Spain Country Profile

Passport Ranking
Passport Score
Visa-free Countries
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Capital City

Largest City

Spanish, regional languages
47.4 million

Life Expectancy
82.6 years
GDP (nominal)
$1.4 trillion

Cost of Living
English Proficiency
Moderate (4/7)
Very comfortable (1/5)
Very Safe (2/7)
Clean (2/5)
Moderate (3/5)

Taxation Type: Residence-based

New residents can avoid taxation of non-Spanish income for 5 years by taking advantage of the "Beckham Law".

Sovereign Research's take:

Spain is part of the European Economic Area (EEA), allowing its citizens to live and work in any other EEA country, plus Switzerland. (The EEA consists of 27 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.)
It’s hard not to like Spain.

Its famous beaches, in particular, attract scores of travelers and settlers from all over the world on an annual basis. 

Spain is a place of raw energy and diverse landscapes. Ranging from the Pyrenees Mountains in the North and lush vegetation in the Northwest to deserts in the south and plains in the west, the country is truly a dream destination for explorers.

Then, of course, there are the Spanish cities. Madrid is magnificent, and was once the capital of a vast Spanish Empire. Many of South America’s most precious cultural artifacts and treasures are still housed in the city's museums.

Then there is Barcelona, a city that combines everything you may desire – from great weather and amazing restaurants to a fabulous lifestyle and Gaudi’s architecture.

Combine this with a very reasonable cost of living, and you have a recipe for an amazing place to live and retire.

To settle in Spain, consider the Non-lucrative Residency program. It will work well if you have sufficient savings or an independent stream of income. (A Sovereign Research team member successfully used it to settle in the country in 2020.)

And if you don't want to live in Spain full time just yet, but you do want Spanish residency as a backup option, you can also consider the country’s Golden Visa.

Spain should also be interesting for citizens of Latin American countries (including Puerto Rico) and the Philippines. You can become a Spanish citizen after just two years of residency, instead of the standard ten years. And importantly, in this case, you won't have to give up your previous citizenship to become Spanish.

Another great opportunity comes from a special treaty between Spain and Guatemala. Guatemalans can apply for Spanish citizenship immediately after obtaining residency in Spain.

Just don't think that you’ll easily strike it rich in Spain. The problem is that Spain is all about lifestyle and very little about work.

Socialist economic policies, persistent youth unemployment, and an overall sluggish economy have taken a real toll on this country in recent years. Consequently, many adult Spaniards still live with their parents.

But if you’re making your money outside of the country, Spain can be an excellent “lifestyle option” to consider..

Service Providers available in Spain in Sovereign Research's Rolodex:

  • Immigration (residency, citizenship)
  • Tax advice (attorneys and/or accountants)
  • Corporate services (company formation, etc.)
  • Real Estate (agents, lawyers)
Obtain access by signing up for Sovereign Confidential

Spain inside Sovereign Research resources
(opens in a new window)

16-Dec-2212/16/22Total Access Monthly Call Recording: Spanish Residency, Citizenship and Taxation with Balcells Group Sovereign Total AccessTAMonthly Calls
13-Dec-2212/13/22Total Access Special Report – Country Profile: Spain Sovereign Total AccessTAOther
05-Dec-2212/05/22 Next TA Service Provider Call: Send Us Your Questions On Spanish Residency, Taxation, and More Sovereign Total AccessTAMonthly Calls
28-Oct-2210/28/22October 2022 SC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
25-Oct-2210/25/22Europe Offers Great Tax Incentives for New Residents Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
15-Sep-2209/15/22Plan B Strategies of Team Sovereign Man Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
29-Aug-2208/29/22August 2022 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
15-Aug-2208/15/22“Food Secure” Countries in the World — One Might be Right for You Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
06-Jun-2206/06/22A Common-Law Partnership Can Lead to Foreign Residency Similar to Marriage Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
05-Mar-2203/05/22European Golden Visas 2023: A Comprehensive Roundup Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
04-Mar-2203/04/22He Moved to High-tax Spain but Saved BIG on Taxes Sovereign ConfidentialSMCCase Study
15-Feb-2202/15/22The Blue Card: European Residency for Professionals Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
29-Dec-2112/29/21December 2021 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
24-Nov-2111/24/21The Ultimate Plan B Guide: How To Be Free in an Unfree World Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
05-Nov-2111/05/21Where In The World Are Vaccine Mandates Unconstitutional? Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
15-Oct-2110/15/2110 Residency Options for Digital Entrepreneurs, Freelancers & Remote Employees Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
05-Oct-2110/05/21European Citizenships by Ancestry: Part I (Southern Europe) Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
17-Jul-2107/17/21Best European Visas for People with Independent Means (2023 Edition) Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
15-Jun-2106/15/21Here Are 15 Factors to Consider Before Your International Move Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
05-Mar-2103/05/21This agreement allows Guatemalans to become Spanish citizens in record time Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
09-Feb-2102/09/21The Sovereign Man Starter Guide Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
29-Jan-2101/29/21January 2021 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
25-Jan-2101/25/21Reporting requirements when applying for residency/citizenship programs Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
15-Dec-2012/15/20Obtain these foreign residencies without leaving your home country Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
05-Oct-2010/05/20Here is how you can live in Spain and pay no taxes Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
15-Sep-2009/15/20These eight countries are offering 12-month visas or temporary residencies to digital workers Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
31-Aug-2008/31/20August 2020 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
05-Aug-2008/05/20How to turn opportunities into freedom - from someone who has done it Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
01-Jul-2007/01/20June 2020 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
30-Apr-2004/30/20April 2020 SMC Q&A Sovereign ConfidentialSMCQ&A
14-Feb-2002/14/20Puerto Rico: A backdoor way into a Spanish passport Sovereign ConfidentialSMCMonthly Letter
30-Jan-1901/30/19How to buy property in Europe for 50% off Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
25-Oct-1810/25/18Have a Jewish ancestor? You might qualify for Spanish or Portuguese passport Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
04-Aug-1708/04/17Portugal and Spain residency visas: Here is how to ditch winter for good Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
06-Jul-1707/06/17Golden Visas - a Roundup of Economic Residencies around the World Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
06-Apr-1704/06/17Sovereign Man Country Rankings: The Right Country for YOU, with Simon's insights Sovereign ConfidentialSMCBlack Paper
26-Feb-1602/26/16Meet FATCA’s even nastier cousin: CRS Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
03-Mar-1503/03/15SMC Comprehensive Residency Update: 2015 Edition Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert
05-Sep-1409/05/14Residency and Real Estate in Spain Sovereign ConfidentialSMCAlert

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