Does the lovely warm climate of Spain make you want to start working there? Luckily, the economy and the employment rate have been steadily rising in recent years indicating a higher demand for foreign workers from Spanish employers. In order to live and work in Spain, you need a residence and work permit which are inter-linked.

What?


There are two types of work permits:

Cuenta Ajena – relevant to those who have a specific contract from a specific company (this post is regarding this type of work permit)

Cuenta Propia – relevant to those who are self-employed and want the freedom to work with different companies

If you are an EU national, you do not need a work permit to work in Spain. You can enter Spain as a tourist and stay or work there for 90 days. Once you get a job, you will be needing your employment contract to apply for the residence card.

If you are a non-EU national, you must obtain a work permit along with your visa. The application for the work permit needs to be sent to the Consular office of foreign applicant’s home country. The Provincial labour offices will decide whether the work permit should be issued or not.

Just remember that a visa lets you enter the country, and a permit enables you to stay there.

Documents required


  • The filled EX-1 and EX-5 forms, which must be stamped by your employer.
  • A copy of your valid passport.
  • Certificate of criminal records issued by the authorities of the foreigner’s home country, except when it was presented upon application for the visa.
  • Official medical certificate.
  • Three passport-size photographs.
  • Fiscal registration number (NIE/TIE or CIF) and the Social Security registration number of the employer.
  • The offer of employment where the labour conditions appear.
  • A full description of the job and the company activity.
  • Proof of the employer’s solvency could also be required

How and Where?


  • Complete and submit all of the required forms and paperwork to the Subdelegación del Gobierno in the city you intend to work. If you are not in the country yourself, have a Spanish lawyer submit the package for you.
  • Make an appointment with the Spanish Consulate in your country. Along with a copy of the EX-1 or EX-5 form that’s been notarized by the Subdelegación del Gobierno, you will also need to bring a criminal record check and local medical certificate with you to the meeting. A legal representative may attend this meeting in your place.
  • Obtain your work permit from the Spanish Consulate once it’s been processed. You must be there in person to take possession of your work permit since the Spanish Consulate will only give it to the person named on the permit.
  • Once you have the work permit, you can apply for a visa to enter Spain

When you arrive in Spain, you must apply for a Foreigner’s Identity Card/number (TIE/NIE) through the local Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or Police Station within 30 days  – How to get your NIE. It might also be a good option to hire a skilled lawyer to handle your application, as they know the ins and outs of the paperwork.

You are now all set to start working in Spain! Follow Legal Lives not only to know more about Spanish laws and procedures but also to get help from lawyers.

Quick tip:  Taking some Spanish language courses would be a good idea before starting to work in Spain.

Cover image: Source

References: Expat ArrivalsExpaticaEuro Jobs

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