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Employing foreign workers in Spain

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Employing foreign workers in Spain

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In order to employ non-EU individuals in Spain, the employer must ensure that the worker is legally able to work in the country.

What are the requirements?

In order to be eligible for a temporary work and residence permit, the following criteria must be met:

  • the job position should be on the Spanish National Occupation Shortlist or
  • a certificate has been issued from the Regional Public Employment Service
  • The employer must be registered with the Social Security and up to date with payments
  • The employer must provide continuous employment to the employee during the time in Spain
  • A valid employment contract must be signed
  • The employee must have relevant qualifications for the job
  • The employee must not have a criminal record

The application process

The application process to obtain approval to employ a non-EU worker in Spain is as follows:

  • Submit application to local authority
  • Copy of employment contract
  • Proof of financial ability to sustain employment
  • Copy of employee´s passport
  • Copy of employee´s qualifications

The work permit will be issued for a period of one year. The permission to work may be issued with certain restrictions, such as location etc.

Potential Employee´s Visa application

Following the granting of the work permit, the potential employee must apply for a Visa to enter Spain.

Generally the documentation required is:

  • Copy of employment contract
  • Current passport
  • Criminal record Certificate from country of origin
  • Health Certificate

It is likely that the potential employee will need to attend an interview.

Once the Visa is approved, the individual should enter Spain no later than 3 months from date of issue.

The employer must then complete the registration of the employee with the Social Security system.

The worker must obtain a NIE certificate no later than one month after arriving Spain.

Can the work permit be renewed?

It is possible to apply for a renewed work permit. The employee must continue to be eligible for a work permit application and the employment contract must be renewed.

An application should be made 60 days before the expiry of the current work permit.

It is possible to apply up to 90 days following expiry although a fine is likely to be imposed.

Exceptional circumstances

In certain circumstances, such as seasonal employment and cross border positions, different procedures and eligibility may apply.

If you are considering employing foreign workers in Spain, please don´t hesitate to contact us for a no-obligation consultation.


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