How to Get a Spanish Work Permit

How to Get a Spanish Work Permit

Spain has a vibrant and thriving culture with the economy to match.  A major European commercial hub, many non-Spanish companies are starting to set up international locations in Spain, and many international workers are looking for ways to gain work visas to Spain to take advantage of these exciting new work opportunities.  Applying for, and receiving a work and residence visa and a work permit are cumbersome processes, but simple to understand, and most permits and visas can be obtained relatively easily.

All non-European Union citizens will need to obtain a visa and a permit in order to work in Spain.  People who have an EU passport, however, and therefore also have EU citizenship do not need to obtain special permission from the Spanish government before taking an employee position with a company located in Spain.  Before a work permit can be obtained, a residence visa must be granted.  This can be done in the Spanish Consulate of your home country, before entry into Spain.  The purpose of your visit to Spain will dictate what kind of visa you receive, and common visa types include tourism, student, work, or investment visas.  However, if you are interested in getting a residence visa, you cannot come to Spain on another type of visa first, and then submit your application for a residence visa.  You will have to first return to your home country and then reapply.

Residence visas and residence permits require separate approvals, as they are different authorizations.  Permits can be obtained after a visa is granted.  Residence visas are initially granted for 1 year and can be extended for up to 2 more years, or 3 years total.  Permanent resident visas can also be obtained which are good for up to 5 years, and are typically granted for the purpose of reuniting a family, such as in a case where one spouse is a Spanish citizen and the other is not, or in cases where a person is seeking asylum.  Or, permanent resident visas can be granted when a foreigner needs to obtain a work permit.

Work and residence visas should be obtained before you move to Spain and intend to start working, and can be applied for at the Spanish consulate of your home country.  When you go to apply for your work permit, you should bring with your application:

  • A valid passport
  • Certificate of any criminal records that might be against you for the past 5 years in the country or countries you have been living in
  • An official medical certificate
  • Three passport-sized photographs
  • Your offer of employment from the business you intend to work for, including a description of the job you have been offered
  • The fiscal registration number (CIF or NIF) and the Social Security registration number for your intended employer

If you intend to run your own business in Spain, you will still need to bring all of the above, plus proof that you meet the professional qualifications and have the proper licenses to run your business in Spain.

In addition to there being separate types of visas, there are also different types of work permits available for work in Spain.  A Type A permit is valid for work during specific seasons, short-term contracts, or work in a specific geographic areas and are valid for up to 9 months.  A Type B permit is valid for a specific profession, activity, and geographic location for up to 1 year, or a renewed Type B can extend an initial Type B permit for up to 2 more years.  A Type C permit is issued after a renewed Type B expires, and is valid for any type of work, throughout Spain.  There are variations of all of the above types of permits for self-employment as well.

Upon your arrival to Spain you must also obtain a NIE number ( How To Get a NIE Number ), at a local police station.  In case you are self-employed you must also go the Social Security office and register yourself with the Spanish Taxation office (Hacienda).  They will require a copy of your passport and NIE so be sure to take those with you.  If you are not self-employed, then your employer will do this for you and you will automatically be registered into the Spanish Taxation system (Hacienda).

Living and working in Spain is an experience that can benefit you, and your professional endeavours greatly, and which can be made possible simply by submitting your application for the proper visa and work permit. ¡Esperamos que se una a nosotros!

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