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Moving to Spain – Questions and Answers

In this article, we’re going to talk about the topic questions and answers we get asked about moving and relocating to Spain from the US.

If you’re looking for movers to Spain, SDC International Shipping is your best choice. We specialize in international shipping, household shipping, and relocation. We take extra time to first fully understand our client’s needs. This helps to reduce or even eliminate “surprise” charges and/or other potential troubles. We can help you with the logistics of moving and shipping your household goods. Our expert team offers practical advice on customs regulations, ideas to help you in finding the right neighborhood, and creating a customized plan that meets your specific needs and budget.



Questions and Answers

Is it cheaper to live in Spain than in the US?

According to livingcost.org, the cost of living in Spain is on average 44% less expensive than in the United States. A family of four in Spain can expect to pay around $2,486.7 per month without rent, while a single person can expect to pay around $711.1 per month without rent. The average after-tax salary in Spain is enough to cover living expenses for 1.4 months, compared to 1.9 months in the United States.


Numbeo, another source, also provides a comparison between the two countries. Consumer prices in the United States are 47.7% higher than in Spain (without rent), while consumer prices including rent in the United States are 68.4% higher than in Spain. Rent prices in Spain are, on average, 54.1% lower than in the United States.


These figures suggest that, in general, Spain offers a more affordable cost of living compared to the United States. However, it’s important to consider that costs can vary depending on the specific cities or regions within each country. Researching the cost of living in the particular areas you are interested in can provide a more accurate understanding of the expenses you can expect.

Calella City Beach in Spain

Calella City Beach in Spain

Which is the best coast in Spain to live in?

Spain is a country blessed with a long and diverse coastline that offers something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a sunny and lively beach resort, a tranquil and scenic fishing village, or a cultural and historical city by the sea, you will find it in one of the many Spanish Costas. But which coast is the best one to live in? That depends on your personal preferences, budget, and lifestyle. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best coast in Spain to live in:


Spain has different climatic zones depending on the location and altitude. The northern coast, also known as the Costa Verde (Green Coast), has a temperate and humid climate with mild winters and cool summers. It is ideal for nature lovers who enjoy green landscapes, mountains, and beaches. The eastern coast, which includes the Costa Brava (Wild Coast), the Costa Dorada (Golden Coast), the Costa del Azahar (Orange Blossom Coast), and the Costa Blanca (White Coast), has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild winters. It is perfect for sun-seekers who want to enjoy the clear waters and sandy beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. The southern coast, which comprises the Costa Cálida (Warm Coast), the Costa de Almería (Coast of Almería), the Costa Tropical (Tropical Coast), the Costa del Sol (Sunshine Coast), and the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light), has a subtropical climate with warm and sunny weather all year round. It is suitable for those who want to experience the Andalusian culture, cuisine, and lifestyle.

Cost of living

The cost of living in Spain varies depending on the region, city, and neighborhood. Generally speaking, the northern coast is more expensive than the southern coast, and the eastern coast is more expensive than the western coast. The most expensive cities to live in are Barcelona, Madrid, San Sebastian, Bilbao, and Palma de Mallorca. The cheapest cities to live in are Murcia, Alicante, Malaga, Granada, and Seville. The cost of living also depends on your lifestyle choices, such as renting or buying a property, eating out or cooking at home, using public transportation or driving a car, etc.


Spain is known for its relaxed and friendly lifestyle that values family, friends, food, and fun. However, each coast has its own distinctive character and rhythm that may suit different types of people. The northern coast is more laid-back and quiet than the southern coast, which is more lively and vibrant. The eastern coast is more cosmopolitan and modern than the western coast, which is more traditional and authentic. The lifestyle also depends on your personal interests and hobbies, such as sports, culture, entertainment, nightlife, etc.

Is it Difficult to Relocate to Spain from the US?

Relocating to a new country becomes significantly easier when you follow these tips and conduct thorough research. By understanding visa requirements, you can ensure you have the necessary documentation and meet the eligibility criteria, eliminating potential delays or rejections. Researching employment opportunities helps you identify suitable industries and increase your chances of finding a job. Thoroughly researching housing and accommodation options allows you to make informed decisions and find a place that meets your needs. Embracing the local culture and learning the language facilitates integration and fosters connections with the local community. By managing healthcare, finances, and taxes effectively, you can ensure a smooth transition and avoid unnecessary stress. Overall, by following these tips and conducting proper research, you empower yourself with the knowledge and resources needed to navigate the relocation process successfully.


Research and Planning

Before embarking on your journey to Spain, it is essential to conduct thorough research and create a well-structured plan. Here are some key aspects to consider:


Understanding Visa Requirements

To legally immigrate to Spain, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the different visa options available and their respective requirements. Spain offers various visa categories, including work visas, student visas, family reunification visas, and investor visas. Each category has specific eligibility criteria, documentation requirements, and application processes.


