Relocation tips when moving to Valencia

Relocation tips when moving to Valencia

Why Valencia is such a popular destination for foreigners relocating to Spain

Moving to Spain from another European country is on the bucket list of so many people, and there are many possible destinations to choose from. From the sun-soaked beaches of the Costa del Sol to the vibrant streets of Barcelona and the historic allure of Seville, Spain offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences and a relaxed lifestyle that many find irresistible.

In the end however, many expats decide for the great city of Valencia. In this blog we have repeatedly posted why Valencia is such a great destination. For example, the article “Why it is better to live in Valencia than in Madrid or Barcelona” is one of the most popular articles in our blog. 

Valencia enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. The city boasts around 300 days of sunshine per year, making it attractive to those seeking a sunny and temperate climate.

Compared to other major cities in Spain like Madrid and Barcelona, the cost of living in Valencia is generally lower. This makes it an appealing option for expats looking to enjoy a high quality of life without breaking the bank.

Valencia has a rich cultural heritage with influences from Roman, Moorish, and Christian civilizations. From its stunning architecture to its world-class museums and vibrant festivals, there’s always something to explore and discover in the city. Valencia also hosts numerous cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including the famous Fallas festival, La Tomatina, and the Valencia International Film Festival. These events add to the city’s vibrant atmosphere and provide entertainment for residents and visitors alike.

Valencia is home to beautiful beaches, including the popular Playa de la Malvarrosa and Playa de la Patacona. The proximity of the beaches to the city center allows residents to enjoy beach life without having to travel far. Check out the best beaches in Valencia.

Valencia offers a high quality of life with its excellent healthcare system, efficient public transportation, and abundance of green spaces. The city has a laid-back vibe and is known for its welcoming and friendly locals.

Whatever your reasons for moving to Valencia are

Overall, Valencia’s combination of affordability, quality of life, coworking spaces, cultural diversity, and recreational opportunities make it an appealing destination for digital nomads seeking a balance between work and leisure. Back in 2020 we already wrote about the 10 reasons why Valencia is the best destination for teleworkers.

In 2017 we also published an article about why it is a good idea to retire in Valencia. Indeed, many retirees are moving to Valencia to enjoy their golden years in a relaxed and vibrant environment.

There is a growing number of corporate relocations to Valencia to register. Overall, foreign companies understand that Valencia can offer access to a strategic location, a skilled workforce, cost efficiencies, and an excellent quality of life, making it an attractive destination for businesses looking to expand or establish a presence in Spain and Europe. Many international companies have offices or operations in Valencia, and have brought many corporate expats to Valencia: Ford, Amazon, Vodafone, Deloitte, Mercadona, Accenture, Siemens, Bosch, L’Oréal, Zurich, etc.

Whatever your reasons are, moving to Valencia involves a blend of excitement and meticulous planning. A successful relocation requires careful consideration of several factors to ensure a smooth transition. Below the picture is a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process.

Remember that Globexs is a relocation company specialized in private and corporate relocations to Valencia. We are immigration lawyers and rental agents. Do not hesitate to contact us if you need help with one of the topics below.

Legal and administrative steps


Empadronamiento” is a fundamental process for anyone planning to reside in Spain, yet it often remains an unfamiliar term to many expatriates and foreigners. Essentially, empadronamiento refers to the act of registering oneself as a resident in the local census at the local town hall in the area where you live.

Getting started in the process of empadronamiento is a key step for any expatriate or foreigner planning to reside in Valencia. This process, while straightforward, involves a series of important steps to ensure your legal residency status in Spain. To help you understand and complete this process efficiently, here’s a useful guide:

  1. Compiling Your Documents: The process begins with collecting the necessary documentation, including your original passport and a copy, and your housing rental contract and its copy. These documents should be current and accurately reflect your living situation in Valencia.
  2. Arranging an Appointment: you’ll need to schedule an appointment with the local town hall (Ayuntamiento) in Valencia. This can often be done online, or in some cases, directly at the town hall.
  3. Visiting the Town Hall: On the day of your appointment, ensure you have all your documents ready and visit the town hall. It’s a good idea to arrive a bit early.
  4.  Receiving Your Empadronamiento Certificate: Once your application is processed, you will receive the empadronamiento certificate, an essential document proving your residence in Valencia.
  5. Submitting Your Application: At the town hall, submit your documents and application form. The officials might ask you a few questions to verify your information.

