Spain not only welcomes a significant number of tourists each year, but it also has the largest ex-pat population in the EU. It today has approximately 6 million foreign residents, making the country a wonderful multicultural melting pot.
Britain makes up the majority of those expats, but Spain also draws a considerable number of Americans. According to research conducted by the American insurance company Home Shield based on Google searches, Spain is the second most popular country for US citizens to relocate to.
If we look at the statistics, we see that Spain is the European country with the most American residents, and this population grew by 13% between 2019 and 2021. According to INE data, 11,717 Americans were living in the Madrid region in 2021. Catalonia came in second with 8,802 US citizens, followed by Andalusia with 6,658.
More than 377,000 Americans flew to Spain in June 2022, an increase of 86.9% from the same month in the previous pre-pandemic year of 2019. And it is well known that the majority of them had plans to apply for a visa for long-term residency in Spain. It is estimated that currently, around 40 thousand Americans live in Spain.
What is attracting Americans to move to Spain?
One of Spain's appeals to Americans is a combination of its wonderful climate and diverse culture. Moreover, the majority of Americans learn Spanish in school, making it the most widely spoken second language in the country. That’s why they become familiar with the country and its culture at an early age, and this foreign land stands out as a safer spot when choosing an overseas country to visit or live in.
Another key reason is the present strong dollar against the euro. They know they can get their money's worth, so they are looking for a wise investment.
Many Americans who relocate to Spain adore the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle. Spanish people prefer to take their time and enjoy life, whereas American culture goes at the speed of light.
Additionally, there are countless activities and destinations in Spain. It is easy to find what you are looking for in Spain, whether you enjoy art, beach life, or a nature-oriented village lifestyle.
Americans can live more affordably in Spain than they can in the US, especially in terms of food, dining out, and medical expenses. In addition, one of the strongest public healthcare systems in Europe is found in Spain (Sistema Nacional de Salud, or SNS).
American ex-pats can qualify for the SNS if they contribute to social security via job or self-employment in Spain. If they are a legal resident, their family members may also be eligible for the SNS. This advantage might perhaps be the primary motivation for relocating to Spain, considering how pricey the healthcare system in the US is.
How to move to Spain as an American? Which Spanish visa is better?
The Spain digital nomad visa is currently the most popular visa for American ex-pats. It allows Americans to work remotely while living legally in Spain for longer than 90 days. It offers the opportunity to live in Spain for up to five years with renewals.
This visa was designed exclusively for digital nomads. Due to this, it differs from other types of visas for Spain in terms of the rights and privileges it gives as well as the conditions required for applying. You can learn more about the Digital Nomad Visa in Spain here.
However, if you intend to settle in Spain in the long term, then the best choice for you will be the Golden Visa in Spain. It is because there are some drawbacks to obtaining residency in Spain under this visa for digital nomads, such as tax issues, but the benefits of the Spain Golden Visa include protections in many ways. Moreover, you can also apply for citizenship after a certain time.
The important thing to remember here is that it demands a certain amount of investment. You should buy a property in Spain as an American worth at least €500,000. The property can be one single unit or several as soon as the overall value is not less than €500,000.
Of course, the program also allows for other kinds of investments. But working with an expert is crucial at this point. With an expert, you will save a ton of time and money by selecting a visa type that will support your long-term goals, and the chance of getting denied is eliminated during the application procedure.
If you are missing any documents, your entire effort could be for waste. Because of this, Spain Homes carefully manages your process with the help of our team of real estate professionals and attorneys. Call us for more information about the visa processes.
Best places to live in Spain as an American
Whether you are a remote worker, a business person, a retiree, or a traveler, Spain has a lot to offer. Its destination diversity meets all lifestyle needs, from lively city centers to relaxed beach settlements.
The most well-known are Barcelona and Madrid, but what of Spain's other great jewels, Malaga, Alicante, and Granada?
Let’s start with Malaga! The city is perfectly clean and bright, with a pedestrian-only city center and a seafront promenade. Along with fantastic dining options and a wide variety of shops to suit all tastes and budgets, more than 30 museums attract travelers.
The majority of the homes here are seaside, with magnificent sea views from their balconies. Malaga promises a comfortable as well as a metropolitan lifestyle. There are numerous educational and employment options nearby. It is easy to find a job here to work in Spain as an American.
Alicante is a total beach tourism city. Because of the region's warm sea and sun, Northern Europeans flock here. They can take a flight to the city's international airport, which links Alicante to locations around Europe. Spaniards visit here as well for their annual beach holiday.
This location is excellent for leading a relaxed vacation-style lifestyle. Additionally, because it is a tourist area, renting out your home to tourists will earn you a lot of income. If you desire a vacation-like beach lifestyle with a good return on investment, this is the place to be.
With mountains to the north and beaches to the south, moving to Granada will put you in the best possible location to take advantage of all kinds of outdoor activities. Granada has friendly locals and an interconnected ex-pat population, and social events take place every day of the week.
It is also popular with students and therefore all the time lively. It is a very walkable city as well. Being a university town, it is relatively affordable to live here, and Granada housing costs are fair.