Expat in spain: Living in Spain : A Guide to Moving to Spain as an Expat : Expat Info Desk

Living in Spain : A Guide to Moving to Spain as an Expat : Expat Info Desk

Living in Spain

Living in Spain offers life in a modern country, which offers a well-developed infrastructure and a modern living environment. The pace of life is balanced and relaxed compared to other European countries and the climate is such that the outdoor resources can be enjoyed on a regular basis.

Spain offers a good mix of historical and modern architecture and is rich in culture. Approximately 90% of the population is Spanish, with ethnic minority groups including Moroccans, Romanians, Ecuadorians, and Colombians.

Spain as an Expat Destination

Almost 6% of the total population living in Spain are expatriates, consisting of people from North Africa and South America as well as from the UK. Spain is an extremely popular retirement destination because of its warm climate, low house prices and high standard of living. Many other expatriates come to this country to open tourist facilities such as bars, cafes and nightclubs.

Expatriate life in Spain is suited to those who seek a relaxed and laid-back life. The locals are friendly and trusting and the majority of the country is family-friendly. For those who are seeking a quiet life, the coastal towns may be inappropriate as they attract significant numbers of tourists on an annual basis.

Cost of Living for Expats in Spain

The cost of living in Spain will very much depend upon your lifestyle and where you live. If you seek luxury goods and fine dining, you will find Spain very expensive but if you are prepared to eat and live like the locals, you will find your money goes a lot further here than it does at home.

Housing costs can be very reasonable but are high in the cities and popular tourist areas. Utility costs are high and can cost up to 20% more than in the United Kingdom and the USA, especially if bottled gas is required. Food in Spain, on the other hand, is relatively cheap and provided you don’t dine out in tourist hotspots, you will find the prices in restaurants reasonable.

Our guide to living in Madrid contains a comprehensive list of all the costs of living in this European city, including groceries, eating and dining out, local and private transport, schools and educations and a whole host of other living expenses.


Spain has several regional languages and dialects:

  • Catalán: is spoken in the province of Catalunya (Barcelona)
  • Valenciano is used in Valencia and is closely related to Catalán
  • Gallego, which resembles a mix of Portuguese and Castellano and is spoken in the Northwestern province of Galicia.
  • Euskera/ Vasco is the traditional language and is spoken in the País Vasco and northern Navarra.
  • Mallorquín is the principal dialect in the Balearic Islands.
  • Asturianu ( Bable) , which is quite similar to Castellano and is spoken mostly in the countryside.


The Northern Atlantic coast has mild summers, relatively cold winters and large amounts of rainfall.

Inland areas have a continental climate, and the Mediterranean coastal areas to the east and south are hotter in both summer and winter.

Job and Career Prospects for Expats in Spain

Spain has a relatively high unemployment rate, which translates to high competition for jobs. Restrictive regulations regarding the employment of a ex-pats and global nomads in Spain makes the situation worse and the employment opportunities for non-EU citizens are very limited. Even for those from the EU, working knowledge of Spanish (Castilian) is usually required as too is a strong network, as a large percentage of jobs are found through personal connections. Job opportunities do exist, however, for those who are looking for work in retail, restaurants/bars or teaching foreign languages.

There are some shortages of workers in technical posts. The latest list of shortage occupations can be found on the Instituto Nacional de Empleo (INEM) (National Employment Institute) website. Unfortunately, this list is only available in Spanish. Spain is now a great destination for people who want to retire or work abroad with special visa programs.

Key Facts Every Expat Should Know Before Moving to Spain

  1. Every expat who is moving to Spain will be required to get a “Numero Identificacion de Extranjeros” (NIE number). The NIE is an identification number issued by the area police or Foreigners’ Office, and it is the law in Spain that all foreigners must register with the local authorities. Details of how to register for an NIE can be found in our city guides.
  2. Once you have chosen somewhere to live in Spain, you will need to register your whole family, including your children, at the town hall (Ayuntamiento) for the “Empandronamiento”. This is crucial as it allows the local government to claim a budget for the town that relates to the number of people living there. You will be required to show your Certificate of empadronamiento when you do basic things such as purchase a car, register for schools or use healthcare facilities.
  3. While moving to Spain, you should know that water shortages are common in Southern Spain and restrictions on usage are sometimes imposed.
  4. It is rare for motorists to stop at pedestrian crossings, so be careful when you are using these to try and cross the road.
  5. The majority of banks in Spain are only open in the mornings.

Spanish City Guides

Expat Info Desk currently has two city guides available for Spain; Living in Barcelona and Living in Madrid. These exhaustive guides contains everything you need to know about relocating to these Spanish cities and will assist you to:

  • relocate efficiently and effectively with minimum stress.
  • settle into your new life quickly and easily and find the help and assistance you need, when you need it.
  • identify areas to live in that suit your lifestyle and budget.
  • find the right places to meet like-minded people.
  • find schools that are suitable for your children and their learning needs.
  • ensure that your family gets the most out of their experiences abroad.
  • prepare for the new culture in advance and avoid any cultural traps.
  • deal with any transition challenges.
  • cut through red tape and avoid unnecessary bureaucracy.

