Work permits in Spain

How and when to apply for them

In order to hire a non-EU citizen, a company must demonstrate that he or she has a certain set of skills necessary for the position that cannot be found in a candidate from the EU.

Since 2006, EU citizens have not been required to have work permits in order to work in Spain. It is possible to enter the country and simply register with the employment office (Instituto Nacional de Empleo), after which you have 90 days to find employment. If your job hunt is not successful you simply need to register again. Once employment is found, you will need to provide certification from your employer in order to apply for residency in Spain.

On the other hand, all non-EU nationals need both a work and a residency permit, which can be applied for at the same time. The type of permit required depends on the type of work you will be doing.

The following permits are the main ones issued in Spain:

  • Type A: Issued for jobs with temporary, fixed duration; such as building, construction or equipment installation, etc.
  • Type B: For those with a job offer from a company for a predetermined activity in a specified location. Later on, you can apply for a permit which will allow you to carry out any activity anywhere in the country (Type C).
  • Type T: Issued for employees undertaking short-term service contracts, such as consultants.
  • Type D: Also a residence permit. It is necessary for those who want to set up their own business. Initially issued to perform a specific activity in a determined area of the country. Upon renewal, this permit can be extended to any business in any part of the country.

For a more detailed explanation of the paperwork necessary to obtain a work permit, contact the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country. It would be advisable to seek the assistance of a legal professional to help during the application process. It is also worth bearing in mind that the approval process can last anywhere from 2-6 months.

Further reading

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