An international move is a hugely exciting thing, with brand new opportunities, connections, and activities to discover and enjoy across the globe. If you’re a Canadian citizen in Canada, your options for international relocation are almost endless. When moving to Spain, or any global location, there are certain things that you need to know.
Paperwork and bureaucracy are a large part of any international move, particularly when moving so far across the globe, and the move from Canada to Spain is no different.
Moving to Spain
Whether moving to Barcelona, Madrid, or Mallorca, Spain is an incredible expat destination. Living in Spain can be an exciting adventure – such a sunny destination with a vibrant culture is bound to draw people from all over the world. Whether to study, work, or retire, Spain is an ideal place for Canadians with the right paperwork in hand.
Before moving to Spain from Canada, prospective movers should learn as much as possible about their new home. This includes aspects like language, culture, and cuisine. Our blog is full of information about Spain, so check out our top things to know about living in Spain.
Spain Entry Requirements
The first and most obvious entry requirement for Spain is a valid passport. Your Canadian passport will need to be valid for at least 3 months after the date you plan to leave.
Spain is part of the Schengen area. This means that if you are simply visiting Spain from Canada for short-term tourism, study, or business, you will not require a visa. The length of your stay will be limited to 90 days in any 180-day period. Longer stays in Spain will, of course, require you to present a valid visa for the length and reason of your travel from Canada.
of long-stay visas for Spain permit Canadian citizens to work, so you should ensure that you research Spanish visa types before making an application. Some of these long-stay visa types are:
- Spain Work Visa: You’ll need to present a selection of documents, including authorisation to work, proof of accommodation, a work contract, and a police record.
- Spain Golden Visa: This is also known as the Spain investor visa, a residence permit for those that make a significant investment in the country.
- Spain Entrepreneur Visa: This visa enables visitors to stay in Spain and engaged in paid activity, particularly for highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurs.
Along with a valid visa for your length and purpose of stay, you may also be required to display a return ticket to Canada and prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay.
How long can a Canadian stay in Spain?
Without a visa, the longest that a Canadian is permitted to stay in Spain is 90 days. They will then be unable to return for another 90 days. For longer-term stays, a long-term visa is required. The maximum length of this stay would depend on the specific visa type.
It’s important to note that new entries to Spain will be required to register for social security reasons and apply for a foreign identity card. This application for your foreigner’s identity number, or N.I.E., should be submitted to your local Consular Post. Canadians who have lived in Spain for 10 years, or less if you are married to a Spanish national for 1 year, are then allowed to apply for Spanish citizenship.
Working in Spain as a Canadian
Working in Spain is completely unique experience for visitors from other countries. The relaxed culture and massive emphasis on meal times mean your working day could start and end around 11 hours apart! But don’t worry, you wouldn’t be working for all of that time. Working and living in Spain as a Canadian, the concept of a siesta will be completely new. Your lunch break in Spain could last around 3 hours. This is a great opportunity to enjoy good food, get to know your coworkers, and recharge for the afternoon of work ahead of you.
Another thing to know about working in Spain is that it is often difficult to find work if you do not have any Spanish language skills. This is irrespective of working in a Spanish or a British company based in Spain. Spanish is a fairly easy language to learn, so this may be a good idea before embarking on a move to Spain from Canada.
Not sure what your job opportunities will be as a Canadian? The Spanish job market is difficult to navigate, but there are opportunities for those willing to search for them. Certain industries are still in need of strong workforce members, including engineering, IT, hospitality and healthcare.
Can I drive in Spain with a Canadian license?
With a valid driving license issued in Canada, visitors to Spain will need to acquire either an International Driver’s Permit or a Provincial Driving License in Spain. Both options require you to go to a registry office in Canada or at CAA offices or equivalent. You’ll need to present your home driver’s license in the province you are living in Canada. It will cost around CAD$30 and could take around 30 minutes.
You can also get a valid Spanish driving license while living in Spain if you wish to drive. To do so, you’ll need to find a Spanish driving school, register there and pass medical, written and practice tests.
Can a Canadian get a mortgage in Spain?
Generally, you will find that there are many mortgage providers in Spain that lend to foreign citizens, with no general restriction on particular nationalities. Non-resident borrowers in Spain will be permitted to borrow less of the property’s value compared to Spanish residents, usually, 60-70% compared to 80%. Whatsmore, interest rates may be higher for foreigners. Some mortgages, however, will tend to be aimed at buyers from specific countries or regions, so Canadians in Spain should be prepared to do research before expecting to buy Spanish property.
Canadian expats in Spain
If you’re hoping to join the Canadian expat community in Spain, GMS can help. With expert moving advice and a wide breadth of service to ease your international move, we are the ideal company to help you with any part of your relocation from Canada to Spain. Get in touch with our team today.