Unlike a book, the guides are regularly reviewed and updated in order to ensure that the information is accurate and reliable and because the guides are written by real expats who live and work in Barcelona and Madrid, you can be assured that you are accessing the information that you need as written by people who really are in the know.

The only guide for Expats & Global Nomads in Spain; Feel at home abroad – Fast!

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Do you have a comment about this article, a further question or even a correction? If so please do let us know. We may edit your comments and cannot guarantee that all comments will be published, please be nice!

Our Expat’s Manual is updated regularly so comments about the article may have already been addressed.

Expats in Spain: 10 questions answered

Does life for expats in Spain live up to the dream? From salaries to family life, here are your biggest questions answered.

Many expats move to Spain to make the most of its laidback lifestyle and great weather. The Spanish tend to work later hours, but they do know how to enjoy life. As such, Spain is a paradise for those who enjoy socializing and want to take advantage of the country’s cultural and outdoor activities. That said, don’t expect to make your fortune here or climb the career ladder. And while public services may be lacking, there are many upsides for expats in Spain – like cheaper and larger properties than you might find at home.

From the cost of living to education and healthcare, this article explores what you need to know about making a home under the Spanish sun. Questions covered below include:

  • What’s it really like to live in Spain?
    • Quality of life for expats in Spain
  • Can I afford to live in Spain?
  • Is it easy to find love as an expat in Spain?
    • Getting married in Spain
    • LGBTQ+ relationships and marriage in Spain
  • What’s it like to work in Spain?
    • Getting a work visa in Spain
    • Salaries and wages for expats in Spain
  • Can I afford housing in Spain?
    • Expat Spain and real estate golden visas
  • What’s it like being a woman in Spain?
    • Violence against women in Spain
    • Women’s health in Spain
    • Giving birth as an expat in Spain
  • What’s it like raising kids in Spain?
    • Education for expats in Spain
  • How good is the healthcare system in Spain?
  • What is the worst thing about life in Spain?
  • What is the best thing about life in Spain?

What’s it

really like to live in Spain?

Spain is a very popular destination for internationals. About 15% of Spain’s population is foreign-born. That’s about 7.2 million people, including 5.1 million born outside Europe. About five million residents do not hold a Spanish passport. For this group of people adjusting to life in Spain can be a challenge in many ways.

Things happen slowly in Spain, sometimes frustratingly so for expats used to a faster pace. It often seems that deadlines – in business or bureaucracy – are flexible. Two-hour breaks for lunch are common. On the other hand, embrace this relaxed approach and life suddenly seems richer and fuller.

Shop closed? Call an alternative. Delayed paperwork? Stop off at a cafe or bar for a caña (a small glass of beer) instead. As one expat notes, the unhurried pace is part of the appeal of moving to Spain.

Quality of life for expats in Spain

The OECD’s Better Life Index puts Spain above the average in work-life balance, income and wealth, housing, health status, social connections, and personal security. However, the Mediterranean nation ranks below average in civic engagement, environmental quality, education and skills, jobs and earnings, and subjective well-being.

By a different measure, HSBC’s annual league table, based on a survey of over 20,000 expats, ranks Spain third in the expat living category in 2021. However, the country loses places in other categories (aspiration and future outlook), placing 14th out of 45 countries overall in the HSBC Expat Explorer league table.

Find out how and where you can learn Spanish

Additionally, expats in Spain will need to think carefully about wages – the country ranks considerably lower than other European countries, such as Switzerland and the Netherlands, in terms of salary. As with other parts of the world, your earnings impact your quality of life.

On balance, however, how you approach life as an expat in Spain will determine the quality of your experience.


Can I afford to live in Spain?

Spain is generally not an expensive country to live in. The cost of living is among the lowest in Western Europe, even in the cities – but wages are correspondingly low.

According to Spain’s National Statistics Institute (Instituto Nacional de Estadística), households spent about €2,250 per month on all costs in 2020. However, keep in mind that this number is lower than prior years, due to the pandemic. As such, it’s worth budgeting around €2,500 for a household of two – including dining out and entertainment.

Having said that, living in Madrid is cheaper than in many other capital cities. El Foro (the forum/the center), as some locals call it, ranks 67th out of 206 cities in Mercer’s 2021 cost of living survey. While Barcelona, at 84 on the list, is even less expensive with a similar quality of life to that of the 19th most expensive city in the survey, London. Valencia and Sevilla, the next-largest cities, are considerably cheaper and also offer a good quality of life.

About 25.3% of the Spanish population was at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2019, according to Eurostat data. That’s higher than the EU average of 21.1%. The coronavirus pandemic has widened social inequalities and there is concern over the medium and long-term impact. Having said that, Spain provides a wide social security safety net for all who live and work in the country.


