Applying for a work visa to Spain


Any foreigner who plans to work in Spain is obliged to pre-issue a work visa. Exceptions are EU, EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Swiss nationals. In addition to the absence of a visa, these categories of foreigners (on an equal basis with Spaniards) have a priority right to work in Spain. In other words, if the vacancy is claimed by Europeans, to get this job for foreigners is almost impossible.

Another difficulty in the process of labor migration to Spain is associated with a high unemployment rate, which in 2019 reaches 15%, and among young people and even more than 35%. The employment situation is gradually improving, but the problem has not been fully resolved. Accordingly, it is necessary to look for scarce niches, in particular, qualified technical specialists with extensive experience are in demand in the Spanish labor market.

The procedure of labor migration to Spain

  1. Job search in a Spanish company.
  2. The conclusion of the employment contract.
  3. Obtaining a work permit (employer’s responsibility).
  4. Work visa (applicant’s responsibility).
  5. Moving to Spain and applying for a residence permit.

The first step to a work visa to Spain is to find an employer who will not only be interested in the skills of a foreign specialist but will also agree to undergo a very bureaucratic procedure for obtaining a work permit to a foreigner. To do this, on behalf of the applicant, the employer submits an application to the local Ministry of labor.

The vacancy is pre-posted on the website of the Public employment service and for a minimum of 2 weeks applicants from the EU or Spanish citizens who are able to take this job, should not be. The foreigner is required to send proof of sufficient qualification (diplomas, certificates) and a copy of the passport. It is very important that the employer correctly issued the documentation and was able to convince the local authorities of the need to hire an employee from abroad.

Minimum requirement:

  • The contract for at least 12 months.
  • Full time.
  • Wages are not lower than the national average (about 2 thousand euros per month).
  • Good reasons for hiring a foreign specialist.

Consideration of applications for work permits in Spain lasts no more than 90 days, but there are cases that the procedure is delayed for 6-8 months. After approval of the application, the foreigner is obliged to apply to the Consulate of Spain for a work visa within 30 days. Initially, the work permit is issued for 12 months with the right of extension. Usually, the document is tied to the field of activity. That is, over time, you can change the employer, but not the profession.

In some areas, obtaining a work visa to Spain is a sufficient condition for employment and it is not necessary to obtain a work permit. For example, for the purpose of teaching or conducting research activities in Spanish universities.

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