has their similarities and differences, and they accept every culture that comes to join them. There is a set of regions with different traditions and specialties.

In such diverse regions of the world, it is easy to integrate and find a culture you fit in. Every difference you come with is also welcome, and society will usually embrace you. The people are open to new ideas, and you can make numerous friends just by going to a cafe and having a little chat with the people you meet. They all went through the same process, and they have adapted to welcoming newcomers the same way.

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How to move to Spain as an American?

move to spain from usa

The rich culture in Spain attracts a lot of US citizens into the country. There are requirements to move to Spain from USA and help you to settle. Fortunately, there are several residency options in the country for those who want to live in Spain. You can also get a Spanish passport with ease.

To travel to Spain you need the appropriate legal documents. Documents are issued uniquely depending on the intended length of stay in the country, therefore there are different types of visas depending on your purpose in Spain.

Short term Visa

You can get easily into Spain using the short-stay visa that is commonly referred to as a travel visa. Every foreigner can use the visa to get into the country and mostly when you come from the US. The visa allows you to visit the country without working in the country for about 90 to 180 days. If you come from the US, you will receive the visa automatically upon arrival into the country.

There is no paperwork needed when you get the automatic visa. When you want to extend your stay, you can renew the visa at the immigration offices for another 90 days. Anything longer than this would require a long-stay visa, and to get it, you have to return to your mother country and apply for it from there. It is the kind of visa that should be of interest when you want to reside permanently in Spain.

Long-Stay Visa

The long-stay visa allows you to work in Spain, retire, study, and live for a long duration in Spain. You can get it by contacting the local Spanish embassy in the US or the Spanish consulate to bring you the appropriate forms to fill in to get into the country. The application forms will show you all the required documents you need to get your application approved. The long-stay visa will grant you temporary residency in the country, and it is broken into several categories.

  • Residence and work visa: This visa allows you to work and live in Spain, particularly suitable for those wishing to relocate for work or start a business within the country, especially in shortage occupation fields. It is ideal for the duration of employment.
  • Non lucrative visa: the visa allows you to live long term in Spain but does not allow you to work there. It is common among retirees willing to spend their old days in the country after long years of working. You need to have at least € 28,800 of funds in savings to be eligible to get this visa.
  • Student visa: if you wish to study in Spain, , you need to obtain a student visa that will allow you to reside in the country for the entire duration of your course. Approval from the authorities is necessary for the institution you’ll be studying at to secure the visa, ensuring you can legally stay in Spain. Additionally, once you’ve completed your studies, if you apply for a work related to your field of study, we can assist you in obtaining a work permit.
  • Family Reunification Visa: if you have lived in Spain legally with any of the visas for a year, and you have renewed your visa for the second year, it is possible to apply for a spouse, older parents over the age of 65, and a dependent child under the age of 18 to join them to stay in the country for the length of their stay. The visiting family members are not able to work in the country under this visa.
  • Family Members of EU Citizens: You can live in Spain if you are married to any EU citizen. This residence permit is valid for 5 years and grants you the right to live and work in the country.
  • Investment or Golden Visa: the visa is applicable for all foreigners to purchase property with a minimum value of € 500,000. Insurance in Spain is also effortless to get when you have this visa. The visa allows them to live with their spouses in the country, and there is no minimum stay requirement in Spain to keep the residency.

While you reside in the country, you will also need to get a foreigner identity card (TIE) after getting the long-stay visa. The identity number allows you to open a bank account and receive payments from your employer. You will also register for social services with the same number.

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Permanent Residency in Spain for Americans

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After living in Spain using any of the above visas for five years, all ex-pats can apply for permanent residency. The permanent residence gives you all the rights to work and living rights available to every citizen in the country. The visa is offered for an indefinite period, and there are no stay requirements in the country. You can maintain your temporary residencies by spending at least six months in Spain every year.

When you apply for the permanent residency, it will help to show that you have gained enough financial resources in the country, including pension, salary, and scholarship, the documents that the authorities will need are:

  • Your legal passport and several extra passport photos
  • Complete application form from the immigration authorities
  • Proof of long-term legal residence in Spain
  • A clean criminal record
  • Proof of public or private healthcare facility in Spain
  • Marriage or divorce certificate
  • Bank statements for the time of stay in the country
  • An employment contract or proof on university enrollment or scholarship

It is essential to check the documents’ validity in Spain by translating every legal document you have into Spanish. After translation, ensure the documents are legally certified. You can do that through the local embassy or Spanish consulate. A translator certified by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation can help translate all your documents. Enjoy incredible social security as a permanent resident in Spain.

Can an American obtain Spanish nationality?

After you live in Spain for ten years and above, you can apply for Spanish citizenship. You need to prove you have a clean criminal record for all the years you have stayed in the country. Also, it would be best to have a better communicating language by having a sufficient grasp of the Spanish language. Also, you may have enrolled and integrated into the community by participating in social events and local organizations in the areas you live.

Marrying in the country can make the process even faster. Marriage allows you to apply for citizenship after one year of residency. However, if you are coming from the US and your parents were Spanish citizens, you can apply for citizenship directly without residency.

What to Consider Doing to Move to Spain from USA?