Common issues could include language barriers, understanding the specific requirements of the local town hall, and ensuring all documents are up-to-date and correctly formatted. In some cases, the town hall may request additional documents or have specific requirements for the documents they accept.

When preparing for the empadronamiento process in Spain, having the right documents is essential. This is particularly important for expatriates and foreigners who might be unfamiliar with the local administrative requirements. A list of key documents you will need to successfully complete your empadronamiento in Valencia, or any other part of Spain:

  1. Valid Passport or national ID
  2. Rental Agreement
  3. Additional Proof of Address (if applicable)
  4. Supporting Documents for Dependents (if applicable).

NIE number

Are you planning to move or invest in Spain? Meet the NIE – your essential identification in this exciting project. NIE is “Número de Identificación de Extranjero”, which translates means “Foreigner Identification Number”. This number is more than just a sequence of digits; it’s your gateway to begin your new project in Spain.

Why is the NIE important? The NIE is a legal requirement for all foreigners who wish to engage in any financial activity in Spain, buy or sell property, work or study, etc. Essentially, if you’re looking to build a life, a career, or even just a holiday home in Spain, the NIE is your first step. The NIE is a tool that simplifies your life in Spain. It is used in all your transactions with public administrations, making processes like opening a bank account, setting up a phone contract, or registering for utilities much smoother.

Residency and visas

While EU citizens have the right to live and work in Spain, it’s essential to register and obtain a residency certificate. For non-EU citizens, different rules apply, and a visa may be required.

Spain offers a range of residency options for non-EU citizens, each catering to different needs and circumstances. Whether you’re looking to reunite with family, invest, work, or retire in Spain, understanding the available pathways is the first step in your journey.

Spanish residency permits vary based on the purpose of stay, including work, family reunification, study, investment (Golden Visa), and non-lucrative options. Each permit has its criteria, application process, and duration. Generally, residency permits are valid for one to five years and can be renewed. Understanding the renewal process, including timelines and requirements, is crucial for maintaining your legal status in Spain.

After legally residing in Spain for a continuous period, non-EU nationals may become eligible for permanent residency and eventually apply for Spanish citizenship. This journey entails meeting specific residency requirements and integrating into the Spanish community.

Navigating the Spanish residency process can be complex, especially for non-EU nationals unfamiliar with local laws and regulations. Seeking professional legal guidance ensures accurate application submission and compliance with Spanish immigration laws.

Golden Visa

The Spanish Golden Visa program represents a unique and advantageous opportunity for non-European Union citizens seeking residency in Spain. Launched as part of the country’s efforts to attract foreign investment, the program offers a straightforward path to residency for those who make significant financial contributions in specific areas, predominantly in real estate, but also through other types of investments.

At its core, the Golden Visa is designed for individuals who are willing to invest a substantial amount in the Spanish economy. This investment can be made through various channels, including purchasing real estate, investing in Spanish public debt, or engaging in significant business ventures that positively impact the Spanish economy. In return, investors and their families gain the right to live, work, and study in Spain.

The program is particularly appealing due to its relatively simple and expedited application process compared to other types of residency permits. It eliminates many of the bureaucratic hurdles typically associated with gaining residency in Spain, making it an attractive option for investors, entrepreneurs, and high-net worth individuals from outside the EU.

Additionally, the Spanish Golden Visa offers the freedom to travel within the Schengen Area, providing access to a large part of Europe without the need for additional visas. This makes it not just a pathway to residency in Spain but also a gateway to experiencing and exploring the broader European landscape.

