Relocate to Spain from the UK

Studying a map while packing

Discover the Beauty, Opportunities, and Adventures Awaiting You. Image: Pixabay/ Vlada Karpovich

Relocating to a new country can be an exciting and life-changing experience. Spain, with its vibrant culture, beautiful landscapes, and sunny climate, has long been a popular destination for individuals and families looking to start a new chapter in their lives. If you’re considering a move from the United Kingdom to Spain, this article will provide you with valuable information and practical tips to ensure a smooth transition.

Moraira playa el Portet.
Image – lunamarina/shutterstock

Research and Planning

Before embarking on your relocation journey, thorough research and careful planning are essential. Consider the following factors:

Visa Requirements

Determine the appropriate visa category and requirements based on your circumstances, whether it’s a work visa, student visa, or retirement visa.

UK citizens can travel to Spain for up to 90 days without a visa. However, citizens of other countries residing in the UK may need a Spanish visa. If you plan to stay in Spain for more than three months or relocate permanently, you will need to apply for a long-term visa.

Spain offers a digital nomad visa that allows remote workers to live and work in the country for up to one year, with the possibility of renewal for up to five years. This visa is available to non-EU citizens who work remotely for companies outside of Spain and earn a maximum of 20% of their income from Spanish firms. Applicants can apply through a consulate or embassy in their home country or enter Spain on a tourist visa and apply within the first three months. Required documentation includes the National Visa Application Form, a valid passport, passport photos, proof of suitable employment, proof of the employer/company’s activity for at least one year, and more. The digital nomad visa also provides the opportunity to apply for a residence permit, which can be renewed for a total of five years if the applicant remains eligible. After legally residing in Spain for five years, individuals can apply for permanent residency.

Cost of Living

Research the cost of living in different regions of Spain to understand the financial implications of your move. Take into account housing, healthcare, transportation, education, and general expenses.

The cost of living in Spain is generally lower compared to the United Kingdom. According to, it is estimated to be 31% less expensive, while states an average difference of 19.55%.

Job Market

If you’re planning to work in Spain, research the job market and assess your opportunities. Networking, online job portals, and professional contacts can be valuable resources.

Spain offers a range of summer job opportunities for English speakers, particularly in the hospitality industry, including roles in bars, clubs, and hotels. Additionally, there are job options in travel and tourism, sports instruction, health and beauty, and education and teaching. Popular locations for summer work include Costa Blanca, Benidorm, Alicante, Calpe, La Manga, Murcia, Torrevieja, Lloret de Mar, Tossa de Mar, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Majorca, Menorca, and Tenerife. English speakers can also find summer jobs in teaching English, summer camps, and as au pairs and nannies. It’s important to note that these positions are often seasonal and may not be available year-round. Learning Spanish can greatly enhance your integration into Spanish society and provide better prospects in the job market. Being able to communicate in Spanish opens up opportunities for networking, building relationships, and understanding the local culture. Employers in Spain often value bilingual candidates, and having proficiency in Spanish can give you a competitive edge when seeking job opportunities.

The average salary in Spain is approximately €27,000 per year. Salaries in Spain vary, with starting salaries typically around €830 per month and the maximum average salary reaching €11,400 per month (although the actual maximum can be higher). Madrid is known to have the highest monthly salaries, averaging around €2,077 per month. It’s important to note that salary levels can vary depending on factors such as industry, job position, qualifications, and experience.

A laptop on a café table in a Mediterranean town
Remote work with a nomad visa.
Image: Pexels/esrageziyor

Healthcare and Insurance

Familiarise yourself with the Spanish healthcare system and explore private health insurance options to ensure you have adequate coverage.

Learn the Language

Although many Spaniards speak English, it’s highly recommended to learn Spanish to fully integrate into the local culture and society. Enroll in language classes or use language learning apps to start your language journey before you arrive in Spain. Fluency in Spanish allows for smoother day-to-day interactions, making your overall experience in Spain more enjoyable and rewarding.

Finding Accommodation

Deciding where to live in Spain depends on personal preferences, lifestyle, and budget. Popular cities for expatriates include Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia, and Malaga. Consider renting initially to get a feel for the area before committing to a long-term housing solution. Online real estate platforms, local classifieds, and real estate agents can assist you in finding suitable accommodation

Beatiful coastal property in the Balearic Islands
Spain’s Balearic Islands.
Photo by Vulcano

Moving your Belongings

If you plan to bring your belongings from the UK, there are various options available. Research international moving companies and compare quotes to find a reputable and cost-effective service. Additionally, be aware of customs regulations and ensure you have all the necessary documentation for a smooth customs clearance process.

Financial Considerations

Ensure a smooth financial transition by addressing the following aspects


Open a Spanish bank account to facilitate day-to-day transactions and access local services. Research different banks and their offerings, including online banking options.

Tax Obligations

Understand your tax obligations in both the UK and Spain. Seek professional advice to ensure compliance with the tax laws of both countries and to minimize any potential double taxation.

Settling In

Once you’ve arrived in Spain, there are a few essential tasks to accomplish:

Registering with Local Authorities

Depending on the length of your stay, you may need to register with the local town hall (empadronamiento). This registration is necessary for various administrative processes, such as obtaining a residence permit or accessing public services.

Healthcare and Social Security

Familiarise yourself with the Spanish healthcare system and register for healthcare coverage. Determine your eligibility for social security benefits and make necessary arrangements.

Integration and Networking: Engage with local communities, expat groups, and social clubs to make new friends, learn about local customs, and build a support network.

Relocating to Spain from the United Kingdom offers a wealth of opportunities for a fulfilling and enriching experience. By conducting thorough research, planning, and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can streamline your relocation process and make a successful transition to your new life in Spain.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!


    • Neil Friday

      01 July 2023 • 11:42

      An Excellent Article. (From an Expat viewpoint)

    • John Little

      01 July 2023 • 12:50

      Catherine you forgot to mention that once settled in Spain with an address they can buy from any of the 27 countries. No problems, no customs, no checks, life as it used to be for Brits.

    Comments are closed.