Spain: Team Member Nationality Requirements

Team Member Nationality Requirements

Citizens of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland do not need a visa to work in Spain. For most other people, a work permit is needed. However, certain types of professions (e.g., university professors, foreign journalists, technicians, etc.) are exempt from work visa requirements.

There are two types of work permits:

  • Cuenta Ajena
    • For those with a contact with a specific company
    • Easier to obtain
  • Cuenta Propia
    • For self-employed individuals
    • Offers the freedom to move between different companies and positions.
    • Harder to obtain
    • Can be applied for after receiving the Cuenta Ajena

Generally, you must have a job offer before obtaining a work permit. The employer must apply for a work permit on behalf of any non-EU/EEA nationals. However, the work of obtaining the residence visa may be undertaken by the individual.

EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card is a work and residence permit for highly qualified professionals, defined as:

Qualification resulting from higher education training that lasted at least 3 years and provides the degree of qualification necessary to practice a profession that demands a high level of training or to join an advanced research programme.

Employers who wish to apply for an EU Blue Card on behalf of a potential foreign worker can find the application here.

You will need:

  • Tax ID Number
  • Proof that you (the filer of the application) have sufficient status to be the legal representative (i.e., backed by your company public deed)
  • Employment contract
  • Copy of the potential foreign worker’s full passport or travel documentation
  • Documents showing that you have the capital, human resources, and other materials necessary to complete this project for which you are hiring foreign workers
  • Proof of adequate training on the part of the foreign worker to fulfill this professional role
  • (Potentially necessary) Certificate from the Public Employment Service indicating that there are no unemployed who could fill this position

If the application is successful, the foreign worker must apply in person for a visa at the diplomatic mission or consulate where they live within a month of notification.

For the visa application process, they will need:

  • Valid passport or travel document with at least 4 months remaining before expiration
  • Certificate indicating no criminal record for acts considered criminal under Spanish laws, for the past 5 years
  • Copy of the employment contract stamped by the Immigration Office

There is a fee associated with the visa application process.

If you already hold an EU Blue Card from another country, please refer to the following excerpt from the Ministry of Work and Immigration’s unofficial guide (in English):

‘Foreigners who have been holders of a EU blue card issued by another EU Member State for at least 18 months have the right to move to Spain and apply for a EU blue card in Spain.

The application can be submitted either by the employer or by the EU blue card holder in person before entering Spain or within a month after entering Spanish territory. Applicants must submit all the documents proving the fulfilment of the requirements for an initial work and residence permit for highly qualified employment, except the visa.

If the permit is granted the EU blue card holder must register with the Social Security system an apply for a foreigners ID card within a month after being notified the decision. The foreigner will be obliged to leave Spain if not registered with the Social Security system by the end of the established deadline. Failure to do so constitute a serious offence as it will be considered an illegal stay in the country.

EU card holders are entitled to apply for residence permits for those family members who want to join him in Spain if the family was already constituted in the first member state. The application can be filed either by the EU blue card holder or by his employer.

This application can be filed together with the application of the EU blue card holder, prior to entry in Spain or within a month after entering Spanish territory with the following documents:

  • A copy of the full passport or valid travel document of each member of the family.
  • A copy of the residence permit in the previous Member State, and proof of having resided there as members of the EU blue card holder’s family.
  • Evidence that the EU blue card holder can provide adequate housing and has means as required for family reunification.

If the holder of the EU blue card wishes to reunite members of his family, who are not part of the family already established in the previous Member State of residence, they must apply according to the procedure previously stated in the “Family members” paragraph.’


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