Why do many Americans move to Spain despite the hurdles?


Why are so many Americans move to Spain and are willing to overcome administrative hurdles, despite the frustrating requirements and tedious procedures?

Answers about why Americans move to Spain

These are the answers of some Facebook group members:

”I think so many mass shootings and political strife are factors”

”We immigrated to the US when we were young. I’m in my 30s now and honestly, the (US) has gone downhill in recent years. The way people look at our countries in the south of Latin America (violence, shootings, bad economy, etc) is the way the world looks at the US now. So I recognize the pattern! And, I’m not looking to get into any political debates, but in my opinion, the last two presidencies have made the country a complete set show. As naturalized citizens, we don’t have the same rights and can be subject to deportation. And with the prior president, I would question if they would ever change laws that would impact us. Acquiring Spain citizenship (after two years) gives access to the whole EU and is a good backup”

”For our family, my wife and kid are also Peruvian, so Spain was an easy choice; two years and boom, Spanish nationality for them. And then another year and I did it, too. Spain’s less expensive if you have US-level salaries or something, too. And, as much as I love my adopted nation, if you have some gumption and startup spirit, you can do well if you’re working age in Spain. Add in massively more stable crime (your stuff might be stolen but you probably won’t get shot) situation and far less expensive health care and it starts looking better and better. Ironically, we’re back in the US, but for the salaries; once we retire-retire, we’ll likely head back to Europe and very likely Spain”

”For me, I just have always loved Europe, so much history and so many cultures. I had previously lived in France and Poland for a couple of years and was able to travel around and see most of the countries. So last year, when I retired, I moved here and I am just living my dream. Although it was not originally a factor in my decision, I can say that the price of healthcare in Spain vs the USA just reconfirms my decision. No one in Spain worries about going bankrupt due to health issues. Safety is another reason, overall I feel much safer walking the streets here than in any big city in the US. Yes, there is a lot of bureaucracy in Spain but since I am retired, I have a lot of time to deal with it…and patience”

”I agree, it’s a great option, not everywhere in South America has mass shootings and/or political strife. Also, there are very generous pathways towards PR and eventual citizenship”

”Americans move to Spain because Europe is like a fantasy world to Americans like the USA is to many Latinos- somewhere we don’t think we’ll ever go or live, but “would love to one day”. When it comes to Spain, you have to consider that it’s a European country with a climate like the US, as compared to other European countries, that also has a lower cost of living. Most of us are not bilingual, but are familiar with Spanish, more so than the other languages, due to the Spanish-speaking migrants in our own country. Many Americans & Canadians vacation & retire in MX or Costa Rica, etc… but for many, the proximity to home does not outweigh the criminal element south of the border..enter Spain..then one sees the other benefits: the affordable healthcare, public transportation (never have we ever seen anything like it), the walking culture (not common in the US), don’t absolutely need a car, the ability to travel and explore Europe SO EASILY!!! and then for those of us with families..we also consider the future opportunities for our kids..education, EU freedom of movement that comes with Spanish citizenship..access to other European countries for their future careers, etc. It’s a totally different world over here! + The visa is accessible for most people who would be seriously considering leaving. Every country has political conflict, so that doesn’t go away..your perception may change because you don’t have an understanding of what’s going on here or wherever you are”

”Enter Spain..then one sees the other benefits”—here there are two hurdles that most Americans will not clear: entering Spain, and paying attention once there. I was on an Iberia flight (Spanish airline) from the USA to Spain, and some turkey was loudly complaining that there was something in Spanish printed on the back of the seat”

”Every country has political conflict”—in Perú, when asked why I was there, I mentioned our politicians. She said “Ours are just as crazy” and I said, “But I don’t have to listen to yours!” The two-party system is part of the problem. In multi-party countries, cooperation and compromise are generally unavoidable. In the USA, both major parties seem to have to oppose the other as more important than the good of the country”

”To be honest, Americans are going everywhere, not just Spain… Mexico, Canada, Portugal, France, Ireland, Italy, you name it. It’s the polarized politics, the mass shootings, the attack on women’s reproductive rights, the high cost of healthcare, the astounding price tag of university education, and the near impossibility of ever retiring. I lived overseas in France, Italy and Spain when I was young and childless, there’s just a more genuinely level-headed lifestyle in Europe. Everyone, of course, wants to make good money, but not at the cost of having a balanced family life. We are choosing Spain because my husband is from Argentina, so it’s the easiest route with a language we speak fluently. But honestly, if Argentina were in a better place economically, we may have chosen to go there. Spain is a beautiful country, with amazing history and culture. And the weather is exactly what we are looking for so we can spend more time outside during the year. There may be a load of administrative ridiculousness, but you won’t find a country that doesn’t”

