What You Need to Know About Moving to Spain
Spain does have gorgeous beaches that run for miles, long history, mountains of Andalucía, vibrant cities and a sunny climate throughout, but relocating here will become a daunting task in the absence of professional international packers and movers. In order to end your search of la Vida local, you need to contact experienced movers who can safely relocate your valuables to this mesmerizing land.
The options for schooling can vary from co-educational to single-gendered, and from Catholic to secular. Educational Institutions can be divided into public, private,semi-private, and international schools. Public schools are free for expats once they have registered on the Empadronamientoat their local town hall, and parents only need to pay for books and extra-curricular activities.
Semi-private schools offer low fees and smaller class sizes, but their standards vary from one area to another. Short-term expats prefer International schools in Spain as they offer the International Baccalaureate (IB)/course of their home country. Parents need to consider factors like curriculum, primary teaching language, tuition fees, length of their stay in Spain, child’s age etc…before picking any school.
Expats can enjoy a wide range of accommodation options on rent in Spain. There are free-standing villas and houses on the outskirts of the city or furnished/unfurnished apartments in the downtown areas of big cities like-Madrid, Seville, Barcelona, and more. Rent will be higher near places closer to the city center. The lease can be of year-long and 2-6 month’s rent down payment may be required.
Expats must try to include accommodation, stipend in their employment contracts and check local newspapers for listings or conduct online searches for accommodation options before relocating to Spain.
The job market is very competitive. Work experience and a good command of Spanish is necessary for job seekers. Before arriving in Spain, make the best use of the internet and apps likeInfojobs and LinkedIn to send unsolicited applications and visit staffing agencies online. Start building a network of professional connections who can help you in a foreign land.
Madrid and Barcelona offer tremendous employment and start-ups opportunities to the expats. Many European countries have shifted their marketing or call-centers to Barcelona. Once arrived, visit nearest employment agency and buy national and regional newspapers like El Mundo or El País for job listings.
The process of opening a bank account in Spain is straightforward. The financial institutions can be divided into cajas (state-owned and more involved investing in local infrastructure/projects) and Bancos (privately owned or public limited companies). It will be easier to choose a Caja once you arrive in Spain.
With an online bank, bunq-expats can open accounts in just 5 minutes via Smartphone and can make real-time instant payments and access to the accounts. Some of the major banks are-Banc de Sabadell, La Caixa, BBVA, ING Direct, etc…
Expats belonging from the countries in the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) does not require visas to visit, live, work or study in Spain. These expats need to get a national identity number while registering themselves with the required authorities. Nationals from any other country will need a visa.
There can be 3 ways to enter into Spain-Airport transit visa(check out www.exteriores.gob.es. to know whether you need it or not), Short-stay Schengen visa(for a stay in Spain for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, but not work), and Long-term visa(to live, work, study or carry out research in Spain for more than 3 months).Take guidance from the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country for the visa application process.
Compared to other western European countries, the cost of living in Spain is relatively low and its gorgeous location on the Mediterranean Sea further attracts expats from all over the world to enjoy high-quality life. The standards of living are quite a mix bag of above average health, housing community and low environmental, income, and employment quality.
The average disposable income per household in Spain is below the global average. Barcelona ranks 43rd as per in Mercer’s quality of living survey. Madrid ranked 64th in 2018 and offers a reasonable cost of living compared to other capital cities. Valencia(home of beachfront areas and splendid historical center) is cheaper than Madrid or Barcelona in the cost of living.
Funded by social security payments, the Spanish healthcare system offers free access to medical care to the residents. You do not need private health insurance but private insurance coverage can help you in quicker medical treatment in your emergencies.
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals of retirement age have access to free healthcare in Spain. EU nationals studying in Spain are also covered under the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for the duration of their study. Non-EU/EEA nationals are required to present proof of private health insurance in Spain before being granted a Spanish visa.
The rules and regulations with respect to the driver’s licenses in Spain depend on where you came from. The EU nationals(minimum of 18 years of age) are permitted to drive without the need of a license to be exchanged but the license will subject to Spanish terms an conditions like validity period, tax payments, medical examinations requirement, etc…
Within 6 months of arrival in Spain, the EU is required to register their driving license with the traffic authorities. Non-EU citizens are able to drive on their original license for up to 6 months once they get Spanish residency status. Those who do not belong from countries like Switzerland, South Korea, and Japan, and some South American countries, are expected to take Spanish driving test when it comes to exchanging their license with the Spanish one.
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