Is it easy to find love as an expat in Spain?

Dating in Spain can be a challenge for expats. Firstly, you are not likely to find love in a bar or nightclub. The Spanish head to these venues purely to enjoy the music and company of friends. As such, you will find that expat meetup groups are a popular way to meet people in larger cities. Secondly, although dating apps and websites are extremely popular, Spanish men and women often find romantic partners within their social circles.

Meet people in Spain through Expatica Dating

So, one way to meet Spanish people is at an Intercambio, or language exchange evening. If you’re lucky, your local bar will offer one. With a bit of luck, your Spanish language partner could end up becoming your romantic partner too! In Spanish, that’s referred to as tener lo mejor de dos mundos, or having the best of both worlds. You’re welcome.

Getting married in Spain

A sizeable percentage of expats find love in Spain, even heading to the altar. In fact, in 17.3% of marriages in Spain in 2020 one spouse was a foreign national.

The pandemic year saw a 45.5% drop in marriage rates, with a total of just over 90,000 weddings – although this is likely to rebound at least partially. Nevertheless, people are settling down later in life. The average age at marriage was 39.5 years for men and 36.7 years for women in 2021.

The legal requirements for registering your marriage in Spain depend on several factors. You must provide evidence of your civil status, your nationality, and the region that you live in. Both partners must also be over the age of 18 years.

LGBTQ+ relationships and marriage in Spain

Despite being a Catholic country, Spain remains one of the most LGBTQ+ friendly nations in the world. In fact, 73% of the population supports openness about sexual orientation or gender identity, the highest among 27 countries canvassed for the Ipsos LGBT+ Pride 2021 Global Survey.

Discover the top 10 LGBT+ friendly countries for expats

There is a diverse and welcoming scene across the country. The larger cities, like Madrid and Barcelona, and the country’s coastal areas alike have significant LGBTQ+ communities.

Same-sex marriage in Spain has been legal since 2005, guaranteeing identical rights to all married couples regardless of sexual orientation. Some 76% of Spaniards support gay marriage. Expat couples who opt for registered partnerships also have many legal rights. These include adoption, automatic parenthood recognition on birth certificates, and rights to inheritance and survivor pensions. Same-sex couples are also recognized for immigration and tax purposes and receive protection against domestic violence.

Likewise, trans rights in Spain are fairly advanced. Since 2007, people have been able to change their gender in Spain. In 2018, Spanish model and LGBTQ+ activist Angela Ponce became the first transgender woman to compete in the Miss Universe contest, where she received a standing ovation.

What’s it like to work in Spain?

Depending on where you come from, working in Spain can differ from your past experiences. Expats in Spain should prepare to embrace a longer, or later, working day. Typical workdays are broken into two chunks, with a long break between them. The workday typically starts at 08:30 or 09:00 through to about 13:30 and then resumes at about 16:30 to finish around 20:00.

On average, people in Spain work between 36.3 hours per week, but the 40-hour workweek is not uncommon.

The country already scores well above average on the OECD’s work-life balance index, but those rankings may soon improve further. The nation became one of the first to trial a four-day workweek in 2021. The objective was to determine if shorter workweeks could improve productivity. With funds earmarked for further research, expats in Spain could soon have more free time under the Iberian sun.

The country’s unhurried business culture, however, is unlikely to change.

Find employment opportunities in Spain on our Jobs Board

At the same time, Spain has a notoriously high unemployment rate. Although unemployment has fallen for four consecutive quarters in 2020 and 2021, joblessness still stood at 14.57% in the third quarter of 2021. The good news is that Spain welcomes expat workers. Foreign workers account for around 15% of the country’s total labor force.

Getting a work visa in Spain

Most non-EU/EEA citizens – referred to as third-country nationals – need a work permit. They must secure an employment contract before they can apply for such a permit. Since Brexit, UK citizens who want to work in Spain also need a residence and work visa. 

Some exemptions apply, including for university professors, technicians, foreign journalists, and artists. However, each comes with specific conditions attached.

Salaries and wages for expats in Spain

The cost of living in Spain is cheaper than in other parts of Europe, however, salaries are lower too. The minimum salary for a full-time job in Spain is around €1,125 gross per month in 2021 (€965 monthly payable in 14 installments to allow for the double salary in July and December). The annual household income after taxes and transfers in Spain is just under €20,000 per year.

Average salaries in Spain amount to €1,374 per month, as compared to €5,597 in Switzerland, and €2,210 in the Netherlands (at January 2022 exchange rates).


Can I afford housing in Spain?

When it comes to property, home sales in Spain have increased as the market has rebounded in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Sales of houses and apartments were up 12.1% in July as compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic.

Overall, house prices rose 3.3% in the second quarter of 2021 over the same period in the previous year. Expats looking to buy real estate in Spain could expect to pay an average of €1,829/m², in December 2021. That’s about 2.8% higher than a year earlier.

