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How to Move to Spain from the UK

How to Move to Spain from the UK

Why Should Britons move to Spain?

The appeal of Spain is tough to resist for Britons looking to immigrate to Europe.

Spain’s pleasant weather and Mediterranean lifestyle, in addition to its delectable cuisine, awe-inspiring scenery, and diverse culture, contribute to the nation’s excellent global reputation. As a result, it’s among the most attractive European countries for Brits looking to move or planning to retire in the European Union.

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


The European Social Survey found that 80% of Spaniards are “liberally minded.”

It is common for people to live in Spain in harmony with individuals of different cultures and backgrounds. Because of this, Spain is a popular destination for ex-pats.

Because of its variety of people and historical ties, Spain has a rich culture.

It’s relatively easy to become accustomed to living in a country like Spain, where people are accepting and familiar with the minor differences that ex-pats bring.

It is possible to avoid cultural discomfort by having ex-pats as friends. But on the other hand, those who befriend Spaniards are typically rewarded with a more enriching experience.

Having local friends is a brilliant idea, as they can help you integrate and even learn Spanish.

Spain has many ex-pat communities because it is popular with Europeans and non-Europeans.

Finding people with the same thoughts and experiences as you, who also immigrated to Spain, will help you adjust.

Having gone through the same process, you can benefit from their help. Furthermore, because of the large number of people moving to Spain, making new friends is typically easy.

From the beaches of northern Spain, the Costa Brava and Andalucia, to the mountains spanning the Pyrenees and the Sierra Nevada, Spain has a striking landscape. As a result, the country is perfect for watersports like sailing and surfing and winter activities like skiing and snowboarding.

Swap small city apartments or houses in cul de sacs for beachfront villas or countryside fincas. A one-bedroom apartment in Barcelona or Madrid is around half the price of a similar apartment in London. Likewise, bigger and rural properties are often a fraction of the cost of their British counterparts.

An individual may receive a Golden Visa if they invest more than €500,000 (£480,000) on a property in Spain, provided they are a foreign resident. There is no limit on the amount you may invest.

You may live in Spain for two years with a Golden Visa or for five years to gain permanent residency, just as you would with a regular visa. Then, after living in the country for ten years, you may also become a Spanish citizen.

Buying fruit and vegetables in Spain is cheaper than in the UK, and buying local produce can make them even more affordable.

Excellent meat, wine, and cheese can be found in Spain, and all three are less expensive there than in the UK.

Since Spain has a rich culinary history, dining out there is significantly cheaper than in the UK.

How British citizens can move to Spain

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


Choose the visa or Spanish residence permit that suits you best.


Working with a lawyer is critical to learn about visa requirements and whether your situation qualifies.


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


Be sure to gather all the necessary paperwork and send them to the appropriate Spanish embassy or consulate.


Then, travel to Spain once you have your visa.

You must obtain an employment visa before beginning work in Spain unless you are an EU citizen. Remember that working in Spain is different from working in the UK, so you must obtain a work visa before starting work.

Individuals seeking to live in Spain permanently may wish to consider the Entrepreneur and Investor Visa. This option is more costly but could lead to greater rewards.

You may apply for a non-lucrative visa to move to Spain, but you may not work here as a UK citizen with this visa.

Studying in Spain is possible for UK citizens with a student visa, who may remain in the country after their studies are complete to seek employment.

One of the best things about moving to Spain is that you can still keep your British nationality as Spain recognises dual citizenship. 

Step 1 – Understand Your Situation.

There are various residence permits in Spain, each with its procedure. For example, you must follow a different system to get a non-lucrative visa than one to get a work permit. Therefore, you should first determine which visa is best for you.

Despite Britons not being EU citizens, we can help you and ensure the process is simple. However, they may be difficult to fulfil despite all of the requirements and specifications.

Our lawyers can assist you in deciding whether a Spain resident visa is exactly what you require, in addition to assisting with Immigration officials, because we speak Spanish.


Step 2 – the immigration procedure

You typically begin the process in your home country unless you are applying for an entrepreneur visa or a highly skilled professional visa.

You must apply to the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your home country or the location where you are legally resident before travelling to Spain to obtain a Spanish visa.

