Working in Spain may be the goal of many. A country rich in history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant nightlife, working in Spain will be like a continuous vacation. Moreover, the country is always in search of highly skilled persons and has a list of shortage occupations.

If you are searching for a workplace where you are appreciated as a worker, but also a lover of the sun, Spain looks like the ideal place for you.

Yet, to work in Spain you must meet several criteria and may have to complete some processes, as getting a Spain work visa.

Do I Need a Spain Work Visa?

A Spain Work Visa is a Long-stay Visa for Spain, which enables you to engage in a paid activity.

Only nationals of several countries located in Europe are eligible to move to Spain and work here without a visa. If your country is located outside Europe, for sure you need a visa.

On the other hand, if your country is located in the old continent, and you are unsure whether you need a visa to Spain or not, you should check our article on who needs a Spain Visa, which offers detailed information in this regard.

Types of Spain Work Visas

If by now you have concluded that you need a visa to work in Spain, then the first thing you should know is that there are two types of visas for working in Spain. These are:

  • Employment visas for Spain. This visa is for working for a company/institution/organization in Spain, the main categories of which are:
  • Self-employment visas for Spain. This visa is for establishing or investing in an already established company/institution/organization in Spain, or for working as a freelancer.

How to Apply for a Spain Work Visa?

To apply for a Spain Work visa, you need to meet some requirements and also complete the application steps as set by the Spanish authorities. Further, in this article, find all of these steps and requirements simply explained in chronological order.

Get a Job in Spain/Business Plan

First, check for which work visa you are going to apply. If you are applying for a Spain employment visa, you will need to get a job at a company, institution or organization in Spain. You should have a concrete job offer, as stipulated by the Spanish authorities.

On the other hand, if you are applying for a self-employment visa, you must prove you have an investment plan or a freelancing plan, and the means to finance your idea.

Check When and Where to Apply for a Spain Work Visa

Apply at most three months before your intended to trip to Spain. Make sure you apply well in advance. You will need to submit your application at one of the following:

  • The Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence.
  • A third-party visa application center.

Where you need to apply, it depends on how the Spanish representative authorities in your country of residence have established visa submission. You should check with them to know for sure where you need to apply.

Collect the Required Documents to Apply for Spain Work Visa

Now, this is the most important part of your visa application for work in Spain. Collect the required documents according to the criteria set, as explained below.

You should collect the Spanish D Visa application form, your passport and copies of pages with important data, older passports and visas, and two recent photographs. In addition, you should collect the following documents:

  • Work Authorization. Your employer should get this document for you. Note that on the submission date, this document cannot be older than one month.
  • Police record. A document no older than six months, that shows that you have committed no criminal activity in the last 5 years.
  • Medical Certificate. A document issued by a legally known physician which states that you are not suffering from any disease or that you may have a serious public health impact.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Proof of the professional qualification for the job you have been offered in Spain.
  • Work contract. A document sighed by your employee and you, which indicates your work conditions, including the monthly payment.
  • License or registration required to carry out the work in Spain.

Note that depending on the job offer or to your investment plan you will need to submit additional documents. Your nationality also plays a role in the list of the documents you need to submit. The consulate will provide you with a full list of the documents required according to your case.

Make a Spain Visa Interview Appointment

There are two ways to make an appointment for a Spain Work Visa application, through the call center of the Spanish consulate or third party visa-processing center or online through their website or the website of the visa-processing center.

It all depends on how the Spanish representation has regulated this issue in your country. In some countries, you can make the appointment in only one of the ways and in others in either way.

Attend the Spain Work Visa Interview

On the day of your interview, you will need to do the following:

  1. Give your biometrics, your facial image, and fingerprints, if you have not traveled to Schengen countries in the last 5 years.
  2. Pay the visa fee. Again, it depends on your country how the payment is completed. You may have to pay in cash during the interview or at a bank before or after the interview.
  3. Attend the interview. The interview is a short meeting with a visa consular. You will submit your document to this person, as required. You will also need to respond to several questions regarding your trip.

Wait for the Processing of Spain Work Visa

Most countries process your visa application within one month. In some others, this process can be extended for up to 2 months. That is why you should make sure you apply well in advance, in order to avoid any possible delays.

After You Arrive in Spain with a Work Visa

As soon as you arrive in Spain, depending on the intended length of your stay, you may need to complete some other actions. If you have a visa with a six months validity, which indicates “exempt from work permits”, you can go on and work. You will not need to register or obtain work authorization.

On the other hand, if you have a visa with three months validity with the obligation of obtaining a residence permit (explained below) you have one month to register at the corresponding Social Security scheme in Spain. If you are an employee, your employer will complete this process for you. If you are self-employed, you have to apply by yourself.

Upon registration, you should immediately apply for your foreigner identity card at the Foreigners’’ Office or at the Police Station.

Spain Work Visa Fees

The Spanish Visa fees for those coming to the country for employment purposes are as follows:

 Work Visa type USA citizens Canadian Citizens Other nationalities
Employed Work Visa €167 €100 €80
Work Visa Except from Work Permit €123 €507 €80
Self Employed Work Visa €238 €674 €80
New Entrepreneurial Law 14/2013 €167 €100 €80

Note that if you will be applying through a visa center you will pay an additional small fee to the visa-processing center.

How Long Can I Stay in Spain with a Work Visa?

Your visa will stipulate how long you can stay in Spain for work. If your visa sticker has a validity of six months, this is the longest you can stay in Spain.

If your visa indicates the validity of three months with the right to get work authorization, then you are entitled to apply for a residence permit that is valid for one year. You may also apply for the extension of your work residence permit before the expiration of your current permit.

Can I Bring My Family Members?

You can bring your family members in Spain after you spend a year working and living here. You must have a residence permit that allows you to spend another year working in Spain, in order to be able to bring them here.

Your family members can also work in Spain without the need for work authorization. Family members of EU Blue Card holders do not need to wait a year to join their family members.