Are you a company that’s looking to hire a foreign worker? This post offers an in-depth discussion of one of the permits that provide authorization to reside and work in Spain: the residence and work permit for employees.

We had the assistance and experience of Dana Antolín, a colleague and expert in immigration and international worker mobility, in producing this post.

Permit to reside and work in Spain

The initial residence and work permit in Spain is used to hire a foreign workers for a period of above 90 days and below 5 years.

Before starting the paperwork required to obtain this permit, one of the main things to consider is that the job offer in question must observe the National Employment Situation.

One of the major advantages of this permit in particular is that you simply have to fulfill the conditions set by the applicable collective agreement. You don’t have to prove that the worker will be paid a minimum wage, as is the case in permits for highly qualified professionals.

Who applies for this permit?

The employer or business owner applies for it in order to hire a non-resident foreign worker.

Where? At the Provincial Government Office of the Autonomous Region where the foreign employee is to work or at the offices of the regional authorities.

Who is it for?

For foreign workers who are to be hired locally by a Spanish company.

As indicated by Dana Antolín, an expert in immigration and international worker mobility at Adlanter, “this permit can also be obtained by other interested parties, such as foreign nationals with a study permit who can prove they have passed their studies and have been give an job offer that meets the requirements established by current regulations”.

For how long does the residence and work permit in Spain last?

The initial temporary residence and work permit for employees in Spain lasts for 1 year, with the possibility of extending it for another 4 years provided the requirements established to do so are met.

Renewal of this permit means that the holder can do any job anywhere in Spain, whether employed or self-employed.

Basic requirements for working as an employee in Spain

  • You are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, or a relative of citizens from these countries, to whom the EU citizenship regime applies.
  • You are not in Spain illegally.
  • You have no criminal record in Spain and in your previous countries of residence for crimes that exist in Spanish law.
  • You have not been forbidden entry to Spain and are not included as liable to refusal of entry into countries with which Spain holds an agreement to this effect.
  • The commitment period of non-return to Spain that you undertook on voluntarily returning to your country of origin has elapsed.
  • You have paid the corresponding the corresponding fees to process the residence and work permit for employees.
  • The national employment situation allows for you to be hired, considering the exceptions set out by law.

National Employment Situation

Dana explains that “when granting this permit, the Spanish authorities require the evaluation of the National Employment Situation, and it must be proven that it allows for the foreign non-resident worker to enter the Spanish labor market”

However, there are some cases in which said requirement does not have to be met, for example if the applicant is a Chilean or Peruvian national.

Residence and work in Spain for Chilean and Peruvian nationals

Chile and Peru are two countries that have signed international agreements with Spain through which they avoid having to comply with the evaluation of the National Employment Situation.

In other words, workers who are Chilean or Peruvian nationals may request an initial residence and work permit for employees directly, without having to prove that the National Employment Situation allows for them to be hired.

Requirements related to the work to be carried out

In addition to the accrediting documents related with the evaluation of the National Employment Situation, the employer must present a contract of employment signed by the worker and by themselves in which the worker is guaranteed a permanent job for the validity of the initial temporary residence and work permit for employees.

Secondly, the conditions set in the contract must be guaranteed to adapt to those set by current law and by the collective agreement applicable to that job, professional category, and location.

What happens if the contract is to be part time?

In this case, the remuneration must be the same or higher than the minimum full-time wage calculated annually.

Thirdly, the employer must be correctly listed in the Social Security system and be up to date on the payment of their tax and social security liabilities.

The worker must have the skills and, where appropriate, the professional qualifications required by law to perform the job for which they are hired.

Another requirement to be met to successfully obtain this permit is that the employer must have sufficient financial, material or personal resources for their business project and to pay for the liabilities included in the contract of employment. If the employer is a physical person, they must prove that they have sufficient financial resources to meet their needs and those of their family.

What is the minimum amount required for this situation? The amount is based on IPREM (multiplier effect on index of revenue) percentages according to the number of people in their charge, subtracting the wage indicated in the contract of employment:

  • Where there are no relatives in the charge of the employer, the amount must represent 100% IPREM per month.
  • In the case of families with two members (counting the employer applying for the permit), the amount must represent 200% IPREM per month.
  • In the case of families with more than two members (counting the employer), the amount must represent 50% IPREM per month for each additional member.

Which documents must be submitted with the application?

Specific documentation must be attached to the application for an initial residence and work permit for employees:

  • A copy of the company’s tax identification number and a copy of the deed of incorporation duly listed in the corresponding Register.
  • A copy of the public document proving that the signatory of the permit application is the legal representativeof the company.
  • A copy of the tax identification number (NIF) or foreign national identity number (NIE) or consent to check the identity data through the Identity and Residence Data Verification System for the signatory of the application.
  • The original and one copy of the contract of employment governing the employment relationship signed by both parties.
  • Where appropriate, a certificate from SEPE indicating the lack of job seekers to cover the vacancy in question.
  • The documents proving the financial, material or personal resources available to the business owner for their business project and to pay for the liabilities arising from said activity must also be provided.
  • A copy of the entire passport or travel document of the foreign worker
  • Documents proving that they have the skills and (where appropriate) the qualifications required by law to perform the work for which the foreign national is to be hired.
  • The corresponding documents accrediting the occurrence of a specific case in which the national employment situation is not considered (where the interested party claims to be included in one of the cases in which the national employment situation does not apply as a requirement to obtain this permit).

When submitting the documentation, it is important to remember that, if documents from other countries are provided, these must be duly translated into Spain or a co-official language of the territory in which the application is to be filed. Furthermore, any public document must be previously authenticated.

Dana reminds us that “according to Spanish law, the competent authorities may request additional documentation other than that indicated”.

What should a foreign national do once the employee residence permit has been granted?

The interested party has 1 month from the date on which the employer is notified that permit has been granted to request the visa in person at the corresponding diplomatic mission or consular office.

What should a foreign national do once the visa has been granted?

Once they have collected their visa, the foreign worker must enter Spain during the validity period of the visa (3 months). This visa enables them to enter and to remain in Spain.

Once the foreign national has been registered in the Social Security system, they have 1 month to apply for their Foreign National Identity Card in person.

Residence and work permit for employees

What does it authorize?

 It authorizes you to reside and work as a foreign employee in a company in Spain.

Who is it for?

Primarily for foreign workers who are to be hired by a Spanish company. It is also for other profiles, such as graduates from Spanish universities who have a valid study permit

Who applies for it?

The employer/business owner, in person or through a legal representative

Where is it applied for?

At the Provincial Government Office of the Autonomous Region where the employee intends to work or at the offices of the regional authorities.

Does the national employment situation apply?


Are you looking to hire a foreign worker from Spain?

Adlanter has teams that specialize in the management and processing of different work permits.

We adapt to your needs, individually monitoring your specific case.

Contact us for more information on our service for processing work permits for foreign nationals in Spain.