Spain has one of the highest rates of homeownership – second only to Malta, with 76% of Spaniards owning their place of residence. Over the past two decades, however, homeownership has been steadily declining (it peaked above 80% in 2001). The lingering effects of the pandemic may result in further declines as young people struggle to get on the property ladder.

If you want to rent in Spain, a one-bedroom city-center apartment could set you back €640.98 on average. You will need to stretch to €1,001.58 for a similarly located three-bedroom unit.

Expat Spain and real estate golden visas

There are no restrictions on foreign buyers purchasing property in Spain and Spanish mortgage lenders offer an array of products for foreign investors.

The government even operates a special visa and property scheme. Known as a golden visa, the scheme allows foreigners to gain residency in Spain if they invest in the country, including buying property valued at €500,000 or more.


What’s it like being a woman in Spain?

In 2021, Spain ranked 14th out of 156 countries in the world on the Global Gender Gap Index, down six places from the previous year. The index is a World Economic Forum benchmark that tracks the evolution of gender equality on four fronts: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

The report notes Spain’s downward slide is principally due to the pandemic, which raised new barriers to build inclusive and prosperous societies and amplified pre-existing gender gaps. One in two Spaniards feels there should be a greater emphasis on education to achieve gender equality.

Among its peers, Spain ranked 6th in the EU on the Gender Equality Index and just over 43% of parliamentarians are women, as of November 2021.

Learn about women’s healthcare in Spain

Since 2010, the number of women in management and board positions in the country has also increased. However, Spain still has a gender pay gap that Eurostat estimates to be 11.9%. The good news is that as of 2021 companies with 50 or more workers must create and implement an equality plan.

Overall, gender inequality in Spain is most persistent in the time spent on care work and housework. Spanish men average 23 hours each week on childcare and 11 on household duties, against 38 and 20 hours respectively for women.

Violence against women in Spain

Violence against women remains a concern in Spain, although the country has progressive laws in this regard. Spain passed Europe’s first law to crack down on gender-based violence in 2004. The number of women who have died as a result of gender violence in Spain has totaled 1,118 since statistics were first officially recorded in 2003. In 2021, 37 women were killed compared to 46 a year earlier.

In 2021, the government tightened its sexual violence laws to define all non-consensual sex as rape. It also broadened its definition of gender violence crimes, to include the killings of all women by men – regardless of the killer’s relationship with the victim.

The government is also taking steps to counteract Spain’s reputation for machismo and patriarchal traditions. While these appear to have given way in recent years, 40% of women report suffering sexual harassment, with one in five experiencing it in the workplace. As of 2021, the country’s Equality Ministry has announced the launch of official guidelines for companies to tackle sexism in the workplace.

Women’s health in Spain

Women in Spain have a life expectancy of 86.2 years on average, as of 2019, as compared to 80 years for men.

The country’s healthcare system offers women residents a full range of services. These range from gynecology and obstetrics to maternity care, sexual health, cancer screenings, and more.

Abortion until 14 weeks has been legal in Spain since 1985. Beyond this point, there must be a serious risk to the mother’s life. Fetal deformities deemed ‘incompatible with life’ or incurable diseases are grounds for abortion at up to 22 weeks. Abortions can be performed in public hospitals, where they are heavily subsidized or free of charge, or in private hospitals for about €300. However, access to the procedure is diminished by the right of medical professionals to make a conscientious objection to performing an abortion.

Contraception is widely available and either free or reasonably priced. Public insurance subsidizes surgical and non-surgical methods of contraception in the country, but you will typically need a prescription from your GP or gynecologist.

Giving birth as an expat in Spain

Those having a baby in Spain can be assured of a high standard of care during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. Most births are in hospitals and clinics and are covered by state health insurance. However, home births are not covered. Those without insurance can expect to pay around €1,800, with any complications adding minimal costs.

Children born in Spain are not automatically eligible for Spanish citizenship unless one parent is Spanish. Many expats with private insurance choose to give birth at a private hospital.

What’s it like raising kids in Spain?

Overall, Spain ranks highly on various childcare indicators, including education, nutrition, and healthcare, according to UNICEF. Spain ranks 6th among the world’s 38 richest countries for child well-being outcomes: mental, physical, and academic. However, it is worth noting that Spain has a higher ratio of children-to-caregiver, 9:1, compared to other European countries that average a ratio of 7:1 at nurseries.

Spain offers free healthcare to all children residing in the country. The country ranks 19th on the most recent Healthcare Access and Quality Index with a score of 92 out of 100. In Spain, 98.1% of children are in good health and only 0.4% are in poor health. Both scores are better than the EU average.

Learn about child care options in Spain

This continues into adolescence, according to pre-pandemic data from the OECD. Teenagers report being comfortable at school in Spain, higher than any other OECD country. Additionally, relatively few teenagers report being the victim of bullying (14%, compared to an OECD average of 19%). Few teenagers skip meals or smoke regularly, but a lower-than-average share engages in regular intense exercise. As a result, overweight and obesity rates are fairly high – roughly 22% of 11-15 year-olds in Spain are overweight or obese, compared to 19% on average across the OECD.

