Right to work in Spain

The right to work in Spain depends entirely on your country of origin. Thankfully there are no exclusions, simply a little more paperwork for those not of Spanish origin!

This guide to Spanish employment for foreigners is not hard and fast and simply represents the situation as of January 2007. As politicians change so do the labour accords between the various countries. Always check with the Spanish embassy in your country or your country´s embassy in Madrid.

Depending on your country of origin the process of achieving the right to work in Spain can be divided into three categories:

  • EU Residents
  • International labour accords
  • Everyone else!

EU residents work permissions

Passport holders of any EU member country have the automatic right to live and work in Spain. There are a number of things that can make life easier ( Spanish style CV, typical Spanish job interviews, Residents card etc). There are various agreements within the EU legislation making the process of transferring pension and social security payments and rights easier. The following are essential reading for anyone wanting to work in Spain:

Spanish International Labour accords

As of January 2007 Spain has international labour and social security agreements with the following countries:

  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Reuplica Dominica
  • Ecuador
  • USA
  • Philipines
  • Morroco
  • Mexico
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Russia
  • Tunisia
  • Ukraine
  • Uraguay
  • Venezuela
This does not give the automatic right to work in Spain however it makes the process easier in terms of obtaining a work visa and eventually residency in Spain. For people of these countries the first port of call is the Spanish embassy or consulate responsible for your country. The labour accords are different on a country by country basis

Everybody else!

For citizens of those countries not already mentioned you will require a Spanish working visa for which you will have to apply via the Spanish embassy or consulate responsible for your country. This process is not guaranteed and can be very time consuming. Spain operates an evaluation process in which your application will rate higher if you can demonstrate some or all of the following:

  • High standard of education
  • A skill or qualification that is currently in demand
  • Financial self sufficiency
  • Offer of employment
  • Investment in Spain
  • Few / No health problems

The right to work in Spain is best investigated via the Spanish embassy in your country however you can also contact your country´s embassy in Spain here!

[Spanish CV] [Madrid Guide Spain] [Spanish Interview]