Spain Visa

Spain Work Visa Explained

For many reasons, Spain is a country that receives a great number of immigrants per year, due to the great offer in work, quality of life, tourism and its relevant location in the Iberian Peninsula and great closeness to different countries of Western Europe, and the European Union as a whole.

That is why; it is not surprising that thousands of people from many different countries overseas come to Spain to look for a better living and an opportunity to work. However, in order to do so they need a corresponding Visa to have a legal job, with many different types depending on the conditions of the applicant and process to obtain it.

So, do you need a visa to work? Keep on reading, since we will be including valuable information about this topic, which can be relevant at the moment of applying for this requirement to work legally on Spanish soil.

Different Ways to Get the Work Permit

A work visa is a document that allow non-Spanish and non-EU residents to work legally in Spain, as an instrument that helps the country to regulate the migratory status and study cases of new residents arriving to Spanish soil.

Now, there are many different types of work permits to apply for, and they depend on different conditions and situations in which the applicant is in at the moment of requesting it.

In most cases, asking for a work permit in Spain requires the applicant individual to go to the embassy or consulate they correspond to and start the process, which can be different in terms of requirements from one type of work visa to the other. In the next section, we will be addressing the most common types of work visa in Spain.

  • Social Integration (“Arraigo Social”)

The Social Integration or “Arraigo Social” visa is one of the most required in Spain, and it is focused for those citizens living in the country for quite a while and want to regularize their migration status.

In details, among the requirements to apply for this type of permit are: the applicant must have lived in Spain for at least a period of three years in a row and not leaving the country for more than 120 days, outstanding fluency in Spanish language and proof that they are completely integrated into Spanish society.

Regarding job requirements, applicants must have a job offer that includes at least 30 hours per week, or in case of freelancers they must deliver business plans and contract that are equal or surpass the one-year minimum wage, which is 6.400 Euros,

Finally, at the moment of applying for this temporary residency that lasts 1 year only and renewable.

  • Student Visa Modification

A Student visa is a migratory document that allows people to live and study in Spain, but while individuals have this permit they simply cannot work. Nevertheless, for those who have studied in the country for at least three years or now graduated, they can ask for a Student Visa Modification and change their status in the country that will allow them to have a job.

For individuals who have the purpose of changing from Student to Labour Visa, certain requirements must be met. First of all, a job offer from a company or enterprise must exist that involves at least 30 hours of working time per week, or applicants can be freelancers that must deliver business plans and contracts covering at least one-year minimum wage.

So, can you have a job on a Student Permit? The answer is not, and that is why this modification is possible to be performed, by meeting the described requirements.

  • High Skilled Workers

Those professionals who graduated from college can apply for a Highly Skilled Workers permit and start working in Spain in their area of expertise. In fact, when applicants attend and graduate from a prestigious university worldwide or have a job offer from a big relevant enterprise, there are a lot more possibilities that the visa will be provided to the applicant.

The main requisite as mentioned previously is that applicants must be college graduates and also have a job offer that matches with their career path. In the same way, as a rule of thumb and something that practically guarantees the approval of the visa is that the applicant would earn 25.000 Euros a year, respecting the job offer they have.

Unfortunately, since this is a visa that must be approved by the Ministry of Labour and introduced by the employer, it can take up to 8 months to be processed. This is a temporary labor residency visa that is valid for two years.  If you are seeking advice regarding your High Skilled Worker visa, MySpanishResidency can help.

  • Tech Entrepreneurship

The Tech Entrepreneurship residency permit is one special type of migratory document that is provided to those that are able to prove to have a high-tech business idea to pull it off, by showing the applicants that count with technical knowledge and resources to carry out the idea and establish a profitable and functional business.

For this visa to be given, the applicants must show a business and financial plan that actually must be reviewed by the Ministry of Economy. Also, the individual asking for the migratory document must be legally established in Spain, at least with a tourist permit, or ask for it from outside the country through an individual´s corresponding consulate.

Similar to the previous examples, the Tech Entrepreneurship is a temporary status as a document that lasts for two years, with a renewal option after this time period.

Get the permit by obtaining the residency

With the Social Integration, Student Residence Permit Modification, High Skilled Workers and Tech Entrepreneurship, among other types of residencies to live legally in the country, at the moment that is obtained the applicants automatically get the permit and are allowed to work within Spanish soil, by following the characteristics of the permit that was provided and under the legal estimated time.

Most of the temporary types of visas in the country involve labor permits since it means that the individuals are planning to stay in the country at least 1 or 2 years. On the other hand, for short-term visas is not common to have a permit, since this type of migratory document is focused on people who will visit Spain for days or weeks tops, with no lucrative or economic activity whatsoever.

