If you are planning on moving to Spain you receive congratulations on a job well done. Now, you need to get into the process of getting there and getting your life set up upon arrival. One of the first things you will need to do is to get the correct visa and immigration information. If you plan to be in the country for more than 182 days of the year, you will need to have a residency there. There are a wide range of different visa options available to you, and that alone may slow you down. But, unless your parents are Spanish citizens, you are likely to have to wait year to gain citizenship there.
Be aware of this time issue and start to working towards getting your visa as soon as possible.
To obtain your Spanish visa, you will need to visit the Spanish consulate located in your area of the United States. There, you will be able to get all of the paperwork filled out and apply for the visa. Unfortunately, the government requires that this be done in person.
The application process can take as long as six months (for residency visas, not tourist visas) and the specific visa to apply for is the Residency to Retire.
The next step in moving to Spain is to move your things with you. In most situations, it is best to bring only those things that you can’t live without. Otherwise, the transportation across the Atlantic Ocean can be very expensive. The fact is, nearly anything that you can find in the United States is available in Spain as well. Like the rest of Europe, you will need an adapter for any electrical items (as the US “plug” is not the same as the one in Spain.)
Moving to Spain is not as difficult as it may sound. The consulates will help you to get your residency requirements in line. More so, they will help you make the move easy enough. Do spend some time traveling in Spain so you get a feel for the quality of the country before making your move.
After several trips overseas I’ve found it much easier to pack light and buy there. Avoid the temptation to over pack at all costs. It might be a little painful to say goodbye to your belongings at first, but once you have arrived in your new home you will actually find it quite liberating to start fresh.
If you’re really not sure what you should bring or not, put your possessions in storage for a year and see what you really miss so that you can get those items shipped over to you later if you find you really need them. What you are likely to find though is that you won’t miss much, and after a year you can let a family member eBay or garage sale those items in storage for a little extra money to help furnish your new home overseas.