My “moving to Spain” checklist

moving to spain checklist

It’s really hard to outline exactly what you need before moving out of the country as it will vary for everyone. The following things are what occupied my mind and what I’ve learned about each. I’m sure there will be plenty more!

  • Finding work…
    • I applied for jobs for over a year before I finally decided to buy my one way ticket. It was nearly impossible for someone like me to find a job without actually being on the ground. When I say someone like me… I mean someone with a skill set that isn’t in incredibly high demand (unlike software developers or engineers.) Why would a company hire me from overseas when they have a talent pool to tap into that doesn’t require sponsorship? They assume I need sponsorship because I live in the US. Little do they know that I didn’t.)
    • That is another very important point. In order to work in Spain, you need to get a work visa. Unless you’re from another EU country. Then you are free to work in Spain. (Or so I think…)
  • Investigate taxes. Will you be required to pay taxes in your home country as well as Spain? That’s good to know!
    • The answer is yes, you do have to pay taxes in both places. However, there’s a tax treaty that allows you to deduct any taxes you’ve paid in the US from what you owe in Spain.
  • Phone: Verizon let me “unlock” my phone, making it usable with any telecomm provider. That’s all I know so far…
  • Get credit card that has a 0% foreign transaction charge. This article has a great comparison of the best credit cards with low or no foreign transaction fees.
    • I went with Capital One’s option because there’s no annual fee.
  • Bottom line? Talk to people that are actually there. I scoured forums and tried to reach out to people through their blogs, but what I’ve found super helpful is the Madrid Expats Slack group I started. You don’t have to be an expat to join. I started the group so I can connect with real expats, on the ground, that could advise me before I arrive. You can do the same here :

I’ll be adding to this list as I learn. If you’re an expat reading this, feel free to comment. I’d love your input!




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