Traveling or Moving to Spain: Requirements, Tips, and More

Embarking on a new adventure in Spain is an exhilarating prospect, whether you’re planning a temporary escape or a permanent relocation. From its vibrant cities to its stunning beaches and rich cultural heritage, Spain has something to offer for everyone. In this article, we unravel the essential information and insider tips to help you make the most of your journey. Whether you’re dreaming of a short-term visit or a long-term stay, join us as we explore the ins and outs of moving or traveling to Spain. Get ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting allure of this captivating country and embark on an unforgettable Spanish experience.

90 Days In, 90 Days Out Rule for Canadian and American Visitors

Are you ready to embark on an exciting trip to Spain (and other countries in the Schengen area) from Canada or the United States? The good news is, you can enter these countries with just your passport—no visa required! So, pack your bags and get ready for an adventure filled with vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes.

Here’s the deal: you’re allowed to stay in Spain for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. And the best part? You can enter the country hassle-free with just your passport. Just make sure your passport is valid for the duration of your stay, and you’re good to go.

However, if you’re planning to extend your stay in the Schengen area beyond the 90-day limit, you’ll need to apply for a visa. Don’t worry, it’s a straightforward process. Simply reach out to the high commission or embassy of the country (or countries) you’ll be visiting and obtain the appropriate visa(s) before your travel dates. They will provide you with the necessary information and guidance to ensure a smooth and seamless visa application.

Remember, if you’re planning to explore the Schengen area for an extended period, it’s important to take the visa requirements seriously. Contact the relevant authorities well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications and make the most of your time in Europe.

So, get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Spain and beyond. Pack your passport, a sense of adventure, and an appetite for unforgettable experiences. Spain is waiting to welcome you with open arms!

Beyond Schengen: Exploring Non-Schengen Destinations

If you are looking to temporarily leave the Schengen area and travel back to Spain, you may consider exploring destinations outside of the Schengen zone. Here are a few options:

United Kingdom: While no longer part of the European Union, the United Kingdom offers a diverse range of experiences. Visit iconic landmarks in London, explore the beautiful countryside of Scotland, or immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of cities like Manchester or Edinburgh.

Morocco: Located just across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain, Morocco is a fascinating country with a rich history and vibrant culture. Discover the bustling markets of Marrakech, wander through the blue streets of Chefchaouen, or explore the ancient medina of Fes.

Turkey: Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Turkey offers a unique blend of cultures and traditions. Explore the vibrant city of Istanbul, visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus, or relax on the stunning beaches of Antalya.

Cyprus: An island nation in the eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus boasts beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and a rich cultural heritage. Discover the historic streets of Nicosia, relax on the sandy shores of Ayia Napa, or explore the archaeological sites of Paphos.

These destinations provide opportunities to explore new cultures, landscapes, and experiences before returning to Spain. Remember to check the entry requirements and any visa regulations for each country you plan to visit to ensure a smooth journey.

Please note that while Cyprus is not part of the Schengen area, it is a member of the European Union, and different regulations may apply for entry and stay.

COVID-19 Guidelines and Restrictions

While it is no longer mandatory to wear a mask in Spain, there are still some exceptions to keep in mind:

  • Workers, visitors, and patients must wear masks at health centers and in pharmacies, except for those who have been hospitalized and are in their room.
  • Masks are required for workers and visitors in shared areas of socio-sanitary centers, such as nursing homes.
  • Children under the age of six are exempt from wearing masks under any circumstances.
  • As of February 8, 2023, wearing masks on public transport is no longer mandatory.

Great news! Currently, there are no travel restrictions to enter Spain by air, which means you don’t need to present any health certificates or control forms. However, if the epidemiological situation worsens or new variants of the virus emerge, new measures may be recommended.

But hold on, there’s an exception for travelers arriving from the People’s Republic of China. Starting January 3, 2023, all persons arriving in Spain from China must carry an EU Digital COVID Certificate or equivalent. This certificate can be for vaccination, a negative diagnostic test, or a certificate of recovery. If you don’t have this document, you must carry a test certificate confirming that you’re not actively infected with COVID-19. Make sure to check the specific requirements for each type of certificate to ensure it’s valid.

Now, let’s talk about entry into Spain. If you’re traveling from China and can’t present the required health documents, you may still be allowed entry if you fall into one of the following categories:

a) You’re a habitual resident of the European Union, Schengen-associated states, Andorra, Monaco, the Vatican (Holy See), or San Marino, and you’re en route to one of those countries.

b) You hold a long-stay visa issued by a Member State or Schengen-associated state, and you’re en route to that country.

c) You’re a crew member of national or international means of transport needed to carry out transport operations.

d) You can provide documentary evidence of force majeure or urgent need, or your entry is permitted on humanitarian grounds.

e) You’re a traveler under 12 years of age.

f) You’re arriving in Spain in transit to another country, as long as you don’t leave the airport environment.