Overall, 33% of teenagers in Spain report high levels of life satisfaction, and less than 10% report low levels of life satisfaction.

Education for expats in Spain

The standard of education in Spain is relatively high. The country scores 491 in reading literacy, mathematics, and sciences, above the OECD average of 486. 

Although school is only compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16 in Spain, people also study for a little longer – about 18 years each between the ages of 5 and 39 – than in the rest of the OECD (17.2 years).

There are a variety of schooling options for expat children, including state-subsidized colegios concertados, international schools with teaching in different languages, method schools, religious academies, and boarding schools.

Search for schools in our Spain Directory

Expat children who are learning Spanish as a second language enjoy state support. As well as providing extra help in the classroom, schools might also teach lessons in Spanish (Castellano) or another local language in a separate language classroom. While some schools also support and encourage children to learn their native language outside of school hours.

How good is the healthcare system in Spain?

The sunshine may have something to do with the fact that Spain ranks sixth out of 93 countries on the Numbeo 2021 Health Care Index. All that Vitamin D and a good healthcare system put it above Austria (7th) and the Netherlands (11th) but below Taiwan and France. Perhaps more impressively, the World Health Organization ranks the Spanish healthcare system seventh worldwide for efficiency.

Spain offers high-quality healthcare, through state and private facilities, and many clinics offer both types of care. About 90% of the population uses the public healthcare system.

According to the OECD, Spain had 4.4 doctors per 1,000 people in 2021. By comparison, there were 2.64 per 1,000 residents in the US. Many medical professionals in Spain speak English, especially in the larger cities. However, the situation may be very different in less populated areas. It may be worth taking a Spanish-speaking person along to a consultation or even writing down your needs in Spanish.

Expats in Spain get free state healthcare if they meet certain conditions, such as residency or student status. State healthcare in Spain is covered by social security payments, which are made by all employees and self-employed workers. Spouses and children of workers also receive coverage.

However, many expats in Spain choose to take private health insurance to have access to wider and quicker options. Around 19% of the Spanish population has some form of private healthcare coverage. Some of the largest private health insurance companies in Spain include:

  • Allianz Care
  • APRIL International
  • Cigna Global
  • Globality Health

Private health insurance in Spain usually costs between €50-200 a month, depending on the coverage plan.

What is the worst thing about life in Spain?

Expats in Spain can find it hard getting used to the lower salaries in the country. The average household’s yearly disposable income is US$23,999 (about €21,000 in January 2022), lower than the OECD average of US$33,604 (€29,722).

In 2018, there were nearly two million more people in employment as compared to five years earlier. Yet the remuneration per full-time employee rose a mere 0.5% per year on average. Annual salaries in Spain are just €1,000 higher than in the early 2000s.

The situation could worsen in the wake of COVID-19, with rising inflation and utility costs sparking protests in 2021. Although the Spanish economy is expected to post two years of strong growth, the EU forecast that Spain will not see pre-pandemic levels of economic activity until 2023. Lagging behind every other country in the 27-member bloc. Internationals looking to enjoy life as expats in Spain should consider this.

What is the best thing about life in Spain?

As the Spanish saying goes, ‘A beber y a tragar, que el mundo se va a acabar‘. Or roughly translated into English, ‘Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die/the world ends’. It’s trite but true, tomorrow is not promised.

Spaniards live life to the fullest, taking an open, carefree attitude to everyday events. It is this laidback approach that underpins life in Spain, whether it’s the country’s famous outdoorsy culture or the fact that the Spanish are so gregarious and welcoming of foreigners and expats. Subject to where you’re moving from, Spain provides the opportunity to enjoy a healthy lifestyle and beautiful weather on a relatively low budget. And chances are, you’ll leave with many more friends than when you arrived!

how to get a residence in Spain, the details of obtaining a residence permit and permanent residence in Spain, marriage in Spain by proxy

Immigration to Spain

  • Immigration to Spain
  • Marriage in Spain
  • Marriage by proxy in Spain
  • Citizenship of Spain


Since the early 1990s emigration to Spain has become a popular destination and a social phenomenon not only among Russians, but also among hundreds of thousands of citizens of other countries who wish to buy a house in Spain, or provide themselves with a decent vacation, a rich cultural life, work, get an education in Spain or educate their children .

According to the National Institute of Statistics of Spain for 2009, today immigration to Spain is so active that already about 12% of the Spanish population are of foreign origin.

