Spain is an attractive destination for many professionals seeking job opportunities and a new way of life. However, before planning a move to Spain, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the visa options available for individuals seeking to work in the country.
Spain offers a range of work visa options for foreign nationals, each with its own eligibility criteria, application requirements, and limitations. In this article, we will provide an overview of the various work visas available in Spain to help you make an informed decision about your next steps.
Having said that, it is always advisable to refer to the government website for the latest information: Spain Government Website Information
Work Visa in Spain – First Steps
The visa requirements for Spain can differ depending on whether you are an EU or non-EU citizen.
EU citizens, along with those from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, have the right to free movement within the European Union and do not need a visa to work or live in Spain.
It is important to note that while EU citizens enjoy freedom of movement within the EU, they still need to follow certain rules and regulations in Spain, such as registering with the authorities, obtaining an EU registration certificate and residence permit if they plan on staying for more than three months.
Unfortunately, non-EU citizens need to navigate an altogether more complex system. However, with the right preparation and attention to the requirements and regulations, individuals from non-EU countries can successfully obtain the necessary visas to live and work in Spain.
Visa options for non-EU Citizens
There are several different options for non-EU Citizens to be able to legally live and work in Spain.
Work Visa Spain
In Spanish, this visa is known as “por cuenta ajena.”
To obtain a work visa, the applicant must have a job offer from a Spanish employer and the employer must demonstrate that the job cannot be filled by a Spanish citizen or other EU national.
The application process for a work visa can be lengthy and involves providing extensive documentation to the Spanish consulate in the applicant’s home country. The required documents typically include a valid passport, a signed employment contract, a medical certificate, and proof of financial means to support oneself while in Spain.
Once the work visa is granted, the non-EU citizen can legally live and work in Spain for the duration of the employment contract. The work visa is usually valid for one year and can be renewed, provided that the applicant still meets the requirements.
It is important to note that a work visa does not automatically grant the right to reside in Spain permanently. After the work visa expires, the applicant must either renew it or apply for a different type of visa if they wish to continue living and working in Spain.
The Investor Visa, also known as the Golden Visa, is a type of visa designed for non-EU citizens who are interested in investing in Spain. This visa is straight-forward to apply for and offers the ability to be able to work in Spain.
To be eligible for the Investor Visa, the applicant must make a minimum investment of €500,000 in Spanish real estate, a minimum investment of €1,000,000 in shares or other financial instruments of Spanish companies, or a minimum investment of €2,000,000 in Spanish government bonds.
Once the investment has been made, the applicant can apply for the Investor Visa at a Spanish consulate in their home country or at an immigration office in Spain. The application process typically involves providing extensive documentation, including proof of the investment, a criminal record certificate, and medical insurance.
Once the Investor Visa is granted, the applicant can reside in Spain for one year, and it can be renewed for two-year periods, provided that the investment is maintained. After five years of living in Spain with the Investor Visa, the applicant can apply for permanent residency or Spanish citizenship.
Family Reunification/Regrouping Visa
The Family Reunification Visa applies to a non-EU citizens who are related to an EU citizen and is quite straight-forward. The most common case of the Family Reunification Visa is a marriage or civil partnership, but can also apply to other relatives.
The Family Regrouping Visa is for non-EU citizens. Once one non-EU citizen has been legally in Spain for one year, they can apply to bring their non-EU family members to Spain. This usually applies to married couples, children or elderly parents.
Both family visas allow work once approved.
We’ve written about this subject in another blog which you can find here: Working with a Student Visa in Spain
In short, as a citizen from a non-EU member state, you can apply for the Spanish Student Visa. This type of visa is open to anyone of any age, not just people studying for a degree at a university. In fact, you can enrol at a language school to learn Spanish and apply for a student visa.
With this visa you can work up to 30 hours per week while taking a Spanish language course at an accredited educational centre.
Digital Nomad Visa
The digital nomad visa in Spain is a new visa category that is designed for remote workers who want to live and work in Spain while being employed by companies based outside of Spain. This visa allows digital nomads to live and work remotely in Spain and can be extended up to 5 years.
To be eligible for the digital nomad visa, the applicant must be a non-EU citizen who is employed by a company or has clients based primarily outside of Spain (note that Spanish clients can make up to 20% of the digital nomad’s income). They must also provide evidence of their remote work, have a minimum bank account balance of €25,000, a clean criminal record and health insurance coverage in Spain.
It’s important to note that the digital nomad visa does not provide a path to permanent residency or citizenship in Spain. However, it provides an opportunity for remote workers to enjoy the Spanish lifestyle while working remotely for a foreign employer.
Additionally, the digital nomad visa is a sign that Spain is making efforts to attract remote workers and digital entrepreneurs to its economy.