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Spain, officially known as the Kingdom of Spain, is a diverse and vibrant country located in southwestern Europe. Here are five important facts about Spain:

  1. Rich History and Cultural Heritage: Spain has a rich historical and cultural background that spans over centuries. It was once a dominant global power during the 16th and 17th centuries, with extensive territories across Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. This history has left a lasting impact on Spain's cultural heritage, evident in its architecture, art, literature, and traditions. The country is home to renowned historical sites like the Alhambra in Granada, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and the Royal Palace in Madrid.
  2. Geographical Diversity: Spain is known for its diverse geography. It boasts a variety of landscapes, ranging from the stunning beaches along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts to the soaring mountains of the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada. The country also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa. This geographical diversity offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, and water sports.
  3. Flamenco and Bullfighting: Spain is famous for its traditional arts, particularly flamenco music and dance. Flamenco is a passionate and expressive art form that originated in the Andalusian region of Spain and is characterized by its rhythmic guitar playing, hand clapping, singing, and intricate dance moves. Bullfighting, although controversial, is another cultural tradition deeply rooted in Spanish history. It is considered a spectacle of art and bravery, attracting both fans and critics.
  4. Soccer and Sports: Spain is a major player in the world of soccer, with a long-standing passion for the sport. Spanish clubs, such as Real Madrid and Barcelona, have enjoyed success on both domestic and international levels, and the national team has won numerous championships, including the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and the UEFA European Championship in 1964, 2008, and 2012. Besides soccer, Spain also excels in other sports like basketball, tennis, motorsports, and cycling.
  5. Culinary Delights: Spanish cuisine is renowned worldwide for its flavors and diversity. Each region of Spain has its own unique culinary traditions and specialties. From the world-famous paella from Valencia to tapas, a wide variety of small dishes served as appetizers, Spain offers a gastronomic experience that delights the taste buds. Other iconic dishes include gazpacho, tortilla española (Spanish omelet), jamón ibérico (Iberian ham), and a vast selection of seafood.
Immigration Details

Immigrating to Spain

can be achieved through various pathways, including the Golden Visa program, establishing a company, investment, real estate, work permits, and study. Let's explore each option along with the estimated timeframes, fees, and supporting documents required:

1. Golden Visa:

The Golden Visa program allows non-European Union (EU) citizens to obtain residency in Spain by making a qualifying investment. Currently, the minimum investment threshold is €500,000. The investment can be made in real estate, government bonds, or capital in Spanish companies. The estimated timeframe to obtain residency is around 20-30 days after the investment is made.

Supporting Documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of investment and its legality
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents
  • Medical insurance coverage

Estimated Fees: In addition to the investment amount, there are other fees involved, such as legal fees, administrative costs, and application fees. These can vary depending on the specific circumstances and legal assistance required.

2. Establishing a Company:

Starting a business in Spain can also provide a pathway to residency. The capital requirements vary depending on the legal form of the company. For example, a Sociedad Limitada (SL) requires a minimum share capital of €3,000, while a Sociedad Anónima (SA) requires a minimum share capital of €60,000. It's important to note that these capital requirements may change, and legal advice should be sought.

Supporting Documents:

  • Business plan
  • Proof of sufficient funds to establish and operate the company
  • Documentation related to the business, such as registration, licenses, and permits
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of health insurance coverage

Estimated Timeframe: Establishing a company can take several weeks to complete the necessary procedures and obtain the required permits and licenses.

3. Investment and Real Estate:

Investing in Spain, particularly in real estate, can also lead to residency. The minimum investment threshold for this route is €500,000. The estimated timeframe to obtain residency is similar to that of the Golden Visa program, around 20-30 days.

Supporting Documents:

  • Proof of investment, such as property deeds or other investment documentation
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents
  • Medical insurance coverage

Estimated Fees: Apart from the investment amount, additional costs may include taxes, notary fees, and legal fees associated with the property purchase or investment.

