US Expat Guide: Relocating to Malaga, Spain from the USA

Malaga is the 3rd most popular destination for U.S. expats moving to Spain. There are more than 2,700 U.S. nationals living in the country right now and that number is only growing.

It’s easy to see why Malaga is so popular for expats from America. The city is beautiful, boasts an incredible climate, and has a relaxed, laid-back pace of life. Expats are welcomed here and there is already an established U.S. expat community you can join.

Malaga also has incredible employment opportunities for U.S. expats with backgrounds in the technology sector. Spain is in the middle of a tech revolution and Malaga is at its heart of this.

A Spanish Tech Revolution

Malaga is at the heart of the Spanish technology revolution thanks to its new Technology Park and Google Center.

The world’s biggest Google Cyber Center opened in Malaga last year in what has been referred to as ‘Malaga Valley’ (a play on America’s own Silicone Valley).

According to a Google representative “The choice of Málaga to host this new hub is not coincidental...This region has great talent, a vibrant startup ecosystem and incubators and accelerators of companies that have been cultivating the technological fabric for a long time”.

In the Malaga Tech Park right now you will find 630 tech companies. 60 of these are large international brands. This is a huge draw for American expats looking to work in the technology field and with familiar brands.

This guide will share everything you need to know on how to move to Spain from the US if you’re considering or planning to relocate to Malaga. It is aimed specifically at U.S. citizens with the specific and unique needs of expats from America in mind.

Reasons To Consider Relocating To Malaga

The reasons to consider relocating to the beautiful city of Malaga are near-endless. Malaga is a charming city that attracts ex-pats with its friendliness and understated beauty.

Some of the main reasons expats list for choosing to relocate to Malaga include:

  • The warm climate and natural beauty.
    Malaga boasts more than 300 days of beautiful sunshine every year. Summer in Malaga runs from June until September. The average high temperature stays in the high 20s for the entire season, climbing to an average high of 28°C in August. Malaga also boasts beautiful beaches, and lush natural surroundings so that there’s always something for nature lovers to see and do.

  • The vibrant culture and rich history.
    Malaga is a city proud of its perfect blend of modern amenities and rich cultural heritage. Málaga is the centre for all historic and cultural places to visit on the Costa del Sol. You’ll find beautiful architecture and an abundance of museums to explore.

  • High standard of living and affordable cost of living.
    Standards of living are high in Malaga while costs of living are low. You will also find a great work life balance here.

  • Welcoming community of expats.
    Malaga has an established community of expats. A huge majority of these are Britons but there are also significant numbers of expats from the U.S. here too. This means that you’ll arrive to a welcoming, ready-made expat community that already speak English and will be keen to help you settle into your new home.

Preparing For The Move

Overhauling your life in the States and moving to Spain (or anywhere else in Europe) is no small task and there are lots of things to consider as you prepare for the move.

We will delve into everything that you will need to consider before you relocate to Malaga and Spain in general, in greater detail throughout this guide. But your basic moving to Spain checklist should include:

  • Ensuring you have all the documentation you need. This includes visas, work permits and residency documents.

  • Be financially prepared for the move. This doesn’t just mean making sure you have enough cash! You will also need to consider opening a Spanish bank account, exchanging your U.S. dollars in the local currency (Euros) and having a monthly budget plan taking into account the current Spanish cost of living.

  • No matter what visa you are using to enter the country, you will need to secure private health insurance before you arrive in Spain. The country does have a public healthcare system and you can access this if you register for the Spanish social security system but it is still a legal requirement that foreign residents in Spain have a private health insurance policy.

  • Learn the language. The sooner you can learn to speak Spanish the better. Immersing yourself in the language and culture when you arrive is great, but it will make your transition easier if you can speak some Spanish before you move to Malaga.


Finding Accommodation

Where Is The Best Place To Live In Malaga?

There are 11 different districts of Malaga which can make it hard to choose where you want to live, especially if you’re new to the city.

