Work permits

Non-EU citizens working in Spain

Work permits

While EU citizens do not need a work permit, most non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens will need a work permit to work in Spain, but there are some exceptions, such as family members of people who already have a work visa or scientists or researchers who have come to work on a specific project.

Most people will need to get a work permit to work as an employee for a Spanish company. Once you’ve secured a job, your employer must request a work permit on your behalf and you can then apply for a visa once you’ve got your residence permit as well. Bear in mind that it can take up to eight months to process a work permit so you need to plan ahead.

You should apply for a visa while your work permit is being processed, as you’ll be sent a copy of your application which you can send on to the Spanish embassy in order to apply for a work and residence visa. The embassy will confirm to the labour office that it has your application and then your work permit will be processed. Once your work permit has been approved, the embassy will process your visa. Your work permit will be valid for one year, after which you can renew it.

Fast track visas

Since 2014, you can apply for a fast track visa and work permit if you are non-EU entrepreneur, researcher, highly qualified professionals or national investor for which you’ll receive preferential treatment which includes free travel throughout the Schengen area and automatic residence for you and your family. However, you will have to fulfill certain stipulations depending on which category you fall into. You will be able to find out further information on this and whether you qualify by contacting the Spanish embassy or consulate in your country.

Further reading

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