6 things you need to know about moving to Spain in 2024

Are you considering a big move to Spain in 2024? If so, there’s a lot you need to consider and research before you and your family begin a new life in the sun.

If you’re moving to Spain from the UK, things have changed a lot over the last few years, and it’s wise to make sure you know all the rules and regulations before you start planning.

The rules are similar from all non-EU countries, but we only have experience of moving from the UK to Spain. So if you’re from the US, Canada, Australia or any other non-EU country, while the info below may be useful to you, we’d advise doing some more research into the rules for your particular country.

If moving to Spain is in your 2024 plans, read on for some important information that you’ll need to consider.

UK citizens need a Visa

Before Brexit, UK citizens could move and live freely within the EU, including Spain. Unfortunately, UK citizens are now subject to the immigration rules of Spain and require a visa for long term stays.

It doesn’t matter what your situation is, if you have a British passport you a need a visa. (Unless you’re married to an EU citizen, then read this post!)

There are different visas depending on your personal situation, for example a Non-Lucrative Visa for retirees or a Digital Nomad Visa for remote workers.

All visas have different rules and requirements so you need to do your research to find out which one is best for you and if you qualify.

You need a lot of savings

To be successfully accepted for a visa you need to be able to prove that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your visa.

For example on a non-lucrative visa, a family of 4 would need €49.600 in the bank.

On a Digital Nomad Visa you would need to prove an annual income of £27,500 for a single person, or £43,500 for a family of 4.

Since Brexit not all UK banks will allow you to keep your account open if you live abroad. So it’s also worth looking into the best Spanish bank accounts to keep your savings.

Private health insurance is mandatory

As part of your visa application you will need to obtain comprehensive private health insurance coverage for the whole family as you will not be entitled to access free healthcare in Spain while on a visa.

This is another cost to consider when you are planning your move as you will likely have to pay this for your first 5 years in Spain – until you can change your visa for permanent residency.

Exchange your driving license quickly or take a driving test

UK citizens residing in Spain need to exchange their UK driving license for a Spanish one within 6 months of moving to the country. If you don’t do this within the time frame you will have to take a Spanish driving test (written and practical) in order to get your Spanish driving license. So it is worth sorting this out as quickly as possible.

There are rules for bringing your family pets

Pet travel requirements have also changed since Brexit. UK pet owners now need to follow specific rules for bringing their pets to Spain, including obtaining an Animal Health Certificate and ensuring proper vaccinations and treatments.

It’s a good idea to speak to your vet to find out what you need to do and to make sure you have plenty of time for the vaccinations.

It’s not easy to get a job or start a business in Spain

Gone are the days when you could just move to Spain and open up a bar!

Non-Lucrative Visas mean you cannot work in Spain. Digital Nomad Visas mean that you must work remotely for businesses outside of Spain. Therefore you cannot get a job or start a business in Spain on either of these visa options.

                    

If starting a business in Spain is something you want to do, you can apply for the Self-Employed Visa which involves submitting a business plan in Spanish to prove that your business is sustainable and would benefit the local economy.

As you can see from this list of things you need to know before moving to Spain, it’s unfortunately not as easy to move to Spain post-Brexit as it once was. However, if you meet the criteria for one of the visas on offer then you can look forward to an amazing life in the sun!