7 Biggest Mistakes When Moving to Spain

Moving abroad is one of the most significant transitions you may go through. You’ll want to ensure that the transfer goes smoothly and that you can easily settle into your new life. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top 7 biggest mistakes people make while moving to Spain so you can avoid them!, the reasons why people move from the UK to Spain and methods of migrating from the UK to Spain.

The 7 Biggest Mistakes People Make When Moving to Spain

If you are considering moving to Spain, here are 7 biggest mistakes one must avoid

#1.  Underestimating the Difficulty of Obtaining Visas, Permits, and Residency

The amount of labor necessary in filing for your visa, residency, and/or permit in Spain is frequently higher than anticipated. One of the most common mistakes when relocating to Spain from the UK is believing that the process will be quick and simple. It can take months, if not years, to finish all of your paperwork, especially now that Brexit has occurred and laws have changed.

#2.  Failure to Start Learning the Language

When you first move to Spain, you will not be expected to be fluent in Spanish, but understanding the essentials will make your adjustment a lot smoother. Nearly 94% of the Spanish population speaks the language, and neglecting to learn a few Spanish phrases may hinder your ability to settle into your new neighborhood.

#3.  Assuming you Can Find Work in Spain When You Arrive

You’ll need to discover a role that the government publishes in their job shortage catalogue, apply for a vacancy, and then offer enough information to your prospective employer to help them prove that you’re better qualified for the job than the locals. This information will assist your employer in applying for your work visa, which must be accepted before you may relocate to Spain.

#4.  Failure to Communicate with Other Expats

Reaching out to British residents in Spain via online networks and face-to-face events allows you to gain from the invaluable experience of those who have made the same journey as you. You may also find that you can make some fantastic friends in your new neighbourhood, which will make you feel more at ease almost immediately.

#5.  Purchasing a Home Without First Getting a Sense of the Neighbourhood

It may be tempting to purchase a home before relocating to Spain in order to have a secure new home ready for your arrival. However, if you have no prior expertise or grasp of the subject, this might be a costly mistake.

Why not explore renting first to obtain a real sense of a neighborhood? Take the time to learn about the residents, the area, and the neighboring facilities, and make sure you’re comfortable with the location before you go.

#6.  Being Financially Unprepared

The cost of living and pay in Spain may differ from what you are accustomed to in the United Kingdom. Many British people make the mistake of believing that the cost of living in Spain is significantly lower, which is not necessarily the case. You should also keep in mind that the typical pay in Spain is lower than what you are used to.

You will also need to open a bank account in Spain as soon as feasible. This will be required to pay your utility bills and any local charges. You will also discover that using ATMs to withdraw cash from your English bank account will quickly become prohibitively expensive.

#7.  Miscalculation of Cultural Shock

Moving to a new nation, with a new language to learn and new acquaintances to make, is likely to cause some culture shock. One of the worst mistakes you may make while relocating to Spain is failing to embrace this new way of life.

The Spanish way of life is slower and more relaxed; rest is crucial, and family time is sacrosanct. If you are coming from a big, fast-paced city in the UK with a culture of working too hard, this can be a huge adjustment. Relax, enjoy yourself, and take it all in stride. We’re confident you’ll notice a difference shortly.

How Do I Apply for a Visa to Spain From the United Kingdom?

The application process for a Spanish visa in the United Kingdom is relatively similar to that of any other country in the world.

To apply for a Spanish visa in the UK, you must first:

  • Determine which type of Spanish short-stay visa you require. There are various sorts of Spanish Schengen visas available based on your reason for travelling from the UK to Spain.
  • Learn where you may apply for a Spanish visa in the UK.
  • Determine when you will apply for a Spanish visa in the UK. The earliest you can apply for a Spanish visa in the UK is six months before your scheduled trip.
  • Gather the necessary Spanish visa paperwork for UK residents.
  • Schedule an interview at a Spanish visa application centre in the United Kingdom. You can schedule a Spanish visa appointment online, over the phone, or in person.
  • Attend the interview on the scheduled date. Arrive early and try not to be scared. Keep in mind that the interview is an important aspect of your immigration application.
  • Pay the visa fee in Spain.
  • Wait for your Spanish visa to be processed.

Different Ways of Moving to Spain

You are done reading the 7 biggest mistakes people make when moving to Spain, and now you are wondering, “How can I get to Spain from the United Kingdom?”

#1. Plane

Flying to various parts of Spain from most major UK cities, including London and Manchester, is the quickest way to go from the UK to Spain. The average flight time between the United Kingdom and Madrid (Spain’s capital) is 2 hours and 30 minutes.

#2. Train and Bus

It is possible to get to Spain by train from the United Kingdom in a single day. Travelling by Eurostar from London St Pancras International Railway Station to Paris, then changing to a high-speed train to Figueres, Girona, or Barcelona, is the quickest option. A bus from London Victoria Coach Station to Zaragoza-Delicias and then a train to Barcelona is another alternative.

#3. Ferry

There are three ferry lines that connect England and Spain, with a total of six weekly sailings. Brittany Ferries operates three routes: twice daily from Plymouth to Santander, twice daily from Portsmouth to Bilbao, and twice daily from Portsmouth to Santander.