4. Work Permit:

Obtaining a regular work permit in Spain can become a quite complex task, and that is why we always suggest to aim for any of its alternatives. Depending on your situation, professional profile and the job offer you have, there are different types of work visas you can apply for. Each has its own requirements and the application differs:

  • The regular work permit must be applied for from your country of origin. Just a few job positions will be valid for this type of work permit (those under the shortage occupation list), which makes it really completed to be obtained. Your employer from Spain will be the one to request the residence permit for you, while you are in your country of origin (as it CANNOT be applied directly from Spain).
  • If you have a job offer as a highly qualified worker, the procedure to get the residence permit can start while in Spain. This visa is granted to those who get an offer as managers or any other technical position, and who earn over 50.000€ per year.
  • The Intra-Corporate Transfer Visa applies to multinational company employees who need to relocate to the Spanish headquarters to continue working or to take any type of training.
  • Similar to the skilled professional visa you also have the EU blue card, which allows you to work in the whole European Union area.

Supporting Documents:

  • Job offer letter
  • Employment contract
  • Valid passport
  • Proof of qualifications and work experience
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependents
  • Medical insurance coverage

Estimated Fees: The fees for work permits vary depending on the type of permit and the processing times. It's advisable to consult with the relevant authorities or an immigration lawyer to get accurate information.

5. Student Visa

Do you want to do your masters or Ph.D. in Spain? Start a Spanish course or complete your professional training for a specific sector? Then the student visa is for you. This residence permit allows non-EU citizens to study in Spain. After the immigration updates from 2022, you can even work up to 30 hours per week on a student visa, and to internship.

Its application process is also beneficial, as you can apply directly from Spain as a tourist within the first 60 days of your stay.

Besides, the student residence permit becomes many times the perfect gateway to enter Spain and stay for the long-run. That is because after completing your studies you can easily transition into a work permit, eliminating the complex work visa requirements.

If you are unable to find a job during your studies you can apply for the residency called “búsqueda de empleo”. This job search permit allows foreign students in Spain to extend their stay for up to two years to look for a job or start their own company. The student must have finished their studies at the time of application, and can apply for this permit 60 days before their student authorization expires or 90 days after.

Supporting Documents:

  • Acceptance letter from an educational institution
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover expenses
  • Valid passport
  • Medical insurance coverage

Estimated Fees: Fees for studying in Spain include tuition fees, living expenses, and administrative fees charged by the educational institution.

6. Spain Digital Nomad Visa

If you plan to work remotely from Spain for a foreign company, or as a freelancer with clients outside Spain (as long as your total turnover coming directly for Spain does not exceed 20%), you can get the digital nomad visa.

This is a great option, as you can apply for it both from your country of origin and from Spain. Plus, thanks to being the holder of this residency, you will pay fewer taxes, (just a flat 24% on your income), as you will be able to benefit from the Beckham Law.

But this permit has many other advantages, like the ability to include your family members in the application, the possibility of receiving a resolution in less than 20 days (fast-track application), or the fact that it is a residence for 3 years (renewable for 2 until you obtain permanent residency).

When it comes to the main requirements, there needs to have already been an existing contract with the foreign company/client three months prior to the application, and this company must have already been operating for at least 1 year. For personal requirements, the individual must demonstrate sufficient economic funds through either an employment contract, or a bank certificate proving the possession of at least €25,920 for the main applicant, which is 200% of the minimum wage in Spain. They must also prove that they have 3-years worth of work-related experience, or graduated from a reputable academic institution.

7. Spain Non-Lucrative Visa

Let’s say that you do not want to work in Spain. You would like to retire in the country, or you want to travel around Spain and Europe for a year, or you would like to immerse yourself in a new culture without embarking on any economic activity. Then, the retirement or non-lucrative visa will be the best option for you. Its requirements are really straightforward:

  • You need private health insurance.
  • It is also required to demonstrate the possession of sufficient economic funds. The legal requirement is 28.800€ but depending on your consulate that amount can increase (and you can even see that a rental contract is required).

There are two options to obtain this permit: apply from your country of origin, or directly from Spain but just if you are moving from another residency or from a student visa (as you can’t get an NLV as a tourist).

This is for sure one of the most sought permits in Spain, and at our offices we weekly receive clients from all countries who wish to obtain their non-lucrative visa as it offers a straightforward application and great advantages.

  • Time To Citizenship
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Becoming a Dominica citizen, does not automatically make you a tax resident. To be a tax resident an individual must:

  • Have their permanent place of residence within the country and spend a period of time during the tax year in Dominica, unless purposes of absence are considered reasonable by the Comptroller of Inland Revenue, or
  • Be in Dominica 183 days or more in the tax year, or
  • Be in Dominica for a continuous period of less than 183 days, but resident the preceding or succeeding tax year.