Immigration to Spain in numbers

The level of immigration to Spain is 3-4 times higher than in the US and 8 times higher than in France. In terms of relative figures across Europe, immigration to Spain is second only to immigration to Cyprus and Andorra. In terms of the number of immigrants per thousand inhabitants, Spain ranks 15th in the European Union. In addition, immigration to Spain is among the top ten most attractive immigration destinations in the world, such as immigration to the USA, Russia, Germany, Ukraine, France, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Newcomers mainly take root in the most economically powerful regions of Spain. Madrid, as well as the Spanish Mediterranean coast and islands are considered such zones. Europeans from more northerly countries usually move to Catalonia or Andalusia, or to the Balearic and Canary Islands. 44.81% of all immigrants in Spain live in three zones – Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante. Conversely, areas where the likelihood of meeting immigrants is very low are Extremadura, Asturias, Galicia, the Basque Country, Cantabria, and Castile and León.

According to the 2009 census, the most “immigrant” place in Spain is the town of San Fulgencio in the province of Alicante. In this city, 77.5% of the twelve thousand inhabitants are not native Spaniards. Other cities where the number of immigrants far outnumbers the Spaniards are Rojales, Teulada, Calpe, Javea and Alfaz del Pi. All these cities are in the province of Alicante, the most “immigrant” province of Spain.

In addition, immigration flows in Spain are also distributed according to nationality. Madrid and Catalonia turned out to be attractive for people from Latin America and Africa. Moroccans have numerous settlements in Catalonia and Andalusia, 75% of all immigrants from Pakistan settle in the same Catalonia. The British take root in Alicante and Malaga, the Germans live in the Balearic and Canary Islands. Almost half of the Romanians and Moldavians in Spain live between Madrid and Castellón. The Russians “chosen” the coast of Catalonia and Valencia.

Massive immigration to Spain is the result of several factors:

1. One of the most important factors of immigration to Spain is the high rate of economic development that Spain has gained since 1993. The Spanish economy, which is based on the construction and tourism sectors, is constantly in need of labor. Of the 900 thousand jobs involved in these sectors of the Spanish economy, more than three hundred thousand jobs are occupied by foreigners.

2. Another important factor in the attractiveness of Spain for immigration is the cultural and linguistic commonality with Latin America, which supplies about 36% of all immigrants in Spain.

3. In addition, Spain is attractive for its mild climate and famous Mediterranean lifestyle. 21% of immigrants in Spain are resettled from Western Europe, especially from England. Basically, the British are concentrated in the province of Alicante and Malaga. Many immigrants from Europe have fairly high incomes: they are business owners or remote professionals who work via the Internet, or European pensioners.

4. The geographical proximity of the African continent provides a constant influx of immigration from the Maghreb countries. More than 18% of immigrants in Spain are of Moroccan origin. GDP per capita in Spain is 12 times the GDP per capita in Morocco.

Economic consequences of immigration to Spain.

An important consequence of immigration to Spain was a significant increase in the population: from 1998 to 2005. The population of Spain increased by four million inhabitants, which is more than 10% of the population of Spain.
In addition, the birth rate among the immigrant population is higher than the birth rate among native Spaniards. In 2005, 15% of registered newborns in Spain are children born to immigrant families. More than half of all immigrants in Spain are aged 20 to 39years, while of the native Spaniards, only 33% are within the childbearing age group.

Positive consequences.

Mass immigration to Spain had a positive impact on the operation of the Spanish public insurance system. For 2001-2005 foreigners made up 45%. total number of new social security registrations

Immigration to Spain has also had a positive impact on Spain’s GNP over the past five years. Almost half of the jobs created in recent years in Spain have been filled by foreign workers. In addition, immigration to Spain caused an increase in the working-age population, which markedly increased the revenues to the state treasury from taxes collected (through social security systems).

Plus, immigration to Spain satisfies the urgent need for workers in this country. Foreign workers are involved in industries where there is often a shortage of labor, such as construction, domestic staff, services, agriculture. Immigration to Spain has proved beneficial for small businesses, as many small businesses in Spain have been able to stay afloat during the economic crises.

Negative consequences of immigration to Spain.

A negative consequence of immigration to Spain is the distortion of the structure of the labor market. While for the period 1997-2007. The GNP of Spain grew by 3-4, the paradox is that the real wages of Spanish citizens not only did not grow, but even decreased.

The emergence of a large array of unskilled labor in the labor market has led to a decrease in wages in various sectors of the Spanish economy, such as construction or services. Immigration flows to Spain have lowered the cost of labor in the traditional Spanish economy.

The phenomenon of mass immigration worsened the situation of low-skilled workers as it increased the supply of cheap labor. The increase in economic profits has not led to the optimization of the production cycle in traditional enterprises.

Creation of a multicultural and multilingual society in Spain:

Over the past two decades, due to immigration in Spain, there has been the creation and expansion of various linguistic communities within Spain. The most widespread non-indigenous languages ​​in Spain are:

  • Arabic:

especially Moroccan Arabic is the main language of immigrants from the Maghreb countries. In 2006, more than 618 thousand immigrants from Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, and Iraq were registered in Spain. The strongest Arab diaspora is located in the exclave city of Ceuta, as well as in Catalonia and Andalusia.