”Astounding price for education is right. My son became a trauma surgeon but is still paying off a $330k school debt. It’s insane”

”Why leave the US? That should be obvious. I consider myself a refugee of gun violence and religious persecution. Why choose Spain? As a native of San Diego, I was looking for a similar climate and somewhat familiar language. But Mexico and all of South America is dominated by US influence. US exporting guns, importing drugs, overthrowing democratically elected goverments, constantly meddling by the CIA, and American corporations murdering activists with impunity. Spain provides all the benefits of the EU and escapes US influence. Spain has cultural and social benefits as well. Virtually the opposite of the USA’s paranoid, toxic individualism.

I had considered Australia but the language is not all that similar, there are climate and wildlife challenges, and it is heavily influenced by and beholden to the USA

”For love there’s a lot of awesome things about Spain, safety being one of the top but I don’t think I’d have moved here otherwise”

”As many who already commented here, there wasn’t one single reason. I’m Brazilian and lived my entire adult life in the US, I never thought about leaving, I clawed my way through to make my life there, I’d love to leave politics out of it but I simply can’t, ever since Trump became a thing my life changed quite a bit, being an immigrant became unbearable when so many people were suddenly empowered to be openly racist, that was the beginning of it and it was a steady decline from there, extremism, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, gun violence (which I’m aware existed before) became suffocating to me to the point I’ve lost my sense of self, I was no longer the spunky extrovert I had always been and that’s when I knew I had to go, I didn’t wanna leave but I had to because even though it was the life I worked so hard for, it felt like it was no longer my life to live. I’ve only been here for 2 weeks and my anxiety has disappeared, I understand that every country has issues but I need to live somewhere where I feel like myself and this feels like it. Added bonus being Brazilian and being able to acquire citizenship quicker”

”I’m going to Spain for the food, architecture, lack of gun violence, healthcare quality, culture, and architecture. Latin America has a history of also being a colony, and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve realised recently that the US has never shed its colony DNA–the culture here is of either bootlicking military/cops/corporations or being so busy and working yourself to death. What I’ve seen in Latin America (which isn’t much) is that they have very toxic government situations with crazy candidate swings (see Peru) and instability in general (mostly fomented and funded by the US). Latin American countries are just as many pawns to the Powers that Be as the US is. I want to be closer to Europe and I want EU residency as well so I can go wherever in Europe easily. The music I love is mostly from northern Europe (Sweden, Scotland, Germany) and England and Iceland. The concerts are cheap and better. There is a quality of life in Europe absent in the Western Hemisphere”

”Large parts of the modern US used to be part of Spain. Having lived in Florida, California, and the Philippines, Spain is a perfect next step. More pragmatically, we’ve been in Asia for 10 years and would like our kid to experience living in Europe before Uni and I hate cold weather. And I’m not sure if Spain exported its bureaucracy to the Philippines, or if they both have similar levels of “complexity,” but that isn’t a drawback. Oh, and I really miss affordable fresh seafood, fruits, and veggies”

”The US is a cesspool and I wanted to be able to afford to live in Europe. Plus, they gave me citizenship”

”Actually, everybody is moving to Spain and not to other EU countries because of the quick citizenship. I was also wondering why so many moving from the USA but now I see that 99% of people are from South America or they have to do with a South American passport”

”There are many that are also from Mexico & Central America region. It’s true that for us Iberoamericans it is much quicker plus the language is a benefit. You also have a lot of retirees here who are not Iberoamerican but 2500€/month in Spain is going to go much farther than in the US”

”There’s a false premise here. Spanish immigration bureaucracy is wonderful in comparison to the UK. I’m Australian, and recently got the right to work in the UK as well. I’ve been married to my British wife for 30 years. We are not broken. It took the UK eight months to approve, they lost paperwork that I had receipts for (twice), and every communication contained a threat. Oh. And it cost €6,000. For 2.5 years”

In conclusion, according to Spainguru Facebook group members, many Americans are willing to overcome administrative hurdles and move to Spain due to a combination of factors. These include the desire to escape issues like mass shootings and political strife in the US, access the benefits of EU citizenship, enjoy a more affordable cost of living, experience greater safety and affordable healthcare, and explore Europe’s rich history and diverse cultures. The availability of pathways to permanent residency and citizenship in Spain, along with the country’s appeal as a retirement destination, further contribute to its popularity. Despite administrative challenges, the allure of Spain’s benefits outweighs the frustrations of Spanish bureaucracy for many Americans seeking a new lifestyle.