Personal Income Tax is levied on a residence and remittance basis:

  • Individuals resident or ordinarily resident in Dominica are subject to personal income tax on a worldwide basis.
  • Individuals resident but not ordinarily resident are subject to personal income tax on their Dominica-sourced income and foreign-sourced income remitted to the country.
  • Individuals non-resident are taxed on their income from Dominican sources and income from foreign sources remitted to the country.

Personal Income tax rates are progressive up to a top marginal tax rate of 35% on annual income exceeding XCD50,000. Capital Gains are not taxable.

Dominica bank interests are tax-exempt. Dividends received are included in taxable income but a tax credit up to 25% of the net dividend received is usually available.

Dominica does not have Controlled Foreign Companies (CFC) Rules. This means that income retained in a foreign entity owned by a tax-resident may not be subject to taxation.

Municipalities levy a property tax of up to 1.25% of the property value, depending on type, location and use of the property. There is a 6.5% stamp tax on contracts for the transfer of assets. There are no net wealth and inheritance taxes in Dominica.

The Value-added tax (VAT) rate is 15%. Reduced rates and exemptions apply for certain goods and services.

Regarding corporate taxation, domestic companies in Dominica are subject to tax on their profits, whether accrued within or outside the country. Corporate Income tax rate is 25%. Dividends are subject to tax, but a tax credit is usually available. Capital gains are not subject to taxation. However, capital gains will be subject to taxation if they comprise a substantial portion of the income-earning activities of the business.

Companies incorporated under the International Business Companies act may benefit from a full tax exemption, easy accounting and confidentiality.

This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property Tax Yes
  • Transfer Tax Yes
  • Inheritance Tax No
  • Net Worth Tax No
  • CFC Law No
  • Tax Residency Days 183
  • Personal Income Tax Rate 35%
  • Capital Gains Tax Rate 0%
  • Investment Income Tax Rate 35%
  • Territorial Taxation Yes
Student Visa

What is the Spanish student visa?

The student visa is the residence authorization that allows non-EU citizens to stay in Spain while they take studies in public or private educational centers, conduct research in the country, or undertake some kind of training.

More precisely, those planning to enroll in a professional training course, master’s, postgraduate course, P.hD., or bachelor’s degree in Spain will find that this permit is the right path for them.

It is important to emphasize that this visa is geared toward citizens from outside the European Union.

Furthermore, this is not a regular residence permit. The student visa is just an authorization to live in Spain while you study.

That is why, when counting the years you need in order to get permanent residency or Spanish nationality, the years lived under the student visa do not count.

However, with the reform of Immigration Law, it has become a great option for non-EU citizens. It allows you to work, automatically, 30 hours per week, and once you complete your studies (whatever the duration), you can modify your work permit easily.

Do I need a student visa to study in Spain?

It depends. If you are a non-EU citizen the answer is simple: yes.

If you are planning to study or conduct research in the country, you will need to apply for the residence authorization for study purposes.

Nevertheless, you can’t get a student visa if you are from the European Union. Basically, because you don’t need one.

According to article number 44 from the Royal Decree 557/2011, all students coming from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland can stay in Spain while they study without a visa. This also applies to the relatives they bring with them after a joint application.

Types of student visas

There are two different types of student visas depending on the length of your course or studies:

  • Short-term student visa, the option designed for those studying from 91 to 180 days in the country.
  • Long-term student visa, in case you are studying for more than 6 months in the country.

Bear in mind that no matter if you are a non-EU citizen or not, if your studies take less than 90 days you don’t need to apply for a student permit. Your tourist visa will be enough (in case you need one to enter the country).

How long does a student visa last in Spain?

In the previous section we have seen that according to the duration of your studies, you will apply for a short or long-term student visa.

But, to be more specific, for how long will your student visa be valid?

Well, your visa expiration date and the ending of your course won’t necessarily match.

Student visa for more than one year

The maximum number of years that you can apply for a student visa is two years.

This means that if the course or master’s degree in which you are enrolled lasts 2 years, you will not have to renew your visa between the first and second years or extend the stay.

However, upon arrival in Spain, you will still have to make an appointment at the Immigration Office to process and obtain your physical residence card.

