LA CORUNA, SPAIN
Things to know
about La Coruna
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Famous Port City of North West Spain
La Coruna, or "A Coruña" as it's also known, is a port city on a promontory in the Galicia region of northwest Spain.
Known for its Roman lighthouse, the "Tower of Hercules", which has sweeping coastal views, A Coruña is a packed city, noted as the Spanish city featuring the tallest mean-height of buildings and also featuring a population density of 21,972 inhabitants per square km of built land area.
In the medieval old town is the arcaded Plaza de María Pita, surrounded by narrow pedestrianised lanes and its bustling square where the "Estatua de María Pita" is a prominent feature, a statue of a 16th-century woman who warned the town of an invasion by Sir Francis Drake.
La Coruna, is rich in Galician heritage and history, as well as some more modern attractions.
Take the time to explore and you'll find multiple monumental landmarks alongside a collection of small but immaculate bays and soft-sand beaches which are among the best to be found in Spain.
The city is also well known for its characteristic glazed window balconies, called "galerías".
Originally, this type of structure came about as a naval architecture solution for the challenging weather, particularly designed for rainy days, a fashion which started in nearby Ferrol in the 18th century when some of the technicians working for the Royal Dockyards had the idea of using the shape of the back of a warship in a modern building.
Soon afterwards, most seaports in northern Spain were adding these glazed window balconies to their city-port houses.
Amazing sights, amazing food!
Whether it's climbing to the top of the "Torre de Hercules" or relaxing on the stunning beaches, La Coruna has something for everyone.
As the oldest working lighthouse in the world, the Tower of Hercules has become somewhat a symbol of the city.
Built in Roman times, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and those willing to climb to the top, will witness spectacular 360-degree coastal and city views and learn all about it at the visitors’ centre.
To get one of the best panoramic views of the city, head to the top of San Pedro Hill via a huge spherical glass lift, allowing you to admire the views on the way up too.
At the top, you’ll find a variety of activities, including the Restaurante Mirador San Pedro, which has various spaces such as a laid-back café, a fine dining restaurant, a wine cellar and a cigar lounge.
There is also a playground and outdoor picnic and barbecue area, and an interpretation centre, where you can learn all about the history of the area.
Another spot not to be missed is the famous Estrella Brewery! Estrella Galicia is one of Spain’s best-loved beers and its home can be found here in A Coruña.
Founded in 1906 by Jose Mª Rivera, it’s possible to visit the original location of the first Estrella Galicia brewery in the neighbourhood of Cuatro Caminos.
The site is now the brewery-restaurant Estrella de Galicia, and you can enjoy food and fresh, unpasteurized beer straight out of the brewery! A must for any tourist of legal drinking age!
How does La Coruna Compare?
The average cost of living in La Coruna is approximately €1106, which is close to the world's average cost of living, ranked 4250th out of 9294 in a recent global list and 24th out of 153 in Spain.
The median after-tax salary is €1433, which is enough to cover living expenses for 1.3 months.
Ranked 793rd (TOP 9%) in the list of best places to live in the world and 14th best city to live in Spain, with an estimated population of 245K, La Coruna is the 19th largest city in Spain.
Rent will likely set you back around €740 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre while venturing a little further afield will save you around €200 with the average cost for a similar size apartment being approximately €558.
Basic utilities for 85m2 Apartment including Electricity, Heating or Cooling, Water and Rubbish collections are approximately €140 per month with internet and your mobile phone likely to cost another €50 or so (roughly).
La Coruna is regarded as a generally cheap place to live when compared to some of the other bigger European Cities, with a host of opportunities to experience the local culture and language, have a few nights out on the town, beach days and take advantage of one of the lowest costs of living in one of the greenest and most beautiful regions of Spain.
Monthly travel passes will set you back around €40 with the price of a single journey usually costing no more than €1.50.
Taxis are usually around €1.35 per km or should you choose to invest in a car, expect to pay approximately €1.50 per litre for fuel.
Cost of Living
in La Coruna
If you are living and working in Spain, you are liable to pay income taxes on your income and assets and will need to file a Spanish tax return. Whether you pay Spanish taxes on your worldwide income, or Spanish-based income only depends on your residency status.
If you’re a resident of Spain, you must pay Spanish tax on your worldwide income. Taxes apply on a progressive scale, although tax deductions exist. If you are a non-resident in Spain, you only pay tax in Spain on Spanish income, typically at a flat rate.
This also includes potential income on Spanish property even if you don’t rent out your property. Spanish tax also applies to property ownership, investment interest, and goods and services in Spain.
