Guide to Emigrating to Spain

Posted on October 29, 2021
Categorised as emigration

Spain is a popular destination for British expats, thanks to its relaxed lifestyle, sunny climate, and beautiful landscapes. There are over 360,000 British people registered as living in Spain and it’s easy to see why so many people choose to relocate there.

After Brexit, the process for moving to Spain has been complicated somewhat for UK nationals. However, the dream of living in Spain is still achievable. Our guide sums up what you need to know about emigrating to Spain.

Moving to Spain

Now the Brexit transition period has ended, the UK is considered a ‘third country’ in Spain, meaning British people who wish to live in Spain for longer than three months will require a long-term visa, known as a visado nacionale.

The main types of visas include:

  • Visado de trabajo y residencia – a combined residence and work visa
  • Visado de estudios – a student visa for those studying in Spain
  • Visado de residencia – a visa for family reunification or for those looking to retire in Spain

British people will be allowed to live and work in Spain if they are employed by a Spanish company. In this case, the company will have to complete the visa application on behalf of the person emigrating.

Alternatively, a person who is self-employed and earning over £2,000 per month will be allowed to live and work in the country. If you want to move to Spain with your family, you will have to earn an additional £500 for every family member that will be coming with you.

British people who will be taking part in an education or training course whilst living as a student in the country will also be allowed.

British people who want to move to Spain to retire will also be permitted to live in the country.

Spanish Work Visas

Standard Spanish work visas can take up to eight months to complete. This type of visa will be valid for a year but can be extended. There are also visas available for seasonal workers and au pairs, which will have slightly different requirements for the application to be successful.

After a British citizen has lived in Spain for five years, they can apply for a long-term residency permit.

Healthcare in Spain

Healthcare in Spain is seen as one of the best systems in the world. If you are working in Spain, you will have access to the free universal healthcare system, which will be partly paid for by deductions from your wage.

Many hospitals and healthcare centres in Spain will provide both state and private healthcare services. Around 90% of Spanish residents use the public healthcare system, with services organised and delivered at a regional level. Those using private healthcare can benefit from shorter wait times for treatment and services.

Spanish hospitals are generally modern and well-equipped, with highly trained healthcare professionals. Not every staff member in Spanish healthcare centres will be fluent in English, although sometimes a translation service will be available.

Education in Spain

The quality of education in Spain is generally very high, with schools performing above the OCED average in literacy, maths, and science. The education system is split into four stages for different age groups: ages 0 to 6; ages 6 to 12; ages 12 to 16; and ages 15 to 18.

British expats will be able to send their children to Spanish state schools for free, although there may be extra costs for books and extra-curricular activities. The curriculum in Spanish state schools will be delivered in Spanish and not all teachers will be fluent in English. So, it’s advised to only send children who have a good grasp of the language or are young enough to pick it up quickly.

Urban areas in Spain will usually have private international schools, where an international curriculum will be taught. These schools will be able to offer a curriculum delivered in different languages depending on the school. They will often teach the International Baccalaureate or the curriculum of the organisation’s country.

Quality of Life in Spain

Spain is known for having a fantastic quality of life, with research showing residents enjoy a healthy work-life balance, good housing, and great personal security. In the latest Human Development Index from the United Nations, Spain ranked 25th in the world, reflecting the level of health, education, and the economy.

This quality of life is also felt by expats in the country, with people enjoying the local culture and options for leisure. Many expats in Spain have felt it very easy to settle in and feel at home after moving there, thanks to the friendliness of the locals. The only area that Spain does not score highly with for expats is the career opportunities, so it’s best to move to the country with a secure job in place.

Freight Forwarding to Spain

PBS International offers both air freight services and international sea freight shipping to Spain. We’re experts in shipping household effects so you can set up your new home in Spain with all of your personal items.

If you also need to relocate your pet, PBS Pet Travel specialises in pet relocation and can help you every step of the way so your pet can also join you in Spain.

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