Number of Britons moving to Spain rising

According to an article in the Independent this week, this year an estimated 50,000 Britons will leave behind the UK to begin a new life in Spain. Whereas Spain has always been a popular destination for people who decide to spend their retirement in a warmer climate, now the trend is moving towards people who are moving here to live and work.

The article features a mortgage broker and his wife who are going to move their real estate business to Spain. According to the broker, “Spain has everything we could want…. It has good, fresh food, a healthy and more relaxed outdoor lifestyle, a great climate, and business opportunities, where those who work hard are rewarded and get to keep more of what they earn than they would in the UK.”

Well it is a beautiful country (check out our 2000 photos of Spain), but work isn’t that easy to find (unless you are setting your own business up).

This blog describes one person’s experiences while looking for work in Barcelona.

One of the disadvantages of coming to live and work in Spain is without doubt all the paperwork you have to do to apply for a residence and work permit. One of the objectives of the European Commission study on mobile citizens is to simplify all sorts of complications Europeans still experience when living abroad. Hopefully, in the near-term future, people living abroad will be able to do all sorts of things from the comfort of their home computer (apply for residence and work permit prior to arrival, do tax declarations, renew passports, register births, register your child in a state school prior to arrival etc.

). Surely that is what the whole philosophy of European Union and free movement of its citizens should be about. Until then however, people coming to Spain should be prepared to be more than a little frustrated at the bureaucracy involved in securing work and residence permits.