The Full Guide to Spain Work Visa: Application Process and Requirements (2021)

Yordan

May 06 • 8 minute read

Dreaming of working in Spain? As a non-EU citizen, the bureaucratic process for your work visa in Spain can be challenging. Well, you’re not alone!

Keep reading to find out about the type of work visas, the requirements and what to expect from the application process.

What you need to know about the work visa in Spain

First things first, you’re going to need a visa if you’re a non-EU citizen aspiring to work in Spain.

There are five types of work visas in Spain:

  1. Long-term Work Visa
  2. Seasonal Work Visa
  3. EU Blue Card
  4. Self-employed and freelance Work Visa
  5. Au Pair Visa

What’s a work visa?

The work visa document is a strict requirement for any non-EU emigrant. Therefore, your work visa should be at the top of your moving checklist.

Each of the visas grants you the legal right to work in Spain for a period of one year. You can renew the document every year as long as you meet the requirements.

Once you’ve held your work visa for 5 continuous years, you’re eligible to apply for a long term residence in Spain.

Do I need a work visa?

It can often time be unclear whether or not you need a work visa.

We suggest you check out the table below to see if the work visa in Spain is a must for you:

A-HI-SS-U
AlbaniaIsraelS.V. and Grenadines
AndorraJapanSamoa
Antigua and BarbudakiribatiSan Marino
ArgentinaMacauSerbia
AustraliaMalaysiaSeychelles
BahamasMarshall IslandsSingapore
BarbadosMauritiusSolomon Islands
Bosnia and Herz.MexicoSouth Korea
BrazilMicronesiaTaiwan
BruneiMoldovaTimor Leste
CanadaMonacoTonga
ChileMontenegroTrinidad and Tobago
ColombiaNew ZealandTuvalu
Costa RicaNicaraguaUkraine
DominicaNorth MacedoniaUnited Arab Emirates
El SalvadorPalauUnited States
GeorgiaPanamaUruguay
GuatemalaParaguayVanuatu
HondurasPeruVenezuela
Hong KongSaint Kitts and NevisUK who are not EU citizens

How long can I live in Spain without a work visa?

You don't always need a work visa, sometimes a simple tourist visa is enough.

Short-term visits (up to 90 days)

Non-EU citizens can spend up to 90 days in Spain within a 180 day period without any visa. The 90-day rule states that you can enter Spain as many times as you wish within a 180-day period.

Exceeding the 90 days free entry period results in legal consequences, so you must keep a good count!

Keep in mind: the short-stay permit is for tourists and doesn’t allow you to start a legal job or register at an address in Spain. For that, you’ll need to apply and meet the requirements for a work visa.

Joining relatives who work in Spain

Family members may stay up to one year with their non- EU relatives, who are living in Spain. After receiving a residence permit for family reunification, their stay can be extended for a further period.

How do I get a work visa in Spain?

So how do you get a work visa in Spain?

There are five options you can make use of:

  • Employee Visa
  • Seasonal Work Visas
  • EU Blue Card
  • Self-employed and freelance visa
  • Au Pair Visa

Keep reading to find out the requirements and application process for each of them.

1. Employee Visa

The employee visa is the most basic option you can make use of. The employee visa is valid for a year and can be renewed indefinitely as long as the requirements are met.

Requirements for an employee visa

  • You need to have signed a contract with a company operating in Spain
  • Your job has to be classified as a “Shortage Occupation” or there were no suitable candidates within the EU.

Application process

  1. You secure a contract with a Spanish employer
  2. Your employer requests a work permit on your behalf to the local office of the Ministry of Labor (Delegación Provincial del Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración)
  3. You receive a copy of the visa application
  4. You share the copy of the visa application as part of the visa request with your local Spanish embassy
  5. Your local embassy notifies the Ministry of Labor regional office of the receival of your application
  6. The regional office of the Ministry of Labor processes your application
  7. Your local Spanish embassy issues your work visa

Total required time: Up to 8 months

2. Seasonal Work Visa

As the name suggests, the seasonal visa allows you to work in Spain for a fixed period, typically a couple of months.

Requirements for a seasonal work visa

  • You have signed a contract with a company operating in Spain
  • You have adequate accommodation
  • Your travel expenses are covered You must return to your home country upon the expiration of the seasonal contract

Application Process

  1. You secure a contract with a Spanish employer
  2. Your employer requests a work permit on your behalf to the local office of the Ministry of Labor (Delegación Provincial del Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración)
  3. You receive a copy of the visa application
  4. You share the copy of the visa application as part of the visa request with your local Spanish embassy
  5. Your local embassy notifies the Ministry of Labor regional office of the receival of your application
  6. The regional office of the Ministry of Labor processes your application
  7. Your local Spanish embassy issues your work visa

3. EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is only attainable for individuals who have a high level of professional capacity. With the EU Blue Card, you can travel freely across EU states for up to 90 days in 180 days.

Requirements for the EU Blue Card

  • You must have successfully attained a higher education qualification across a period of at least 3 years OR have a minimum of 5 years of professional experience
  • You must have a valid passport
  • You must have a medical certificate
  • You must have a clean criminal record certificate
  • You must have a legally binding job offer or a signed contract
  • Your job has to pay at least 1.5 times the average salary in Spain
  • You must arrive in Spain within 3 months of the date of issue of the visa

Application process

  1. You secure a contract with a Spanish employer
  2. Your employer applies on your behalf and provides evidence that your position could not have been filled by an EU citizen
  3. Your employer includes information about your qualifications and provides a copy of your passport/ ID along with a certificate for health insurance in Spain
  4. You must apply for a visa at your local Spanish embassy upon receiving the EU Blue Card
  5. You must provide a valid passport, a medical certificate, a clean criminal record certificate
  6. You must provide your job contract

4. Self-employed and freelance visa

This type of visa is for individuals who want to independently work in Spain.

Requirements for a self-employed and freelance visa

  • You have to provide a business plan (if applicable to your situation)
  • You must provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your personal expenses and those of your business
  • You must provide proof of your skills and experience
  • You must provide contacts or commissions from client companies
  • You must possess all the valid permits to carry out your business in Spain
  • You must signify the potential of creating employment in Spain

Application Process

You file a work permit application at your local Spanish embassy along with all the required documentation

5. Au Pair Visa

As the name suggests, the Au Pair visa is for individuals who are set to provide au pair services to a family in Spain. This visa is valid for one year and can be extended to up to two years.

Requirements for an Au Pair Visa

  • You must be between the ages of 17 and 30
  • You must have a formally notarized Au Pair agreement between the host family and yourself. The agreement must state the details of the work and the salary
  • You must have proof that you can support yourself self-sufficiently
  • You must provide proof of medical coverage
  • You must provide proof of clean criminal records

Application Process

  1. Make a visa appointment at your regional representative brach of Spain
  2. Take part in an interview with a consular officer, during which you have to submit all of the required documents

How much does a work visa cost in Spain?

Needless to say, there’s a fee for getting any type of visa in Spain:

Type of VisaPrice (€)
Self-Employed Work Visa€ 80 - € 120
Employed Work Visa€ 60 - € 160
Au Pair Visa€ 80 to € 150
EU Blue Card€ 285
Seasonal Work Visa€ 73- € 550

Still got questions about the requirements for applying for a work visa in Spain? Check out the website of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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