You now know how you can move and settle in Spain. The only thing you need to grasp now is what you need to start doing to smooth the transition. Although Spain accepts everyone, there are some factors you still need to put into action. Here are the fundamental rules of moving into Spain:

Learn Some Spanish before Moving

Knowing the language comes in handy to help you adapt quickly and effectively to embrace the Spanish culture. Even when you know, Spain is full of ex-pats from the US. You still need to understand the language. You will need it to communicate with the locals and in most hotels. It is also an opportunity to help learn a new language. English levels in Spain are increasing, and most Spanish residents can now speak good English. Getting to know Spanish is more accessible through online platforms. The basic knowledge will help you adapt and get your services fast in the country.

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Start by learning the correct phrases used to understand Spanish effortlessly. When you move to Spain, enroll in any of the physical language lessons fast. The Spanish life is better with the knowledge to help you name the ordinary things and meals easily. The citizens will also be of great help with practicing what you learn in school. The endless paperwork involved in getting services may also prompt you to know Spanish.

Prepare for Crazy Spanish Bureaucracy

Spanish is famous for its red tape. Several services need long paper works to get through. When looking for NIE numbers, the authority issues lengthy application forms that you will need to fill amongst other services. The process can be a little frustrating since there is a lot of stuff to fill. However, the professionalism of the officers in most regions has been praised by most ex-pats. They will help you go through all the needed information and ensure you have the suitable material to put where it is intended.

Always check if you have all the paperwork you have to apply for any service or visa. You will get more paper when you want to buy a property or rent a space for business. Learning the Spanish language will also help you get the assistance you may need from the locals or the officers involved.

Nothing Happens in Spain in August

Yes, Spain goes to rest in August when the hot summer arrives. Since you already know you have to get involved in a lot of paperwork to get your services done, you will need open shops and reach people in the cities. Therefore, in August, big cities see a massive exodus to the coast, and the ships remain closed until the hot season passes. Services are only open mainly in the morning hours. Government offices follow suit. So you can never find them during the day. When you move to Spain from USA, check on the month and understand the climate patterns.

Understand the Spanish Timetable

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In Spain, things happen fast. You need to adjust to these quick activities when you take your meals and when you get to work. Therefore, some people have to leave their lunch hours and save it for dinner since they had less time to work. Most people in Spain’s cities have a long lunch from 2 to 4 pm, then an afternoon snack at around 6 pm. Dinner comes later at 9 pm. So, there are no open places that will serve you dinner at 6 pm. They are not used to that.

The 9-5 timetable doesn’t apply in the streets of Spain. They mainly begin work from 8:30 or 9 am and go up to 8 pm with a long lunch break in the afternoon.

The Cost of Living in Spain

The expenses of living in Spain are lower than most European countries and even the US, here you have an article with some of the cheapest cities in Spain. The cost of living also varies from one region to another so that some places will be cheaper than others. The capital city of Spain, Madrid, is very affordable when compared to most capital cities across the globe. The essential living cost for food, bills, rent, and other additional expenses is around 800 – 1000 euros per month. It can reach higher according to the family’s size and depending on your lifestyle once you settle into the area.

Do you want to move to Spain?

Here are other guides similar to the Canadian guide for citizens of other countries:

Is it easy to move to spain from USA?

It depends a lot on the person and his or her economic and employment situation… Our lawyers can help you through the whole process to make the whole process simple and easy for you to come to live in Spain from the USA.

Do you want to live in Spain?

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Can I work in Spain as a US citizen?

Certainly! As a US citizen, you may work in Spain, but it typically requires a job offer from a Spanish employer and obtaining the necessary work permits and visa. At our law firm specializing in Spanish immigration, we assist citizens moving to Spain with the legal processes involved in living and working in the country. This includes advising on obtaining a visa in Spain, navigating work permit requirements, and ensuring compliance with Spanish immigration laws.

Conclusion how to immigrate to Spain from USA

Do you want to move to Spain from USA? Life in Spain is easy and allows anyone worldwide to enjoy the market or leave their lives after retirement. After you fulfill all the required paperwork, you will be free to live in the country without any compromise. The government is open to ex-pats from all over the world. You can quickly get a Spain retirement visa for US citizens that will let you enjoy the beauty of this country after you retire. Also, Spain visa for US citizens is easy as the government has set them for their citizens to settle in the countries without much hassle. Now you know that emigrating to Spain from USA is easy!

6 thoughts on “Move to Spain from USA

  1. Jeff Matlock |

    I was considering going the route of pareja de hecho with my girlfriend she has dual citizenship however when I was attempting to fill out the forms it asked who was paying into the Spanish govt income tax which neither one of us is so j was wondering since she grew up in Spain and has purchased a home there in 2016 wound she be in any kind of trouble for not paying income taxes there? And could she be my sponsor so to speak?

    1. Anna - Lawyer of My Spain Visa |


      One of our attorneys will contact you to help you through the entire process of moving to Spain from the United States.

  2. Marjan Hassanzadeh |

    Do you have to relinquish your US citizenship, if you move to Spain permanently?

    1. Anna - Lawyer of My Spain Visa |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about move to spain from USA


  3. Drew |

    We are a married couple who want to move to Spain from the USA as health insurance costs are very high and life is cheaper in Spain, plus the people are very friendly.

    1. Anna |


      One of our lawyers will contact you to answer your questions about move to spain from USA.


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