If you are like us and that one night turns into a week, and the week then turns into a month staying on and working in Seville soon becomes a serious option. All of us at TRIPPINN remember how daunting it first seemed when we were confronted with different visas and permits categorised by pretty much every letter of the alphabet. Spain, Just like any modern country seems to have a lot of bureaucratic red tape, in the most part however it is unnecessarily complex and is easy enough to work out. Fortunately we still remember just how hard we found it so we have condensed it and summarized it for you. The summary is split into two parts, For EU citizens and Non-EU citizens as the rules change slightly between the two.
CITIZENS OF THE EU
1) For citizens of the EU there are three main steps required to fully settle in Spain. In the most part this is just bureaucratic form filling and has become increasingly simple in the last few years.The first step is getting a work permit. If you are an EU national you don’t need a work permit before coming to Spain, arrive as a tourist and then apply at the national employment office, the Instituto Nacional de Empleo (INEM). From then you have 90 days to find employment, if you can’t find employment in the first 90 days you can re-apply for an additional 90 day extension with the INEM.
2) After you have landed your first job then comes the next step, residency. Don’t worry; believe it or not you have done the hard work already. Once you have an employment contract bring that and your EU passport to the “Foreigners’ Office” (Oficina de Extranjeros), this is conveniently located at the Plaza de España, one of servilles most famous and beautiful attractions. This is where you can apply for your Número de Identificación de Extranjero (NIE). This number is equivalent to the British national insurance number and is essential for paying your tax or if you want to purchase a house or car when is Spain.
3) Finally you will need your residency permit (empadronamiento). This sounds a lot more difficult to obtain than it is. Simply go to the town hall (equivalent to a registry office) with your rent contract or proof of residence for it to be issued. This form is important as it recognizes you on the Spanish census. It is also essential if you want to get a health care card or redeem your EU drivers’ license.
After you have carried out these few steps, congratulations, you now have Spanish residency and you can live, work, and play in Spain just like a local.
CITIZENS NOT OF THE EU
Admittedly settling or even just working in Spain for those of us not from an EU country is slightly more tedious. In order to obtain work you first need to have an offer of employment issued by a Spanish employer. You can also not enter on a tourist visa, find work while you are here and then apply in Spain for a work visa. Working visas are issued in non-EU countries by the Spanish consulate in that country. A full list of these consulates can be found here
Once you have your employment offer the next step is choosing what visa is best suited for you, there are three main types:
TYPE A: This is the most common for travelers wanting to work in Spain, in particular over summer. The visa is issued for a specific contract or period (no longer than nine months) and to a specific area.
TYPE B: Issued to a foreigner for a period of one year and is for a specific job in a specified region. This visa can then be renewed when in Spain after it has expired and it will be replaced with an additional two year un-restricted work visa
TYPE D: This is for self employed individuals. Proof of your qualifications will be required when applying for this visa and issued for a year with the ability to extend thereafter.
When applying for any of the visas you will be required to provide the Spanish consulate or embassy in your country with
- A valid passport
- Police clearance
- Medical clearance
- Three passport sized photos
- The fiscal registration number of your Spanish employer
- Offer of employment, or alternatively if you are self employed and applying for a type D visa you will need to prove that you have sufficient qualifications to carry out the work.
If you are a non-EU citizen and you only want to spend a couple of months here, it might be easier for you to get a Spanish tourist visa and enter a work exchange program where you are not paid with money but with accommodation, food and depending on the type of exchange other bonuses. Have a look at our HELPX article for more details.