• Age in Spain Team

Working visa - Guide

How does it work?

The working visa is available to non-EU citizens who have a job offer from an employer based in Spain and meet the visa requirements. This visa will grant you a temporary residency authorisation for as long as you live and work in Spain.

Unlike other visa applications, the process to obtain a working visa is started by your employer in Spain. They will need to provide a set of documents to the Spanish Immigration Office and get an authorisation for your working visa. Once your employer submits to you the authorisation, you will have 1 month to start your visa application at the designated Spanish Consulate from the country and region you live in.

Obtaining the authorisation from the Spanish Immigration Office

Your employer will need to provide to the Immigration Office a copy of your passport and a document (degree, certificate) that certifies that you have the skills necessary to carry out your job. The employer will also need to provide a Certificado Negativo del SEPE, which is a document issued by the Spanish Employment Office that states that currently there aren’t Spanish workers available for the position you will cover. This makes the working visa limited mostly to specialised jobs or positions that are difficult to cover by Spanish nationals.

Essential requirements and documents you will need for the working visa

  • You are a non-EU national

  • You have an employment contract signed by the employer and employee that guarantees a continued professional activity period for the length of the visa.

  • You are qualified to carry out the job.

  • A recent criminal record certificate (issued less than 3 months prior the application) from the countries you have lived in during the past 5 years, translated into Spanish by a sworn translator and legalised or apostille.

  • You have no medical condition that could pose a threat to public health.

First, your employer will need to provide the following documents to the Spanish Immigration Office:

  • Copy of your passport

  • Document that certifies the professional qualifications/training required to carry out your job

  • Document that identifies the company that requests the authorisation (this might be different depending on the type of employer. For more information check the official list of requirements, in Spanish)

  • Employment contract signed by the employee. The copy will be sealed by the Immigration Office and should be returned to you for its presentation to the Consulate along with the visa application.

  • Tasa 790-062 (administrative fee)

The resolution of the process will be notified to the employer within 3 months. If the authorisation is granted, you will have a month from the notification to the employer to personally request the visa at the Spanish Consulate in your country.

Obtaining a medical certificate

You need a medical certificate which states that you do not “suffer any of the illnesses which may cause grave public health risks in accordance with the International Sanitary Regulations 2005”. The certificate should be issued no later than 3 months prior to the date of the application, along with your other documents. If issued by a doctor from your country, the certificate must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.

To save time and money, you can also use Age in Spain’s direct link to an English-speaking doctor in Spain, who can give you the required official Spanish medical certificate which meets the Spanish Government’s Health Regulations.This certificate is a Spanish document and so does not require legalisation or translation. For more information and to request an appointment, contact health@ageinspain.org.

Applying for the visa in the UK

Start the process for your visa application at the Spanish consular office for your region and country. You will probably need to book an appointment by email before going in person to the office. Consult the Spanish Consulate website for your country to find the office you need.

Send an email to the consulate with the following information:

  • Subject line: the type of visa you are applying for (in this case, the working visa).

In the body text:

  • Your personal details: full name, nationality, passport number and phone number.

  • Type of visa you are applying for (working visa).

  • Reason for requesting the visa.

  • Desired date of the appointment. The consular office will confirm the date and time of your appointment taking into account your desired date.

How long does the process take?

Once you have attended the interview and submitted your documents the notification period can take up to 3 months, depending on how busy the consular office is.

Once approved, you will have 1 month after the notification to collect the visa in person. It is then valid for you to enter Spain within 3 months and register with the Spanish Social Security during this period. If you enter Spain after the expiry date, you may be refused entry.

Requesting your residency card (TIE)

After receiving the visa, you have one month from the date of entry into Spain, in which to apply for the TIE - Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero - at the Immigration Office or Police Station. You will need to book an appointment at a police station to get your fingerprints taken and apply for your biometric residency card. Check here how to apply for your residency card.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my visa request is rejected?

There are many reasons why a visa application might be rejected. We strongly recommend that you check the official website of the consulate from your region, to ensure that you have the most up to date and correct information before you start.

If you are rejected, there is a right of appeal against the decision. In this case it is advisable to take appropriate legal advice from a qualified lawyer with experience in immigration law.

Can I travel to other EU countries with a working visa?

Yes. With the working visa you will be able to visit other EU countries for up to 3 months in every 6 month period, always respecting the entry requirements of each EU member state regarding travellers with long term visas (UE Nº 265/2010) and Covid safety measures.

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