Certain nationalities require a Spanish work visa to legally live and work in Spain. There are a number of different types of Spanish work permits, as well as exemptions, depending on your employment situation. The Spanish work permit is closely linked to your residence status in Spain. In most cases, you must arrange a job before applying for a permit to move to Spain.
Working in Spain as an Employee
After you have secured a job, your employer must request a work permit for you to legally work in Spain. This is granted if the job is a Shortage Occupation or if the vacancy was advertised and there were no other suitable candidates from the EU. After authorization, you can apply for a visa.
While this is being processed, you get a copy of the application with the stamp from that office and file number. You can send it to the Spanish embassy as part of your visa application. The embassy informs the regional labor office that it has your application and the labor office processes your application. It can take up to eight months to process a work permit application. Once the labor office approves the work permit, the embassy issues your work and residence visa.
A work permit is valid for one year and is renewable as long as you fulfill the conditions. Permits are available for specific sectors, so it’s usually possible to change jobs as long as it’s in the same field. After five years you can apply for long term residence.
Seasonal Workers in Spain
To work in seasonal employment in Spain, you need a work permit and visa. However, in addition, you’ll need to show that:
- you have suitable accommodation,
- your travel costs are covered, and
- you will return to your home country after the seasonal contract ends.
EU Blue Card
If you have a higher education qualification that took at least three years to complete that allows you to work at a high level in a professional capacity, or have a minimum of five years’ professional experience at the same level, then you can apply for an EU Blue Card. You also need a work contract or legally-binding job offer. The job must have a salary of at least 1.5 times or 1.2 times for jobs that are in particular demand the average wage in Spain.
Once the EU Blue Card is granted, you must apply to the Spanish embassy in your home country for a visa. You’ll need your passport, medical certificate, no criminal record certificate and a copy of the job contract. When you have the visa, you have three months to come to Spain. The Blue Card is valid for a year and is renewable for as long as you still meet the conditions.
Once you have an EU Blue Card, you can travel to other EU states for up to three months within a six-month period. After 18 months, you can move to another EU state but you must apply for an EU Card there. If you have held a Blue Card issued by another EU member state for 18 months, you have the right to move to Spain and apply for a Spanish EU Blue Card. You or your employer can apply either before you arrive in Spain or within a month of entering the country.
Freelance Workers in Spain
If you want to come to Spain and work independently, you have to apply for a work permit from the Spanish embassy in your home country. You’ll have to provide certain documents, which may include the following:
- a business plan (if appropriate);
- evidence that you have the appropriate finances to invest in it or support yourself;
- proof that you have the skills or experience to do the work;
- any contracts or commissions from companies;
- any licenses or registrations required to carry out the work in Spain;
- information about potential to create employment in Spain.