Digital Nomad Visa

The Digital Nomad Visa in Spain represents a groundbreaking opportunity for remote workers and freelancers from outside the EU. Introduced in 2023, it acknowledges the evolving nature of work in the digital age. This visa is designed for individuals who wish to live in Spain while continuing their employment or freelance work for companies or clients based principally abroad.

The visa caters to non-EU citizens who are either employed by companies allowing remote work or self-employed with a global clientele. It’s ideal for those seeking the cultural richness and excellent living conditions Spain offers, without being tied to a local employer.

By offering flexible residency, either by being able to apply for the corresponding visa while not in Spain, or by being in Spain on a regular basis or having entered Spain through the visa, the Digital Nomad Visa is a perfect solution for those wanting to merge the freedom of remote work with the experience of living in Spain. It stands as a testament to Spain’s commitment to attracting global talent and fostering a diverse, dynamic expatriate community.

Non Lucrative Visa

The Non Lucrative Visa offers a unique opportunity for individuals seeking to reside in Spain without engaging in professional or economic activities. This visa is ideal for those who can financially support themselves and wish to enjoy the Spanish lifestyle. It allows for extended stays and travel within the Schengen Zone, offering a blend of leisure and cultural immersion in one of Europe’s most vibrant countries. This visa is particularly suited for:

  • Retirees desiring a relaxed lifestyle in Spain.
  • Individuals with a stable passive income, such as pensions, rents, or dividends.
  • People looking to spend a significant amount of time in Spain without the intention of working, including those who plan to eventually transition to a work permit after a year.
  • Families who wish to relocate to Spain, provided the primary applicant can support the family financially.

Financial considerations

Opening a bank account

Getting inside in the financial environment of a new country can be one of the most difficult aspects of moving abroad. A local bank account is not just a convenience it’s a gateway to a seamless living and working experience in Spain.

If you are a foreign national residing in Spain and meet the requirements to be considered a resident in Spain, a resident bank account normally offers a wider range of services and more favourable conditions compared to non-resident accounts. Requirements of opening a resident account will depend on the personal situation of each resident, and will be necessary to provide different documentation in each case.

Non-residents in Spain can also open a Spanish bank account, although with some differences in the process and features of the account. A non-resident bank account is ideal for people who own property in Spain or need to carry out transactions in the country without being full-time residents. The requirements to open a nonresident bank account will depend on each personal situation, as well as the documentation needed to open the account.

Both types of accounts require due diligence on the part of the bank, which may ask for additional documentation or information to comply with Spanish banking regulations and international anti-money laundering standard

Why opening a bank account?

A bank account is essential for everyday transactions. A Spanish bank account simplifies everyday financial transactions immensely. It enables you to handle daily expenses like grocery shopping, dining out, or using local transportation without the extra fees often associated with international cards.

A bank account simplifies housing and utilities. For those renting or purchasing property in Spain, a local bank account is often a requirement. It facilitates the payment of rent, utility bills (like water, electricity, and internet), and property-related transactions, making these processes smoother and more direct.

A bank account reduces costs. Using a local bank account helps you avoid the high fees and unfavorable exchange rates that often accompany international banking transactions. This can lead to significant savings, especially for those who transact regularly.

A bank account is necessary for employment and business transactions. For expatriates working in Spain, a local bank account is usually necessary to receive salaries and manage employment-related finances. Similarly, if you’re involved in business activities, a local account aids in seamless business transactions and fiscal compliance.

A bank account is requiered for dealing with Spanish Bureaucracy. A local bank account is often required or preferred in various bureaucratic processes. This includes dealings with government agencies for residence permits, health insurance payments, and other official procedures of the Spanish Administration.

A bank account helsp accessibility and online banking.  A local bank account is often required or preferred in various bureaucratic processes. This includes dealings with government agencies for residence permits, health insurance payments, and other official procedures of the Spanish Administration.


Familiarize yourself with Spain’s tax system. Residents in Spain are taxed on their worldwide income, and double taxation agreements with many countries can affect your tax situation.