For travelers arriving in Spain by air from China, there might be a health check upon arrival. This inspection usually includes temperature checks, document verification, and a visual assessment of your condition. In some cases, a diagnostic test for active COVID-19 infection may also be conducted.

Requirements Based on How You Travel

Let’s dive into the specific requirements based on the means of travel:

If you’re traveling by air: You won’t be asked to present an SpTH health check form or a COVID-19 certificate. However, do remember the exception for travelers arriving from China, which we discussed earlier.

If you’re traveling by sea: If you’re arriving by sea from an EU/Schengen country, there are no COVID-19 restrictions to worry about.

If you’re arriving by sea from non-EU/Schengen countries and you’re 12 years of age or older, you might need to present one of the following documents:

  • Proof of vaccination (EU Covid digital certificate, equivalent, or other acceptable proof).
  • A negative COVID-19 test (PCR taken within 72 hours before departure or antigen detection test taken within 24 hours before departure).
  • A recovery certificate issued at least 11 days after the first NAAT diagnostic test or antigen detection test with a positive result. This certificate remains valid for 180 days from the date of the first positive COVID test result.

And what if you’re traveling by land?

  • No health control form is required for entry into Spain.
  • Travelers entering Spain or Portugal by land from France are no longer required to provide any type of health certificate, whether it’s related to vaccination, diagnostic tests, or recovery.
  • The land borders of the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla from Morocco currently have no health restrictions for access.

Moving to Spain

If you’re considering a more long-term stay in Spain or even planning to relocate permanently, here are some important things to know:

Residency Requirements: Depending on your nationality and the purpose of your stay, you may need to apply for a residence permit or visa. The requirements can vary, so it’s advisable to check with the Spanish consulate or embassy in your home country for the most up-to-date information.

NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero): The NIE is a foreigner identification number that is required for various administrative processes in Spain, such as opening a bank account, buying property, or signing contracts. You will need to apply for a NIE at a local police station or Foreigners’ Office (Oficina de Extranjeros).

Healthcare: Once you become a resident of Spain, you’ll have access to the country’s healthcare system. To ensure coverage, it’s important to register with the local health center (Centro de Salud) and obtain a health card (Tarjeta Sanitaria). This card allows you to benefit from the public healthcare system. However, if you’re in the process of applying for residency, you’ll need to show proof of private health insurance that is valid in Spain.

It’s worth noting that access to the public healthcare system as a permanent resident is typically granted after living in Spain for five years. However, if you’re employed or self-employed in Spain, you may be eligible for coverage sooner. Additionally, you have the option to obtain private health insurance to cater to your medical needs. Make sure to explore both public and private healthcare options to determine the best fit for you.

Finding Accommodation: Spain offers a variety of housing options, including apartments, houses, and shared accommodations. Popular platforms for finding rentals include Idealista, Fotocasa, and Airbnb. Consider your budget, location preferences, and the duration of your stay when searching for accommodation.

Financial Considerations: It’s important to understand the financial aspects of living in Spain. Familiarize yourself with the cost of living, taxes, and banking services. Setting up a Spanish bank account will make it easier to manage your finances and handle day-to-day expenses.

Learning Spanish: While it’s possible to get by with English in tourist areas and major cities, learning Spanish will greatly enhance your experience and integration into Spanish society. Being able to communicate with locals in their native language opens doors to deeper connections and a deeper understanding of the culture.

Consider taking language classes, enrolling in language exchange programs, or using language learning resources such as online platforms like Gymglish, which offer interactive lessons tailored to your level and interests. Embracing the Spanish language will enrich your everyday interactions, from ordering at local markets to making new friends.

Exploring the Local Culture: Spain boasts a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Take the time to explore the traditions, cuisine, and festivities of the region where you’re living. Attend local festivals, visit museums and historical sites, and sample traditional dishes. Immerse yourself in the local customs and traditions, and embrace the vibrant lifestyle that Spain has to offer.

Connecting with the Community: Building connections with the local community can make your transition smoother and more rewarding. Consider joining local clubs or organizations related to your interests, participating in community events, or volunteering for local causes. Engaging with the community not only helps you make friends but also allows you to gain a deeper understanding of Spanish life and forge meaningful connections.

Employment Opportunities: If you plan to work in Spain, it’s essential to understand the job market and employment regulations. Depending on your qualifications and language skills, there may be opportunities in various sectors such as tourism, education, technology, and more. Research job portals, network with professionals, and consider seeking guidance from local employment agencies.

Remember to consult official sources and seek professional advice when considering a move to Spain. Each individual’s situation may vary, so it’s crucial to ensure compliance with the applicable laws and regulations.

Moving to Spain can be an exciting adventure, offering a blend of history, culture, and a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle. Best of luck with your plans for relocation, and may your new life in Spain be filled with memorable experiences!

Phew, that was a lot of information, but now you’re up to speed on planning your trip to Spain. Enjoy your journey and have a fantastic time exploring the beauty and culture of this wonderful country!

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