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Things to consider before relocating to Spain

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Photo credit: Santa Maria de Prades. via photopin (license)

Spain is a popular destination among expats, and it’s not hard to see why. With its warm sunshine, beautiful beaches, sumptuous cuisine, stylish shops and more, this Mediterranean country certainly has a lot to offer.

Before you pack your bags and book yourself a one-way ticket though, there are a host of practical issues to consider. This guide talks you through some of the most important.

Communication

It’s true that in the larger towns and touristy parts of the country, lots of people speak English. If you’re to really make the most of your experiences living in this part of Europe though, it’s a good idea to get to grips with the local language.

As well as helping you to make friends, being able to speak Spanish will make a whole range of practical tasks easier. Whether you’re buying a loaf of bread or booking an appointment with a doctor, it’s a huge advantage to be able to express yourself and understand others.

Don’t panic if you’re not familiar with the language and your big move now looms large on the horizon.

As the language school Spanish Connection points out, intensive courses can help people to pick up the skills they need in a short space of time. By booking yourself onto a learning programme like this, you might be able to progress much more quickly than you think.

Bear in mind that your language skills are bound to improve once you arrive in Spain too.

Paperwork

Then there’s the issue of paperwork to consider. If you’re moving to Spain from a country in the EU, you won’t need a visa.

Bear in mind though, within three months of arriving, you should secure a foreign identity number (known as a Número de Identidad de Extranjero) and a residency card. Registering with the authorities will help ensure you are fully protected by the country’s healthcare system.

Meanwhile, if you plan to buy a property, make sure you look into the taxes and fees you’ll face so that you know exactly what to expect.

Cost of living

You should also do some research into the cost of living in the area you’re moving to. It’s impossible to budget effectively without looking into the sums you’ll shell out for everything from groceries to fuel.

On a related point, it’s wise to pay attention to the exchange rate in the run up to your move. If you’re worried about fluctuations that could leave you out of pocket, you can look for forward contracts that allow you to fix the rate you’ll receive for up to 24 months head.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list of the things you’ll need to consider before you up sticks and move to Spain, but it does cover the basics.