Guidance for expats seeking job in Spain

If you’re employed in the European Union and you’re considering moving to Spain for work following a formal job offer, you should bear in mind certain processes necessary for anyone wishing to work in Spain. If you are not a European Union citizen there will be some further paperwork and it’s important that you’re aware of this in advance as it can be time-consuming.

In this and forthcoming posts we will give a detailed explanation of what you need to do.

Necessary processes

Should you wish to work as an employee in Spain, in other words, to be hired by a company, you’ll need a temporary residency and work permit which the company in question can request on your behalf. It is worth remembering that this permit will remain valid for one year and will be cancelled once your visa is obtained, your entry into Spain and subsequent registration on the corresponding Social Security regime being arranged by the company which applied for your permit.

There is a series of basic requirements which you’ll have to fulfil in order to secure your Spanish residency and work permit.

  • A clear criminal record in both Spain and any other countries where you have previously lived over the last five years.
  • If you have previously spent time in Spain, the period of non-return to Spain from overseas must have elapsed.
  • An application management fee must be paid. This fee covers the processing of the temporary residency permit.
  • The company wishing to hire you must submit an employment contract signed by both parties which guarantees ongoing employment for the employee in question for the entire period during which you wish to live in Spain.
  • The contract offered to you must comply with proper standards, specifically the salary and working conditions must meet those for your professional status.
  • The company wishing to hire you must be registered on the social security scheme (it is required of all companies, don’t worry) and must be up to date with said Social Security payments. This is something which you cannot affect and is not your responsibility but it is important to bear it in mind.
  • It must be proved that you are professionally capable of carrying out the role for which you have been hired.

Recruitment and work in Spain for expats

In principle there are certain challenges when it comes to hiring a new expat, but there are situations in which the process is more straightforward:

  • When it comes to contracts to regroup families or relatives
  • When renewal of a previous authorisation is requested
  • When it comes to filling positions of trust or you are a company director
  • If you are a highly qualified professional
  • If you already work in a company in your country and the same company offers you a position in Spain
  • If you are an artist with a well-established reputation
  • On a case by case basis when it is necessary to hire workers to assemble installations or production equipment. In the instance of an absolute specialist coming to carry out a one-off project.
  • If you are a foreigner with parents or grandparents of Spanish nationality or children of Spanish nationality under your care
  • If you are a foreigner who was born and is resident in Spain
  • If you are the child or grandchild of a person of Spanish origin
  • If you have held a permit for two calendar years and have returned to your country of origin
  • If at any point in time you waived your residency and work permit on the basis of a voluntary repatriation programme
  • If you are a citizen of a country with which Spain has international agreements as is the case with Chile and Peru


Special circumstances for working in Spain

There are situations in which hiring foreigners in Spain is more straightforward but these are very specific cases, such as:

  • If you were a refugee during the year following the point at which the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 ceased to be applied with regards to the Refugee Statue, for the reasons recognised in article 1, subsection 5, section C.
  • Those recognised as stateless and those who ceased to be stateless in the year following the termination of said statute.
  • In the case of minors under guardianship
  • In exceptional circumstances such as victims of domestic violence or human trafficking

Later, in future posts, we will go into more detail on the necessary steps and requirements to complete the process of gaining legal working status in Spain.

For the time being, remember that if you wish to relocate, one requirement is to open a bank account in Spain. We recommend an account with HolaBank which offers specialist support for expats living in Spain.

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November 26th 2019, 11:06

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