Relocating to Spain

28 April 2024

The culture of modern Spain is something many people are still discovering. ~ Jose Andres

Have you been thinking about moving to Spain from the U.S.? Spain is the Number 1 Country for relocation according to the number of visas filed by Americans. Years ago, Spain was considered ‘mañanaland,’ a place of sand, sangrias, and siestas. Modern Spain is very different from the place my parents found in the 1960s. Yes, you will find a country with a rich heritage dating to pre-history times. On Mallorca and Menorca, you can visit Talaiot villages. In Barcelona, La Sagrada Familia welcomes 5 million tourists annually. The Blue Flag beaches frame a way of life that enchant most Americans.

Recently, the seasonal direct flights on United to Palma de Mallorca, Spain’s third busiest airport, I’ve seen more Americans arriving with cash to buy property and settle in to a different lifestyle.

Relocating to Mallorca comes with unique challenges. Modern times have brought better sanitation systems, but property deeds are still ambiguous, requiring an ethically and diligent lawyer to sort out the legalities. Applying for residency is straightforward in theory but obtaining a residency permit and minimizing Spain’s tax obligations requires planning. If you are interested, read on to find ways to ease your anxiety about moving to a foreign country.

Magaluff Beach

Why are Americans looking at Spain? #

Most of my family and friends say they want a more laid-back lifestyle at top their list of reasons to relocate. But here are a few other reasons that make the financial case for moving:

  • Financial: You can save money on your total budget when your allocations are readjusted. Food, housing, daycare, and healthcare costs are, on average, 123% less in Spain than the U.S. To be clear, Mallorca is one of the most expensive places to live in Spain. Yet, when you factor in the lifestyle and ease of living here, the cost is reasonable compared to other world-class cities.
  • Personal Safety: Shocking facts, you are 9 times more likely to experience violent crime in the U.S. than in Spain. Women and girls are 8 times more likely to be raped or assaulted in the U.S. than in Spain.
  • Healthcare: Mallorca has the best healthcare in Europe. The Balearic Government has taken special care to fund the infrastructure for up-to-date hospitals and PACs (urgent care facilities in villages). Private facilities are available at a fraction of the cost through the private healthcare insurance coverage you will need when applying for residency. You can also use the travel insurance you contract for on long trips. Don’t forget Global Rescue as evacuation insurance is much better if you like extreme sports like rock climbing, parasailing, and cycling. Check out the affiliate articles to read more.
Good healthcare

Residency Permits for Spain #

With direct flights to 150 destinations in 29 countries, there are easy ways to stay connected if you select Mallorca and a friend chooses Lisbon. One of the many benefits to becoming a legal resident on the island? You qualify for a travel discount on airlines so getting on and off the island becomes less expensive.

The Spanish Government offers a number of options for residency, depending on your personal circumstances. Remember, you do not need to be independently wealthy to move to Spain. But you will need resources. Spain is no longer the least expensive place to immigrate. Other countries have created good tax and immigration policies for Americans. For more on Residency for Non-Schengen Residents, click here >> Spanish Residency for Non-EU Citizens.

If you are interested in investigating residency, contact Bryan Giménez at Izeta Abogados. He wrote this article for options for investing in Spain and acquiring a visa. >> Spain Golden Visa by Investment

Calvia Village 2 copy

Taxes in Spain

Living in Spain has a tax consequence for residents. Like the U.S., France, Portugal and other countries, Spain taxes on worldwide income. Of course, everyone's situation is individual. We recommend our tax adviser, Maria García, tax lawyer and specialist at MG Abogados. She has written several articles that you may find helpful >>

Finding a Home #

If you want to live on Mallorca but do not know where to start your property search, I recommend reading our Village Profiles. This will show you the amazingly diverse areas on the island.

You may or may not know that Mallorca and Spain are known for improperly registered deeds. When someone assures you that a property is legal, make sure to have a reliable attorney to verify the papers. Otherwise, you may pay more later. Sellers may not know their properties are not legal or valued property at the Catastral so doing a bit of homework is crucial to insuring a peaceful transition here.

The reality is that good properties are not easy to find. We recommend Mallorca, inc. to support your property search. They are exclusive agents for properties and can also support you for properties outside of their listings. With patience, they know how to navigate the environment and can support your move. For direct contact, reach out to them here >>> Mallorca Inc. or click on the ad on the magazine. This will link you directly with them.

Fundacion Rana charity mallorca min

Fundacion Rana

A Few Musts #

  • Create a meaningful life. Check out our article on Volunteering and Charity Work. No matter what your interest, you will definitely find a way to get involved and meet people who have similar interests. We also have a Directory of Charities. Take a look to find a place for you to contribute your talents and experience.
  • Learn the language. While speaking Spanish or Catalán is not imperative to living here, it helps to soften the landing with your neighbors. Many apps exist that are good to help support learning a new language. For children in schools, you have plenty of choices about how immersive you want for your child’s education. Here’s an article about Schools >> Finding the Perfect School on Mallorca. Catalán is the official language of the Balearics. If you want to take a course at the University of the Balearic Islands, you will need to speak Spanish or Catalán.
  • Relax. Years ago, a family friend looked at my wristwatch and said, “You won’t need to be so tied to time here.” That’s somewhat true. While Mallorca has joined the fast pace of other major international cities, we are more relaxed here. So, take life slow, enjoy the beauty of the island!
Girl In Hammock Reading Sunset

If you have a dream to live in a beautiful place but want the comforts of home, Mallorca has it all…and more. To explore more of what the island has to offer, use our search feature or click on the #VillageProfiles to read more.


  • personal experience after decades on Mallorca

28 April, 2024

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