Working in Spain

Working in Spain

Requirements to obtain the residence and working permit in Spain.
Requirements to obtain the residence and working permit in Spain.


If you are foreigner and you want to work in Spain, either employed or self-employed, you should carry out some procedures. These are the requirements for obtaining a residence and working permit:

  • You should be 16 years old, unless the employment activity is conducted for own account, in which case, you should be 18 years old.
  • You will need a prior authorisation to live and work in Spain. This authorisation shall be requested by the employer offering the employment contract. The first time you request the authorisation the national employment situation is evaluated, that means that no Spanish or community worker can occupy that job.
  • Once the residence and working permit is issued, it is necessary to obtain the visa.

If you are citizen of the European Union or from other state of the European Economic Area you do not need to obtain any kind of administrative authorisation to work.

More information: Citizen Services Site of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

General Social Security Treasury

Once the residence and working permit has been issued and having been obtained the visa, you shall go the offices of the Social Security on arrival in Spain. There you will be assigned the membership number. Without this number you cannot start working or apply for the inclusion in the public health system.  

A month after the registration in the Social Security, you should also request the foreigner identity card.

If you want to obtain more information you can call the Citizen Service at 901 50 20 50.

More information: Social Security Website

Renewal of the residence and working permit

To renew the permit you must request it within the 60 correlative days (public holidays included), before the expiration date of the permit. If you request it three months after you could receive a sanction.

More information: Citizen Services Site of the Ministry of Internal Affairs

Employment Site

The Ministry of Employment and Social Security has an online service to find work. At the employment site offers by sectors are compiled, but it is also a place where you can offer employment. And if you want to be self-employed, you will find all the steps to set up your business at this website.

Requirements to become self-employed in Spain

To set up a business in Spain you must prove that you have financial resources enough for your maintenance and accommodation. In addition, you must demonstrate that the planned investment will be enough.  You also need to have the required qualification or the sufficient experience to perform the activity.

How to become self-employed

In case you meet these requirements, you will be able to become self-employed. For this you must register yourself in the Economic Activities Tax (IAE in its Spanish acronym), a local tax. This procedure is done at your town council or at the Tax office that corresponds you.

Finally it is necessary that you register at the Social Security in the Regime for Self-Employment. At this administration you will also be informed about the contribution bases.

We recommend you to consult the different tax incentives that exist in Spain for self-employed.

To learn more visit the news section of the Ministry of Economy.