To help you narrow your choices down, here are the top 6 districts for expats in Malaga right now:

  • Old town (Historic City Centre)
  • Soho
  • La Merced
  • El Perchel
  • La Malagueta
  • Teatinos

Both preference and the cost of living you can afford will determine which of these is the right spot for you. We advise that you spend some time in Malaga. Why not spend a day in each district, eating in the local restaurants, people watching and talking to people? You’ll soon get a feel for which is right for you.

Accomodation In Malaga

How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Property In The South Of Spain?

Málaga's the 5th most expensive city in Spain although not as expensive as other popular cities for expats such as Madrid and Barcelona.

To give you a rough idea of the budget you should expect to have available to rent a property in Malaga, the average monthly rental price for an apartment is €754 and for a studio the figure is €677. For a larger townhouse or villa you can expect your rent to shoot up to an average of 2,200 €/month.

One of the main cost variables is the area of Spain you live in. Monthly rent in Málaga's suburbs is around €500 but you can expect to pay around €700 in the heart of the city.

Is It Better To Buy Or Rent In Malaga?

It can be difficult to decide whether to buy or rent your property in Malaga as an expat. Many expats choose to rent, at least initially, while they consider all of their options and find the right property for them.

But if you have the funds available then you should consider investing in property very seriously. And there have rarely been fewer times better to buy right now.

This is because the area is in high demand meaning that rental prices are sky high. And as interest rates begin to fall, purchasing a property is likely to be make better sense from a financial point of view.

Even if you don’t intend to live in your Malaga home forever you could also consider the investment opportunities of owning a house or apartment in the city, particularly as rental prices across Spain only continue to rise.

The Costs Of Buying A Spanish Home

When deciding your budget to buy a property in Malaga you need to take into account all of the additional costs above and beyond the purchase price. This will give you a more rounded idea of what your property will actually cost.

Usually, a 6000€ deposit is enough to reserve a property, whilst due diligence is carried out, a potential mortgage finalised, and a date for exchange of private contracts is agreed on. But this is the first figure you will need to have in place. This is refundable if you decide not to go ahead with the purchase.

A deposit of 10% is usually paid on most re-sales exchange of contracts. Unlike the initial deposit this can be covered by your mortgage provider but it’s important to understand that this is non-refundable.

If you need a mortgage for your home you will also have to pay a fee for this. If you raise finances in Spain, there will be a cost of around 2-3% of the purchase price. This cost is made up of the additional notary and land registry fees for registering the mortgage + mortgage arrangement fee.

Finally you will pay both legal fees and taxes. The amount that notaries charge is prescribed by law and starts around €800. The Title Deed is inscribed at the Spanish Land Registry and the fee for this usually starts at around €400. On top of this you will have to pay your own legal fees.

The transfer tax to purchase any property in Andalucia right now (including Malaga) currently sits at 7% of the purchase price.

Can An Expat Get A Mortgage In Spain As An Expat?

Yes, the good news is that it is possible and relatively straightforward to get a mortgage as an expat. You will need to provide the following information to complete the mortgage application as an expat in Spain:

  • NIE number (This is an identification number issued to all foreign nationals)
  • Proof of employment or income ie details of your pension if your retired
  • A pre-agreement with the seller detailing the price of the property
  • Proof that the property tax is paid to date
  • Details of your current debts and mortgages, if you currently have any
  • Copies of all your existing property deeds (in Spain and elsewhere in the world)
  • Records of your current assets
  • Any prenuptial agreements (if applicable).

There are no restrictions on foreigner investors purchasing property in Spain, either as homes to live in themselves or even as investment purchases.

What’s more, because they are so many expats choosing to purchase properties in Spain, some international and Spanish banks now offer specific mortgages aimed specifically at expats.


