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How to Move to Spain Without a Job 

How to Move to Spain Without a Job 

With gorgeous islands and beaches, amazing historic cities, and food and wine that’ll bring a tear to your eye, Spain has long been a favorite of expats from all over the world – and with good reason!

The awesome weather – pretty much all year round – and fairly low cost of living compared to many western countries makes it an attractive place to either visit or move to on a more permanent basis. 

The tricky thing with moving to any new country is getting a visa and actually being able to work and survive there. So, can you move to Spain without a job and how can you many that Spanish relocation dreams a reality?

Let’s dive in and find out more.

Can You Move to Spain Without a Job?

The short answer is yes, there are definitely ways to move to Spain without a job. That being said, there are a lot of criteria that you need to hit to be eligible. Of course, as it always does with moving abroad, it comes down to which visas you’re eligible for. 

In Spain, the main visas that don’t require you to have a job offer are: 

  • student visas, 
  • non-lucrative visas, 
  • golden visas,
  • Or family reunification visas

This doesn’t mean that you can work on all of these visas. In fact, the whole point of a non-lucrative visa is that you can’t actually work on it and you need to have a good chunk of change saved up in advance.

Even the newly launched Digital Nomad Visa requires you to have existing contracts with companies registered outside Spain with a commitment of at least a year. So, choices are limited here. 

Do You Have Enough Money to Move to Spain Without a Job?

Given that you’re moving to Spain without a job, you need to make sure you have enough saved up to get yourself started. You’ll also need a big enough buffer if for some reason you don’t get a job as quickly as you might like.

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Although Spain has pretty affordable accommodation costs that range from as little as $450 a month for a studio in a small city to $2,000 for a two-bed apartment in a bigger city, you’ll need the first month’s rent, deposit, and referencing costs. This also doesn’t include utilities and local taxes. 

The average single person’s monthly spend for someone living in a mid-sized Spanish city and not living like a shut-in is around $1,600. For safety’s sake, you’ll need at least three times that to get you set up and settled, and give yourself enough time to at least find a coffee shop gig to keep your expenses ticking over.

coins in a jar

Of course, you also need to be able to get out there. International flights from the east coast of the US can start for as little as $600 but can easily stretch up to $2,000 if you’re on the west coast or are flying to or from a smaller airport.

You’ll also need to put aside a decent amount of time and money for visa applications. Depending on the visa you’re going for, it’s likely to be a few hundred dollars. 

So, all in all, on average, you’re probably looking at around $7,000 in savings to move from the US to Spain without a job and be fairly comfortable.

That is assuming that you’re intending on getting a job when you arrive. If you’re not you’re going to need a way bigger pot of saving – like retirement levels!

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Getting a Visa for Spain

So, this is always the sticking point. If you don’t have a job you’re limited to 

  • student visas, 
  • golden visas,
  • Or family reunification visas
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On a student visa in Spain, you can work up to 30 hours a week alongside your studies. You don’t need to do a full degree or anything, you might just sign up for a language school in Spain and an acceptance letter should be enough proof to help you get a student visa.

If you’re rolling in cash, you can apply for a Golden Visa. Basically, you need to invest a huge amount of money in the Spanish economy and buy your way in.

The most popular way of doing this is buying a property worth 500,000 Euros or more. If you can do that at the drop of a hat, you don’t need to work anyway!

Finally, if you have family already in Spain, you can apply for a family reunification visa. In this case, your existing family members are kind of vouching for you in the eyes of the Spanish government. With this visa, you can easily get a work permit once you’re in the country. 

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Getting a Job in Spain

So, you’ve saved, you’ve got your visa, and now you’re in Spain. Now, how do you get a job? It depends on what kind of job you’re angling for.

Ideally, if you’re wanting to stay longer than your current visa allows, you want to get a job with a company that offers visa sponsorship.

a coffee shop counter

There are plenty of Google searches that will help you filter these companies out, and you can always ask in expat forums for help and advice. One of the best places to find jobs abroad is still LinkedIn.

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You can filter by area, seniority, and the number of hours per week, and even contact the hiring person if you’re unsure about anything.

If you’re looking for a more part-time gig, coffee shops, restaurants, hostels, hotels, and retail are all great places to start looking. Especially in bigger cities, places are always hiring, especially if you can speak Spanish and English fluently.

If your Spanish isn’t quite good enough yet, a lot of hospitality in Europe tends to be multilingual, especially in non-customer-facing roles like housekeeping, kitchen-based work, or repairs. This way you can start earning and pick up Spanish in a more immersive way. It’s a win-win. 

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