Please see the “Types of Visas” section for requirements that apply to all visa applications, as well as a simple overview of the aspects of each specific visa.
If you are lucky enough to have to relocate to Spain for your work (through your current employer or a new one), generally, they will be the ones to help you with handling of the visa process. However, you will have to do part of the work (providing extensive documentation), so it is helpful to know the steps and paperwork required of the lengthy and complex process. If you are on your own, you should probably hire a lawyer (an abogado) and learn Spanish as well as patience.
Non-EU nationals entering Spain to work are required to hold a national visa as well as a valid work permit. Your employer will usually apply for the work permit, as the process requires the company to provide a great deal of information.
Although we offer you the very best information we can find, it is difficult to get the same story twice from any government department in Spain and there are no written guidelines. To apply for a work permit for a non-EU worker, an application will be made by your company through the Dirección Provincial de Trabajo, Seguridad Social y Asuntos Sociales. This is the process at a glance:
1. Secure a position. This will only work if you are hired by a representative of the company you want to work for in YOUR HOME COUNTRY. This is where you will need to apply for, and wait for, your working visa. Alternatively, if you are already in Spain and have found a job, you will have to return to your home country to apply.
2. Submit the following documents to the Subdelegación del Gobierno in Barcelona. Their address is C/ Mallorca 278, 08037, Barcelona and you can phone them on +(34) 935 209 000:
- Official application form (EX-1), signed and stamped by EMPLOYER.
- 3 passport photos (matte, not gloss).
- Photocopy and original of passport (must be valid for duration of work-term. Also, make two copies, it´s just safer).
- 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. After you have received the work permit (and you should allow for up to 3 months for this to happen), then you will be responsible for applying for the visa (while you are still in your current country/residence) with your local Spanish Consulate. Make an appointment with the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home town (or closest). You will have to fill out the Visados Nacionales form (type of visa that allows the holder to reside, work, study or conduct research within Spain) and provide additional documentation such as:
- An original birth certificate
- An official job offer document, stamped by the Subdelegación del Gobierno;
- An official certificate of no criminal record in your country of origin.
- A local health certificate.
4. Once it is processed – and hopefully approved – you must collect the visa within one month from the approval date from the office where the application was made. This period is extended to two months if the visa is for family reunification or study purposes. You can then go to Spain and begin work, although you will need to finalise your visa with the Spanish authorities. This will involve a trip to the Foreigners’ Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or an office of the National Police (Policía Nacional) to get your NIE (Número de Identidad/Identificación de Extranjero), among other things.
The official forms for the visa and work permit are available online, from the Spanish Ministry of Interior at: http://www.maec.es/en/MenuPpal/Consulares/Formularios/Paginas/formularios.aspx
Also, you should be aware that the visa fee(s) are usually non-refundable.
Work-exempt Visa for Spain
Residence visa exempt from the obligation of requesting work permit if you’re a Mormon, international volunteer etc. In addition to the General Requirements for Spanish Visas, you will need:
- Documents which verify that the organization in Spain is accredited by the appropriate governmental authorities in Spain.
- Proof of receiving a grant, if applicable.
Non-lucrative Visa for Spain
Residence visa for non lucrative purposes. Another choice if you’re wealthy. In addition to the General Requirements for Spanish Visas, you will need:
- Proof of sufficient financial resources (Bank accounts in Spain or your home country, investments, annuities, and any other source of income) totaling a minimum of US$75,000.00 annually. If stocks or partnerships are owned in one or several companies, it must be specified that no funds are derived from direct labor activity in these companies.
- If you own property in Spain you must submit the original deed and a photocopy, or you must submit proof of sufficient financial resources to obtain housing in Spain.