No one likes to think about taxes, but even in Spain there are certain taxes that you simply can’t avoid paying. The main taxes that you should be aware of are:

Value Added Tax – Just like in the other parts of Europe, VAT is automatically added to many of the products that you will buy when you’re shopping. The only difference is that the rate in Spain is lower than in other parts of Europe.

As the tax is already added, you don’t have to consider this when you hit the shops. This is a big, and often welcome, change for U.S. expats.

Income Tax – If you are earning money whilst living in Spain then you will have to pay income tax. The amount of income tax you will have to pay will depend on whether you are a resident or non-resident of the country. Non-residents will pay income tax on any income they make in Spain, whilst residents will pay income tax on their global income.

Of course if you purchase a property in Spain then you will also have to pay significant taxes on your investment and the Spanish tax system is also a little more complicated for self employed individuals.

The best tax advice for expats is to secure the services of a local accountant when you arrive in Spain. They can help you ensure that you don’t fall foul of the law when processing any of your tax obligations.

Best Accounts In Malaga For Expats

Some of the best rated local accountants in Malaga include:
Asesora Malaga
Asesoría Muñoz Zurita

Getting A Visa In Spain

As a U.S. citizen you are considered a third country national in Spain. This means that you can only spend up to 90 days in any 180 day period in the country visa-free. If you wish to stay continuously in the country as an ex-pat for longer than this then you will need to apply for a visa.

There are a range of visa options available to you which include:

Spanish Visa Options for US Retirees

If you want to retiree to Spain then the best visa option for you will be a visa that is relatively straightforward to secure, and which isn’t complicated by any work-visa requirements.

The non-lucrative visa is a great example of this, and is widely considered the best option for retirees, although you will need to demonstrate that you have significant funds available to secure this.

Individual applicants are currently required to show that they have 27,792 euros per year available, whilst a couple will need to show that they have 34,740 euros available. You will also need to secure comprehensive health insurance as part of your application.

A non-lucrative visa is initially issued for one year but can be renewed for a further two years at the end of the first year. You can also use the residence modification process to change your visa at the end of the first year if your circumstances change: if you wish to work whilst in Spain, for example.

And if you only want to live in Spain temporarily (visiting the country for longer than three months but ultimately returning to your home country) then this visa would also be the best option for you.

If you have the financial means to do so, you can enjoy spending time in the country without working, living off your savings and investments instead.

visa in spain

How To Get A Spanish Work Visa From The USA

If you would like to move to Spain and work in the country then your visa options are slightly more restricted, and the process is also slightly more complicated.

This is because in order to get a work permit in Spain as a non-EU national, the position you apply for has to be on Spain’s shortage occupation list. This list is incredibly restrictive, and most roles that foreign nationals would like to undertake are not included on this list.

Even if the role you would like to secure is included on this list, and an employer agrees to hire you, they would have to prove that there were no other suitable candidates within the EU to be able to fill the vacancy.

This is a time-consuming process that many employers are, understandably, reluctant to undertake. It also means that very few people are likely to be successful to acquire a Spanish work visa as a US national, unless you already have an offer from an international company with offices in Spain, like Google.

If you want to work in Spain on a self-employed basis, then securing a visa might be a little easier. Spain have recently introduced an entrepreneur visa, which allows third party nationals to live in the country for one year in order to open a business.

It can then be extended for a further two years, after the first year is completed. It’s important to note though that the business you open should be deemed to have a special economic interest for Spain. In order to secure the Spain entrepreneur visa you will also need to:

  • Demonstrate that you have the necessary qualifications to set up your proposed business
  • Submit your business plans to the relevant Spanish authorities for approval
  • Demonstrate that your business would benefit the Spanish economy


If you want to live in Spain then you will need to have a financial presence in the country too. The easiest way to do this is to open a Spanish bank account.

How to Open A Spanish Bank Account

You can open your Spanish bank account even in person or remotely, which means that you could even begin the process of securing a Spanish bank account before you arrive in Spain.

