Moving to Spain as an expatriate

There are many reasons to move to Europe, and specifically Spain. For a country that is often in the news for financial reasons, it actually has a high quality of life. According to a recent study (by the World Health Organisation) the life expectancy is higher in Spain than anywhere else in Europe, with females living up to 85 years old and males living to an average age of 78, compared to the average life expectancy in Great Britain of 82 and 75, respectively. According to, this is mostly because of their “Mediterranean diet and lower alcohol consumption”.
Although rewarded with a higher life expectancy and a fairer climate than that of the UK, expats looking to move to Spain should also consider potential pit-falls, such as recent warnings by the Spanish tax authorities to British expats over potential penalties if they fail to declare overseas assets. British residents in Spain will have until the end of April (2013) to declare any overseas assets worth more than £44,000 or face fines that could be in excess of the value of the asset. British expats are considered to be residents of Spain if they reside there for more than 183 days a year.
The most popular Spanish region for British expats is Valencia, where the local health authority has recently been involved in a campaign to raise awareness amongst Britons over their use of the health service and European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs), which are designed for temporary stays in the country rather than permanent residents. British expats living in Spain need to register for the S1/E121 scheme (which is their equivalent of the British national insurance system). For more information on the Spanish health service for British expats, visit
For British entrepreneurs moving to Spain to start a business there are a number of grants and incentives available from at various levels, from city councils to EU level, a good place to start your search for these grants is the invest in Spain website – . For those looking to retire in Spain, there is even a retired person’s visa (‘visa de jubilados’) available, which will entitle the holder to live in the country without working. The current retirement age in Spain is 65, although there are plans to raise this to 67.
If you’re moving to Spain, find out how our international removals team can help to arrange packing, storage and transportation on your behalf.