Find out here how to extend your stay for studies step by step.

Student visa for one year or less

If your academic year lasts more than 6 months, you will be given a residence card. This basically means that you’ll take an extra step in the process, which is getting an appointment at the immigration office while in Spain to process your residency card.

But if it is shorter than six months, you will only get a stamp on your passport. Meaning that you won’t have to process any physical card later on.

What happens if my course or studies are extended?

So let’s assume your studies finish in June, and hence your student visa is also valid until that month.

What can you do if your program is suddenly extended?

There is no problem. You can request a student visa extension at the police immigration office.

How to Get a Student Visa in Spain

Let’s now go through the main steps you will need to follow in order to obtain your student permit. We will analyze where should you apply, the documents you must include, where to submit them, and the requirements that you must meet.

Student Visa Requirements in Spain

Before starting with the actual application procedure it is crucial that you understand all the requirements that any foreigner wishing to attain a student visa must meet. Otherwise obtaining this permit is not possible:

  • As we already mentioned, you can’t be a European Union Citizen in order to get this visa
  • Being in legal status in Spain and not being forbidden from entering the country is necessary.
  • You must possess sufficient economic funds in order to sustain yourself in the country for 1 or 2 years (depending on the length of your studies). How much bank balance is required? A monthly 100% of the IPREM, which is about 600€ per month
  • Having a private or public medical insurance contract with full coverage in Spain. Learn more about the health insurance requirements here
  • You will have to be admitted to the course/university you are planning to study at. This means that before starting your application you must get your acceptance or admission letter from the learning course
  • Even though the vast majority of courses and educational centers will be valid, you must make sure to verify that they comply with these requirements
  • Having clear criminal background records
  • For short-term study visas, you must also include round-trip flight tickets from and to your country of origin. Don’t make any payment until your visa is issued
  • For higher-education studies such as a master’s or postgraduate degree, it is very likely that you will be asked for the homologation or validation of your university degree if you obtained it in your country of origin

Required Documents

Which are the documents will you need to submit in order to become a legal student in the country?

  • If the student is below 18 years old and does not come accompanied by his or her parents, a legal authorization signed by them
  • Medical certificate demonstrating that the application does not suffer from any disease recognized by the International Health Regulation of 2005
  • Your passport and a copy
  • 3 ID photos
  • Documentation that accredits the possession of sufficient economic funds
  • The document that certifies how the academic institution in which you will be studying has accepted you and you have a spot for the next course
  • Model EX-00 filled out
  • Admission letter from your university or school
  • Specific information about your accommodation or the place you will be living exactly

Can I apply for a student visa while in Spain?

Yes, you can apply for a student visa while in Spain. After the last change in the Spanish Immigration Law, you can now apply for your student visa from both your country of origin (at the Spanish consulate), or directly from Spain while on a tourist visa.

The application time must take place within 90 days before beginning your studies in Spain and no less than 30 days before.

Having this time frame in mind is essential.

In case you do it directly from Spain, you will need to first get an appointment with your local Immigration Office, which you can find here. This is as long as you are not in an illegal situation.

Nevertheless, whichever municipality you are in, you will need to register your empadronamiento, which is a census registry.

An important piece of advice: make sure that before entering the Spanish territory you have all the documents prepared.

Why? Because you need to submit them before your last 30 days of legal status in the country.

If you are under a tourist visa for 3 months that won’t be such a problem. But if the time you are granted is lower than that, you must hurry up.

Should I submit my documents in person or can someone else do it for me?

It is not 100% necessary that you submit the application personally. You can design a representative that does it for you through a notarized authorization letter.

For example, you can design one of our lawyers to do it for you in case you can’t yourself or don’t know how.

Nevertheless, it is not possible to do it via email. Someone must go to the consulate or immigration office in Spain for that.

Student visa processing time

The application is quite fast. After submitting your application, you’ll get a response within 1 month.

Can I enter Spain before my student visa starts?

If you are a non-European citizen, you cannot enter Spain before your student visa starts. However, if you are already in Spain on a short-term visa, you can apply for a study visa from within the country.

Thus, in that sense, it is possible to change your tourist visa to a student visa.

What to study for the Spanish student visa?

One of the most important requirements to successfully obtain this visa is the course you enroll in and its characteristics.

You must make sure it meets, at least, the following characteristics.