After your application has been processed, the Embassy or Consulate will give you a visa so that you may enter Spain and stay there.

Make sure to travel within 90 days after the visa was issued.

Once you have received your NIE number, you must apply for a residence permit. A residency card is essentially what you receive.

You may live in the country for a year with this residence permit. After that, you may renew it for two more years if you still meet the exact requirements.

You may apply for Spanish citizenship after living in Spain for ten years.


Step 3 – Working in Spain

If you are an ex-pat, you must have a work visa to work in Spain.

Those seeking to reside in Spain who are unable to meet the stringent requirements for other types of visas may find the work visa a suitable replacement.

  • Most applications must be made from outside of Spain.
  • You must have a Spanish job offer and a work contract to get a work permit.
  • You can only work in positions where the government has identified a need.

We’ve helped hundreds of clients secure their EU blue card, so don’t delay and speak with Lexidy today. 


Step 4 – Moving to Spain but not working.

You can live in Spain as a UK citizen without working on a non-lucrative visa. Having enough money to sustain yourself there, however, would be ideal. 

With this visa, you can use your private or public pension to support yourself while living in Spain.


Step 5 – Getting an NIE

Obtaining a visa at the Spanish Embassy in your home country before arriving in Spain is required to get your NIE number.

In Spain, everything requires an NIE number. Furthermore, an NIE number is required to open a bank account, purchase a property, and more. It is also used to identify foreigners.

You must finish this procedure at your regional police station to get an NIE. However, if you follow the guidelines, it will be relatively simple.


Step 6 – The paperwork

You must have the following documents for each residence permit in Spain.

  • 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

More complex visa applications require more paperwork. For instance, the Golden Visa in Spain requires proof that the applicant has purchased a Spanish asset. In addition, the entrepreneurship visa requires the applicant to develop a business plan.


Step 7 – Translate the documents

All documents must be translated into Spanish and certified with a Hague Apostille. These documents are rejected if presented in the client’s native language, so everything must be translated into Spanish.


Step 8 – Move with your family.

An extended family may apply for a residence and work permit if the principal applicant has resided in the country for more than one year.

Spain counts the below as family:

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

Your family reunification residence permit application cannot be processed until your relative is out of the country.

Permanent residence

Individuals who reside in Spain for a year or longer can immediately seek permanent residency. This is common for those who initially planned to stay for a short period of time, as they are enticed by the country’s pleasant climate and possibilities. Therefore, Spain is a natural choice for many ex-pats who are seeking a new home.

You must live here for five years to get a permanent residency permit.

Golden Visa

Non-EU citizens, such as Britons, may become permanent residents of Spain through the Golden Visa Program. In addition, several fields of investment and real estate are available.

Starting and operating businesses is possible if you wish to immigrate to Spain. Our lawyers can assist you with that.


Individuals in the UK can establish and manage businesses with the greatest ease through the Wealth Visa programme. In addition to becoming Spanish citizens, Britons must also determine their tax resident status.

A person can apply for Spanish citizenship after living in Spain for at least five years, but the time required may vary depending on how the person arrived in the country.

Individuals with Spanish ancestry or married to a Spanish national may experience a significantly shorter wait time.


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
Luisa Rivera

Luisa Rivera


Sandra Faura

Carolina Gimeno

Carolina Gimeno



Eugenia Yanes

Eugenia Yanes

Legal Trainee
María Laura Arreaza

Maria Laura Arreaza

Immigration Administrative

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

Many Brits opt for living in Spain in big cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia. However, some prefer the slower pace of life on the Balearic Islands, the Costa del Sol. There are also lovely smaller Spanish cities such as Malaga, Granada, and Bilbao.

Like most things, you must consider the pros and cons of what you’re looking for from a new home.

People wishing to retire in Spain may do so if they have the appropriate visa. The Spain retirement visa, also known as the Golden Visa, is the one they may apply for.

Shopping, rent, healthcare, and eating out are all significantly cheaper in Spain than in the UK. In addition, the well-established social security system in Spain provides higher-quality public services to a greater proportion of the population.

Living outside of major cities has a much lower cost of living, but there is limited public transportation.

Furthermore, utilities like energy bills are much more affordable.

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