What You Need to Know Before Moving to Spain


Sarah Peddie

Planning to move and work abroad can be a tricky business. There are many things that you need to sort out before arriving at your dream destination. 

But, no need to worry as we have put together some helpful information you need to know before you make your move to another country and start your new career overseas.

We have recently started to work with a client in Spain who is offering medical jobs in the south of the country. 

Article 5 - What You Need to Know Before Moving to Spain

1 - Visa

If you plan to live, study or work in Spain, you will need to apply for a visa (residents outside the EU) from the Spanish Embassy before you travel.

Once in Spain, you have just three months to apply for your corresponding permit from the Spanish Ministry of Interior.

After you have lived in the country for five years, you can then apply for the right to permanent residence. After 10 years you can apply for Spanish citizenship which will grant you the same rights as Spanish citizens, for example, the right to vote. 

For physicians applying for a job in Spain, read our recent article on working in Spain.

2 - Buying or Renting Accommodation 

There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Spain.You will require a financial number which you can get by visiting a police station with your passport. This is usually done on the day for Spanish and EU citizens but it may take up to a few weeks for others.

Rental opportunities can be limited in parts of the country due to the amount of short-term accommodation rental to holidaymakers. However, renting a property in Spain is a good way to get to know the country and renting for a few years before buying is a better way to go about the property market.

3 - Healthcare System

The Spanish healthcare system is ranked as one of the best in the world. If you are living and working in Spain then you will likely have access to free public healthcare. This is paid partly by social security payments which will be taken off your wage.

To be able to use the healthcare system, you will need a social security card at the Social Security Treasury Office. Expats should note that a social security number can only be obtained if they have registered on Empadronamiento, the municipal register.  

Some expats prefer private healthcare so they have access to more options for treatment and physicians. It also avoids the queues of the public healthcare system. There are many private healthcare clinics across the country, which makes them very accessible. 

4 - Education

The Spanish Education system is mostly state-funded. Primary school education consists of six grades and after that, students move on to secondary education for a mandatory four years. At the age of 16, they can leave school and choose whether to go into further education. 

There are also some private and international schools and many of them hold classes in English. Some of the private schools are partially state funded and can offer subsidised fees to their students. 

5 - Culture

The Spanish culture is based on a variety of historical influences based on pre-roman, celtic and Iberian cultures. The Spaniards have a colourful culture, to say the least. Fiestas are huge in Spain. Anywhere you go between Easter and autumn, there will be celebrations. Even in the smallest villages. Some of the traditions include the bull run in Pamplona, tomato fight in Bunol and the San Juan festival in Andalucía.

Spain also has some fantastic cultural attractions from art galleries and museums to bull fights and palaces.

6 - Climate 

Spain has three different climate zones due to the size of the country. In the north, you can expect a lot of rainfall and not see the sun very often. The summers here are cool and rainy.

On the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, you can expect the exact opposite from the north. The sun is out a lot more and the rain is less frequent.

The rest of Spain is occupied by a plateau called Meseta and is where the capital city of Madrid lies. Here, summer days are hot but a lot cooler at night. It can get quite cold during winter with temperatures dropping to just above freezing. 

Fancy moving abroad to further your career? Register with Odyssey today and your dream job could be a lot closer than you think.