Moving to Spain is a challenge, but it’s one that thousands of people have found well worth the effort. However, when you first arrive you’ll need to be prepared for a few things. Here are a few tips to make things easier.
Copy everything at least twice and take everything with you. Spanish bureaucracy is famously complicated, and you never know when you’ll need a particular document.
The internet and social media are full of useful information about moving to Spain. Unfortunately, not all of it is reliable. Stick to official sites whenever possible, and double check everything.
Learning Spanish will help immensely as you settle on the island, but when you arrive you’re unlikely to be speaking at a level that will be sufficient for negotiating the many procedures you’ll have to go through. Many officials here speak a bit of English, but you’ll always be better off with the help of a native or fluent speaker.
You’ll probably be doing a lot of waiting after you arrive. Many places have queues or numbered tickets, but many others will operate the Spanish way – asking the bunch of people “quien es el último?” (Who’s the last one?) and then just keeping an eye on that person. In normal queues beware of little old ladies who push in with “una preguntita” (a little question), which usually takes 15 minutes to resolve.
Having friends here who have been through the same processes can be an immense help, but hiring a gestor or administrator who can guide you through is even more useful. Social media can be incredibly useful for expanding your social horizons.
Many ex-pats who move here spend their first few years moaning about how the locals do things. Some never get out of the habit. To avoid this, accept that things are done differently here and try to be positive. You’ll also find that certain procedures are easier and cheaper than they are at home.
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