Work Visa for Spain

01 March 2021

Work Visas for Working in Spain


Information and guide to getting a work visa in Spain.


As with most information about the bureaucracies of Spain, it's only a guide in your efforts toward a work visa.

There is no “working holiday visa” like there is in Japan for instance. No, Spain is a part of the EU, and as such carries the same process and requirements as for the rest of the Schengen countries’ work visas. Spain also has fairly a fairly high unemployment rate, making your work visa very difficult to get. See Working in Spain, Being Autonomo for more about working in Spain; also see the super-comprehensive jobs in Spain list.

Note that the Ministry of Public Administration has recently created a new system for those who already have work visas to renew their visa online. This system can be found here.

The following is the best guide to the process of gaining a legal work visa for non-European passport holders that we’ve been able to put together. As with most information about the bureaucracies of Spain, it’s only a guide in your efforts toward a work visa. We wish you the best of luck with this.

Please note that there is no legal right nor any guarantee to a work visa /permit.
  1. Attend interviews with the desired company of employment, with the intention of being selected.
  2. Submit ALL the following documents to the Subdelegación del Gobierno in the city you are trying to move to and work in. (Note that this involves many hours in queues or, alternatively, contracting a Spanish Lawyer):
    • Official application form (EX-1), signed and stamped by EMPLOYER.
    • 3 passport photos (not high-gloss)
    • Photocopy and original of passport (must be valid for duration of work-term)
    • Official job offer form (EX-5), signed and stamped by EMPLOYER. The job offered must be full-time and 10 months or longer
    • Original official company fiscal identity document (CIF)
    • Original official company social security inscription document, as well as documents TC-1 and TC-2.
    • Certified originals from the Tesoreria General de la Seguridad Social and the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria proving that the company is fully up to date in its tax and social security payments.
    • Official certification that the job on offer has already been advertised in the official Provincial Unemployment Office and that no suitable European candidate has applied.
    • Document describing the services offered by the company and why a non-European should be employed to work there.
    • Original and photocopies of degree transcripts/certifications and credentials, with the official seal of convalidatation of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture (Madrid)
  3. Make an appointment with the Spanish Consulate serving your official home address (in country of origin) in order to process all the documentation which they require for a work visa . This usually includes, amongst others, the official job offer document, stamped by the Subdelegación del Gobierno; official certificate of no criminal record in country of origin and local health certificate. This step can be undertaken by you or your legal representative, and can take up to 4 months to be processed.
  4. Once your home country’s Spanish Consulate has processed your work visa , you have to fetch it in person. It can not be handed to ayone other than you.
  5. As soon as you have your work visa you can return to Spain, finalise the application for a work/residence permit and start work. Please note that there is no legal right nor any guarantee to a work visa /permit. All applications are evalutated by the authorities in Spain.

Finally, appreciate that the legalisation procedure is difficult, lengthy, and expensive for everyone, making Spain an illogical choice for those who do not intend to be here for at least 2 to 3 years.

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