How to make the move to Costa Del Sol

Fuengirola is a buzzing town with plenty to see and do Credit: Antti T. Nissinen flickr

We are in the age of post periods. Post-Pandemic, Post- Brexit, Post- Invasion and Post- Recession are  considerable mentions.

All have contributed to the mass migration to the Costa Del Sol over the last  10 years. A huge influx or British, Irish, Polish, Moroccan and more, have all amalgamated to bring forth  a new era in the south of Spain.

Tips if you are thinking of moving to the Costa Del Sol

For those yet to make the journey, however, the move can be a daunting  task when put on paper. From the job hunt to the house, and the documents and meetings that fill the in between, it can seem to some that the process is something to be dreaded.

Factors such as your  nationality, your financial means, your age, and when you plan on moving are all essential to think of also add to the fear of the process. You may find or have found yourself looming over the ‘NEXT PAGE’ icon  on the screen of a housing site, having spent hours trying to find somewhere to call home but to only be  met with a wave of prerequisites that you can barely understand.

So, now you must start asking, “What do  I need?”. A large portion of hopeful emigrants looking to move often lack the factors required by a landlord in  Spain as they begin their search and can often get caught up in the little details.

Occupation and documents a starter

Here, we’re going to  focus on the big two that are essential to moving to Spain. Occupation, and National Documentation.  Once you have these, you’ll be able to focus on the housing and the other factors we’ve mentioned above.

However, this is why you’re here, to find out how you’re going to pull off the move to the sun you’ve  dreamt of. We’re here answer your questions, calm your concerns, and help you sustain life in the sun in  the age of post periods. Regardless of whether you’re a part of the EU, the UK, or somewhere else, this  guide will set you on the right path to the sun.

The first step is securing employment in Spain, which requires a sincere look at your occupational abilities. For example, let us say you had a degree, but you didn’t have a basis in the language, so you end up extremely limited in your options.

The solution? Do what you know to get a start. Whatever your  respective field may be, traverse the landscape of Indeed, LinkedIn, Infojobs, and advertisements in local  newspapers to see what was out there.

There are plenty of jobs, but they can all have over one hundred applicants at any one given time. This may not seem like a lot but try fill an interview room with one  hundred people and not feel like your chances of employment are rapidly declining.

Stand out from the crowd

You must stand out  beyond the realm of another black and white CV. One method that has been tried and tested to moderate  success is through phone calls. Find the website of the hiring companies, sleuth his way through the  contact page, and find a number to call. From there, enquire about the position in question, make sure  they know your name, and then repeat the process with the next job listing.

For some, you’ll have to do this job application ethos every day, for three hours a day, for a total of three weeks, until one day the  phone rings. Others, you may get very lucky with an application and not need to call at all. It really  depends on the individual, so take the time to find an approach that not only makes you stand out, but also  one you can pull off confidently. You need to sell yourself as an employable PERSON, not just an  accumulation of experience and qualifications on paper.

The second principal is don’t stop. Knock on  every door, ring every phone number you find on a company site, be relentless in your pursuit. Throw as  many job applications in the air as you possibly can, and don’t stop until the right one lands. You’re doing  this to move FORWARD, not stagnate where you are, so you need to put in the time and effort to securing  your job.

Digital Nomad visa

It is also worthy to note that for non-EU citizens who are in pursuit of a new life in Spain, the government introduced the Digital Nomad Visa in 2023. This is for remote workers and digital nomads who want to  live and work in Spain. The requirements to apply include being already employed by a company outside  of Spain, a clean record, and health insurance that allows them to be covered in Spain.

The visa allows  you to work in Spain for up to one year, with a chance for renewal once the period has ended. It also give  immunity from Spanish income tax, but you may be subjected to still pay things such as property tax and  VAT. While still requiring the above-mentioned tenacity if you haven’t already got an occupation, it is  more than worth looking into should you fit the profile.

With a job offer hopefully secured, you can now move onto phase two of getting set up for a brand-new life in the sun, securing the NIE and the proper legal documents such as your residency permit, so you  don’t find yourself in trouble down the line.

What is an NIE?

Now the NIE, as stated by the Spanish government, is a  personal, unique, and exclusive number that is assigned to foreigners who, for economic, professional, or  social reasons, are engaged in activities related to Spain such as paying taxes.

It consists of nine digits: a  letter, followed by a seven-digit number, and another letter. The residency permit is issued for a period of  two years, and is required of you meet the economic requirements and live in Spain at least 183 days of  the year.

The process of getting your NIE and residency permit is relatively simple with all your  documents in order , but the bottom line is that you need it within the first six months as an EU citizen. the process would be quicker, but that doesn’t mean it’d be easier.

For a UK citizen, the process remains the same for attaining a permanent residency, but the period of grace given only stands at 30 days. Having no footing in the language, and the pile of paperwork that lay ahead would deter most from even trying.

Probably best to use a gestor

Thankfully, you have someone to guide you through this, aside from your friendly neighbourhood Euro Weekly News. A gestor or gestoria. These are men and women who, in Spain, deal with administrative  bureaucracy on behalf of a client.