First of all, it is now required that the course you take is included in the Official Public Registry.

If it is a university or training course, it must be in the Registry of Official Courses. It is also valid if the course is registered in the registry of the autonomous community where the permit is being requested.

However, whether it is an official course or a center of recognized prestige in Spain, it is essential that this course is registered in an official public entity to apply for the student residence permit.

So, all students who want to come to study in Spain must ensure that the academic center is registered in an official public registry.

In addition, there are other generic criteria that this course must meet.

For example, the studies must have a duration of 20 hours per week. Those with fewer hours are not valid.

Then, the course must lead to obtaining a title. In other words, a training course that does not lead to the attainment of a title from the academic center is not suitable for applying for a student visa.

Finally, bear in mind that there is no limitation when it comes to the course level. Early childhood education, primary, secondary, vocational training, and university degrees are valid for the application for a student visa.

If you are a non-European citizen, you cannot enter Spain before your student visa starts. However, if you are already in Spain on a short-term visa, you can apply for a study visa from within the country.

Thus, in that sense, it is possible to change your tourist visa to a student visa.

Can you bring your relatives or family members with you?

Yes, there is the possibility to bring your family so they can accompany you during your student stay in Spain.

Who exactly can you bring?

Your spouse or registered civil partner and children who are below 18 years old.

How? Through a joint application, including them when applying for your own student visa. Nevertheless, it is also possible to do it afterward within the validity of your student visa.

You will be required to demonstrate the possession of an extra 75% of the IPREM for the first relative, and 50% more for any additional one. Furthermore, it is also necessary to submit documents that demonstrate the kinship relationship between the student and the relative.

The validity of their residence authorization will be linked to the one from the student, and they will be allowed to reside in the Spanish territory for the same time period as her.

Bear in mind that within that period, they won’t be allowed to work in the country.

Can you work in Spain while studying with a student card?

Yes, it is totally possible to work in Spain with your student visa.

If your student visa was issued after August 16, 2022, you can work automatically with this visa for a maximum of 30 hours per week, without having to do any extra paperwork (the card itself already authorizes you to work).

Any type of work will be valid, and it can be all over Spain, since there is no geographical limitation.

On the other hand, as a foreign student in Spain, you have 4 different options to work in the country once you finish and fully complete your studies.

These are ways to modify your student visa.

Residence to Internship

After completing your studies, you can apply for a residence permit for internships.

This residence permit is obtained through an internship contract with a company, or an internship agreement under the academic institution that you completed your studies in.

Thus, the duration of this residency is directly linked to the duration of the internship contract or agreement.

You can intern with a visa for students in Spain.

Residence Authorization Modification

After finishing your studies (and 60 days before the expiration date of your student card) you will be able to change your student visa to a work permit.

The duration of your studies, nor the type of job offer you receive doesn’t matter.

This basically means that you can jump from a student visa to a work permit easily:

  • If you are going to work for someone (por cuenta ajena), you will need to find a job offer that enables you to work 40 hours per week for one year.
  • If you are going to become a self-employed individual (por cuenta propia), you will need to submit your business plan in which you detail the business idea you would like to execute

Residence authorization for highly qualified workers

In addition to modifying to a regular work permit, you have another option, which in this case, although it offers an express resolution in only 20 days, it does require a minimum of time with a visa for studies in order to be obtained.

After one year as a student in Spain, and provided that you find a highly qualified job offer, you can transition to a work permit as a skilled professional.

What is a highly qualified job position? One as a manager or any other technical position, earning a salary over €30.000 per year.

Bear in mind that the permit will be associated with the company you will be working for, not to you.

This means that, if you would like to change your job position or company, you’ll need to apply again for this permit.

Student Visa Modification to Search for a Job

Finally, we find the case of those students who have been in Spain for just one year but who can’t get a job offer regarded as highly-qualified.

There is also a good solution for them.

At the end of 2018, a new law was approved in favor of foreign students.

This law enables you to extend your stay in the country for an additional year. This time is given to you so you can find a job offer in Spain or start your own company.

For that, it is essential that your university is on this list. This basically means that it is recognized by the government so you can apply for this visa extension.

Get legal assistance obtaining your student residence permit

If you consider that doing all the required paperwork and submitting it to the competent authorities is something a bit complicated, don’t worry.

