Spain Country Profile

For more details visit Spain Passport Ranking
  • Passport Grade
  • Passport Ranking
  • Passport Score
  • Visa-free Countries
  • Visa-required Countries
  • Access to the World's GDP
  • Access to the World's Surface Area
  • Access to the World's Population
  • Access to the Unesco Sites
Citizenship and Naturalization
Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
  • Birthright citizenship (Jus Soli)
    Restricted: A child born in the Spain will become a citizen at birth if at least one of the parents was also born in Spain. Also, any child born in Spain can naturalize after only 1 years of legal residency.
Naturalization - Standard Conditions
  • Minimum residency period
    10 years
  • Physical presence requirement
    No exact requirements. Advisable at least 6 months a year.
  • Language test
    Yes, Spanish
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
    Yes, but proof is not required. Also, citizens of former Spanish colonies don't need to renounce.
  • Can minor children naturalize?
  • Can naturalized parents pass citizenship to a child born abroad?
  • Can you lose naturalization due to prolonged absence/ naturalization elsewhere?
Naturalization - Your Spouse is a Citizen
  • Living IN the country: Residency/marriage requirement
    1 year / 1 year
    Must be both married and reside in the country for 1 year.
  • Living ABROAD: Marriage requirement
    Not allowed
  • Language test
    Yes, Spanish
  • Need to renounce original citizenship?
    See standard conditions
Naturalization - Other Beneficial Provisions
  • Your child is a citizen
    No provisions
  • Citizens of specific countries
    2 years
    2 years for citizens of Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of Latin America (including Puerto Rico), and the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, Andorra.
"–": The provision has not been analysed.
Visas and Residencies
Visas and Residencies
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Taxation Type
A tax resident of a country with a RESIDENCE-BASED tax system pays taxes on their WORLDWIDE income. However, if you lose tax residency status there (e.g., by moving out), the country will generally stop taxing you.

New residents can avoid taxation of non-Spanish income for 5 years by taking advantage of the "Beckham Law".
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.)
Schiff Sovereign's Take on Spain
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 Man 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.
Schiff Sovereign's Rolodex
Service Providers available in Spain
  • Immigration (residency, citizenship)
  • Tax advice (attorneys and/or accountants)
  • Corporate services (company formation, etc.)
  • Real Estate (agents, lawyers)
Obtain access to our Rolodex by signing up for Sovereign Confidential Join Sovereign Confidential Today

Sovereign Global Explorer

Benefiting from over a decade of our team’s boots-on-the-ground experience, Global Explorer is where your international journey begins.
Spain Overview
  • Region
  • Capital City
  • Largest City
  • Currency
  • Languages
    Spanish, regional languages
  • Population
    47.4 million (30th)
  • Life Expectancy
    82.6 years (18th)
  • GDP (Nominal)
    $1.4 trillion (16th)
  • GDP/Capita
    $29,303 (43rd)
Useful Data
For more details visit Cost of Living
  • Cost of Living
    Moderate (4/7)
  • Climate
    Very comfortable (1/5)
  • Safety
    Very Safe (2/7)
  • Pollution
    Clean (2/5)
  • English Proficiency
    Moderate (3/5)

Sovereign Global Explorer

Benefiting from over a decade of our team’s boots-on-the-ground experience, Global Explorer is where your international journey begins.
Spain inside Schiff Sovereign resources

Articles featuring Spain


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Tax matters: Making Spain’s Beckham Tax Law Work For You in 2022

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