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Spain Expat Forum for Expats Living in Spain The Spain Expats forum is a dedicated community of people who have moved to Spain, or who are planning to. This is the place for Expats to meet and discuss anything about moving to, & living in, Spain.

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Old 6th January 2014, 08:51 PM
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Hello everyone!

I've been lurking the forums for a while now (months, actually). I've learned so many valuable things and seriously feel that I could work as an immigration lawyer at this point, haha. I know all about the legal hoops, and visa requirements, etc and am currently in the visa process so I'm not really looking for logistical advice on what papers I need to move.

My question is for those of you already on the ground as non-EU expats in Spain, specifically Madrid. I've gone and gotten my heart set pretty hard on moving to Madrid, and I would literally take any job to be able to keep a roof over my head, but my understanding is that most Spaniards are pretty much in the same boat. So, in that case, is it completely unrealistic for me to move to Madrid right now and find SOME kind of work, any work really, to keep me afloat? Private English tutoring, babysitting, nannying, sweeping bar floors, window washing, dog poop scooper, I'm literally above none of these things. But is it realistic?

Please don't come down on me too hard! I know la crisis is in full swing and I do not want to pluck a job away from a Spanish citizen just so I can have a 2 year holiday, but I have to wonder if it's possible for me to make this dream a reality. My main reasons for moving are to learn Spanish, soak up the culture, and travel. I've done some non-profit work and am a musician as well, so I'm hoping to integrate these skills during my time there. Just need a reality check. I know it's bad, but I'm wondering HOW bad for expats exactly? Some of my Spanish friends are saying I'll have no problem finding a job of some kind teaching English, others are more skeptical. Expats, help!

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Old 6th January 2014, 09:38 PM
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So, in that case, is it completely unrealistic for me to move to Madrid right now and find SOME kind of work, any work really, to keep me afloat?
Yes.
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Old 6th January 2014, 09:43 PM
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Well. That sucks.

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Old 6th January 2014, 09:47 PM
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Well. That sucks.
Indeed.

But your bigger problem is how you intend to stay in Spain legally beyond 90 days if you intend to work to support yourself by working. Assuming of course you don't have any legal right to reside in Spain being a US Citizen.
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Old 6th January 2014, 09:55 PM
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Unless you are independently wealthy or can get a job with a US firm who will send you to Madrid, this is your best bet at being legal in Spain:
Consejerias Exteriores : Cultural Ambassadors: North American Language and Culture Assistants in Spain

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Old 6th January 2014, 09:57 PM
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I've acquired a two year visa through my immigration lawyer and a lucky connect at the consulate in Houston, so I'm not really concerned about that. Honestly, I just want to know if it's possible for me to be able to make enough to live while I'm on the ground. I already have a friend who owns a property near the restaurant at la plaza de chamberi who has offered to rent to me on the cheap since she hasn't had a tenant in a long while. I even have about $8k saved up to help float me for a while. I am really serious about going, I just want to be realistic about it. I don't have any illusions of grandeur about having an eat, pray, love moment or anything. I just want to be able to live a simple life in Madrid until I'm ready to move on to the next place my heart tells me to go.

Obviously, I want to stay as long as possible. I'll still go even if the verdict on this board is a resounding "no, you'll never make it" simply because I've done so much leg work already to get there. I suppose I'll just live on what I have saved and then come home and do it all over again.

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Old 6th January 2014, 10:11 PM
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Assume it's a given that everyone will tell you not to come. But I personally think you should do what your heart tells you to do. The worst situation is that you spend all your money, and have loads of new experiences and then go back.
I have changed my life completely many times, simply for the desire for new experiences.And while going through rocky patches, sometimes on the other side was something unexpected, and fresh.
I came to Spain, in a similar way, and have found my permanent life. And by the way, am a musician, and that is how I support myself here. So....just to give a voice to the other side.
Go for it and see what happens....
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Old 6th January 2014, 10:15 PM
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Thank you. As a musician, how are you fairing? Are you orchestral or a songwriter? I actually was able to get my visa because of my music having already traveled as a musician with an album and plenty of press releases to back me up. It was really just lucky that I got the visa at all. But I would like to be able to play shows once I arrive. Any words of wisdom there?

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Old 6th January 2014, 10:27 PM
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No real words of wisdom. But..I am a jazz pianist/composer and had toured here a few times before. I started just trying to meet as many musicians as I could, go to jams, network, etc
Things didn't fall into place for about a year, but I had enough savings to keep me going. Since then I have been able to make a living with a combination of concerts,clubs, private functions, and with a variety of groups. It helps to be versatile. I think a singer/songwriter doing only original material might have a problem. I am lucky that jazz has an international audience.
I also found that artists in general are more respected here than in the States, and while, I
was making more money there, my level of satisfaction was higher here.
It's good you're thinking of Madrid as opposed to other smaller cities.

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Old 6th January 2014, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sistersibling View Post
I've acquired a two year visa through my immigration lawyer and a lucky connect at the consulate in Houston, so I'm not really concerned about that. Honestly, I just want to know if it's possible for me to be able to make enough to live while I'm on the ground. I already have a friend who owns a property near the restaurant at la plaza de chamberi who has offered to rent to me on the cheap since she hasn't had a tenant in a long while. I even have about $8k saved up to help float me for a while. I am really serious about going, I just want to be realistic about it. I don't have any illusions of grandeur about having an eat, pray, love moment or anything. I just want to be able to live a simple life in Madrid until I'm ready to move on to the next place my heart tells me to go.

Obviously, I want to stay as long as possible. I'll still go even if the verdict on this board is a resounding "no, you'll never make it" simply because I've done so much leg work already to get there. I suppose I'll just live on what I have saved and then come home and do it all over again.


Holy crow. Congrats. Hopefully some of the Madrid folks will come in and talk about the market in Madrid.

I know some other areas are desparate for English native speakers. However, they're not the popular ones (nor are they Madrid.)

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