Seven ways to get a residence permit in Spain with the right to work

Shall I be able to work? This is one of the main questions for future immigrants. Some types of residence permits in Spain are issued along with a work permit, that is, it will be much easier for a status holder to find a job. This article provides an overview of the conditions for obtaining residence permits, which open access to the Spanish labor market.

 Arraigo social - residence permit for social integration

A foreigner who has lived in Spain for at least three years (even illegally) can apply for a residence permit for social settlement. At the same time, the period of absence from the country for this entire period should not exceed 120 days.

This possibility is regulated by paragraphs 3 of articles 31 and 68 of the Immigration Law and article 124 of the Royal Decree No. 557.

Basic requirements for the applicants

  • Not to be a citizen of an EU/EEA (European Economic Area) country or Switzerland and not be a family member of citizens of these sates.
  • Clean criminal record in Spain and in the countries of previous residence.
  • Not to have an entry ban to Spain.
  • Proof of residency in Spain for at least three years. Stamps of the passport control may confirm this when entering Spain, as well as boarding passes, tickets, etc., paid bills for any services etc.
  • Proof of financial solvency. To do this, it is enough to demonstrate documents on the availability of funds for living in the country within the living wage (IPREM). For 2023 - €600 per month.

Please note! Financial solvency can be proved by an employment contract for the duration of at least one year (or several contracts with different employers at once), or documents proving the conduct of business (business plan, tax declarations, permits, licenses, etc.), or documents on passive income or available funds in the account to support your life in the country.

The applicant should also demonstrate any link with the Spanish society and its culture. To do this, the applicant needs to obtain a report on social integration issued by the local city hall of the autonomous community where he lives and get the official registry certificate that indicates the address of the applicant. 

It is allowed to apply for Arraigo social directly from Spain without the need to obtain a visa.

One should start with a personal interview at the city hall of the municipality where you live. The candidate will need to prepare a story about his motivation to move to Spain and demonstrate the level of knowledge of the Spanish language and local culture. It is also important to reveal the acquired social connections.

The results of the interview are revised for up to 15 days. If approved, the applicant will be issued a social integration report (informe arraigo).

Then the applicant for a residence permit should submit an application on the website of the Spanish Migration Service.

All documents from other countries should be translated into Spanish and legalized.

Please note! Keep all the documents that can prove your stay in the country for the least three years: subscription to a local library or bills for any services.

The average application lead-time now stands up to three months.

Within one month of receiving a positive decision the candidate should apply for a resident card (TIE) at the police station of the province in which you live and, if you are employed, register with the Social Security Service.

A residence permit will be issued for one year. After the expiration of this period, it is possible to change the migration status as an employee of the company, owner of a business or a financially independent person.

La tarjeta comunitaria – residence permit for relatives of EU citizens

The community card (“tarjeta comunitaria”) is granted to couples registered as civil unions, spouses (i.e. united by marriage), and children who are relatives of citizens from any country within the European Union who are living in Spain.

This right also applies to other family members, but only if it is possible to prove cohabitation and economic dependence on such EU citizen.

Basic requirements for the applicants

  • The applicant should live together with a citizen of the European Union in Spain for more than three months.
  • Confirmation that the applicant is a close family member. The marriage should be valid and the cohabitation should be enrolled in the municipal Civil Partnership Registry.
  • The European Union citizen must be a resident in the country. Remember that being a resident implies living for more than 183 days per natural year in Spain.
  • The EU citizen reuniting with close family members must prove their economic solvency and to demonstrate the possession of sufficient financial means to support themselves and the entire family. The amount depends on the average minimum wage per person. The source of income may be from employment or be passive.
  • The applicant should confirm the availability of medical insurance for the entire period of the requested residence permit.

An application for a residence permit should be submitted to the nearest Migration Service office within 90 days after entering the country.

The processing period for consideration of the application takes up to three months.

The residence and work permit for family members is issued for a period of five years with the possibility of extension in case of maintaining the grounds. That is, if an EU citizen in charge of dependent family members decides to leave the country or simply decides to live separately, the residence permit will be terminated.

Please remember! The residence permit will also be cancelled if the residence permit holder is outside the country for more than six months.

Official information on the application procedure and required documents can be found on the website of the Spanish Ministry of the Interior.

Visado de estudiante – student residence permit

The basis for obtaining a student residence permit can even be enrollment in state-accredited language courses with a training program of more than six months.