Is it Tough to Relocate to Spain?

Migrating to a country such as Spain is an exciting and rewarding experience that may sometimes be difficult. Some of the difficulties that foreigners confront when visiting Spain include:

#1. Obtaining the Right Permissions and Visas

Having the proper documents and paperwork to prevent any problems is the deciding factor.

#2. Adapting to the Culture

Spain has a dynamic culture, and culture shock is something to always expect when relocating to a new, overwhelming nation.

What are the New Regulations for Relocating to Spain?

EU citizens can stay and work in Spain without a visa for up to three months. If your plan is more than three months long, you must apply for area permission. This can be done at your local police station during your first term.

#3. As a worker

If your primary purpose for migration is to work, you will need a work permit. Your employer is responsible for registering you with the social security system.

#4. Education

If you wish to study in Spain, you must first obtain a student visa and an area permit. Enrollment in a language school is also required.

#5. Retirement

If you want to retire in Spain, you must register with the local authorities. You are allowed to stay as long as you have the financial resources to support yourself during your stay in Spain.

#6. Purchase a Home in Spain

Any foreigner purchasing a home in Spain must have an NIE, which is the foreigner’s identity number. However, if you are not an EU citizen and purchase a home for more than £436,070, you may be eligible for the golden visa.

Reasons Why People Move From UK To Spain

The following are five major reasons why people move from the UK to Spain

#1. The Cost of Living

Without a doubt, the cost of living in Spain is lower than in the United Kingdom. Many things, from transportation and rent to food and recreation, will be less expensive.

Prices may vary by city; however, they will almost certainly be lower than in the UK. Southern Spain is generally less expensive than Northern Spain or popular cities such as Barcelona or Madrid. If you decide to relocate to a smaller town or village, your living expenses will be considerably lower.

#2. Food

If you enjoy Mediterranean cuisine, you’ll enjoy living in Spain because of the freshness of the fruits and vegetables, the flavour of typical spices like paprika or saffron, and the taste of fish and shellfish.

The cuisine of Spain is quite diverse, as can be seen in different places. Paella, Spain’s most famous cuisine, hails from Valencia, whereas gazpacho hails from Andalusia and pintxos hail from the Basque country.

#3. Friendly Locals  

Locals are frequently welcoming and friendly to visitors and foreigners. They want you to feel at ease and will try to communicate with you even if they don’t speak English well or at all.

There are numerous ways to make friends with the natives. The simplest option for an expat is to look for language exchanges. Not only will you find natives eager to learn English, but also other expats eager to make new acquaintances.

#4. Lifestyle

This is most likely one of the reasons you’re considering relocating to Spain. Spain’s way of life is regarded as one of the greatest in Europe. Spaniards are more relaxed! Taking their time eating a meal with family and friends, scheduling a last-minute meeting, talking to pals for hours and losing track of time, and so on.

They are quite close to family and friends and even reside nearby. Socialisation is an important aspect of Spanish culture.

#5. Weather

In comparison to the United Kingdom or Scandinavian countries, Spain is a sunny country. There will be many sunny days, whether it is summer or winter. Temperatures will be warm or cold, depending on where you choose to live in Spain.

What Are the Drawbacks of Relocating to Spain?

If you are not from the EU, you must find work before moving to Spain to obtain a work visa. It can be tough to get work in Spain since you must either apply for a position that is on the government’s job shortage list or prove to the employer that you are more qualified than the locals.

What are the New Rules for British Citizens in Spain?

The United Kingdom is now classified as a “third country” as of January 1, 2021. Any British citizen wishing to emigrate to Spain (or remain in the country for more than three months) must apply for a visa nacional (long-term visa). This includes people who have a second house in Spain but no legal status.

How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Visa to Spain From the United Kingdom?

Please keep in mind that the minimum processing period for a visa application is 15 working days (although it could take up to 60). As a result, applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of the desired date of travel. The Consulate does not give information on the status of a visa application or about visa refusals.

As a British Citizen, How Long May I Stay in Spain?

You can visit Spain as a tourist from the United Kingdom without a visa. However, you must follow the 90/180-day rule, which states that you can only stay for 90 days in a 180-day period. It’s critical to maintain proper track of your days so you don’t overstay your welcome.

How Long Does it Take to Obtain Permanent Residency in Spain?

First and foremost, the years required to obtain one and the other. Permanent residency requires only 5 years of stay in the country, whereas Spanish citizenship requires 10 years of residence in Spain.


As I previously stated, it is critical to conduct thorough research before relocating to Spain. You don’t have to know everything, and there will undoubtedly be things that surprise you during your time in Spain. However, being aware of these 7 biggest mistakes when moving to Spain can help.

So, if you’ve decided to relocate to this lovely country, you’ll need to figure out how to travel there safely. Studying the market and consumer behaviour would be beneficial while starting a business. Prepare your thoughts to fit in by becoming acquainted with the culture. Before you invest, conduct considerable research on living standards and pricing comparisons.


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