  • Romanian

The Romanian-Moldovan diaspora has more than four hundred thousand inhabitants registered in Spain in 2006. There are especially many Romanians and Moldovans in Madrid, Castile-La Mancha, Aragon and Valencia.

  • English

you can often hear in the provinces of Malaga and Alicante, that is, areas traditionally attractive to the British. According to 2006 data, more than 315,000 Britons, Irish, Americans, Canadians and Australians are registered in Spain. The British make up over 30% of the population in many cities along the coasts of Alicante and Malaga, where the British even set up their own newspapers and radio stations. Also, English communities can be found in the Balearic Islands, in Murcia and Almeria.

  • German

they speak mainly the Canaries and the Balearics. There are more than 170,000 immigrants from Germany, Switzerland and Austria in Spain.

  • Quechua,

Quechua is spoken by immigrants from Ecuador and Peru, immigrants from Bolivia speak southern Quechua.

  • Portuguese

Brazilians and Portuguese are spoken, and Portuguese is especially spoken in Galicia and Leon. The Brazilian and Portuguese immigration communities in Spain are over 150,000.

  • Wu Chinese

it is the language spoken by most people from Shanghai. More than one hundred thousand Chinese are registered in Spain. Also quite common is Mandarin Chinese.

  • Bulgarian.

There are more than one hundred thousand registered immigrants from Bulgaria in Spain, who mainly settle in the provinces of Valladolid and Segovia.

  • French community in Spain

has a long historical tradition since the European Renaissance. Since the Age of Enlightenment, colonies of French traders have been created in Spain, who settled in cities such as Cadiz, Seville, Alicante and Barcelona. In the 20th century, after the war of independence in Algeria in 1962, more than 30,000 French Algerians settled in Spain. In 2006, there were more than 90,000 French, about 30,000 Belgians and more than 15,000 Swiss in Spain. In addition, among the Francophones of Spain there are many immigrants from countries – the former colonies of France or Belgium, where the French language has been preserved as a state or very significant language. These countries include Algeria, Morocco, Senegal.

  • Central African languages.

of which the Fula, Wolof, Mandinga and Soninke speaking groups stand out.

Thus, we see that the significant growth of the Spanish economy in recent decades has become the most important factor in emigration to Spain for citizens from all over the world. Since 2000 Spanish immigration statistics show that Spain is gradually becoming one of the promised lands of the modern world.

Marriage in Spain

Marriage in Spain had to be contracted according to Spanish law. Both parties must submit an application for marriage in person, that is, both the groom and the bride must go to the civil registration authority at the place of residence of one of the spouses. When applying, prospective spouses must provide the following documents:

  • birth certificates of both spouses, issued by the civil registration authority at the place of birth
  • documents on registration or residence at a certain address for the last two years
  • statement signed by both parties. Written confirmation or official oral confirmation of the current civil status of the applicants
  • copy of identification document, DNI, passport or residence card

In addition, you will need to provide relevant documentation if at least one of the applicants meets the following conditions:

  • Minority

If the applicant is over 16 years of age, an emancipation mark must be added to the birth certificate.
If the applicant is over 14 but under 16, they will need to obtain a legal marriage license first.

  • Divorced citizens or citizens whose marriage was annulled

must have with them: a previous marriage certificate with a mark of divorce or annulment of marriage. If the court decision on divorce was not issued in Spain, it is necessary to put a consular exequatur on them.

  • Widowers and widows

Must have a certificate of previous marriage and death certificate of the spouse.

  • Foreign citizens

Must provide a certificate of registration at the consulate indicating the place of residence, time of residence in Spain and their country of origin. In addition, they need to present documents on the mechanism for recognizing the legality of marriage in the territory of another country and, if necessary, the diplomatic regulatory documents themselves on the procedure for recognizing marriage.

  • Citizens with the status of refugees and political emigrants

Must submit a certificate from the General Directorate of Police / A . C . N . U . R , or from the Spanish Red Cross or other authorized organization. The document must indicate all the personal data of the applicant, indicating his current status. If the certificate of refugee status is not issued in Spain, it must be translated by an accredited translator and legalized (original and translation) by the Consulate and or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain.
The Hague Apostille replaces legalization. If the applicant does not speak Spanish, they must be accompanied by an authorized interpreter.

Marriage by proxy in Spain.

Marriage by proxy is when two people want to marry, but for some reason they are in different places or in different countries. It turns out that both spouses cannot be present at the registration authority at the time of the marriage. Such a power of attorney is often used to conclude a marriage between a Spanish citizen and a foreign citizen who, for various reasons, was unable to obtain a visa to Spain.

Thus, it is possible to marry under a notarized power of attorney, which replaces the physical presence of the second spouse. Marriage by proxy is governed by Article 55 of the Spanish Civil Code.

