Top 10 Relocation Frequently Asked Questions
If you are considering the option of moving to Spain, there are some important questions of which you should stay informed.
WILL I LOSE MY CURRENT CITIZENSHIP?
Your residency status abroad has no impact on your current citizenship. Keep in mind, residency and citizenship are two distinct things. The best way to lose your current citizenship is to deny it formally. You can’t lose your current citizenship unintentionally.
DO I NEED TO SPEAK SPANISH?
It is a very difficult question. On the off chance that you move to a country where you don’t talk the language, it will make a few issues. However, there are many expats that do not speak Spanish. We would say that the most of them don’t speak Spanish.
WHAT ABOUT MY HEALTH INSURANCE?
In Europe, Spanish medical care is considered one of the best in the world. You must be a legal resident to be eligible for nonemergency care. If you pay into Spanish’s “social security” and pay Spanish taxes, you get great care for the rest of your life. Italy, France, and Portugal have excellent care and strong national systems. The main grievance about nationalized medicinal services wherever is long sits tight for nonemergency treatment. Private care—regular among expats all over the place—is speedy.
WILL I NEED TO PAY TAXES? WHERE?
This a very good and typical question. Although there are some taxes that you only have to pay in one country and it is up to you, there are other taxes that are mandatory in Spain. Please, do not forget this post is only about resident expats. Therefore, if you have been living in Spain for six months (183 days, not necessarily consecutively) ) or more of the calendar year, then you are supossed to be a Spanish resident. Most non-residents are required to file income tax because they own a property, though you may also have to file because a Spanish company has paid you dividends, or because you worked for a few months during the year in Spain, etc.
CAN I DRIVE USING MY CURRENT DRIVING LICENCE?
If you are living in Spain for more than 6 months, i.e., you are a Spanish resident, you must exchange your current driving licence (if Spain got an agreement with its issuing country). Otherwise, you will need to get a new Spanish Driving Licence. We published a post about this procedure last week.
WILL I BE ABLE TO WORK?
It will not be so easy. To work in Spain, you will need a work visa. This is not easily obtained unless you’re sponsored for a job by an international employer and relocated to the country with their assistance. You can, however, start your own business (in fact there is specific VISA for this porpuse and there are some new conditions for entrepeneurs in Spain).
WHAT’S THE COST OF LIVING IN SPAIN?
To make an approximation, a Furnished two bedroom house costs around EUR 900, Dozen eggs EUR 1.60, Big Mac meal EUR 8, One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 1.50 €, Water (1.5 liter bottle) 0.55 €. However, if you want to get extact rates, we recommend you to check Numbeo‘s website.
SHOULD I RENT INSTEAD OF BUYING A HOUSE?
There are obvious benefits to owning your own house. If you pay cash for your home, you have no mortgage payment. However, when you take into account your down payment, closing costs, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. it may actually be cheaper to rent.
To date (December 27th, 2016), Expat Agency we is offering free buying assistance in Costa del Sol including attorney and notary fees.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THIS IS THE RIGHT MOVE?
Don’t expect to find the answer to this right away, because it won’t happen until you’ve already made the move. But be cognizant that every step you’re taking is with the intention to move forward and not just because you’re restless and you want a change of scenery. You’ve got to know that if you’re in a rut and you’re not happy where you are, it’ll take work on your part to change that no matter where you go. Don’t expect a new city to do that for you. Sometimes, you need everything around you to be different to see what parts of you are controlled, and what parts are variable. That’s fine. But never assume that just because you’ve changed your address, things will get better. You’ve got to make that change happen inside of you first.
WHAT ABOUT MY CURRENT CAR?
Unfortunately, all vehicles with foreign licence plates legally must be changed to Spanish plates once that their owners take out your official residency in Spain. Please, check this post to know further.