Work Permit in Spain

Why is Work Permit Needed?

The procedure to acquire a Spain work visa is lengthy due to their restricted policies for foreign nationals. To legally work in Spain, foreign nationals require a valid work permit and work visa issued by the Immigration authorities of the country. In addition, the local employer has to apply for a work visa on behalf of their employees.

About the Spain Job Market

Number of Expats in Spain

7,231,195 (Numbers are prone to change)

Expat Job Websites

SpainExpat, MillionMakers, InternationalCitizens

Popular Industries for Expats

Engineering, IT, Healthcare, Hospitality Services

Types of Spain Work Visa Available

There are different types of work visas available in Spain that the foreign nationals can apply for based on their reason for visit. 

Work Employment Visa (por cuenta ajena)

Before applying for a Spain work visa, the employee must have a job offer. On behalf of the employee, the employer will request a work permit to work in Spain legally. The work permits are available for selective sectors. Thus, it is usually possible to change jobs as long as it is in the same field. 
The Spanish government issues the work visa once the government has recognized the job as a shortage occupation or if there was no right candidate to fill the position from the European Union (EU). In this case, the candidate should belong to a highly skilled profession. 
It takes approximately eight months to process a work permit application. After the work permit is approved by the labor office, the embassy grants the work and residence visa. This is valid for one year and can be renewed innumerable times. The employee can apply for permanent residence in Spain after five years. 

Work Visa For Seasonal Workers

This is a temporary work visa in Spain for non-EU citizens who are coming for seasonal work in Spain. The application process for this visa is nearly the same as that for the long-term work visa. However, few additions are there: 
- The employer must provide an accommodation that is hygienic and matches the conditions of adequate dignity. 
- The employer must pay the travel costs of the employee. 
- The employee must return to their home country once the contract is over.  
This visa is valid for either nine months or be the same as the duration of the work contract issued by the employer. The shorter contracts and the permits can be extended up to a maximum limit of 9 months. 

The EU Blue Card

The EU Blue card is a residence permit issued to highly qualified people. This allows the EU countries to hire skilled third-country nationals. The employees applying for the EU blue card must have a qualification of at least three years, or they must have a minimum of five years of professional experience. 
The validity for the EU Blue card is one year and can be renewed until the conditions are met. On obtaining the blue card, one is allowed to travel to other EU states for up to three months and within six months. 

Self Employment Work Visa

Also called Autonomo in Spanish, this visa is for people who wish to work on their own terms as a freelancer. But the process of applying for this visa may differ as per the applicant’s country of origin. 
The citizens of EU and EFTA member states can work freely without any work permit. They can just register themselves as self-employed when entering the country. However, the Non-EU/EFTA citizens have to apply for a visa to enter Spain and then a residence permit to reside in the country for a long time.  
The validity of the self-employment work visa is one year. After this, it is renewable for two years and can be extended up to five years. 

Work Visa For Students

People who hold a student residence card are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week while studying in Spain. However, the employer has to arrange a work permit on behalf of the students. 
If the study program is for 3-6 months, one may be required to acquire a student visa. But if it is stamped for 180 days total duration, they will not be allowed to get a residence card (TIE) that allows them to work in Spain. 

Working Holiday Visa

Spain holds a working holiday visa agreement with countries like Australia, Japan, Canada, South Korea, and New Zealand. If the person is a citizen of any of these countries and up to 30 years of age, then they are eligible to apply for this visa. 

Work Visa For Au Pairs

An Au Pair is a young Foreign national aged 18 to 30, who comes to live with the host family for a limited period. They usually support the host family with simple household chores and childcare while also learning the host country’s language and culture. Earlier, the AU Pairs worked on a student visa, but now the Student Visa Program in Spain requires applicants to be full-time students. Furthermore, if a student wants a work permit, the job must be compatible with the study schedule, and the working hours should be limited.

Requirements for a South Africa Work Permit

There is a varied range of documents required for different visa types. To acquire the Spain work visa, some of the common documents are: 

  • ~A copy of their passport that is valid for at least six months from their travel date. 
  • ~A proof of their clean criminal record 
  • ~Proof of medical records done before arrival 
  • ~3 Passport-sized photographs  
  • ~A copy of their job offer 

If the employee is in their home country, the employer is responsible for filing their application with a Spanish embassy or consulate in that country.

Spain Work Permit Application Process

Wondering how to get a work visa in Spain? Here is the detailed application process to apply for the visa:


  • ~To start the application process for a Spain work visa, the employer has to apply for a work permit on behalf of the employee at the Ministry of Labour office.
  • ~After this, the embassy will send information about the application to the regional labor office for further process. The verification process may take up to 8 months. Thus, it is suggested to plan ahead. 
  • ~Once the labor office approves the work permit, the embassy of Spain Consulate will issue the work and residence visa of the employee. 
  • ~Apart from the work visa process, the employees have to register for Spanish Social Security authorities and also the General Social Security Fund. This will be done on behalf of the employee. 

How Multiplier Can Help 

We are a global EOR solution with local entities in over 150+ countries. We are here to simplify the onboarding process for companies like you and help you manage global talent without any hassle. We offer end-to-end solutions to our users, which are designed and developed intricately by our in-house experts.

With the help of our SaaS-based solutions, you can request a Spain work visa and work permit. Our well-equipped team of experts will ease your tasks by handling the entire process, including the processing time, document verification, and the cost incurred. During this process, you will be kept updated about the progress.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the process if the Spain work visa is rejected?

If someone’s work visa is rejected, they can appeal to the government’s decision. First, they can complete the application form at the agency or the Spanish Embassy located in their country. With this, they will be allowed to explain their disagreement with the decision. Once this is done, the Embassy will examine the appeal, and on the basis of that, the application will be granted or rejected again.

Can family members of the employee work in Spain on their work visa?

Yes, it is possible. As long as the employee stays and works in the country with a Spain work visa, their family members can apply for a family reunification residence permit. Holding this, the family members can work without a permit.

What is an NIE number and who needs it?

A foreign identification number (NIE) is obtained to regulate applications in certain cases of foreign nationals or legal persons. This sequential number is given to foreigners according to their financial, social, or professional interests in Spain for identification purposes.

Are there any limitations on buying real estate for foreign nationals?

Yes, the applicant must invest in the country at least € 500,000 and the property must have no encumbrances or liens.

Is there any language requirement to apply for citizenship?

Currently, there is no law regarding language to apply for citizenship. But there is a draft under progress that will ensure the candidate must have minimum knowledge of Spanish.

Which countries are free to enter Spain without a visa?

The foreign nationals of European Economic Era (EEE) countries and Andora just need ID cards to enter Spain. Some of the countries in this list are Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Azerbaijan, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Georgia, Egypt, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, Israel, Panama, Macao, Malaysia, Mexico, Mauritius, Moldova, and Monaco.

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