Our team of immigration lawyers is here to help you out.

We will manage the whole application procedure so you can get your residence authorization as a foreign student in the country. Furthermore, we will also apply for the residencies of your relatives, so you can come all together.

We will prepare and submit all the documentation (plus assist you with your translation and legalizations) so you don’t need to worry about anything. Furthermore, we will advise you on how to work in the country while studying.

Housing & Living Costs

The Cost of Living in Spain by Person

Here is a breakdown of the average cost of living in Spain, without rent, and the average costs in big cities like Madrid, compared to smaller coastal cities like Malaga. Figures are based on data from Numbeo.

City Family of four Single Person
Madrid €2,579.80 ($2,818.56) €743.10 ($811.87)
Malaga €2,246.20 ($2,442.76) €648.4 ($705.14)
Valencia €2,300.60 ($2,501.93)  €657.6 ($715.15)

In terms of the cost of living compared to other developed countries around the world, here are some examples, excluding rent:

Country Family of four Single Person
Spain €2,326.80 ($2,542.14) €665.50 ($727.09)
United States €3,444.50 ($3,763.29) €973.10 ($1,063.16)
United Kingdom €2,770.60 ($3,027.02) €813.12 ($888.37)
Germany €2,957.10 ($3,230.78) €869.60 ($950.08)
Australia €3,407.80 ($3,706.27) €966 ($1050.61)

Spanish Real Estate

Rent prices in Spain

You’ll find that rental prices in Spain will vary depending on the city as well as the location. Central areas of all the major cities will command higher prices. Even small towns like Marbella, which are popular among tourists and many expats, can be expensive due to supply and demand. In any case, finding an affordable place to rent in some of the best cities to live in Spain if you look around and choose wisely.


The largest city in Spain has some of the highest rental prices in the country, but compared to other capital cities like London, Paris, and Munich, rental prices are much lower. You can expect to pay the following prices for rent:

    • One-bedroom apartment in the city center: €1,034.15 ($1,129.86)

    • One-bedroom apartment outside of the center: €789.06 ($862.09)

    • Three-bedroom apartment in the city center: €1,763.47 ($1,926.68)

    • Three-bedroom apartment outside of the center: €1,271.88 ($1,389.59)


One of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, averaging eight million annual visitors, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and the most expensive city for rent in the country; you can expect to pay the following prices for rent:

    • One-bedroom apartment in the city center: €1,059.59 ($1,157.65)

    • One-bedroom apartment outside of the center: €836.09 ($913.47)

    • Three-bedroom apartment in the city center: €1,774.14 ($1,938.33)

    • Three-bedroom apartment outside of the center: €1,318.65 ($1,440.69)


Malaga is the southern hub of Spain that brings the big city vibe to the Costa del Sol. Although it offers a similar level of infrastructure and services that you’ll find in both Madrid and Barcelona, it’s one of the cheapest cities in Spain. You can expect to pay the following prices for rent:

    • One-bedroom apartment in the city center: €780.31 ($852.53)

    • One-bedroom apartment outside of the center: €595.62 ($650.74)

    • Three-bedroom apartment in the city center: €1,325.00 ($1,447.63)

    • Three-bedroom apartment outside of the center: €1,025.00 ($1,119.86)

Buying property in Spain

Buying property in Spain can be a lucrative investment. Not only can you gain Spanish residency if you buy a property in Spain for at least €500,000 ($546,000) via the Spain Golden Visa, but you can also receive high returns on investment by renting out your property.

Spain has a booming and consistent tourism industry, particularly in coastal regions, with no shortage of demand for short-term rentals.

Below is an estimation of Spanish property prices per meter squared for some of the most popular tourist destinations and cities that many expats choose to live in:

City Price per square meter (city center) Price per square meter (outside the city center)
Palma de Mallorca €4,033.33 ($4,406.61) €2,516.67 ($2,749.59)
Madrid €5,423.35 ($5,925.28) €3,613.27 ($3,947.67)
Malaga €3,704.17 ($4,046.99) €2,375 ($2,594.80)
Barcelona €5,152.25 ($5,629.09) €3,121.39 ($3,410.27)
Bilbao €3,775 ($4,124.37) €2,799.60 ($3,058.70)
Seville  €3,214.29 ($3,511.77) €1,871.43 ($2,044.63)
Valencia  €2,645.94 ($2,890.82) €1,375.09 ($1,502.35)
Zaragoza €3,630 ($3,965.95)  €1,933.33 ($2,112.26)

