Types of Work Permits in Spain and How to Get Them
Like most things involved in moving to another country, getting all your ducks in a row to allow you to work legally in your new home can be tricky. For one thing, there are several different types of work permit in Spain, each with its own requirements. In this post, we’ll talk about what these different types are, what the work permit for Spain requirements are for each one, and a special note for business owners/self-employed expats.
Getting a work permit in Spain: who needs one?
As a general rule, citizens of countries that are not part of the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) need a work permit in Spain if they want to work legally. Additionally, Croatian citizens will need a permit for a couple more years, until the end of June 2020.
However, depending on your specific circumstances, there may be exceptions. For example, visiting university professors, scientists working on a certain project, and foreign journalists do not need work permits in Spain. Another exception is for family members of someone who has been legally working in Spain already for at least one year.
Work permit for Spain requirements
The requirements for a work permit in Spain vary depending on the type of permit you are applying for. One rule that applies to practically all work permits, however, is that you must have a formal job offer before you can get a permit. In fact, prospective employees must have their future employer file the Spanish work permit application for them.
Standard employee Spanish work visa requirements:
Formal job offer, employer must request authorization for you to work. While the authorization is being processed, you must apply for a residence visa at your local Spanish consulate or embassy. Note that work authorization is only given if the employer can demonstrate that no Spanish or EU citizens are available/able to take the position.
Seasonal work permit in Spain requirements:
Same as the standard authorization, but you must also prove that you have suitable accommodations for the duration of your work season, can cover your travel expenses, and plan to go back to your home country at the end of the contract.
Work permit in Spain for international students:
If you are on a student visa, you are allowed to work no more than 20 hours per week. Like other foreign employees, your prospective employer will have to get work authorization for you.
Work permit to Spain for family members:
Non-EU citizens who are relatives of non-EU citizens who have lived and worked in the country for at least one year may apply for a family reunification residence permit. If granted, these family members do not need a permit in order to work in Spain.
Work permit for self-employed individuals:
Since you have no employer in Spain to apply for your authorization, you will have to do it yourself at the Spanish consulate in your home country. As part of your application, you may need to provide a business plan, proof of business capital, proof of necessary skills/experience, necessary licenses or registrations, etc. If you plan on starting a company in Spain, you may want to hire a lawyer with expertise in Spanish company formation and business law.