Seek Professional Assistance

Navigating the complex immigration system can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. Engaging the services of a reputable immigration lawyer or consultant can greatly simplify the procedure and ensure that you meet all the necessary requirements. They can provide valuable guidance, assist with document preparation, and represent you during the application process.


Healthcare and Insurance

Understanding the healthcare system and obtaining the necessary insurance coverage is crucial for your well-being and peace of mind. Here are some considerations:


Public Healthcare System

Spain has a well-regarded public healthcare system that provides accessible and quality medical services. As an immigrant, you may be eligible to access the public healthcare system, depending on your specific circumstances. Familiarize yourself with the requirements and necessary documentation to ensure you can avail of this benefit, if applicable.


Private Health Insurance

While public healthcare in Spain is comprehensive, many individuals choose to complement it with private health insurance. Private insurance can provide additional coverage, flexibility, and faster access to medical care. Research different insurance providers, compare plans, and choose the option that best suits your needs and budget.


How Much Money Do You Need to Immigrate to Spain?

To immigrate to Spain, you are required to demonstrate financial stability and provide proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents during your stay. The exact amount of money needed can vary depending on several factors, such as the purpose of your immigration, the duration of your intended stay, and your individual circumstances. While there is no fixed minimum requirement specified by Spanish authorities, having a clear understanding of the financial expectations can help you plan accordingly.


When assessing your financial capacity, Spanish authorities typically consider factors such as accommodation costs, daily living expenses, healthcare coverage, and any additional financial commitments you may have. It is essential to have a comprehensive estimate of these costs to ensure that you can comfortably support yourself throughout your immigration journey.


Here are some key financial aspects to consider when calculating the funds needed for immigration to Spain:


Accommodation: Rental or purchase costs can vary significantly depending on the location and type of property you choose. It is advisable to research the housing market and estimate the monthly or annual expenses related to accommodation.


Property prices differ significantly across regions, with coastal areas and major cities generally commanding higher prices. As of recent data, the average price per square meter in Spain is around €2,500 (approximately $2,800). It’s advisable to work with a reputable real estate agent who can guide you through the process and ensure you find the right property within your budget.


On average, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can range from €600 to €1,200 per month (approximately $670 to $1,340), while outside the city center, prices may drop to €400 to €800 per month (approximately $450 to $900).


Daily Living Expenses: Consider the cost of groceries, transportation, utilities, communication services, and other essential day-to-day expenses. These costs will vary depending on your lifestyle choices and the region in which you reside.


On average, a weekly grocery bill for a single person can range from €40 to €60 (approximately $45 to $67), while a family’s expenses may range from €150 to €200 (approximately $168 to $223).


In local cafes and bars, you can enjoy a “menu del día,” which is a fixed-price menu including a starter, main course, dessert, and a drink, typically costing around €10 to €15 (approximately $11 to $17). A three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant can cost anywhere from €40 to €70 (approximately $45 to $78).


Healthcare Coverage: As a non-EU immigrant, you will typically need to obtain private health insurance to cover any medical expenses during your stay. Research different insurance options and determine the costs associated with adequate coverage.


While public healthcare is sufficient for many, some individuals prefer the option of private healthcare. Private insurance plans offer additional benefits, shorter waiting times, and access to a wider network of doctors and hospitals. The cost of private health insurance varies depending on factors such as age, medical history, and coverage options. On average, a private health insurance plan can range from €50 to €200 per month (approximately $56 to $223), depending on the level of coverage.


Other Financial Obligations: Take into account any existing financial commitments, such as loans, credit card payments, or ongoing financial responsibilities in your home country or elsewhere.


To determine the exact amount of money you need for immigration to Spain, it is recommended to consult with immigration experts or seek guidance from reputable sources, such as Spanish embassies or consulates in your home country. They can provide you with specific information based on your circumstances and the purpose of your immigration.


Keep in mind that the financial aspect is just one aspect of the immigration process. Other requirements, such as documentation, application procedures, and eligibility criteria, also need to be fulfilled. It is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of all these factors and ensure you meet the necessary requirements to increase your chances of a successful immigration journey to Spain.


Note: The financial requirements for immigration to Spain may change over time, and it is advisable to refer to the most up-to-date information provided by the Spanish authorities or consult with immigration professionals to obtain accurate and reliable information.


How to Move to Spain

Moving internationally can be a challenging process, but with careful planning and the right support, it can also be an exciting adventure. By following these tips on decluttering, choosing the right shipping options, and packing strategically, you can help ensure a smooth and successful move to your new home abroad.

At SDC International Shipping, we understand the complexities of international moves and are here to provide the support you need. From packing and shipping to customs requirements and more, we offer a range of services to help make your move as stress-free as possible.

Contact us today to learn more about our white glove packing service and other moving solutions. Let us help you prepare for your international move from California and start your new life abroad on the right foot.


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International Moving From USA to Any Destination

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