  • Self Employed Residency Permit

For those who want to start their own business in Spain or labor as a freelancer online, they can apply for the Self Employed permit, with a process that they can start from Spain or from outside via the consulate.

Among the requirements, the applicant must have less than three years living in Spain and also prove with a business plan or contract that they will be able to earn at least 6.400 Euros a year with their labor, being the minimum-wage figure for that time period. It is valid for one year only.

  • Wrapping Up…

There are many different types of permits in Spain, and every one of them has to do with a specific situation that must be studied by the applicant, in order to meet the requirements more easily.

From driving in Spain to how much to tip – essential advice for the first time visitor to Spain

The number of American citizens holding a passport has increased exponentially over recent decades, with an incredible 21.4 million new passports issued in 2017 alone. It’s now estimated that around 37 percent of Americans are passport holders, up from 15 percent 20 years ago. Europe remains the top destination for leisure travelers, and Spain, in particular welcomed 2.65 million American tourists in the same year, a figure that consistently rises with each passing year.

If you are planning to join them, you will almost certainly have a whole list of questions, or at least uncertainties at the back of your mind. These might relate to visa and document requirements, driving in Spain and overcoming language differences, to name just a few. Here, we’ll provide answers to all these questions.

Driving in Spain is the best way to get around

Don’t be fooled into thinking European countries are all tiny. This country covers an area of almost 200,000 square miles – in other words, it’s about the same size as Texas. While there is a public transport infrastructure in terms of trains, planes and buses, driving in Spain is by far the best way to get around and see the country.

Driving in Spain is not so different to driving in the US, and as long as you are over 21, have held your US license for a year or more, and have obtained an international driving permit, you will have no problem renting a car. There are, of course, some specific rules about driving in in this country that you will need to understand and follow. You can read the full details at the InternationalDriversAssociation website, but these are the key points you need to understand about driving in Spain:

  1. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a must-have for driving in Spain with a US license. It’s neither complicated nor expensive to obtain one. You just need to fill out an online form and it will be with you in a matter of days. There’s even a fast track service where you can obtain an IDP electronically in minutes, should your decision to rent a car be a spur of the moment one.
  2. In Spain, they drive on the right, just like in the US. However, lane discipline is more strictly enforced than at home, and when on multi-lane highways, you should always stay right unless passing other vehicles. In particular, the far left lane is for passing only, and you must move back to the middle lane as soon as it is safe.
  3. Spanish police are very strict with drivers who exceed speed limits, use their cell phones while driving or drive in Spain while under the influence. It is not worth risking any of these activities, as you could face a hefty fine or even imprisonment for DUI.
  4. Road signs are mostly intuitive and easy to understand – but it is worth familiarizing yourself with the most important ones before you hit the open road.

Visa requirements for your visit to Spain

Spain is part of Europe’s Schengen zone. This is a collection of 26 European countries, and once you have entered one, you have freedom of movement within the zone. If you hold a US passport, there’s no need to obtain a visa, provided you are staying no longer than 90 days.

The same applies to passport holders from other major countries including Canada and Australia. If you hold a different non-EU passport, you can check the visa requirements online. The good news is that even if you do need a visa, obtaining one as a tourist is not difficult, and it will grant you full access to the Schengen zone, provided you enter the zone in the country that issued the visa.

Dining in Spain

This country has a reputation for fresh, healthy and delicious cuisine. One immediate difference that you will notice compared to the USA is that restaurants and cafes are typically small privately owned businesses, particularly in the smaller villages and towns. Of course, when you visit cities like Barcelona and Madrid, you will see the names of some familiar global chains.

Getting off the beaten track is a vital part of exploring a new country, so be prepared to explore. Learning a little Spanish will get you a long way, particularly when you are away from the major cities. There are also some great translation apps available for your smartphone, which can be extremely helpful if communication is a problem.

Make sure you have some Euros on you at all times. Large restaurants will accept credit cards, but some smaller ones do not, so if you’ve always got €100 or so tucked away in your wallet, you will avoid embarrassment. Tipping is common but not mandatory – around ten percent is the usual amount, so a little less than you might be accustomed to tipping in the US.

Spanish culture

This is a large country by European standards, and it consists of multiple regions. Each has its own distinct culture and characteristics. Sometimes this even extends to the language and dialect, as you will notice if you travel from Galicia to Catalonia to the Basque country, for example.

So what does this mean for a tourist visiting Spain for the first time? The golden rule is to keep an open mind and not to make assumptions. Think about it the other way around – someone visiting the US for the first time might spend a week in Houston then fly to New York and wonder where all the boot-wearing, pickup-driving “typical Americans” they are accustomed to have gone.

Like the US, Spain has a whole range of cultures and customs just waiting to be discovered. Happy travels!