The kinds of documents you need to open an account will vary depending on which account you're applying for. Some banks require more than others. Do your research ahead of time and find out the individual requirements.

But there are a few things every bank will require. These include

  • A valid national identity card or a passport
  • A lease statement, utility bill or bank statement proving your Spanish address
  • Your Numero de Indentidad de Extranjero or NIE
  • Employment status proof such as a student card, employment contract, and unemployment paperwork

Be sure you applied for your NIE before you begin this process. You will need this to do almost anything in Spain.

Spanish Bank Accounts And Local Resources

The right bank account for you is a personal choice and there are too many variables for us to give a ‘one size fits all’ recommendation.

The right bank account for you will depend largely on whether or not you are working in the country. This is because many Spanish banks will require you to submit proof that you’re signed up to Spain’s social security system within 30 days of opening your account, due to a Spanish law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism.

If you are working, and have access to a wider range of accounts, then you may find it easier to find one with no or minimal fees: many ex pats speak highly of the Banco Sabadell’s Cuenta Expansión, which offers no charges on current accounts or credit cards, but does have some requirements that you should research fully.

If you’re a non-working Spanish resident then realistically, only a handful of banks will let you open an account, probably with the condition of having to deposit regular money into the ‘cuenta’.

These accounts are likely to be subject to a monthly fee, and various other terms and conditions to their use: you also may not have access to in-person customer service at the bank, as many of these accounts are designated as online accounts.

Some examples of these are Santander’s Openbank, Cajamar’s Wefferent account, Bankia Cuenta ON and then the non-salaried accounts offered by smaller Spanish banks Abanca (Cuenta Clara), Coinc (Cuenta Coinc) and ActivoBank (Cuenta Activa).


Spain has an excellent healthcare system that is made up of both private and public healthcare providers. Spanish citizens and those working in Spain are automatically eligible to access the public healthcare system.

Is Healthcare In Spain A Good Standard?

American expats will be pleased to hear that the standard of healthcare in Spain is exceptionally high. Spain is known for many things; its healthcare system is one of them.

It was ranked first in Europe compared to other countries on the continent, and it was ranked the third best healthcare in the world.

How Do The Public And Private Healthcare Systems In Spain Work?

Spain has a universal healthcare system. Like most healthcare systems throughout the world, it is split into two categories: public and private.

Public Healthcare

All Spanish citizens and official residents along with their families qualify for public healthcare. If you are a legal resident, you and your family will automatically qualify for public healthcare in Spain.

The country's universal healthcare system is called the Spanish National Health System (SNS). It is a popular system and covers most medical services free of charge. Please note that while most healthcare is covered by SNS, more extensive medications and procedures may incur more fees.

Private Healthcare

If you are an unemployed non-citizen or would like a more specialty coverage, you can also opt to purchase private insurance. Private insurance is widely available and can be purchased easily online. Most private insurance plans will have more extensive coverage and prescription drugs coverage.

Malaga healthcare

Registering for Healthcare in Spain

If you and your family are legal residents in Spain and are eligible for the public SNS health coverage, you can register at your local health center. You will need to bring your social security number, passport, and foreign identity number when you register.

Once you have registered at your local health center, you can register with the state healthcare system. Spanish healthcare is separated into 17 different regions. Each of the regions are responsible for itself. So check with your regional health authority to find out what services are available and how you will be able to access them.

It is also possible that you will need to register your address at your local town hall. Once you successfully register your address, you will be given a proof of address slip. This document is used when you register with a specific doctor, as they will need to see proof of your residency.

Local Healthcare Providers In Malaga

Some of the best hospitals in Malaga include

  • Vithas Malaga Hospital: Malaga Hospital
  • Vitas Xanhit International Hospital: Malaga Hospital
  • Hospital Regional Universitario: Malaga Hospital
  • Quirón Hospital: Malaga Hospital
  • Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria: Malaga Hospital
  • CHIP Hospital: Malaga Hospital
  • Hospiten Estepona: Malaga Hospital
  • Hospital Maritimo: Malaga Hospital
  • Clínica Sandalf

You can read more about the healthcare system in Spain here:

Everything You Need To Know About the Spanish Healthcare System | Right Casa Estates

Learning Spanish

Learning to speak Spanish isn’t mandatory if you want to live and work in Spain but it will make your life significantly easier.

