Beaches, sangria, and delicious food ! Between the history, architecture, and the weather, Spain can feel like paradise on earth. Each year, over 80 million people visit this beautiful country and it’s easy to understand why.
Spain is the second largest country in the European Union and its fourth largest economy. It is an international reference in sectors such as construction, transport, logistics, renewable energies, agriculture and food, banking and fashion.
Being the third-highest concentration of UNESCO World Heritage monuments and sites globally, surpassed only by China and Italy. Additionally, it ranks among the top five countries worldwide for foreigners to live and work, emphasizing a high level of respect for people's sexual orientation, religion, and culture.
From the iconic architectural wonders of Barcelona to the historical treasures of Madrid, Spain captivates visitors with its vibrant cities, picturesque coastal towns, and charming countryside.
Whether you're drawn to the Moorish influences in Andalusia, the avant-garde architecture in Valencia, or the laid-back island vibes of Ibiza, Spain has something for every traveler.
Indulge in the culinary delights of tapas and paella, immerse yourself in the passionate rhythms of flamenco, or simply relax on the sun-drenched beaches of the Costa del Sol.
Let's highlight a few destinations that are essential to explore in this remarkably diverse country.
It's important to understand that it largely depends on your lifestyle preferences, such as the type of job and family size. Even so to make it easier, here are the top-rated places according to nomads:
In recent times, Spain has grappled with elevated unemployment rates and limited job opportunities, posing increased challenges for non-locals, even those seeking temporary positions. However, the employment landscape is not uniform across all sectors, and there exist several industries where native English speakers can significantly contribute. The healthcare, IT, automotive, food/beverage, and tourism sectors are experiencing growth, offering numerous job openings.
It's crucial to note that job availability varies significantly by region. While major cities like Madrid or Barcelona boast numerous large companies, rural areas may not offer the same abundance. Nevertheless, many smaller communities have evolved into tourist hubs, creating a demand for English-speaking staff. For those seeking employment in Spain, particularly as an American, exploring tourist-centric areas beyond urban centers can be a fruitful approach.
To have a better overview, lets compare both capitals, Washington, DC, and Madrid
Indices Difference between the US and Spain
To customize and compare your expenses by categories go to www.numbeo.com
US citizens relocating to Spain have various choices, but acquiring a Spanish visa and residency is a prerequisite for all Americans.
Each visa and residency option comes with its own set of rights and restrictions. Here are some well-known Spanish visa and residency options for Americans planning to move to Spain. For a comprehensive list, including Spanish work permits, you can refer to our guide on types of Spanish visas.
Top 3 Spanish Visas for Americans Moving to Spain from the USA
The Spanish non-lucrative visa, often referred to as the Spanish retirement visa, is a preferred choice among Americans seeking to retire in Spain.
Ideal for: Retirees and individuals who do not intend to work while residing in Spain.
Requirement: As of 2024, a minimum annual passive income of €28,800 from sources such as a pension, annuity, or investments.
Limitations: Prohibits employment with either a Spanish company or remote work for a US-based company.
The Golden visa for Spain presents a fantastic opportunity for Americans who wish to invest in real estate within the country.
Ideal for: Individuals with a minimum of €500,000 available for investment in Spain.
Requirement: Acquiring an eligible property or making another qualifying investment in Spain.
Limitations: Obligation to uphold the investment for a minimum of five years.
The recently introduced Spanish Digital Nomad visa, implemented in 2023, has garnered popularity among Americans.
Ideal for: US citizens engaged in remote work for US clients, freelancers, and digital nomads seeking residence in Spain.
Requirement: Sustained annual income from non-Spanish sources, amounting to €32,240.
Limitations: Limited earnings allowed from Spanish clients in your annual income.
Private health insurance is the choice of the majority of Americans residing in Spain. Several factors contribute to this preference, with the most significant being the exceptional value it provides for high-quality care. According to reports from American clients, the annual cost of private health insurance in Spain is often less than their monthly premiums in the USA. Additionally, they frequently enjoy higher standards of healthcare professionals, hospitals, and overall support.
While Spain boasts an outstanding free public healthcare system, it presents challenges for many Americans. Those utilizing public healthcare in Spain typically do so in conjunction with private health insurance.
Individuals from Non-EU/EEA/Swiss countries who plan to work in Spain must obtain a Spain work visa. With a total of 9 types of Spanish work visas available, selecting the appropriate one is of utmost importance.
Documents to present
This category is designed for individuals employed by a Spanish company. Securing this permit requires meeting two specific conditions:
The prospective employer is responsible for applying for your work permit; individual applications are not accepted. The application process is managed by the Ministry of Labor (Delegación Provincial del Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración).
A crucial aspect is obtaining the visa before traveling to Spain. The approved work permit will be a vital component of your visa application, submitted to the consulate.
This type of Visa shares similarities with its standard counterpart but comes with notable distinctions. It offers a more streamlined qualification process for highly skilled professionals holding senior positions in Spain. To qualify:
Spain actively promotes innovative business founders, making it possible for individuals with compelling ideas to relocate to the country.
To meet the qualification criteria, two conditions must be satisfied:
Effective for a duration of two years and subject to renewal, the Entrepreneur Visa opens the pathway for individuals to qualify for Permanent Residency and Spanish Citizenship.
The EU Blue Card caters to a similar demographic as the Highly Skilled Work Permit. A notable advantage of the EU Blue Card lies in its provision for European Union mobility, allowing individuals to relocate to any other EU country after two years of employment in Spain.
Your prospective employer will initiate the submission of your EU Blue Card application.
Validity: Initially valid for one year, the EU Blue Card is renewable. Following five years, you become eligible to apply for permanent residence (PR).
This could be the most suitable choice if your employment stint in Spain is under nine months. In addition to securing a job offer, you must provide evidence of accommodation and travel arrangements for your return home.
The company extending the job offer will be responsible for applying for your seasonal permit.
Validity: The seasonal permit is valid for a maximum duration of nine months.
As an international student enrolled in studies in Spain, you are allowed to engage in employment for up to 20 hours per week. Nevertheless, it remains the responsibility of your employer to apply for the permit on your behalf.
Validity: The permit is valid for the duration of your studies or the job, whichever is shorter.
The Spanish Digital Nomad Visa caters specifically to certain work categories. Thus, while residing in Spain, your income must originate from abroad. This visa is well-suited for:
Certain fortunate individuals may be eligible for a Spanish Working Holiday Visa, which spans a duration of one year. Eligibility is extended to citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, or New Zealand. The age limit is set at 18 to 30, with an exception for Canadians who can apply up to the age of 35 as part of the Youth Mobility Program.
Validity: The visa is valid for one year, with no option for renewal.