If you love sunshine and hate to rush, Spain might be the perfect new home for you. The Spanish love life and who could blame them. The weather is sunny and warm, the food is great, landscapes are stunning, the culture is rich and diverse and the cost of living is relatively low. What’s not to love about Spain?
The financial crisis hit Spain hard but employment numbers have recently gone up and the economy is growing. This also goes for salaries in Spain, which are steadily increasing. This means now is the time to grab an opportunity and take your career to Spanish grounds.
Most immigrants can be found in Madrid and Barcelona, which are the biggest cities in the country and offer the most career opportunities. In smaller towns and at some companies based in larger cities the siesta is still honoured which results in long lunch breaks. People highly value trust in work relationships and like socialising at work.
In order to do this you’ll probably have to learn Spanish, unless you work in tourism or teach English.
Spain is an EU member so people with citizenship of the European Economic Area (EEA) will have no problem moving, living and working in Spain. When you arrive, there are some formalities such as getting a NIE (Foreigners Identity Number), registering in the local town hall and showing medical insurance.
Here are some of the ways to live in Spain if you are a citizen of a non-EEA country:
Work and Business Visas
Highly Qualified Professionals
If you have a recognized university degree or professional experience as well as a work contract or binding job offer, you may be eligible for an "EU Blue Card". The Blue Card is a four-year temporary work and residence permit. This also gives you free movement within the Schengen area and enables your family to join you. If you do not have a work contract or job offer, you can register on the EU Blue Card Network, where European employers can view your details and connect with you around job opportunities. This is also where you apply for the EU Blue Card.
If you have a job offer or are relocating with your company (TTI Visa)
If you’re going to work for a company in Spain, your employer will need to apply for your work permit and once it has been granted you can apply for residency. Before you move, check if your qualifications are recognized in Spain and make sure to translate references to Spanish.
For Training or Research (RIN)
You can get a residency visa if you are going to perform activities related to training, research, development and innovation.
Entrepreneurs and Business Activities (REM) visa
You will be required to produce a business plan that delivers an activity of interest in the area where you are applying or is innovative in nature. You should also be making a significant investment into the business or entrepreneurial activity.
There are two options:
Under the Spanish Golden Visa Program, you can apply for residency if you make one of the significant investments below in Spain:
Income based Visa
If you can prove annual income of €25,920 plus €6,480 for each dependent (2017 figures) and you are not a member of the EU/EEA, you can apply for the Non Lucrative Visa. This gives you the ability to reside in Spain for up to one year. After residing in Spain for 5 years you can apply for permanent residency.
If you can prove an annual income of €25,560 as well as a €6,390 for each dependent family member, you can apply for a retirement visa in Spain. Click here for more information on this visa.
Through your Family
If your spouse is an EU citizen or permanent resident in Spain, you are probably eligible for residency. Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
If your child is a citizen or permanent resident of Spain, you may be eligible for a parental residency visa.
See the citizenship section below for more information on residency or citizenship based on your descent.
A Student Visa is available to enable you to study at schools, universities and colleges around the country. You can also study Spanish and get a student visa however you need to be enrolled in the course for a minimum of 20 hours per week. While you are studying you can also get a special permit which allows you to work up to 20 hours per week. The maximum time of studying and working can be no longer than 40 hours per week.
A new change announced at the end of 2018, allows students who have finished a degree to stay in Spain for a year to find a job.
Youth Mobility Visa
If you are an Australian, New Zealand or Japanese citizen between the ages of 18-30 or a Canadian between the ages of 18-35, you may be eligible under the Youth Mobility Visa.
If either of your parents were citizens when you were born, then you are a Spanish citizen.
Sephardic ancestry law was introduced in 2015. This opens the doors for thousands of people across the globe to obtain Spanish nationality if they can prove they are descendants of the Sephardic Jewish community expelled from Spain in 1492. Have a read of our full article on this programme here
Citizenship by Birth
If you were born in Spain, you may apply for Spanish citizenship after a residence period of 1 year
If you marry a Spanish citizen you can apply for citizenship by naturalisation after being married and resident in Spain for 1 year
You can become a naturalized citizen through legal and continuous residency in Spain for between 2-10 years depending on where you come from.
It is no wonder that immigration to Spain has increased over the last couple of years. Great weather, a more relaxed pace of life, amazing Mediterranean food and the close proximity to the rest of Europe makes Spain a popular choice. Spain launched its Golden Visa programme in 2013 making it possible for non-EU citizens to get residency by purchasing property, shares, government bonds or through making a large bank deposit. The most popular is investment in real estate of €500,000 or more. The Golden Visa gives you visa free access to all of the countries in the Schengen Area and after 10 years you can apply for citizenship.
The passport for Spain allows you to travel to 161 countries without a visa.
Its global rank is 5.