You can enroll onto Spanish courses when you arrive in Malaga, but it may be helpful to learn at least a rudimentary grasp of the language before you arrive in Spain.

Some top tips for learning Spanish include:

  • Develop an ear for Spanish. Learning to speak Spanish is only half the battle, and some might even say it's the easier half. Developing an ear for Spanish is just as important, especially if you're planning to live in Southern Spain, a region known for its fast dialect. Listen to music in Spanish and watch television or movies in Spanish to improve your Spanish ear.

  • Read Spanish Aloud. Reading is one of the best ways to expand your vocabulary. Keep a dictionary by your side and write down the definition of any new words you come across. You should also use this as an opportunity to practice your pronunciation. In Spanish, unlike in English, if you can read the word you can pronounce it. Pronouncing new words out loud is a great way to get used to Spanish pronunciation.

  • Immerse Yourself in The Language. The best way to learn Spanish is to immerse yourself in Spanish culture. It will amaze you how quickly you pick it up once you're actually there. You don't need to be fluent to get by in Spain. Spaniards are very patient with foreigners. So start looking for a place to live now, even if you're a beginner.

Employment and Business Opportunities

The biggest ever Google cyber center recently opened in Malaga so it should come as no surprise that tech is one of the biggest employment sectors in the city. The Google Cyber center is a 2,500 square metre structure that is located just a short distance away from the Malagueta beach in downtown Malaga.

Malaga is a hugely attractive destination for international tech companies right now and Google isn’t the only company choosing to establish a base in the region. Other international companies are planning their own Málaga bases, including Vodafone, Citigroup, Banco Santander, GP Bullhound and EY.

Japanese TDK, an electronic components manufacturer also announced in March that the first centre of excellence on artificial intelligence and machine learning will open in the Andalusian city, where it already had its headquarters.

In total there are 630 other tech businesses located in the city and salaries are in line which what you would expect to earn in this sector in the U.S. which is good news for expats with expertise in this field.

What Is A Good Expat Salary In Spain?

The average monthly salary in Spain is €2,910, and this is enough to meet Malaga’s cost of living. With a smaller salary than this you may still find that it is possible to live in Malaga as Malága's monthly cost of living of €1,250.

The minimum wage in Spain is is €8.45 per hour. That means that if you work full time for 40 hours per week then that’s €1,260 per month paid over 12 months or €1,080 per month paid over 14 payments.

This means that to live comfortably in Malaga you would need a salary that is above the national average for Spain. A good expat salary would be €2,700 for a single person or €4,000 for someone supporting their family.

Employment and Business Opportunities

Digital Nomads In Spain

If you already have a job you love and it is possible to do this remotely then you could also consider exploring the world of digital nomadism. Spain recently introduced a digital nomad visa and Malaga is now one of Europe’s top destinations for digital nomads.

It has the 7th fastest internet speed in Europe, and with connection speeds of 134 megabits per second, even the most tech-dependent digital nomads will be able to work with ease in the country. Team this with the laidback lifestyle and affordable cost of living and it’s easy to see why digital nomadism is so popular here.

Starting A Business In Malaga

Alternatively, you could consider starting your own business in Malaga. To do so you need to register with the tax officials. All you need id the business permit, valid your passport and the NIE.

You will be issued with a tax certificated (IRPF) after registration. The IRPF you obtain aligns to the form of business you are planning to do.

Then you need to register your business. There are three types of business that you can register:

  • Sole Trader
  • Company
  • Partnership

Education and Schooling

If you’re considering moving to Spain from the US with your young family, or you want to start a family when you arrive in Spain, then you’ll need to assess the Spanish education system.

