Topic 2 Information on permits and requirements for working in Spain

In this section, we will look in depth at the permits, documentation, procedures and requirements for working in Spain. The aim is to give participants a broad overview of how the system works.

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There are different ways to get a job in Spain. These modalities vary according to some legal requirements established by Spanish regulations. The most important ones are:

Non-EU nationals residing in Spain, but who do not have a work permit, can regulate their legal situation by means of the arraigo social. The requirements to obtain the “arraigo social” are:

a) Three years’ continuous residence in Spain. This requirement must be fulfilled prior to application.

b) Registration? Although it is commonly believed that it is necessary to have been registered in the census for 3 years, the truth is that in order to prove continuous permanence, various proofs can be presented.

c) Documentation that accredits the permanence: medical certificate, bills, money transfers, bank account, etc.

d) Not having a criminal record either in Spain or in the country of origin.

e) Employment contract. One of the most controversial points is the need to have a job offer in order to have a residence permit (and therefore a work permit).

f) Social insertion report: These reports are issued by each Autonomous Community. In the case of Valencia, it can be requested through the following link:

Where can I apply for “arraigo social”? The application should be addressed to the Immigration Office.

REQUEST APPOINTMENT IN PERSON: By e-mail You must attach the application and documentation required for the procedure in pdf format.


Contact details: Calle Diputada Clara Campoamor, Motilla de Palancar, 23.  Tel.: 963079840

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People who have a student visa in Spain and have finished their studies can apply for a one-year residence permit to find a job in Spain. Once they have found a job, they can apply for a work permit.

Non-EU citizens who have been reunited with a family member in Spain, through the family reunification process, may work in the country without the need for prior authorisation.

Also, those who are married, registered as a domestic partner or who have been living with a Spanish citizen for more than one year (proving that both are registered at the town hall at the same address) can obtain a residence and work permit as a family member of an EU citizen.


The NIE is a unique and exclusive number that is issued to foreigners with some kind of relationship with Spain (be it economic, professional or social). It must appear on the documents that the foreigner issues or processes (including the signing of an employment contract or the opening of a bank account).

In addition, the social security number is a right of any citizen, employee or self-employed person who does not have one. The social security number is applied for with the work permit – linked to the NIE – and is what will allow us to access our various benefits, including access to health care.

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Applicants for international protection will be authorised to work in Spain six months after the submission of their application. The authorisation to work shall be evidenced by the message “authorised to work” on the international protection applicant’s document. 

As the Spanish Refugee Aid Commission (CEAR) states: “Asylum seekers are authorised to work.” It is very easy to identify because on the card itself appears the phrase “AUTHORISED TO WORK”. There is no restriction whatsoever on the sector of activity or geographical area”.

As soon as six months have elapsed since the asylum application, applicants are granted a provisional work permit for half a year. If it expires before the application for international protection is resolved, the permit is renewed for another half year.

The responsible entity is the Asylum and Refuge Office of the Ministry of the Interior. To apply for asylum, you must apply in person at one of the offices. More detailed information can be found at this link: 

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