During their studies, students are allowed to work through curricular or extracurricular internships for up to 20 hours per week taking into account that the total of class hours plus working hours cannot exceed 40.

Basic requirements for the applicants:

  • Acceptance or admission letter from the learning course in Spain.
  • The applicant should submit tuition fees.
  • Proof of available housing for the entire period of study (rental contract or certificate of ownership).
  • Confirm the availability of funds to live in Spain during the period of study. You should demonstrate a 100% of the IPREM , which is about €600 per month in 2023.
  • For adult students: submit a certificate of no criminal record for the last five years issued by the authorities of the country of residence.

The procedure starts with obtaining a national Spanish visa (type D) at the Spanish consulate of your country. It is valid for three months. Then you need to apply for a plastic residence card within one or two months of stay in Spain at the National Police Offices With Foreigners Department.

Student residence permit is issued for up to one year. To extend it, you need to present a certificate of enrollment to the next level of study.

The disadvantage of such a residence permit is that it does not count for obtaining permanent residence.

Please note! After three years of residence in Spain on a student residence permit, it will be possible to switch to a residence permit with the right to work.

In addition, after finishing your studies, you can modify to a work permit or to a residence permit as a student looking for a job (a residence authorization with which you can stay in Spain for a year while you find a job offer or prepare your own business project.

Residencia para prácticas profesionales - residence permit for a professional internship

In 2018, an update within the Spanish Law for Entrepreneurs gave rise to a new residency card that would start benefiting a large number of students from all around the world who wished to move to Spain or stay in the country for a longer period of time.

 This residence authorization is granted to foreigners who are either pursuing higher degree studies or have completed them within a period not exceeding the past two years and want to practice in their chosen specialty.

In the first case, the applicant may apply for the status on the basis of an internship agreement (there will be no employment), and the academic entity will be an intermediary.

For foreigners who have already completed their studies, the practice is possible under an employment contract for an internship.

The requirements for the candidates differ significantly.

For students

  • Valid student visa.
  • Sufficient financial means (100% of the IPREM) to live in the country.
  • Full medical insurance for the entire duration of the internship.

For graduates

  • There is no need to obtain medical insurance (in the case of an internship contract, the employee will be registered with the social security system and have access to the Spanish public health care).
  • There is no need to sufficient financial means (the salary of your internship contract is the proof of your economic capacity).

General requirements

  • The foreigner must submit an internship agreement  or contract of employment for the purpose of an internship that includes a description of the program, duration, tasks, daily hours, and supervision method by the company.
  • The internship must be in the same academic field and must require a level of education equivalent to the course of study. 
  • The foreign student cannot have criminal records or have the entry prohibited to Spain.
  • The request should be submitted on behalf of the company through the REDSARA platform.

Please note! The duration or validity of the residency for internships is directly linked to the duration of the internship contract or agreement (either with the company or with the academic entity).

After the labor reform of 2022, an internship agreement can be concluded for a period of no more than a year.

You can extend this residence permit only once, so the maximum period of stay in the kingdom will be no more than two years.

But! You can change your resident status already after the first year of your internship and continue legal work in Spain if the company agrees to enter into a regular employment contract.

Golden visa - a residence permit in Spain for the purchase of real estate or investment in the country's economy

Another way to obtain a residence permit in Spain with the right to work is to buy real estate or make a significant contribution to the economy of the kingdom.

The main condition for buying real estate is to invest at least €500 thousand in housing or commercial premises in the primary or secondary market in any region of the country.

According to the terms of the program, the purchased objects should be owned for at least five years. At the same time, the holder of real estate is allowed to use the property for personal residence or rent it out.

All recipients of this status and their family members are eligible to work in Spain.

The initial residence permit allows you to live and work in Spain for 2 years, and can be later renewed for 5 years as long as you keep your original investment. After five years, the investor and his family receive the right to apply for permanent residence, and ten years later - for citizenship.

Golden visa – a residence permit in Spain for the purchase of real estate or investment in the country’s economy

Another way to obtain a residence permit in Spain with the right to work is to purchase real estate or make a significant contribution to the economy of the Kingdom.

The main condition when purchasing real estate is to invest at least €500 thousand in residential or commercial premises on the primary or secondary market in any region of the country.

Under the terms of the program, the purchased properties should remain in property for at least five years. At the same time, they can be used for personal and commercial purposes, for example for long-term or holiday rentals.