There have been significant improvements in the educational performance of schools in Spain over the past few decades. This is as a result of increased education spending and a number of important educational reforms.

The educational standards across maths, reading comprehension, and science are above the average for OECD countries. While Spain performs well in academic achievement, the country has an outstanding record when it comes to encouraging a sense of belonging at the school.

Public Schools And Private Schools In Spain

If you're interested in sending your child to a state school, you need to know that children are allocated to schools based on catchment area. Therefore, it's important to consider this when you're choosing where to settle.

By contrast most private schools do not operate a catchment system and you can choose any school you wish, provided your happy with the commute time.

As a foreigner living in Spain, you may wish to choose an international school. The main benefit of this is that your child would continue learning in English.

This is a great option if you don't plan to stay in Spain for a long time and/or your kids are older and the transition would be really rough. The downside is that international schools are more expensive.

If you plan to stay a while in Spain, a local school may be a better choice. Especially if your kids are young, immersing them in a new language and culture won't be such a shock. They'll soak up Spanish like a sponge and be chatting with their friends faster than you can keep up!

Higher Education Opportunities In Malaga

There are excellent higher education opportunities in Malaga. The higher education system of Malaga is represented by 1 university, which offer 84 study programs. The University of Malaga is easy to access and highly regarded.

Further afield, the whole of the Spanish higher education system is well regarded, and for shorter term residents it is relatively easy to transfer your learning to other institutions too.

You can find out more about the Spanish education system here:

What You Need to Know About the Educational Systems in Spain Before You Move | Right Casa Estates

Lifestyle And Culture

The lifestyle and culture of Malaga are one of its biggest attractions to moving here as an expat. You can embrace Spanish customs and etiquette and enjoy a laid back way of life. Spanish people understand the importance of leisure time and of having a work life balance which is a very different and very appealing experience for many American expats.

Some main elements of the lifestyle and culture in Malaga include:

Food & Dining Culture

Malaga has developed tremendously in the last 10 years, and so has it´s range of tapas bars and restaurants! You can find an exciting range of tapas in Malaga. Unlike other Andalusian towns, the tapas are not free, but are well worth the cost.

You will find many traditional restaurants and bars, mixed with newer modern establishments.

Tapas are basically a serving size, and are usually a small brown dish suitable for one person. You can however have 2 larger sizes that are more suitable for sharing

The Price of Tapas in Malaga varies depending on what type of place you visit.  In the more traditional bars, you are able to find tapas such as ´Russian Salad´ for around €2.00, but this could rise to up to €6.00 in more expensive establishments

Though Malaga is famous for its specialty tapas, which is delicious, there is also a thriving world cuisine culture here. It’s a great place to eat out and you won’t be disappointed with the food here.

Lifestyle And Culture

Entertainment & Nightlife

Culture vultures will find so much to see and do in Malaga.

The city is the birthplace of Picasso and there is a beautiful museum dedicated to his life and work here. The Old Town of the city is a beautiful place to explore or people watch. And the nightlife of the city is exceptional.

As a rule of thumb, nightlife in Málaga starts late at night and ends early in the morning. But going home after a wild night out isn't a problem here. Most bars in the centre are within walking distance.

The best neighborhoods for party people include La Merced, and La Centro.

Outdoor Activities & Sports

Malaga is an outdoor city surrounded by green space making it ideal for outdoor adventure lovers. There are plenty of parks in the city center where you can job, enjoy yoga classes, or play team sports.

For something a little more high octane hiking in the surrounding mountains is a popular pastime. And of course Malaga is a destination truly loved by water sports enthusiasts too. There’s something for everyone here.

Community & Social Life

One of the main concerns that people have when they’re relocating to a brand-new country is that they will feel lonely or isolated. But this isn’t a concern when you move to Malaga.

