The Covid-19 pandemic has had a direct impact on immigration trends in the EU. More and more Europeans, including British citizens, are choosing Spain as their new home for many reasons.
During quarantine restrictions imposed in different countries almost simultaneously, most private companies have moved their employees to work remotely. As efficiency and productivity did not suffer in any way, many companies retained this mode of operation. And the Spanish government has begun to formulate a bill to grant a new type of residence permit to remote workers (the so-called “Start-up Act“).
With this type of visa, highly skilled workers will be able to come to the country and live here to work for foreign employers.
The Entrepreneurship Act includes a number of tax measures, such as reducing the income tax rate from 25% to 15% for up to four years. In addition, income tax payments are expected to be deferred in the first year and the maximum deduction base for investing in a new company or a newly formed company will be increased from €60,000 to €100,000 per year. Those who continue to live in Spain after the expiry of this visa will be able to apply for a residence permit for remote workers, which is valid for a maximum of 2 years.
Employees themselves are no longer tied to a workplace and a rigid schedule: they are not only free to choose their city, but also free to choose their permanent place of residence.
Demographics. Who’s moving?
Most of them (especially citizens and residents of EU countries with cold and rainy climates) have taken the opportunity to move to warmer regions, above all Spain.
For many years, Spain has been one of the countries with the highest number of immigrants with EU citizenship. In 2019, there were 1.67 million. It is second only to Germany (4.29), ahead of Italy (1.55) and France (1.46). It is clear that the economy is more prosperous. At the start of 2021, “communities” accounted for 21.06% of the total number of foreigners living in the Kingdom.
Without considering retirees or “downshifters”, it is usually the higher-income earners: entrepreneurs, highly skilled experts and “digital nomads” who decide to start a business in Spain or move there.
Of these, Romania (673 tpc), the UK (240.9 tpc), Italy (206 tpc), Bulgaria (123 tpc), Germany (110.8 tpc), France (98.5 tpc), Portugal (89 tpc), Poland (52.2 tpc) and the Netherlands (44 tpc).
At the same time the distribution of each diaspora across the regions and cities of Spain is uneven. Germans traditionally prefer the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, the French have chosen to settle on the Costa Brava close to the French border, and Scandinavians (mostly Swedes) have recently shown more interest in luxury properties in the province of Málaga.
The main reasons for relocating are:
- Warm and temperate climate
- Well-developed transportation system
- Low prices for basic real estate
- High-quality medical services
- The opportunity to send their children to international schools
- Healthy eating habits (the so-called “Mediterranean diet” in the Spanish version has long been regarded as the healthiest of all options)
- A wide choice of entertainment venues and activities for all ages
Spain compares favourably with many other EU countries in terms of the price/quality ratio for buying or renting a house and the requirements for prospective buyers/tenants. However, although individual restrictions due to the spread of the coronavirus and the unstable political and economic situation still apply, Spain remains the most attractive country in the Mediterranean in terms of permanent relocation.
The average cost of housing for sale and rent in the most popular destinations of foreigners in Spain as of May 2021 (in euros)
|City||Sale Price (1 sq m)||Rental Price (1 sq m/month)|
|Lloret de Mar||1900||9,3|
|Palma de Mallorca||3029||10,9|
If you are thinking about moving within or outside the EU, Terrasun will be happy to help you organise your relocation to Spain – from obtaining a residence permit to buying a property!