Which European residence permits allow you to work in Spanish territory?

Spain is an ideal country to live, work or study but one has to have the necessary work and residence permits to do so.

Workers who are citizens of a member country of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Union (EEA) or of Switzerland, do not need a work or residence permit.

Workers who are citizens of a non-member country of the European Union or the European Economic Union (EEA) then a work visa or European residence permit or EU Blue Card is necessary.  Without a work visa, a company cannot legally employ non-EU citizens.

The temporary visa

The temporary visa allows the holder to legally stay in Spain for more than 90 days but less than 5 years.  This european residence must be renewed every one or two years but only until five years after which the holder must apply for a permanent visa if the intent is to stay longer or indefinitely.

The temporary visa is usually given to work or service contractors like researchers, teachers and religious, senior management staff with contracts, seasonal workers, athletes, public entertainment artists, authorized foreign convicts, and cross border workers.

The permanent visa

After living in Spain continuously and uninterrupted for five years, the holder of the temporary visa can now apply for a permanent visa. This will allow the holder to work and live in Spain indefinitely.

If you are an entrepreneur or businessman, planning to set-up a business in Spain that is innovative, advanced technology and is aligned with the socio-economic interests of Spain, then the entrepreneurs  visa or the start-up visa may be the best option for you.

Spain work visas

The following workers can apply for the Spanish work visa:

Highly-skilled worker

To work in Spain as a highly-skilled worker, non-EU citizens have to find a job that has been classified as “shortage occupation”.  This means that there are no suitable candidates within the EU. The employer must the need to request for the work visa for the employee from the Ministry of Labor.

Seasonal workers

Seasonal workers need to show that they have suitable accommodation, travel costs are paid for, and  that they will return to their country once the job is finished.  The visas are valid for the duration of the work contract.  Employers of seasonal workers must request for the work visa from the Ministry of Labor.

Self-employed and freelance workers

Self-employed and freelance workers must apply for a work visa at a Spanish consulate or embassy in their home country.  The work visas are valid for one year but can be renewed if all the conditions are still met.

Eu blue card

The EU Blue Card is for people who spent at least three years completing a higher education qualification which allows them to work as a skilled professional.  Professionals who have a minimum of five years work experience at a high managerial level are also eligible.  The employer must submit the EU Blue card application on behalf of the applicant.

A work contract that includes a salary that is 50% more than the average salary in Spain or at least 20% more if the skills are in demand is a requirement.  The EU Blue Card is valid for only one year but is renewable as long as the conditions are still met.

Au pairs

An au pair must be between 17 and 30 years old, must show the contract agreement with the host family and must include the salary and conditions, must show proof of sufficient finances to self-support and must have medical insurance.  Visas for au pairs are only valid for one year but is renewable as long as conditions are still met.