Depending on your country, the Spanish real estate market can offer a lot for your money. Here is a comparison of the prices for real estate in Spain compared to other developed countries:

Country Price per square meter (city center) Price per square meter (outside the city center)
Spain €3,182.27 ($3,476.79) €1,974.71 ($2,157.47)
United States €4,530.24 ($4,949.51) €3,050.11 ($3,332.39
United Kingdom €4,395.32 ($4,802.10) €3,232.90 ($3,532.10)
Germany €6,654.62 ($7,270.50) €4,817.92 ($5,263.81)
Australia €6,608.44 ($7,220.04) €4,828.37 ($5,275.23)

The Cost of Food in Spain

Because of its optimal climate and stretches of land dedicated to its strong agricultural industry, Spain is a major producer of fruits and vegetables in Europe. You can therefore find a wide range of locally produced fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, tomatoes, artichokes, asparagus, salads, and condiments like olive oil, at low prices.

Below is the average price of everyday groceries in Spain:

Item Price
Milk (one liter) €0.88 ($0.96)
Bread (500 g) €1.08 ($1.18)
Rice (one kg) €1.23 ($1.34)
Eggs (12) €2.22 ($2.43)
Cheese (one kg) €10.57 ($11.55)
Apples (one kg) €1.85 ($2.02)
Tomatoes (one kg) €1.85
Meat (one kg) €11.17 ($12.20)
Chicken (one kg) €6.64 ($7.25)
Water (1.5 liters) €0.65 ($0.71)
Bottled wine (750 ml) €5 ($5.46)
Domestic beer (0.33 ml) €0.96 ($1.05)

The Cost of Utilities in Spain

The utility prices in Spain are reasonably low due to its temperate climate, eliminating the need for central heating or air conditioning throughout the summer and winter–although this largely depends on where in the country you live. Inflation has caused a sharp rise in the cost of utilities. Based on current estimates from Numbeo, the average monthly costs for essential utilities (electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage collection) are between €85 ($92.87) and €225 ($245.82) per month.

The Cost of Eating Out in Spain

If there is one thing you’ll never run out of in Spain, it is its vast selection of restaurants and bars providing delicious food and drinks. Whether you enjoy tapas, fresh seafood, paellas, or international cuisines like Thai and Indian food, it is widely available in Spain – and affordable.

On average, a meal in an inexpensive restaurant amounts to €12 ($13.11), while the average three-course meal for two people in a mid-range restaurant costs €50 ($54.63). A local beer, accompanied by free tapas or pincho, costs around €2.50 ($2.73).

The Cost of Transport in Spain

Owning a car in Spain is very convenient, but the public transportation system is excellent and works well throughout Spain. Trains, buses, and metros serve most of Spain’s cities, and in many towns, it is possible to buy a monthly transport pass or a ten-ride ticket for buses and the metro.

Based on figures from Number, an average one-way ticket on public transportation in major Spanish cities costs around €1.50 ($1.64), while a monthly pass costs about €39 ($42.61). For vehicle ownership, the average price for one liter of fuel is €1.66 ($1.81), and car insurance costs between €300 ($327.76) to €400 ($437.02) for an annual comprehensive plan.

The Cost of Healthcare in Spain

Spain’s highly-rated public healthcare system ranks as one of the best in the world. All Spanish citizens and permanent residents have access to a free and efficient public healthcare system. However, private health insurance is also available and budget-friendly in Spain, giving you access to various healthcare options.

Based on quotes from several prominent private insurance companies in Spain, like Sanitas, Adeslas, and Axa, a reasonable estimate for a middle-aged expat’s average annual healthcare policy would be between €100 ($109.25) to €200 ($218.51). If you’re a foreign retiree in Spain, you can save money by qualifying for a public healthcare program called ‘Convenio Especial.’ This is a nationalized healthcare program that you pay a monthly fee for, which is as follows:

    • €60 ($65.55) for persons under 65 years of age

    • €157 ($171.53) for persons over 65 years of age

The Costs of Studying in Spain

Spain has both public and private universities. It’s one of the cheapest countries for international students to live and study in, with highly affordable tuition fees and living expenses compared to countries like the UK and the US. An international student can expect to pay between €750 and €2,500 in annual tuition fees for Bachelor’s degrees at public universities. A Bachelor’s degree in a private university can cost between €5,000 ($5,462.74) and €20,000 ($2,1850) per school year.

