So after completing my WSET Diploma I've decided to take a bit of a leap of faith and move to Spain from San Francisco at the beginning of 2020. I am curious to see if others have made a move like this, and could give me some insight into the unforeseen difficulties of this, difficulties of networking in another country, obtaining a job, etc. I can speak spanish almost fluently, enough to hold a conversation, and am most interested in Importing or Consulting for a restaurant group/hotels for designing/growing their wine programs, but not limiting myself to that. If working for a particular winery would be the easiest way to get my foot in the door, maybe that's the way to go, as I am a buyer in SF and have good connections to those wineries as well.
Any advice is greatly appreciated.
I did something similar back in 2017, and ended up living in Europe for well over a year. It is definitely doable, but you may want to do some more extended research into Visas and the bureaucratic process of Spain. Most countries will only allow you to stay for a period of 90 days without some kind of visa or residency permit (depending on your country of citizenship). If you try to begin this process once in the country, you may not be able to receive your documents due to the time it may take to process the paperwork. There is almost always something that gets sent back or additional information being needed. For example, it wasn't enough to have a notarized translation of my birth certificate, they wanted an original copy as well. Feel free to e-mail me and I will go into more details on things you should be aware of. email@example.com