Meeting new people and making friends is incredibly easy here. The local people are known for the warm welcome they give to foreigners and there is an abundance of local groups and expat communities that you can joint o meet new people.

Festivals & Events In Malaga

The Costa del Sol is the music and culture capital of Spain. It is a premier event destination and just some of the music concerts and festivals taking place in Malaga this year include:

  • Starlight Marbella. This beautiful boutique festival is hostest over 50 days between July and September in the Cantera de Nagüeles, a natural amphitheatre. You’ll come for the music but you’ll stay for the  breath-taking scenery.

  • Selvatec Fest Malaga. Looking for a lively and authentically Spanish summer festival? Between June and September the old Drive-In Cinema in Malaga will be transformed into a festival venue. It will welcome 30 performances in a variety of music styles including flamenco soul, urban rap, hip hop, reggaeton and many more.

  • Hibrida Festival Malaga. Another electronic music festival, this one will fuse hardtechno and breakbeat genres with traditional electronic sounds.

  • Brisa Festival Malaga. This fun 3 day festival is organised in collaboration with the Red Cross. It will take place from 25-27 July in the port of Malaga at the Dique de Levante venue.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and to make friends as well as to give back to the local community. It is an excellent way to integrate yourself into a new city.

There are volunteering opportunities in Malaga. Malaga University has a volunteering tool on their website which is a great tool for visitors there.

Alternatively, Málaga Acoge does a wonderful job offering care and education to immigrants and this is a great organization for expats to get involved with.


Malaga is an incredible place to live as an American expat. I hope that this guide showing you how to move to Spain has proven that the work life balance and quality of living will be incredibly high in the city, and Spain overall. The standard of accommodation and even education is exceptional in Malaga and it’s a much easier place to move to as an ex-pat than you might think.

You can take advantage of over 300 days of sunshine, join a thriving expat community, and embrace every aspect of Spanish culture on your own terms.

You won’t regret making the move and living an enriched and fulfilling life in Malaga or anywhere in Spain in fact.

Moving To Spain Travel Checklist

Spain travel checklist

3 Months Before Moving

  • Book your airline tickets
  • Start looking at the housing market and research areas
  • If you have kids, let their school know you’re moving and request any paperwork and transfer certificates you may need
  • For pets, check quarantine and vaccination requirements Research professional relocation consultants to help you move
  • Check visa requirements for Spain, and check your passport is valid for at least the next year.
  • Check if you need an international drivers license (and get your national one renewed if it’s due to expire)
  • If you’re selling, put your house on the market; if you’re renting, let your landlord know you’re moving
  • Start deciding what you really want to take and what you can put into storage or sell
  • Calculate a realistic budget for your new life in Spain including mortgage payments, education, health insurance, groceries, travel

2 Months Before Moving

  • Get copies of your family’s medical records from your doctor and research health care options for your new country
  • Research schools for your children and start contacting them
  • Let your bank know you’re going overseas, and start looking at overseas banking options
  • Set up any payments you’ll need to make while overseas
  • If you’re renting your house while you’re away, get repairs underway and put it on the market
  • Start packing items you won’t need (ornaments, books, out of season clothes) 

1 Month Before Moving

  • Start packing your house up, making sure to leave out essentials and keep a list of what goes where
  • Make sure you have travel insurance, both for your flight and your shipped items
  • Enrol your kids in a school
  • Secure some accommodation for when you arrive, whether it’s temporary or permanent
  • Cancel any memberships, subscriptions, or utilities, and sort out final bills
  • Set up your overseas bank
  • Have you received your final papers to exchange on property

2 Weeks Before Moving

  • Arrange a local Spanish SIM card
  • Double check the WI-FI is connected at your new accomodation
  • Make sure you have the necessary physical debit and credit cards for your new accounts
  • Pack up your house and put everything into storage apart from the essentials
  • Ensure you have your medication for the first few weeks



Download travel checklist