Freelance Journalist Visa for Spain

30 April 2021

The Freelancer's Working Visa in Spain

This article has information about alternative ways to get a working visa for Spain in particular for journalists. It will give you detailed instructions on how to get the visa, what documents you need, who to contact and if you are eligible to get a freelancer's working visa for Spain. It can help set up your visa before you have an actual job in Spain which is often hard to do.

There’s always two ways around everything and for journalists wanting to work in Spain there’s another option when it comes to getting your Spanish working visa.

Who said it’s next to impossible to get a working visa in Spain? There’s always two ways around everything and for journalists wanting to work in Spain there’s another option when it comes to getting your Spanish working visa.

Journalists looking to move to Spain can get something called a Freelancer’s visa or Collaborator’s visa.(or a Foreign Press Credit as it’s referred to in the Consulate) Basically this is a visa based on employment from an outside media source employing you as their foreign correspondent. All you have to do is prove to them that you are A) a professional journalist (details below), B) employed full time by this particular media outlet and C) that you are the best person for the job. Sound easy? The visa allows you the same benefits as any other type of visa (once you’re in the country it doesn’t matter what you do) and it’s a great alternative than first trying to get a job in Spain and then applying for the working visa, which is traditionally how it has to be done.

Another great thing about this visa is that your work contract with the outside media source is only an informal contract. This makes it easier to get media outlets on board as they don’t actually have to employ you once you’re in Spain. The contract is only a suggestion - the embassy doesn’t have to know that.

When applying for the Freelancer’s visa you must apply for accreditation with the Spanish Consulate who will then contact the Foreign Affairs Ministry to help further the process. It’s best to ask the embassy in the country of residence to point you in the right direction and have someone facilitate and oversee the process. Doing this will make things easier and give you a point person in case problems arise. 

Possessing the correct documentation when applying for any type of working visa is extremely important and there is a lot of paper work needed for the freelancer’s working visa. It’s a good idea to make sure the list is completely checked off before sending anything in, to avoid hassle.

The following are a list of documents needed, to apply for a Freelancer’s accreditation. (Note: All documents can be submitted in English and no translation is needed)

  • A Letter from the Director or News Editor where you will be employed indicating:
  • That the interested party is a professional journalist who has been appointed to carry out news reporting assignments for this media.
  • That there is a permanent working relationship between the interested party and the media indicating the salary to be received.
  • That the interested party will work exclusively on the designated news reporting mission.
  • If there are other accredited correspondents from the same media specify which of them is the Chief Correspondent.
  • Characteristics of the media (type of information, broadcast or circulation or audience, etc.)

Note: The letter from the Director or Editor must be on company letter head and be addressed to:
Director General de Información Internacional 
(Director General for International Information). 
Secretaría de Estado de Comunicación 
(Secretariat of State for Communications)
Complejo de la Moncloa (Moncloa Complex)
28071- MADRID. 
Telefax: 91 321 42 31

  1. The letter must also be on company letter head.
  2. Copy of the valid passport or National ID
  3. In the case of journalists residing in Spain who are citizens of a non-European Union country or citizens of expansion countries during the transition period a copy of their residency permit.
  4. Copy of the employment contract.
  5. Copy of the certifications that authorize their professional activity in the country of origin.
  6. Professional background of the applicant (CV or Resume)
  7. Two ID-sized photos.
  8. Duly completed accreditation application form (Click hee for accreditation application form)Freelance_Application_Form.pdf

In conjunction with the forms for the Freelancer’s visa you must apply for a general long term visa from the Embassy in your country of residency.

To apply for this working visa (it is not a residency visa that is something different) you will need to submit the following:
Note: (All documentation can be submitted in English with no translation needed)

  1. Passport valid for a minimum of 180 days prior to your intended arrival date.
  2. Three recent passport size photos.
  3. Copy of Residence and Employment authorization notified to the employer
  4. Letter from your Family Physician indicating the following: General health condition. Absence of quarantine diseases including cholera, plague and yellow fever, according to the regulations of the World Health Organization. Absence of contagious, parasitic and infectious diseases. No psychological disorders, mental illnesses, psychosis, delirium or hallucinations. No addictions to drugs.
  5. Police Record Clearance Certificate issued by the authorities of the country or countries where you have resided during the last 5 years.
  6. Visa application form completed, signed and returned along with three additional photocopies.

Click here for Visa Application Form Visa-Schengen.pdf

The Freelancer’s working visa in Spain is something that not many people are aware of yet is a viable and realistic alternative for journalists looking to move to Spain.

For more visa information and to download the visa application form, check out: (apply for a long term visa) (click on visa on the left hand side)

Long-term Visas

All foreigners who do not hold the nationality of a European Union member state, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland and who wish to remain in Spain for more than ninety days out of every six months, must apply for a long-term visa. There are three types of long term visas: 1: Resident’s visa: This visa allows the holder to reside in Spain without undertaking any type of work or professional activity. 2: Work and Resident’s Visa: This visa allows the holder to undertake work or professional activity either for third parties or on his or her own behalf. 3: Student’s Visa: This visa allows the holder to remain in Spain in order to pursue courses, studies, research and/or training programs. In the case of a spouse, parent or descendant of a citizen of the European Union, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you only need to apply for a visitor’s visa if you wish to live in Spain and are subject to this specific requirement. (see attachment on website for more details) Otherwise you will not require any type of visa to live in Spain.

Visa Issue

You must collect your visa within two months of being notified that it has been granted. In the case of a resident’s, work, or student’s visa, the holder must obtain a foreign national’s identity card within one month of entry into Spain.

Refusals and Appeals

You may appeal the refusal of a visa either by means of a request for reconsideration from the same diplomatic mission or consular office within one month, or by requesting a judicial review before the Supreme Court in Madrid within two months. The overall process when applying for a working visa in Spain can at times be complicated and frustrating. A few key tips to making this process less painful are:

  • Try to establish a relationship either via email or phone with a specific person at the Spanish Embassy in your country of residence. This will give you a ‘go to’ person in times of need.
  • A media outlet with a large reach and audience circulation will give you a better chance of getting the Spanish working visa and give you more credibility.
  • Attach a signed copy of the working contract to the application along with the letter stating what you will be doing in Spain
  • Give yourself plenty of time for the entire process it can take up to a few months even without complications

The Freelancer’s working visa in Spain is something that not many people are aware of yet is a viable and realistic alternative for journalists looking to move to Spain who are having trouble finding local media jobs. It’s also a wise option economically, as media jobs in Spain don’t pay particularly well. It’s a good idea to have another source of income, one from outside the country that you can rely on until you find your footing in Spain.

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