Over the past few years, Spain has consistently been among the top 5 leaders in the European Union in terms of the number of residence permits issued to foreigners from third countries. We are talking about tens of thousands of people. The main reason for moving is related to family reunification, and the second place is employment. For example, according to Eurostat, only in 2016, 38 thousand foreigners received a residence permit in Spain for employment purposes.

Work visa to Spain

A work visa to Spain is a document that allows a foreigner to carry out professional activities in Spanish companies legally. Of course, in addition to registration of the visa itself, it is necessary to fulfill a number of other requirements, sometimes quite complicated. About how to get a work visa to Spain in 2024 and other conditions of legal labor migration will be discussed further in the article.

Registration of work visa to Spain

Any foreigner planning to work in Spain is required to apply for a work visa in advance. Exceptions are citizens of the EU, EEA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) and Switzerland. In addition to not having to obtain a visa, these categories of foreigners (along with Spaniards) have a priority right to work in Spain. In other words, if a job vacancy is claimed by Europeans, it is almost impossible for an applicant from a third country to get the job.

Another difficulty in the process of labor migration to Spain is related to the high level of unemployment, which in 2024 exceeds 11%, and among young people and even reaches 35%. The employment situation is gradually improving, but the problem is not completely solved. Accordingly, it is necessary to look for scarce niches, in particular, the Spanish labor market is in demand for qualified technical specialists with extensive experience.

Procedure of labor migration to Spain

  • Search for a vacancy in a Spanish company.

  • Conclusion of an employment contract.

  • Obtaining a work permit (employer's responsibility).

  • Registration of a work visa (applicant's responsibility).

  • Moving to Spain and applying for a residence permit.

Thus, the first step to a work visa to Spain is to find an employer who will not only be interested in the skills of a foreign specialist, but will also agree to go through a very bureaucratic procedure of registration of a foreigner work permit. To do this on behalf of the applicant, the employer submits the appropriate application to the local Ministry of Labor.

The vacancy is pre-posted on the website of the State Employment Service and for at least 2 weeks applicants from the EU or Spanish citizens, capable of taking this job, should not be. The foreigner is required to send proof of sufficient qualifications (diplomas, certificates) and a copy of a foreign passport. It is very important that the employer has properly prepared the documentation and is able to convince the local authorities of the need to hire an employee from abroad.

Minimum requirements:

  • A contract for a period of at least 12 months.

  • Full-time employment.

  • Labor remuneration not lower than the national average (about 2 thousand euros per month).

  • Good reasons for hiring a foreign specialist.

Consideration of applications for work permits in Spain lasts no more than 90 days, but there are cases that the procedure drags on for 6-8 months. After approval of the application, the foreigner within 30 days must apply to the Spanish Consulate for a work visa. Initially, the work permit is issued for 12 months with the right to extend. Usually the document is tied to the sphere of activity. That is, over time you can change the employer, but not the profession.

Important. In some areas, a work visa to Spain is a sufficient condition for employment and it is not necessary to obtain a work permit. For example, for the purpose of teaching or conducting research activities in Spanish universities.

EU Blue Card to Spain

EU Blue Card to Spain

Experienced foreign specialists with higher education can try to get an EU Blue Card to Spain. In this case, it is a little easier to obtain a work permit, but in general the procedure is similar to regular employment.

The main requirements:

  • Higher education of at least 3 years (Bachelor's degree) recognized in Spain or professional experience of at least 5 years.

  • Employment contract with a Spanish employer with a salary level of at least 1.5 times the Spanish average. For particularly demanded professions, a reduction of up to 1.2 times is possible.

Blue Card is issued for 12 months with subsequent extension for the duration of the contract. After 1.5 years it is allowed to get a blue card and move to work in any other EU country.

Documents for a work visa to Spain

Submission of an application and a list of documents for a work visa to Spain (national visa type D) is carried out by personal visit (by appointment) to the Spanish Consulate in the country of residence of the foreigner. In rare cases it is allowed to entrust this procedure to an authorized (accredited) representative. There must be very good reasons for this.

For example, a great distance to the diplomatic office, and the applicant has health problems. Of course, such a fact will not add to the chances of obtaining a visa. Therefore, try to do without intermediaries. Sometimes additional information is required from the foreigner, but in most cases, the list of documents is as follows:

  1. Correctly filled out and signed visa application (questionnaire) in Spanish (2 copies).

  2. Two recent color photographs of the established sample (35×45 mm).

  3. A passport (plus copies of all pages) valid for at least 4 months after the end of the visa.

  4. Civil passport (plus copies of all pages).

  5. Certificate of no criminal record from each country where the applicant has resided for more than 5 years.

  6. Medical examination certificate confirming the absence of serious (dangerous for others) diseases.*.

  7. Copy of work permit.

  8. Copy of the employment contract with the stamp of the Spanish immigration service.

*Date of issue of the document not later than 3 months before the day of visa application.

Note. The documentation must be officially translated into Spanish and a copy of each document must be attached to the original.

The standard processing time for a work visa to Spain does not exceed one month. If the decision to issue a visa is positive, then within 30 days it is necessary to come to the Consulate and pick up the document. If negative, the applicant has 60 days to appeal the decision (filing an appeal) in the High Court of Madrid.

Cost of work visa to Spain

The fee for a work visa to Spain is charged in the form of a consular fee in cash at the time of application to the diplomatic office. Moreover, in case of refusal to issue a visa, the funds will not be refunded. In some countries, the fee may be reduced or waived altogether. In addition, the rate is adjusted depending on the exchange rate. Reliable information is available only to the staff of the Spanish Consulate.

The official cost of a work visa to Spain in 2024 is 60 euros.

Do not try to get a work visa to Spain with the help of dubious intermediary agencies. The probability of running into fraudsters is very high. Besides, in case of official employment, there is nothing complicated in the independent issuance of a visa.

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