How to Get Spain Work Visa – Detailed Guide


Moving to Spain for work is an appealing prospect for many, given its rich culture, pleasant climate, and diverse landscapes. Non-EU citizens looking to take up employment in Spain will typically need to secure a work visa.

This detailed guide provides essential information on obtaining a Spain Work Visa, including types of work visas, eligibility criteria, the application process, and required documents.

Overview of Spain Work Visa

A Spain Work Visa is a long-term visa that allows non-EU/EEA citizens to live and work in Spain.

It is categorized based on the nature of employment, including highly skilled professionals, seasonal work, and self-employment.

The most common types are the Highly Skilled Professional Visa (under the EU Blue Card scheme) and the General Work Visa.

Types of Work Visas in Spain

  • General Work Visa (Type A): For individuals who have received a job offer from a Spanish employer.
  • EU Blue Card: Aimed at highly skilled professionals holding a higher education degree, offering higher salary thresholds and faster processing.
  • Self-Employed Work Visa: For individuals planning to start a business or work as freelancers in Spain.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Valid Job Offer: Except for self-employed applicants, you must have a confirmed job offer from a Spanish employer.
  • Labor Market Test: The employer must demonstrate that the job position could not be filled by a Spanish or EU/EEA citizen.
  • Qualifications: Relevant qualifications and, in some cases, professional registration in Spain are required.
  • Clean Criminal Record: Applicants must have a clean criminal record in Spain and their previous countries of residence.
  • Health Insurance: Proof of health insurance coverage is necessary.

Application Process

  1. Pre-Application Approval: For the General Work Visa, the employer initiates the process by applying for a work authorization from the Spanish labor authorities. For the EU Blue Card and Self-Employed Work Visa, the applicant can initiate the process.
  2. Visa Application: Once work authorization is approved, or for visa types not requiring prior authorization, applicants apply at the Spanish consulate or embassy in their home country.
  3. Documentation: Submit the visa application form, passport, photos, job offer or business plan (for self-employed), proof of qualifications, clean criminal record certificate, medical certificate, and proof of accommodation and financial means.
  4. Interview: Attend an interview and provide biometric data if required.
  5. Approval and Collection: Wait for the visa processing, which can vary. Once approved, collect your visa and prepare for your move.
  6. Arrival in Spain: Register with the local Spanish authorities and apply for a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE).

Required Documents

  • Completed application form
  • Passport valid for the duration of the employment contract
  • Recent passport-size photographs
  • Job offer letter or contract (for employed), business plan (for self-employed)
  • Qualification certificates and professional licenses
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Medical certificate
  • Proof of accommodation in Spain
  • Health insurance policy

Practical Tips

  • Start Early: Begin the application process well in advance of your intended move date, as obtaining work authorization and the visa can be time-consuming.
  • Language Skills: While not always a requirement, knowledge of Spanish is highly beneficial for living and working in Spain.
  • Legal and Professional Advice: Consider consulting with a legal professional or a visa specialist to navigate the complexities of the Spanish immigration system effectively.


Securing a work visa is a critical step in your journey to working and living in Spain.

By understanding the different types of visas, meeting the eligibility criteria, and preparing your application carefully, you can navigate the process more smoothly and look forward to starting your new role in Spain.

Frequently Asked Questions on Getting a Spain Work Visa

1. How long does it take to process a work visa for Spain?

The processing time for a Spain Work Visa can vary depending on the type of visa, the specific Spanish consulate handling the application, and the completeness of the application. Generally, it can take from one to three months from the time the application is submitted. It’s advisable to start the application process well in advance of your intended start date in Spain.

2. Can I bring my family with me on a Spain Work Visa?

Yes, holders of a Spain Work Visa are eligible to apply for family reunification visas for their dependents, including spouses and minor children. The process involves proving that you have adequate financial resources to support your family members and suitable accommodation in Spain.

3. What is the difference between a General Work Visa and an EU Blue Card in Spain?

The General Work Visa (Type A) is designed for individuals who have received a job offer from a Spanish employer and covers various types of employment. The EU Blue Card is aimed at highly skilled professionals and offers certain advantages, such as a faster application process and easier conditions for family reunification. The Blue Card requires a higher education degree and a job offer with a salary threshold significantly above the average salary in Spain.

4. Is a job offer mandatory to apply for a work visa in Spain?

Yes, for the General Work Visa and the EU Blue Card, a confirmed job offer from a Spanish employer is mandatory. The employer must first obtain work authorization on behalf of the applicant. For the Self-Employed Work Visa, a detailed business plan and proof of financial investment are required instead of a job offer.

5. What happens if my work visa for Spain is denied?

If your application for a work visa is denied, you will receive a notification explaining the reasons for the denial. Applicants have the right to appeal the decision within a specified period, typically one month from the date of notification. It’s crucial to address the reasons for the denial thoroughly in any appeal or subsequent application.

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