The tax system in Valencia operates within the framework of the national tax system of Spain, but there are also regional taxes and regulations specific to the Valencia region. Here’s an overview of how the tax system works in Valencia:

National Taxes

These are taxes collected by the Spanish central government and apply uniformly across the country. They include:

  1. Personal Income Tax (IRPF): Tax residents in Spain are subject to personal income tax on their worldwide income. The tax rates vary depending on income level and are progressive.
  2. Value Added Tax (VAT): VAT is a consumption tax levied on most goods and services. The standard rate is 21%, with reduced rates for certain goods and services.
  3. Corporate Income Tax (Impuesto sobre Sociedades): Companies operating in Spain are subject to corporate income tax on their profits. The standard rate is 25%.
  4. Wealth Tax (Impuesto sobre el Patrimonio): Wealth tax is levied on the net wealth of individuals. The tax rates vary depending on the region, and there are exemptions and deductions available.
  5. Inheritance and Gift Tax (Impuesto sobre Sucesiones y Donaciones): This tax applies to inheritances and gifts received by individuals. The rates and exemptions vary depending on the relationship between the donor and the recipient.

Regional Taxes

In addition to national taxes, the Valencia region may impose its own taxes and regulations. These can include:

  1. Property Transfer Tax (Impuesto sobre Transmisiones Patrimoniales): This tax applies to the transfer of real estate properties and is levied by the regional government.
  2. Tourist Tax: Some regions in Spain, including Valencia, have introduced a tourist tax on overnight stays in tourist accommodations, such as hotels and vacation rentals.
  3. Vehicle Tax (Impuesto sobre Vehículos de Tracción Mecánica): This tax applies to the ownership of motor vehicles and is collected by local municipalities.

Local Taxes

Local municipalities in Valencia may also impose their own taxes and fees, such as property taxes (Impuesto sobre Bienes Inmuebles) and business taxes.

It’s important to note that tax rates, regulations, and exemptions may change over time, so it’s advisable to consult with a tax advisor or accountant familiar with the current tax laws in Valencia and Spain. Additionally, tax residency status, income sources, and other factors can impact an individual’s tax obligations.

Healthcare and education

The Spanish Healthcare System

Spain’s healthcare system is among the best in Europe. EU citizens can initially use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but should also register for local healthcare services.

The Spanish healthcare system operates under a universal coverage model, providing healthcare services to all residents, regardless of nationality or legal status. Here’s an overview of how the system works:

  1. Primary Care: Primary healthcare is provided through local health centers (Centros de Salud) and is typically the first point of contact for patients. Each resident is assigned to a primary care physician, who manages their overall healthcare needs, provides preventive care, diagnoses and treats common illnesses, and refers patients to specialists or hospitals when necessary.
  2. Specialist Care: Patients may be referred to specialists by their primary care physician for more specialized medical care or treatment. Specialist care is provided at hospitals or specialized medical centers.
  3. Hospitals: Spain has both public and private hospitals. Public hospitals are funded by the government and provide healthcare services to all residents, while private hospitals operate on a fee-for-service basis or through private health insurance plans.
  4. Emergency Care: Emergency medical services are available 24/7 through hospital emergency departments (Urgencias). Patients can seek emergency care for serious medical conditions or injuries without an appointment.
  5. Prescription Medications: Prescription medications may be obtained at pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription. Patients usually pay a portion of the cost of medications, with the government subsidizing the rest. Some low-income groups, children, and seniors may be eligible for free or discounted medications.
  6. Health Insurance: While the Spanish healthcare system provides universal coverage, some residents choose to supplement their coverage with private health insurance. Private health insurance plans offer additional benefits, such as access to private hospitals and shorter wait times for elective procedures.
  7. Funding: The Spanish healthcare system is funded through a combination of taxes, social security contributions, and co-payments for certain services. The system is managed by regional governments, which have responsibility for healthcare planning, financing, and service delivery within their respective regions.
  8. Quality and Standards: Healthcare providers in Spain are subject to strict regulations and quality standards to ensure the safety and effectiveness of healthcare services. Medical professionals must be licensed and adhere to professional standards of practice.

