Which part of Spanish life is calling your name out loud? From the delicious wine and paella to the gorgeous beaches and stunning buildings, moving to Spain from USA can be exciting.

You can get a 90-day tourism visa which lets you explore its rich and ancient history, romantic castles, and fabulous cities. There’s no doubt you’ll decide to move permanently. A Permanent Residency Visa will let you live and work in Spain.

Europe has always been an appealing destination for Americans and Spain is quite attractive to US citizens. Whether you want to move for work or retirement purposes, there might be thousands of questions bugging your mind right now.

From cost of living to how to get residency, we have summarised your worries by answering most of the frequently asked questions about moving to Spain from USA.

Let’s take a look at them, shall we?

Can a US Citizen Move to Spain?

Yes, you can apply and get a Spanish Permanent Residency Visa which will let you live and work in Spain. The Permanent Residency Visa in Spain is valid for 5 years. With this Visa, you can also get a Spanish passport. You can apply to become a Spanish citizen after living in Spain for 10 uninterrupted years.

A US citizen can also get student visas or non-lucrative residency visas, which allow you to live in Spain without working there. To renew certain residencies like the non-lucrative visa, you must stay in the country for 183 days minimum, so you must become a resident.

Another way to move to Spain from the USA is using a golden visa. This means that you undertake to make a property investment in Spain amounting to 500,000€.

So, U.S. citizens who want to visit Spain can apply for a Schengen Visa at any Spanish embassy or consulate in the United States. In addition to Schengen Tourist Visas, you can also apply for Student Visas, Work Visas, and Residence Visas. 

How Long Can a US Citizen Live in Spain?

You can live in Spain for 3 months without a visa. By this, you’re living as a tourist on the 90-day rule. So, you need to obtain a residency permit or leave the country by the end of that 90 days.

The residency permit will give you 2 years to live in Spain. It is also renewable, as long as you still meet the economic requirements and you have lived at least 183 days in Spain each year.

Another preferred option for many foreigners is marriage. If you register as a civil partnership in Spain with a European Union citizen, you can obtain your 5 years permanent residence permit easily.

Can I Permanently Move to Spain?

Yes, you can get a residency permit which is usually issued for a period of 2 years and is renewable provided you live at least 6 months each year. After 5 years of holding the temporary residence permit, you will be qualified for permanent residency.

How Much Income Do I Need to Move to Spain?

You must have an income of at least €25,560 annually ($25,535.72), plus €6,390 ($6,381.93) per each additional family member if you plan to move to Spain with a Non-lucrative residence visa. This visa does not entitle you to work in Spain so you must have sufficient income to support yourself and your dependents.

However, you can live comfortably in Spain for about $2,000-2,200 a month somewhere in a big city. So leaving aside rent or mortgage payments, depending on your lifestyle, a couple could easily live on $20,000 to $22,000 a year and still have enough to eat out.

Is Spain Cheaper Than USA?

Yes, the cost of living in Spain is 123% cheaper than in the USA on average. In fact, Spain has one of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe, even in the cities. The biggest differences in cost when compared to the USA are in rent, utilities, groceries, daycare, and health insurance.

For instance, eating out for lunch or dinner in Spain can be very cheap. You can find menus for 10 euros, including first, second, drink, and dessert. A regular Cappuccino goes for about 1.71 euros in 2022 while a 1-pint draught of Domestic Beer goes for 2.50 euros.

Does Spain Have Free Healthcare?

You’ll find both state and private healthcare systems in Spain. State healthcare is public and free of charge to anyone living and working in Spain. It provides free basic healthcare services to those who contribute to the Spanish social security system and their families. The state healthcare system also provides free healthcare for retirees, including those from other EU countries.


Moving to Spain from USA is achievable. There are different visas for different moving goals. A Schengen Visa will get you 90 day living period which will cost you about €80 for an adult and €40 for a child 12 years of age and above.

A student visa will cost you about €141 and last through your study period. A work visa will cost €167. While a residency (non-lucrative) visa will cost you about €123.

Moving to Spain from the US has its pros and cons. On the good side, the cost of living is cheaper, there’s also the historical and cultural setting to enjoy.

On the other hand, the process of moving to Spain and getting your visa can be a bit challenging. There are tons of requirements and documents you must submit.

That can be overwhelming, depending on your situation. But in the end, achieving your goal of moving can bring overwhelming joy.


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