What have you heard about managing a work visa in Spain? I would like to know if you have any insight about this process because the following quote is the best way to describe it.
“Getting a work permit in Spain is a vicious cycle; companies ask you for the permit when you are looking for a job, and you need a job to get the permit.”
This lady couldn’t have described it better. Having gone through this process, I can tell you it is true.
Now, I don’t mean to discourage you! Just to prepare you, if you don’t have EU documents or are looking for a job outside of Spain (even in Spain!), you will need a lot of patience and resilience.
This article will review the types of employee visa requirements, paperwork, and procedure in Spain.
What is the Spain work visa?
The employee or work visa in Spain is a working authorization for non-EU citizens 16 and older who wish to work in Spain.
The Spain work visa is valid for seasonal work activity and indefinite contracts as long as the applicant proves that they have a work contract and a company sponsoring their visa.
There are two types of work or employee visas in Spain. These are the “contrato por cuenta ajena,” or contract as an employee, and the “contrato por cuenta propia,” or self-employed contract.
“It is an authorization for temporary residence and works as an employee requested by an employer or entrepreneur for the hiring of a worker for more than ninety days and less than five years.” - Ministerio de Inclusión Diversidad Social y Migración.
Types of work visa in Spain
The most sought-after Spain work visa is the “contrato por cuenta ajena,” which happens when a company is interested in your services and offers you a presential contract in Spain. But, if you have an entrepreneurial soul, the self-employee visa contract can be another option.
The exact definition of the self-employed contract would be a temporary residence and work authorization for a non-resident foreigner in Spain to carry out a lucrative self-employed activity.
Contrato por cuenta propia vs. Digital Nomad Visa
It’s important to differentiate the self-employed contract visa from the digital nomad visa. The former means you come to Spain to open a business that benefits the Spanish economy and its people. On the other hand, the Digital Nomad visa in Spain requires that more than 70% of your income comes from foreign clients, and only a small percentage comes from Spain.
In other words, with the digital nomad visa in Spain, you should be either a freelancer or a full-time remote worker who wishes to experience Spain for a year.
Requirements for the self-employed work Visa in Spain
- Not be a citizen of the European Union, the European Union Economic Area, or Switzerland.
- Not be illegally living on Spanish territory.
- To have a clean criminal record in Spain and previous countries of residence during the last five years.
- Not to be forbidden to enter Spain or any other country with which Spain has signed an agreement in such a sense.
- Not to be, if applicable, within the period of commitment not to return to Spain that the foreigner has assumed when returning voluntarily to his country of origin.
- To pay the fees for processing the temporary residence authorization and the one related to the self-employment authorization.
- To fulfill the requirements that the in-force legislation demands of the nationals to open and operate the projected activity.
- To possess the required professional qualification or accredited experience necessary for the business you wish to develop.
- To prove that the planned investment is sufficient and the impact, if any, on creating employment, including self-employment.
Requirements for the employee-work Visa in Spain
The employee-work visa in Spain has more requirements than the self-employed visa, but requisites from 1 to 6 are essential in both cases. Below I will specify the conditions you must meet to apply for the “contrato por cuenta ajena.”
The applicant meets the visa requirements if the national employment situation permits the hiring. This would be the case if:
- The occupation to be performed by the worker in the company is included in the catalog of difficult-to-fill careers published quarterly by the State Public Employment Service.
- The occupations that are not classified as difficult to fill when the employer accredits the Aliens Office the difficulty of filling the vacant jobs with workers already incorporated in the domestic labor market. For these purposes, the Aliens Office will consider the report submitted by the Public Employment Services and the urgency of the hiring accredited by the company. To this end, a job offer must be submitted to the Empléate portal and the Public Employment Services.
To present a contract signed by the employer and worker that guarantees the worker a continued activity during the validity period of the authorization to reside and work.
When it comes to the requirement above, the date of the contract must be conditioned to the moment of the effectiveness of the authorization to reside and work as an employee.
- The conditions fixed in the employment contract must be those established by the regulations in force. If the contract is part-time, the remuneration must be equal to or higher than the minimum interprofessional salary for a full day and in annual computation.
The minimum interprofessional salary in Sapin is between 1,050 and 1,250 EUR.
- Your future employer must be registered in the Social Security system and be current with its tax obligations.
- Be sure that your employer has sufficient economic, material, or personal means for its business project and to meet the obligations assumed in the contract with the worker.
- If the employer is an individual, the employer must prove, after deduction of the agreed salary, 100% of the IPREM if there are no dependent family members.
- If the family unit includes two members, 200%. If the family unit has more than two persons, 50% of the IPREM for each additional member must be added to the above amount.
- You should possess the training and the professional qualification legally demanded for the exercise of the profession, in its case, adequately homologated.
Know that your future employer must know these requirements. If you are applying outside of Spain, you must check that your employer submits all of the documents above to you so your documents are 100% complete at the moment of your appointment in the Spanish Embassy.
Very important note on the “contrato por cuenta ajena”! I assume that the person and/or company hiring you knows all the official documents involved in this process.
In any case, we want you to be, so pay attention to the following. Before you submit your application is fundamental that the company had previously obtained the “Autorización de Residencia y Trabajo por Cuenta Ajena”
1. Valid and unexpired passport
You will have to show the original and full copy of your passport. When I say full is full. Some people will tell you that you only need the biometric data of your passport, but it is best if you make a complete copy to avoid any issues.
2. National visa application form
Pay careful attention to this form because it is a general document for all visas, so there are some sections that you don’t have to fill out. These actions are 10, 11 (you need to have the national identification number), 24, 26, 28, and 29.
Besides filling in all the personal information and details on your entrance to Spain, as an employee-work visa applicant, your section will be number 27.
👉National application form
Two copies of a passport-size photograph.
4. Fill in the fee form and pay
On the day of your appointment at your respective Spanish Consulate, you must fill in the “Autorización inicial de residencia temporal fee self-assessment form.” You must pay at the Consulate on the day of your appointment.
5. Fill in and present the official application form
👉 For employee-work visa/ Contrato por cuenta ajena: Form EX03
👉 For employee-work visa/ Contrato por cuenta ajena (specified duration): Form EX06
👉For a self-employed visa/ Contrato por cuenta propia: Form EX07
6. Criminal record certificate
You must submit a criminal record issued by the country, country, or residence for the past five years. Foreign documents must be legalized and delivered with the official translation to Spanish.
The certificate can’t be older than 3 months!
7. Medical certificate
You must submit the original and copy of a medical certificate stating that you don’t suffer from any disease that could cause repercussions for public health.
‼️ “These certificates must be legalized through the Spanish Representations in the issuing country or, in the case of signatory countries to the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961, hold the Hague Apostille, except official documents issued by a Member State of the European Union, which will not require to be legalized”.
All of these documents must go in hand with the papers of your future company/ employer mentioned in the requirements section.
- This visa has an application timeline; you can only begin your process within a period of a month since your future employer received a favorable response to the initial residence and employment permit.
- After your appointment, you should receive a response within a month from the day you deliver your documents.
- The visa must be collected in person, and you have a period of a maximum of a month to pick it up from the Consulate. If you don’t go for your visa (very unlikely, but I need to warn you), the Consulate will assume you have renounced it.
That’s all you need to know about the employee/ work visa in Spain. In this article, we have gone through the two most important types of work visas in Spain, and now you know how to handle them.
I hope this article has helped inform you better about the process and answered any doubts. As I said in the other article, my best advice would be to get a lawyer that accompanies you through the process.
Best of luck!