10 advices before moving to Spain
1. REFLECT YOU ARE READY TO MOVE
That sounds obvious, but sometimes we are not ready to move as much as we thought we were. We always recommend to spend some weeks before moving to your destination, especially if you chose different seasons to do it.
See yourelf spending winter and summer in your destination and ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you feel comfortable?
- Do you hate the food?
- Do you feel a substantial difference between the first and the last days?
- What exactly do you miss from your home country? and how much?
Spain is a good place to live. However, there are so many different places that you must chose a destination according to your preferences and expectations before moving to Spain.
I cannot describe all of them on a single post. But, as a summary, you must take into account that, for instance, the north of Spain is more cold and rainy, but there are other points that may suits you better.
Besides, inhabitants in some places like Cataluña or País Vasco mainly speak a different language, so you may find some difficulties to learn or improve your Spanish.
3. CONSIDER WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE
- Work, study, retire, au pair?
- Montains or beach? Relax or socialize?
- Are you moving alone, with some friends, with your partner or with your family?
- How often will you travel?
I have some bad news for you: probably for the first time, these are tough times for buyers and tenats in Spain. And I mean for the first time because never before both renting and selling were going good at the same time for owners. In the past, one sellings were a good choice, rentals were quite cheap, and vice versa.
Nevertheless, don’t worry. If you want to buy a property, there are still many properties to buy, and some of them are still a bargain. If, instead, you want to rent a property, do not forget landlords will want to be sure you have enough incomes/savings to pay the rent, since honestly the law in Spain is quite unfair for landlords. If you want to buy and get a mortgage, you will also need to prove this.
5. DO A HEALTH CHECK
You are not going to Africa, and Spanish people are very healthy. However, doing a general health check at home might help you to be ready before moving to Spain, especially if you do not speak Spanish and/or you will just take with you the EU Health Card.
The following 2 points are quite important:
6. DO NOT FORGET YOUR IDENTITY DOCUMENTS
Obviously, passports and ID cards are very important. Notwithstanding, some people do not realize they are moving to Spain with an identity document about to expire. As an EU citizen, the airport staff will allow you to flight, but you will find several issues in Spain to become a resident and other things.
If you are a non-EU citizen, this is something that I do not even have to remind since Spanish consulates and embassies will just provide visas on well updated passports.
7. DO NOT FORGET THE MAIN CERTIFICATES & FORMS: HEALTH, MARRIAGE, BIRTH…
This is something many people forget about. If you want to live in Spain, you need to take these documents with you. Besides, you will need to officially translated them in Spain:
- Marriage certificate (couple) and birth certificates (children)
- Proof of health coverage: A1, S1, S2, S3 forms
- European Health Card
- Pension Certificates
Date of arrival, city, address, phone, accompanying persons, hotel or host details, who or where to call in case of emergency, etc. Spain is a safe country, unfortunately you never know.
9. STUDY SPANISH (A LITTLE BIT!)
I am not telling you to become a native speaker. But learning very basic words and sentences will help you a lot. Here you have some examples that I invite you to translate by yourself:
- Hola, ¿Cómo estás?
- Me llamo Jessica, ¿y tú?
- ¿Sabe usted dónde está el bus, por favor?
- Muchas gracias
- Buenos días
- Buenas noches
- Cuánto? Cómo? Dónde? Por qué?
- No hablo español
- La cuenta, por favor
10. INFORM YOUR GOVERNMENT BEFORE MOVING TO SPAIN
This is up to you. Some people prefer to have some privileges of keeping their residence status in their home countries. Even so, I must recommend to inform your home country before moving to Spain. In fact, some of them will inform you about taking with you some important documents before leaving your country. Such is the case of the European health forms (S1, S2, S3) depending on your professional status.
This will also be important regarding the tax declaration and other public charges.
Before moving to Spain, there are some tasks to be performed that you cannot ignore. Otherwise, as an agency for expatriates, we can assure you that your staull will become more difficult and you will need to go back to your home country, at least, once again.