Overall, the Spanish healthcare system aims to provide comprehensive, accessible, and high-quality healthcare services to all residents (nationals and expats), with an emphasis on preventive care and health promotion.


If moving with children, consider the education options available, including public, private, and international schools. The Spanish education system is divided into several stages, each with its own characteristics and requirements. Here’s an quick overview of how the system works:

  1. Early Childhood Education (Educación Infantil):
    This stage is non-compulsory and is typically for children ages 0 to 6, focusing on fostering the development of social, emotional, cognitive, and physical skills through play-based learning activities.
  2. Primary Education (Educación Primaria):
    Primary education is compulsory and lasts for six years, typically from ages 6 to 12. Students are typically taught by a single teacher for most subjects, although specialized teachers may be brought in for certain subjects.
  3. Compulsory Secondary Education (Educación Secundaria Obligatoria – ESO):
    ESO is compulsory and lasts for four years, typically from ages 12 to 16. At the end of ESO, students take exams to obtain the Graduado en Educación Secundaria Obligatoria (ESO diploma), which is required to continue their education or enter the workforce.
  4. Bachillerato:
    Bachillerato is a two-year pre-university program for students ages 16 to 18. It is not compulsory but is necessary for students who plan to attend university. 
  5. Vocational Education and Training (Formación Profesional):
    Vocational education and training programs provide practical, job-oriented education in various fields such as healthcare, technology, hospitality, and administration. 
  6. Higher Education:
    Higher education in Spain includes universities and other higher education institutions offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. University education typically lasts for four years for bachelor’s degrees and can vary in length for master’s and doctoral programs.


Finding a Place to Live

Finding a place to live in Valencia is not easy, especially if you are a non-resident foreigner. Most real estate agencies will not even attend foreigners. Not only because they will probably not understand english, but also because they know that your application for a rental will probably be refused by the owner or an insurance company (most owner use an insurance company to approve applicants). And to make things worse, the rental market has been under enormous pressure since a few years. The avalanch of tourist apartments has driven up the prices to extreme heights. Furthermore, the Spanish government has approved the new housing law which scared homeowners to such an extend that they prefer to withdraw their apartment from the traditional rental market. It has become impossible for homeowners to kick out tenants who refuse to pay the rent. Over the years we have written numerous articles about how to rent an apartment in Valencia, but the situation has gotten even more complicated in recent years.

So, not a very good panorama for a foreign family or expat looking for a rental apartment where they can start their new life in Valencia. Because it is not easy to find a long term rental where registration is allowed, most expats end up renting a temporary apartment for the first few months. This formula is called “alquiler por temporada”, or “temporary rental”, or most commonly referred to as “expat rental”. “Alquiler por temporada” is a rental concept with the following characteristics: 

  1. Fully furnished and equipped: The apartments are usually fully furnished and equipped with bedlinen, towels, cooking equipment, etc. 
  2. Utilities: Utilities such as water, gas, electricity, wifi, etc are usually included in the rental price, giving the tenant the comfort of not having to struggle with extra administration.
  3. Limited stay: The rental period is usually limited to 1-11 months.
  4. Registration prohibited: Usually the owners do not allow the tenants to register on the address.
  5. Specific purpose: On the rental contract the tenant usually needs to mention the specific reason why he needs the apartment. In other words, he/she needs to justify the reason for his stay in Valencia. 
  6. Agency: Apartments that are in the market under the “alquiler por temporada”-concept are usually managed by a rental agency or property management company. 

One of the largest and most reputed agencies for temporary rentals in Valencia is Globexs. Since 2008 Globexs is offering a wide range of fully furnished apartments to expats in all neighborhoods in Valencia. Check out the Globexs apartments in Valencia.