Please read our manual: Residency Visa For Acquisition Of Real Estate

Family members of the main applicant also receive the same status (spouses, children, dependent parents).

The main investor and his family members also have the right to find employment in the kingdom.

Please find our detailed manual: Residence Permit in Spain by Investment

The initial  “golden visa” is issued for two years, then it can be extended for five years an unlimited number of times while the property remains in ownership. After five years, the investor and his family receive the right to permanent residence, and after ten years - to citizenship.

Autorización de residencia para emprendedores - Spanish residence permit for entrepreneurs

The residence permit program for entrepreneurs is suitable for those who run business in the country, as well as members of their families.

At first glance, the conditions are simple: there is no minimum investment amount, there is no need to create a certain number of job positions. But in reality, this means that each case will be considered individually. Experts will assess the prospects for the business and the benefits it can bring to the Spanish economy. IT startups have good chances in this program.

Basic requirements for the applicants

  • Submit a viable business plan and project description.
  • To be over 18 years of age and a citizen of a country outside the EU.
  • To have no convictions for crimes under Spanish law in the past five years.
  • Not to have violations of the visa regime of Spain and the countries with which it has entered into relevant agreements.
  • To have a medical certificate for the entire period of the requested residence permit.
  •  To have sufficient funds to live on at the rate of €2,130 per month per applicant and €532 for each dependent relative.

A foreigner who is outside of Spain should receive an entrepreneur visa for a year, enter the country and start working.

After a year, if the development of the company corresponds to the declared plan, the applicant and his family will receive a residence permit for two years, which can be extended for another two years. After five years of living in Spain they will be eligible to obtain permanent residence and later - citizenship.

International teleworking visa - residence permit for digital nomads

The Spanish government has implemented the remote work visa (called the International Teleworking Visa) and related residence permit, and has adopted several changes to visas under the Entrepreneur’s Act on December 23, 2022.

Basic requirements for the applicants

  • Provide documentary evidence  of working remotely for a company outside of Spain using a computer, telephone or other telecommunication means.
  • Confirm the necessary professional knowledge to perform the work (diplomas or proof of work experience in the field for at least three years).
  • The employing company must have had at least one year of continuous and real activity and the applicant should prove an employment or professional relationship of at least the last three months prior to the submission of the application
  • Submit an employment contract for a period of at least one year.
  • Confirm the availability of financial means to live in Spain (bank statement with a balance of at least €25 thousand (200% of the minimum wage in Spain) + €9441 for each additional family member (75% of the minimum wage in Spain).
  • Get medical insurance for the entire period of the requested residence permit.


  • Submit a criminal background check certificate dated no more than five months before the application date, stating that applicant does not have criminal record where they have resided for the past five years.

Please note! According to the terms of the program, the residence permit holder can work in a Spanish company if the income from this activity does not exceed 20% of the total amount.

There are two different ways to apply for resident status:

  • You may apply for a digital nomad visa at the consulate of the country of origin for a period of one year. In the future, before the expiration of the visa, you can request a residence permit for remote work, the validity of which is up to three years with the possibility of extension for another two years, while maintaining the grounds.
  • You may apply for a residence permit, having arrived in Spain as a tourist, and obtain permission for three years (with the possibility to extend it for another 2 years).

Photo : Unsplash (Al Elmes)

Quoting conditions of Prian.info materials

Share the link:
Tags: Spain, Immigration, Residence permit and citizenship, Immigration programs, Work abroad

Read also

EU updates rules for obtaining long-term resident status
The minimum requirement is to have resided in an EU Member State for at least five years.
Spain is going to close the «golden visa program»
The Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced that this move would help solve the problem of...
Legal migration to Europe is becoming easier: EU Council has approved new rules
The EU Council has adopted a revised version of the Directive on a single work and residence...
The EU has agreed to simplify employment rules for third-country nationals
Non-EU nationals will be able to apply for a work and residence permit in one application.
EU countries will issue a single work and residence permit under simplified procedure. The date is already known
The new directive will improve the protection of foreign workers against exploitation.
Agency for Fundamental Rights calls on the EU to make it easier to obtain long-term residency status
This is a recommendation for the European Union and national authorities.

Interesting to read

News and articles on the topic «Spain»

  • 17.07.2024
  • 11

Statistics on changes in housing Prices in the EU for the first quarter of 2024 have been published

In the first quarter of 2024, housing prices in the alliance countries have increased on average...

  • 09.07.2024
  • 5