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How to Move to Spain from Canada

How to Move to Spain from Canada

Why Should Canadians move to Spain?

Canadians might be interested in immigrating to Europe for a variety of reasons. However, among the continent’s exciting destinations, Spain particularly entices those interested in immigrating there.

Spain’s excellent global reputation is attributable to its delectable cuisine, awe-inspiring scenery, and diverse culture. This democratic country is located in southern Europe and enjoys pleasant weather and a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle.

Moreover, it’s close to other European countries like France and Portugal, which makes international travel simple.

Here’s what Canadian ex-pats can enjoy when living in Spain

¨We will be with you each step of the journey.¨


Spain is known to be a peaceful, welcoming and safe country.

Spain is one of the most progressive nations in the world. For example, same-sex marriage has been permitted since 2005. In addition, the European Social Survey found that 80% of the population can be described as “liberal.”

It’s easy for most people to settle into the country with a relaxed attitude toward different cultures and backgrounds. This openness makes Spain very appealing to ex-pats.

Spain has a diverse and divided culture because of the many different groups present.

It’s relatively simple to get used to living in such a nation. Every little difference is accepted and commonplace among people from all corners of the world.

With ex-pats, you can create a social circle to minimise cultural shock. Those who choose to befriend Spaniards typically enjoy a richer experience. 

Expanding your circle of friends to include locals is advisable because they can assist you in integrating and even learning Spanish.

Expat communities are everywhere in Spain, as it is a preferred destination for EU and non-EU citizens.

You will meet many people with the same thoughts and experiences as you. These people also left their home country to start a new life in Spain.

Having gone through the same process, you can benefit from their help. In addition, because of the large number of people moving to Spain, it is usually easy to make new friends.

There are many mountains and verdant views in the north of Spain, making hiking and mountain biking fun.

Beaches along the Mediterranian coast in the south provide a more relaxed and chilled environment if you seek such an atmosphere.

No region in Spain does not have excellent food. After eating country cuisine, you will never want to eat any other type of food again.

Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre in Spain costs about $600, whereas renting a comparable apartment outside the city centre costs about $950. In Canada, renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre costs $1,400 versus $600 outside of the city centre.

There is no limit on the amount you can spend on a house in Spain, provided you are a foreign resident. In addition to purchasing a home, you can receive a Golden Visa, which allows you to live in Spain. You must invest more than €500,000 ($650,000) to qualify for this visa. 

Having a Golden Visa allows you to live in Spain for two years. After living in Spain for five years, you can obtain permanent residency there, just like with a conventional visa. After living there for ten years, you may also become a Spanish citizen.

You can learn more about obtaining a Spanish Golden Visa here. 

Fruit and vegetables are cheaper in Spain than in Canada, and you may also purchase them at a discount if they are fresh and local.

The excellence of Spain’s meat, wine, and cheese is well known, and all three are less expensive there than in Canada.

Spain indeed has a rich culinary history. Eating out in Spain is much cheaper than in the United States and Europe.

How Canadian citizens can move to Spain

This step-by-step guide explains how you start enjoying life in Spain.


Choose the visa or residence that suits you best.


Working with an attorney to understand visa criteria and whether your situation qualifies is essential.


You can apply for a visa from Spain if you are visiting or file your application from your home country.


First, collect all the required paperwork and send it to the correct Spanish embassy or consulate.


Then, before travelling to Spain, collect your visa.

You must obtain an employment visa before you can work in Spain if you are not an EU citizen. In addition, you must remember that the requirements are different compared to working in Canada.

Canadians who want to live permanently in Spain may wish to consider the Entrepreneur and Investor Visa. This is a more expensive but opportunistic way to apply for permanent residence. 

You can move to Spain using a non-lucrative visa, but you cannot work here as a Canadian citizen with this visa.

Canadian citizens can study in Spain with a student visa and are almost considered temporary residents. Then, after their education, they can remain in the country and search for jobs in Spain.

Step 1 – Understand Your Situation.

There are various kinds of residence permits in Spain, each with a unique procedure. For instance, getting a work permit requires a different process than getting a non-lucrative visa.

You should first determine which type of visa would be best for you and your situation.

Canadians are not EU citizens, so the procedure is more complicated. Therefore, satisfying all the requirements and conditions may be challenging, but don’t fret. We can assist you and make things simpler.