It is clear that the concept of “alquiler por temporada” only offers a temporary solution to expat families that are planning to stay for an indefinite period of time. First of all because that most temporary apartments do not allow registration (=empadronamiento), which is a fundamental process for anyone planning to reside in Spain. But at least you have a roof over your head and you can buy precious time whilst looking for a long term place to live, for example with Bluekey Homes. Bluekey Homes is a real estate agency, part of the Globexs Group of Companies, specialized in long term rentals for expats in Valencia. 

Renting vs. Buying

Both have their pros and cons in Spain’s diverse property market. Whether it’s a good time to buy an apartment in Valencia depends on a combination of market conditions, financial considerations, personal preferences, and long-term plans.

While not as rapidly appreciating as some other Spanish cities like Madrid or Barcelona, Valencia saw steady demand for both residential and commercial properties, leading to modest price increases in desirable areas. Valencia has been attracting increasing interest from foreign buyers. British, French, German, and Scandinavian buyers have been particularly active in the market, seeking vacation homes, retirement properties, or investment opportunities.

In Valencia there are several real estate agencies that are focused on foreign investors and offer a great customer service in English, German, Dutch, etc. The most successful real estate agencies in this respect are Dream Properties, and Valencia Property. At Bluekey Homes investors can seek advice on mortgages, the best areas to invest in, potential rental income, etc. 


Finding a job in Valencia as a foreigner depends on your qualifications, language skills, and industry experience. While Spanish is the primary language spoken in Valencia and throughout Spain, having proficiency in Spanish can significantly enhance your job prospects. Many employers require at least basic to intermediate proficiency in Spanish, especially for customer-facing roles or positions that involve communication with Spanish-speaking colleagues or clients.

These are the best sources to start your search for a job in Valencia.

  • InfoJobs: One of the largest and most popular job portals in Spain, offering a wide range of job listings across various industries and locations.
  • Indeed Spain: An international job search engine with a dedicated platform for job seekers in Spain. It aggregates job listings from various sources, including company websites and recruitment agencies.
  • Another leading job portal in Spain, providing job listings, career advice, and resources for job seekers.

Probably one of the best options for a foreign job-seeker is to join expat groups and online forums and start networking. These communities often share job leads, offer advice, and provide support to expatriates navigating the job market. One of the largest expat communities is the facebook group “Expats living and working in Valencia“. Here often job offers are posted, and knowledge of Spanish is usually not a deal breaker. 

Lifestyle and integration


Learning Spanish will enrich your experience and facilitate integration. Learning Spanish should be number 1 on your “to do list”. Many aspects of daily life in Valencia, including shopping, dining, banking, employment opportunities, and accessing public services, require proficiency in Spanish. 

So, consider taking classes or using language learning apps as soon as you arrive in Valencia! Speaking Spanish is not only practical but also essential for your personal and professional integration, cultural understanding, and overall enjoyment of your experience in Valencia.

Cultural Integration

Embrace Spanish culture, customs, and lifestyle. Spain is known for its relaxed pace of life, siestas, and late dinners.

Social Connections

Building a network of friends and acquaintances, both expats and locals, will provide support and enrich your life in Spain. One of the largest expat communities is the facebook group “Expats living and working in Valencia“. Joining this group is a good starting point to meet fellow expats.

Make your relocation to Valencia a success with Globexs

Relocating to Valencia offers a chance to immerse yourself in a culture known for its rich history, diverse cultures, and enviable quality of life. With careful planning and an open mind, you can navigate the challenges involved, especially if you use the services of Globexs. Globexs is a relocation company specialized in assisting expats moving to Valencia (and other destinations). Check out all the services we offer to expats moving to Valencia. With our tips in mind, you’re well on your way to making your Spanish dream a reality.



The Globexs experience

At Globexs we all agree that our job is making people feel welcome. Globexs is, in essence, a people-company: people working for people. Us working for expats. We are the little tap on your shoulder and the voice whispering in your ear that everything will be allright 👌.