“Marriage may be permitted if one of the parties is not present in Spanish territory. In this case, the judge, the mayor of the city or an authorized official may recognize the marriage as valid on the basis of the original special power of attorney and subject to the personal presence of the second spouse.
The power of attorney must contain personal details to confirm the identity of the person with whom the applicant wishes to marry.”

A power of attorney may be canceled due to the refusal to give the power of attorney or the refusal of the authorized person to act in this capacity, or due to the death of one of the persons. In case of refusal of the power of attorney, the personal appearance of the applicant before the marriage is sufficient. Refusal to give power of attorney will be immediately reported to the judge, the mayor of the city or a competent officer.

Marriage by proxy.

To conclude a marriage by proxy, you will need to provide the following list of documents for both future spouses:

  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of the possibility of marriage
  • Certificate on the mechanism for recognizing the legality of marriage in the territory of another country, publication of diplomatic regulations
  • certificate of registration and residence
  • passport or residence permit or other proof of identity
  • completed marriage application form

In addition to these documents, you will need a notarized power of attorney to review documents for marriage, receive notifications, and also provide consent to marriage through the Consulate of Spain.

A special power of attorney confirms that the person concluding the marriage entrusts the marriage to a proxy who will be present in Spain and represent the party in the registration authority.

This power of attorney may be drawn up by a notary or consul or consular representative of the applicant’s country of origin and be attached to the original marriage documents.

Also, for the civil registration authority, you will need to provide the address of the embassy or consulate closest to the place of residence of the applicant, who is not in Spain.

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Reviews of those who moved to Spain for permanent residence from Russia 👑 Moving to immigration and the life of Russians in Spain with reviews

The Kingdom of Spain, according to the reviews of those who moved, attracts with a high standard of living. Compared to other European countries popular for relocation, there is affordable medical care, education, high quality food, and low household expenses. According to reviews, a significant advantage of emigrating to Spain is safety. Especially in small towns where there are few tourists, the crime rate is very low.

The country has a favorable environmental situation, which encourages many to move to Spain, the environment is noted in their reviews as one of the main motives. More than half of the energy sources are renewable. Windmills, solar panels generate electricity, with the help of which residents heat rooms and water. Almost all new buildings are equipped with solar panels.

Life in Spain, according to reviews, is unusually measured and peaceful. The locals are in no hurry. She is also calm in social terms: warm human relations, pleasant light conversations, friendly gatherings are more valued here than career successes. According to the opinions of settled Russians, Spaniards communicate with everyone in the same way, regardless of social status or time spent by foreigners in Spain for permanent residence.

In the south of Spain you will find beaches with blue flags, clear sea and hot summers, it tempts you to move to live in Spain from Russia, but according to the opinion of emigrants, it is more comfortable for some to live in the northern part of the country. It is cooler here compared to the southern coast, in summer it rains more often, in winter the temperature rarely drops to zero degrees.

A measured lifestyle generates economic and political stability, which attracts immigrants. Emigration to Spain from Russia, according to reviews, scares the risk of being left without a job. But the Russians are more persistent, hardworking than the Spaniards, for most of whom the absence of stress, a long siesta and peace of mind is more important than money. We are ready to invest more time and effort into a career or our own business, so moving from Russia to Spain, according to reviews, often leads to opening your own business in the country. It is easy to find a job in Spain for IT specialists, medical workers, engineers, if an appropriate permit is issued.

Not surprisingly, the flow of immigrants into the country does not stop. It counts up to 100,000 Russians who have moved. According to emigrants from Russia, many Russian associations and cultural centers help to adapt to life in Spain. They popularize the national culture, language, organize holidays and festivals according to Russian traditions. Russian-language radio stations and print media operate in the country.
At the same time, immigration laws are much more loyal than in other European countries. You can learn Spanish after moving to Spain for permanent residence from Russia, but according to the reviews of those living in Catalonia, you will additionally have to study Catalan.

It is also possible to emigrate to Spain from Russia with a large family, regardless of the age of the children. Kids quickly and easily adapt to the Spanish-speaking environment in kindergartens and elementary schools. Seniors can study English in international schools or study in Spanish in private, semi-private, public schools. In Catalonia, Galicia, the Basque Country, in addition to Spanish, they will have to learn the second official language of the region. But, according to the reviews of those who moved to permanent residence, children cope with this task quickly and easily. In order not to forget your native language, you can go to Russian evening schools. Positive feedback from emigrants is collected by Russian communities in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities.

Immigration to Spain, according to the opinions of Russians living here, is associated with a huge number of bureaucratic delays. To collect the necessary package of documents for permanent residence in Spain from Russia, according to the reviews of 2020, you will have to spend a lot of time. Despite the loyalty of immigration legislation, it often changes, adapts to new living conditions in the country. If you deal with the documents yourself, you can miss important nuances and get rejected.

To ensure that immigration to Spain from Russia is successful, and the impression of the move remains positive, choose immigration lawyers with an impeccable reputation.