We can help you decide whether a Spain residency visa is correct for you and assist Immigration officials because our team speaks Spanish.


Step 2 – the immigration procedure

The procedure for obtaining a visa typically begins in your home country, except for the entrepreneur visa or the highly skilled professional visa, for example.

You must first apply to the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your home country or the location where you are legally resident to request a Spanish visa.

Once your application has been accepted, the Embassy or Consulate will grant you a visa so that you may enter Spain and stay there.

Make sure you travel within 90 days of the visa being issued.

Upon entering the country, you must apply for a residence permit once you have received an NIE number.

You may live in the country for one year with this residence permit. After the first year, you may renew it for two more years, as long as you still meet the exact requirements.

You may apply for Spanish nationality after living in the country for ten years if you renew your permit.


Step 3 – Working in Spain

Some ex-pats would like to work when they live in Spain, so they must get a work permit. 

Someone wanting to live in Spain who cannot meet the stringent conditions and requirements for other types of residence permits may find the work permit an appropriate option.

  • You cannot apply for most things from Spain.
  • To obtain a work permit before immigrating to Spain, you must receive a job offer.
  • Only listed government roles are eligible for Work Permits.

Step 4 – Moving to Spain but not working.

You can live in Spain as a citizen of Canada without working on a non-lucrative visa. However, this visa will be the best option if you have enough money to live there.

With this visa, you can also use your private or state pensions to support yourself financially.


Step 5 – Getting an NIE

The first thing you should do after obtaining a visa at the Spanish Embassy in your home country and arriving in Spain is to get your NIE number.

In Spain, everything requires an NIE number. An NIE number is required to open a bank account, buy a property, and more. It is an identification number for foreigners.

The NIE application is relatively simple if you know the steps. But, first, you must complete this process at your local police station.


Step 6 – The paperwork

Each residence permit has its documents, but you will need the following. 

  • A clean criminal record in Spain and your home country
  • Proof that you can financially support yourself if you are applying for a student visa or non-lucrative visa
  • Full public healthcare coverage
  • A passport and two photo IDs

There are other visas requiring more paperwork. For instance, the Golden Visa requires evidence that the applicant has bought a Spanish asset. Furthermore, the entrepreneurship visa requires the applicant to produce a business plan.


Step 7 – Translate the documents. 

The documents you submit must be translated into Spanish and certified with the Hague Apostille. These documents are rejected if presented in the client’s native language. Therefore, everything must be translated into Spanish.


Step 8 – Move with your family.

If you have lived in the country for more than one year, you may apply for a residence and work permit for your family.


The following are considered family:

  • Your parents
  • Spouse or unmarried partner
  • Your spouse’s parents
  • Your children

The family member you wish to bring to Spain cannot be in the country during the application process, as you will be applying for the family reunification residence permit.

Permanent residence

It is common for Canadians who live in Spain for a year or longer to seek permanent residency immediately afterwards. The country’s attractive climate and opportunities become addictive for many and encourage people from across the world to adopt Spain as home.

Getting a permanent residency permit requires living here for five years.


Golden Visa

Canadian citizens may participate in the Golden Visa Program to become a permanent resident of Spain. The investment requirements are available in several fields and real estate. It is designed for non-EU citizens, like Canadians.


Our lawyers can help you if you want to immigrate to Spain. Canadians can also start and operate their businesses using this programme.



Canadian entrepreneurs can start and operate businesses with the Wealth Visa programme’s most significant advantages. Moreover, Canadian citizens can become Spanish citizens through this programme.


The waiting period for Canadian citizens wishing to obtain Spanish citizenship is at least five years. However, time frames may vary depending on how the foreign citizen arrived in Spain. 

The wait time might be significantly shorter for those with Spanish family roots or married to a Spanish citizen.


We are a department formed by qualified legal experts who have been trained in the field of immigration law. We work on these residency permit requests every day. It’s our passion. Our work goes beyond having a general interest.

For us, Lexidy is a way of life and what excites us the most is to be able to deliver the happiness and satisfaction of a successful immigration process. We want to help you achieve your goals and dreams, whether it’s residence in Spain or simply an investment.