To learn more about how to get Spanish residency via investment, take a look at our Spain Golden Visa ultimate guide by local experts.

Visa-Free Explain

Where Can Spanish Passport Holders Travel Without a Visa?

As of June 2023, Spanish passport holders can travel visa free to 160 countries and territories:

  • Albania
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • Bolivia
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Cabo Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guam
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kiribati
  • Kosovo
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Latvia
  • Lesotho
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
  • North Macedonia
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Suriname
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tajikistan
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Türkiye
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Vatican City
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Zambia
  • Eswatini

For visa-free travels, you still must have a valid passport — usually six months after your departure date— and you must purchase travel health insurance as required by your destination country.

Where Can Spanish Citizens Go Without a Passport?

Spanish citizens can enter the following countries without a passport with only an ID card:

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Aruba
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Caribbean Netherlands
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czechia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Faroe Islands
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • French West Indies
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mayotte
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Saint Martin
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Türkiye
  • Vatican City

What Countries Issue eVisa to Spanish Citizens?

The following 9 countries issue eVisas for Spanish passport holders:

  • Angola
  • Azerbaijan
  • Benin
  • Djibouti
  • Ethiopia
  • Guinea
  • India
  • Kenya
  • Uganda

The process of getting an eVisa is more or less the same as applying for a traditional visa. However, in this case, you don’t have to visit a visa application center— you can submit your application online, including the visa payment.

After your application is approved, you will receive an email confirming your visa status along with a document you must print out and bring with you when crossing the border. Your visa will be registered online, but some officers may ask you for a physical copy of the permit; that is why it’s important to keep the copy on your person while traveling.

What Countries Issue Visa on Arrival to Spanish Passport Holders?

If you are a Spanish citizen, you can get a visa on arrival for the 30 countries listed below:

  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Comoros
  • Egypt
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Iran
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mauritania
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somalia
  • Saint Helena
  • Tanzania
  • Gambia
  • Togo
  • Zimbabwe

You receive a visa on arrival (VOA) after entering the country that issues such a visa. Usually, there is a separate section at the airport where you can submit your application for your visa on arrival.

Countries With Visa Requirements for Spanish Citizens

You need a valid visa to enter the following 27 countries with a Spanish passport:

  • Afghanistan
  • Algeria
  • Bhutan
  • Cameroon
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Ivory Coast
  • Cuba
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ghana
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Mali
  • Nauru
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • North Korea
  • Russia
  • South Sudan
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Turkmenistan
  • Yemen

The application for a visa goes as follows:

  1. Make an appointment at the visa center in Spain. You must contact a local visa application center in your home country and make an appointment to submit your application. It may take several months to schedule a meeting with the embassy or consulate.
  2. Get your documents ready. To submit a successful application, you have to prepare the required documents for your visa, i.e., passport, application form, health insurance, etc. Some of your documents must be verified with an apostille stamp or certified by a foreign office.
  3. Submit your application. Finally, you can submit your application and attend the visa interview—you may also be required to submit your biometrics. Once you translate your documents as required by the embassy or consulate and verify them with an apostille stamp— if possible, then you can submit your application. From then it will take several weeks until a decision is made regarding your visa application.

Please note that if you have a valid visa that allows you to enter more than one country, you don’t have to apply for a new visa.

What Documents Do Spanish Citizens Need to Apply for a Visa?

Spanish citizens that want to visit countries that require them to apply for a visa beforehand need to submit a few documents. Depending on the country you want to visit, document requirements may vary. However, most countries will certainly require the following:

  • Your valid Spanish passport (plus a photocopy). Some countries require the passport to be valid for more than six months after the day you plan on departing their country.
  • A filled visa application form.
  • Passport pictures that are not older than six months.
  • Travel health insurance that covers your entire period of stay.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.
  • Detailed travel itinerary that shows all the places you want to visit.
  • Letter of invitation (if applicable)
  • Proof of booked return ticket for the flight home.
  • Proof of booked accommodation.
  • Proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your visit
  • Civil status documents (marriage papers, certificates of birth, etc.)
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