Essential Guide: Spain's Residence & Work Permits

Table of Contents

Not all permits to stay or reside in Spain enable their holders to work in our country. Therefore, when looking for the best way to immigrate to Spain, it is important to take into account the effects of each residence permit.

In order to clarify which are the permits that do enable to work, we leave below a list that can help you to identify them.

1. List of residence authorizations that entitle to work

  • Employee Permit: This is the residence permit for “standard” employees. It differs from the permit for highly qualified workers in that it does not establish a minimum salary and does not require a minimum level of professional competence.

  • Standard Freelancer Permit: This permit is perfect for those people who want to establish a business project in Spain. For this purpose, it will be necessary to prepare a business plan and demonstrate that the necessary capital is available to start the project.

  • Highly Qualified Worker Permit: Those foreign citizens who prove a high degree of professional competence and have a job offer whose associated salary exceeds the minimum required may apply to the UGE (Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos) for this excellent permit.

  • Student Auhtorization (with nuances): The authorization for students obtained under Article 37.1.a) of the Reglamento de Extranjería will authorize self-employment and employment, provided that this work activity is compatible with the completion of these studies, and it is higher education, regulated training for employment or aimed at obtaining a certificate of professionalism, or training leading to obtaining the certificate of technical aptitude or professional qualification necessary for the exercise of a specific occupation.

  • Digital Nomad Visa: The Digital Nomad Visa has been implemented at the end of 2022 to the Spanish legal system and since then it has been very popular. This residence authorization is tailor-made for those foreigners who work remotely for a foreign company.

  • Arraigo Social: There are certain permits that can be applied for even when the person concerned is irregularly present in Spain. If you can prove a 3-year stay in Spain, a sufficient degree of integration and economic means, you will be able to apply for this permit.

  • Arraigo Laboral: This residence permit is available to those who can prove that in the 2 years prior to their application they have worked for a certain period of time on a regular basis in Spain.

  • Arraigo Familiar: Certain family members who can justify their family ties with a Spanish citizen will be able to access this permit. It stands out for its excellent effects: duration of 5 years and enables to work both as an employee and as a self-employed worker.

  • Second part of the Arraigo por Formación: After having completed the training associated with the first part of theArraigo por Formación, you will be able to access the Spanish labor market by carrying out an activity related to it.

  • EU Family Card: The effects of the EU Family Card are similar to those of the Arraigo Familiar, however, in this case the family relationship must be accredited with a citizen of a non-Spanish EU member country.


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