The Free Movement Of Workers agreement entitles all citizens of full EFTA and EEA-member countries to live and work in Spain without a visa or work permit.
The exceptions are the new accession EU countries. Citizens of these countries require a work permit.
Full entitlements and details can be found on the European Union website.
Non-EU nationals entering Spain to work are required to hold a national visa as well as a valid work permit. A work permit is usually applied for by the employer as the process requires the company to provide a great deal of information. The application process can be lengthy.
To apply for a work permit for a non-EU worker, an application is made by the company through the Dirección Provincial de Trabajo, Seguridad Social y Asuntos Sociales. The following information will usually be required:
Once the work permit has been granted, the applicant, while still in their country of residence, must apply for a visa from the Spanish authorities, as well as providing a criminal background check and original birth certificate, the process will include filling out the Visados Nacionales form.
There is usually a non-refundable fee for the visa.
Usually submitted at the Spanish consulate, the following documents are required when applying for a work permit:
For the visa, self-employed workers are required to fill out the Visados Nacionales form. They are required to select the box "Residence - Self-employed" in section 20.
Permanent work permits may be granted to holders of a Type C or Type E permit once it expires. A permanent work permit allows any type of activity.
Citizens of non-EU countries wishing to stay in Spain for more than three months must apply for a Residency Permit/Card (Tarjeta de Residencia) within 30 days of arriving in the country. The application must made at the Foreigner's Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or local police station in the province of intended residence.
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