Laura Fuste

Laura Fusté

Head of Immigration Europe
David Planes

David Planes

Cristina Negro Vizoso

Cristina Negro Vizoso

Mónica Isern López

Mónica Isern López

Lawyer, Head of Immigration Spain
Gabriela Baly

Gabriela Baly

Francesca Coluccio

Francesca Coluccio

Legal Advisor

Sandra Faura

Carolina Gimeno

Carolina Gimeno



Eugenia Yanes

Eugenia Yanes

Legal Trainee
María Laura Arreaza

Maria Laura Arreaza

Immigration Administrative
Manuel Lorenzo

Manuel Lorenzo


See what our customers have to say about our services

We get to know about Spanish Golden Visa by property investment through web searches but as a foreigners we have limited knowledge about Golden Visa application compliance and property sales and purchase governing rules and regulations.There are many websites out there listing out how Golden Visa legal system or property ownership in Spain works but we know it is even beyond language bearer that we need an experience, responsive and dedicated specialist to do the job.We come across Lexidy Law, which specialized in assisting foreigners in Golden Visa application and in our case through the property purchases (there are few types of ways for qualifying on Spanish Golden Visa application).Because of the straightforward services price structure of Lexidy and easy to understand explanations of the home-purchasing process, we felt confident after meeting with Mr.Alejandro who is the first person we met of the application process.During our property purchase, the sale of the house has come to a halt and become a complex and problematic deal as a result of sellers’ family dispute on the sales proceed distribution. The argument lasted for two months, pushing back the completion deadline.The Lexidy real estate team has done an excellent job, in particular with the lead by Señor Juan Diego.Juan is highly knowledgeable, competent and down to earth practical lawyer in this field; his previously work experience in real property gives us good spectrum of views and advices with alternative or solutions and he shows his capability in ranking them logically so we do the decision to choose the best fit for ourselves.He promptly provides updates on every development and highlights complication or consequences from both the seller and buyer perspective (nearly every day). His effective and fluent communication skills in written and spoken English saved thousand words for non Spanish language speakers like us; He maintain his client's best interests in mind yet remain independent in giving his advices.Lexidy's real estate team has spent a considerable amount of time and resources helping us have a successful closure to this property purchase.Yes, we are now proud house owners, and Lexidy didn't charge us extra for the additional work and efforts on the process hiccup. We are impressed and thankful with the professionalism.Thankful Lexidy, it would be impossible for us to have a flawless closure and a successful property transaction which now lead us to the final path of Spanish Golden Visa process which handle by Ms.Laura and her team.It is truly a blessing and we sincerely hope that our review might also benefit you in finding a correct choice of Spanish Golden Visa application service provider.
Yaw Kevin
Yaw Kevin
02:00 27 Sep 23
A great law firm that covers anything an expat might need. I needed help with real estate initially, and they also helped me with immigration, taxes, and corporate legal matters. Fantastic people to work with. Alejandro from their real estate and immigration department is my main contact and he is an absolute pleasure to work with. Highly recommended!
Jonathan Elron
Jonathan Elron
07:37 13 Aug 23
Alejandro was helping me navigate the process of nueva obra construction to gain Spanish golden visa. He proved to be very knowledgeable and we had a great phone call where I learned more in 20 minutes than I would have from months of internet research. Unfortunately the property I was looking at ended up not being suitable, which was discovered thanks to his due-diligence, so I was not able to go through the entire process, so I can't provide a review of the full legal process. But I'll be engaging with Lexidy again if I find a suitable property for me in the future!
10:47 24 Mar 23
Comment from Radostin and Kaloyan Bulgaria:We could recommend working with Lexidy and especially with Juan Diego Muñoz to everyone. Our assessment is defenitely 10 out of 10!Strict professional who cover full end-to-end journey in buying real estate and successful relocation to Spain in our case. We highly appreciate efficient and effective approach and providing us and supporting us in each step of the journey in buying property in Spain. Without support of Juan Diego we would be lost, he provides us with daily support in most critical days before finalization of the deal and also there was not even a single question to which he could not provide us details in most structured way.Thank you Juan Diego Muñoz, thank you Lexidy we will be happy working together in the future.We wish you lots of success in your innovative and trustful approach in supporting your customers in a holistic way.Radostin and Kaloyan
Radostin Denev
Radostin Denev
09:47 27 Oct 22