Taxes in Spain are split between state and regional governments. This means that Spanish tax rates can vary across the country for income tax, property tax, wealth tax, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax in Spain. Furthermore, workers in Spain must contribute to Spanish social security taxes. The Spanish tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December.
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Eligibility to Work in La Coruna
Spain is an enticing country to live in. Unsurprisingly, thousands of people apply for jobs in Spain and many make the move each year. Non-EU citizens need a Spanish Work Visa to be able to legally start work.
If you want to live and work in Spain, there are two main branches of authorities that you will be dealing with: the immigration authority under the Secretary of State for Migration (La Secretaría de Estado de Migraciones), and the labour and employment authorities under the Ministry of Labor and Economy (Ministerio de Trabajo y Economía Social).
Fortunately for EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens, moving to Spain is simple, and they can live, work, and study in the country without restriction. However, most non-EU/EEA citizens, also called third-country nationals, need a work permit and must secure an employment contract before they can apply for one.
UK citizens who wish to come to Spain to live and work post-Brexit will also need a residence and work visa.
Work permit exemptions
Some people don’t need to obtain a work permit to work in Spain, however, they may still need a visa to enter the country. These include university professors, technicians, and scientists. Others who benefit from this exemption include those moving to Spain to develop scientific or cultural programs, foreign journalists, artists coming for specific performances, clergy, and trade union officials. If you are joining a family member who has a Spanish work permit, you may not need a visa.
Rules for volunteers
If you are a citizen of a country with short-term, visa-free, entry to Spain, you can enter the country to do volunteer work without a permit. However, you must respect the limits of the visa-free entry agreements that Spain has with your country; for example, 90 days for US citizens.
When you arrive in Spain, to stay long term, you must apply for a resident permit (Tarjeta de Residencia – TIE) and a Foreigner’s Identity Number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero – NIE) through the local Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or police within 30 days.
What is a Work Visa?
Workers who are not from EU countries need to obtain a Work Visa to be able to live and work in Spain. Without a Work Visa, a company cannot legally employ non-EU citizens.
There are various types of Work Visas for Spain for different types of jobs and for different lengths of employment. Some of the most common types of work visas are:
Long-term Work Visas
Seasonal Work Visas
Au Pair Visas
EU Blue Card
How to get a Visa to Work in Spain
There are numerous different types of Spanish Work Visas. Most require going to a Spanish embassy or consulate in the individual’s home country although, for some certain types of visas, the prospective employer makes the initial application on the employee’s behalf.
Work as an Employee (Highly-skilled)
To work in Spain as a highly-skilled employee, non-EU citizens need to find a job which is listed as a ‘Shortage Occupation’. This is a job for which there is a lack of suitable candidates within the EU. The employer must then request a Work Visa from the Ministry of Labour.
Work permit applications can take up to 8 months to process so forward planning is needed. Once the Ministry of Labour has approved the application, the embassy or consulate issues the work and residence visa.
Visa for Seasonal Workers
The process of obtaining a Work Visa for Seasonal Workers is similar to the process for highly-skilled workers. Employers need to apply for the visa on the worker’s behalf from the Ministry of Labour.
In addition to this process, seasonal workers need to demonstrate they have suitable accommodation arranged, their travel costs are covered, and that they will return to their country once the job has finished. The visas are valid for the duration of the work contract.
Self-employed and Freelance Workers
To work in Spain as a freelancer, it is necessary to apply for a Work Visa at a Spanish consulate or embassy. The work visas are valid for one year but can be renewed if all the conditions are still met. The required documentation includes:
Proof of sufficient finances to support yourself
Proof of relevant skills and experience
A business plan (if applicable)
Any contracts or commissions from companies
Any required licences or registrations (industry or job-specific)
EU Blue Card
The EU Blue Card is for people who spent at least 3 years completing a higher education qualification which allows them to work as skilled professionals.
People who have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience at a high level are also eligible. The employer submits the application on the behalf of the applicant.
A work contract that includes a salary which is at least 50% more than the average wage in Spain (or at least 20% more if the skills are in demand) is a requirement. Once approved, the worker also needs to apply for a visa from a Spanish embassy or consulate in their home country. Blue cards are valid for one year but can be renewed as long as the conditions are still met.
Visa for Au Pairs in Spain
Au pairs can apply for a special Visa for Au Pairs at a Spanish embassy or consulate in their home country before coming to Spain. Applicants need to meet a few conditions to successfully apply:
Be aged between 17 and 30.
Possess an au pair agreement with a host family which states the salary and conditions.
Provide proof of sufficient finances to self-support.
Possess medical cover.
Visas for Au Pairs are valid for one year but can be extended if the conditions are still met.