There are a plethora of English-speaking gestors and gestoria, all very willing to help you resolve any issues that you may have with the process. You will discover that you were not the first, and you will not be the last to make the change of scenery.

Obtaining both the NIE and your  residency permit on your own is possible and be obtained at your country’s Spanish Consular Office  before you come or by booking an appointment at the local National police station in Spain, but the process is so  much easier when you have someone who knows the system liaison with Spanish bureaucracy for the first  time. For the sake of the fee of a gestor or gestoria, you will be able to focus on preparing for the job and  the move while they dealt with the heavy lifting of bureaucracy.

So, hopefully, you’ve got a job and all you government documents sorted to be paid for it too. Now comes  the accommodation. Securing somewhere to call home in the Costa Del Sol can be quite tricky, depending  on what time of year you’re planning on moving.

Summer season makes long term rental difficult

The summer season, for all its golden glory and rich  party scene, can prove to be quite expensive in terms of renting as most landlords are looking to let to  people on holiday at a weekly rate. You can often find yourself looking at a great dwelling, only to realize that the rental term is for three months down the line, or only for two weeks.

Now, if you wait out the summer  months, you can find plenty of places available to rent at a very reasonable price, but this may not be an  option should you have a job lined up with a summer start date. However, should you find yourself moving over for the winter months, the usual lease for a letting is from September to May, so it is worth  trying to negotiate a longer term or look for a new letting as May grows closer and closer.

The most  practical approach is to hold out till you can attain something within your budget and keep a constant eye  on website such as Idealista for a rarity, but you can also use advertisement boards and local papers to  learn of lettings that would otherwise be left without a digital footprint. Having a savings pot to aid in  your search is strongly advised, as financial security isn’t just a good indication to landlords, but also  enables you to compensate for that extra summer cost.

Don’t get scammed

Be careful when approaching ads in summer, as there are plenty of scams out there looking to take money from emigrating hopefuls. Some are cleverer than others, and can seem totally legitimate, but there are  always telltale signs of a false ad.

The listing of a scam house will have certain telltale signs within its  photos. Some will be major, some minor, but almost all can be recognized with the right eyes. If the  listing has a screenshot of a photo (evident by the appearance of a phone or computer interface at the  bottom of the screen) then it is cause for concern. Low quality in a photo is another sign, indicating that  the advertiser didn’t care enough to reflect the true state of the property, and may just want to grab the  cash and run.

Should you encounter an advertiser, always be mindful of the language they use. Now, there  are great differences in communication between Spanish and English, and certain things we may see as  blunt are normal to the average Spaniard, but there are universal signs that you are dealing with a  scammer. Phrases such “I need money before viewing” or “I can have another renter here at a moment’s  notice, you must be quick” are more common than not when you’re about to be frauded.

Finally, a  scammer will never take too kindly to questions. The more that you ask, the more frustrated they become  that the cash isn’t already in their pockets. A genuine advertiser will more than likely be happy to answer  all of your questions and concerns.

New chapter in your life

Busy café culture on the Costa Del Sol
Palephotography Shutterstock

All going well, you will have secured the main three components to beginning a new chapter in the Costa Del Sol, but the moving isn’t over. You’ll now find yourself away from the comfort of home, or maybe  you’re in the search of comfort. This is where the process of moving deviates from the all the documents  and into finding your way in an unknown land.

Even if you’re a retiring couple who have spent the last 30  years saving, or a young man or woman in your 20’s trying to find something new, it is important to give  yourself credit and patience as you try and find you way around.

Be kind to yourself, you won’t  immediately have a massive social circle on the first day, so let yourself build it piece by piece. Try and  integrate with your newfound area and community as best as you can. Language barriers may pose a  challenge, but the Costa Del Sol’s diverse population ensures that you’ll always find someone to connect with.

Expats and locals alike are eager to share their experiences and advice, making it easy to find like-minded  individuals.

Vibrant atmosphere

Fuengirola and Torremolinos, in particular, offer a vibrant atmosphere that caters to diverse  interests. From bustling markets to lively nightlife, these towns provide ample opportunities to meet new  people and form connections. Joining social clubs, sports teams, or volunteering for a cause you’re  passionate about can help you integrate into the community.

Don’t be afraid to start, you’ll grow  comfortable if you just keep moving forward. Coming from the post-Covid era of the 2020’s, we can all  appreciate how forming relationships with people is key to not falling into the depth of isolation.

So, moving to Costa Del Sol, Spain can be a daunting task, but with the right guidance and mindset, it can  be a successful and life-changing experience.

By focusing on the essential factors of occupation and  national documentation, and with the help of a gestor or gestoria, you can navigate the process of securing  employment, obtaining the necessary legal documents, and finding accommodation.

Living the high life in Puerto Banus
Credit: Ekaterina Chuyko Shutterstock

Costa Del Sol the perfect destination

Remember to be  patient and kind to yourself as you integrate into your new community, and don’t be afraid to reach out  and form relationships with others. With its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and welcoming  community, Costa Del Sol is the perfect destination for expats and young blood.

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.

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