I worked with Juan Diego de Muñoz for my real estate lawyer. His help was invaluable to me! He worked with the sellers and real estate agents who were reluctant to engage in the due diligence process for the property I bought. He smoothed that over and helped me obtain a thorough check of my flat and the building it’s in, which yielded important information. Juan Diego made sure my every question and concern were addressed the same day that I raised them. Metaphorically, he held my hand through the whole process, but also made sure I was the one making informed decisions. I highly recommend him and Lexidy Law Boutique!
Linda Sparling
Linda Sparling
15:32 04 Oct 22
We are working with Lexidy for our immigration and real estate needs. Our real estate lawyer, Juan Diego Muñoz, has been amazing to work with throughout the entire process. His diligent communication during the real estate purchase has not only kept us informed every step of the way, but helped us to understand the differences and intricacies of purchasing property in Spain. We can't say enough great things about Juan Diego and the team at Lexidy.
Rick Estrada-Stone
Rick Estrada-Stone
15:05 16 Jul 22
I am looking to to buy my first property in Spain and had my intro call with Alejandro today- very pleased with the valuable insights gained and your guidance on the legal aspects of the Spanish property market, sales cycle, mortgage application process and risk mitigation. Alejandro, thank you so much for your advice and invested time, I'm genuinely looking forward to working together on this exciting project:)
12:34 04 Jul 22
Yet another amazing experience with Lexidy. My boyfriend and I are going to start the pareja de hecho process together in Madrid. Cristina has been so knowledgable and helpful in answering my questions about the process, and has even taken the time to investigate more complex questions that I had about different approaches to this process. She has also been extremely responsive via email, which has been much appreciated. Feeling very reassured that I am in great hands with her, and with Lexidy.
Casey Maher
Casey Maher
17:44 18 Aug 21
Lexidy have been a godsend. As a British freelancer in Spain, I felt uncertain about the wealth of complicated paperwork, especially as my Spanish still needs improvement. Lexidy have been helpful with setting up my status as a freelance, organising my tax information, as well as guiding me on immigration issues due to Brexit. The team has been brilliant, if I ever have an issue or need know something, they will be patient and responsive (very quick) with accurate and useful information. For the services and professionalism they offer, it is very well valued. I plan on using Lexidy for all my legal needs. Highly recommended.
Sam Dale
Sam Dale
11:16 29 Jan 21
I couldn’t be happier with my experience with Lexidy and their excellent attorneys. After months of trying unsuccessfully to navigate the maze of Spanish bureaucracy, I finally got the help I needed. Max Agazzi Paulet and his team were extremely professional and knowledgeable and were able to quickly give me the information I needed to successfully move forward with my application. Without hesitation, I would recommend Lexidy to anyone dealing with Spanish immigration law and/or real estate issues.
Daniel Zuckerman
Daniel Zuckerman
15:04 10 Nov 20
I have had the pleasure to work with a lot of Lexidy's departments. Working with Max Aggazi Paulet to achieve everything needed for my residency was incredible. he help endlessly until everything was accomplished. Soon after i began working with their Real estate department. It has been a journey and they have stuck with me every step of the way. They have gone beyond the scope of their duties to help my dreams of purchasing a property in Spain come to fruition. I would like to thank Alejandro Cano and Jordi Aranda for for everything. Last but not least through the entire Process I have had the absolute pleasure to work with Camila Broderson. She is a Gem. She has guided me in every step to work on opening my LLC in Spain and has also gone beyond the scope of her duties to assist and be available at any time. I plan to continue to work with team at Lexidy and would highly recommend them to everyone. Thank you Lexidy team for everything that you have done so far! I look forward to continuing our partnerships and friendships!
Michael Sandoval
Michael Sandoval
16:44 19 Oct 20

Frequently Asked Questions

Choose big cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia if you are a Canadian living in Spain. Alternatively, you can go to the Balearic Islands, the Costa del Sol, or one of the smaller Spanish cities such as Malaga, Granada, or Bilbao.

Canadians may retire in Spain if they have the correct visa. The Spain retirement visa or Golden Visa is the one they can apply for.

Groceries, rents, the healthcare system, and eating out are all significantly less expensive in Spain than in Canada. In addition, Spain’s well-established social security system makes many public services available and of better quality than in Canada. The cost of living outside of major cities is much less too.

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