<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=4160949140796750&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

Speak to the medical specialist you need over the phone, video call or chat. Your health from the comfort of your own home.

Caser Autohelp

Did you know that your car insurance is able to detect an accident automatically?


24H English-speaking telephone assistance


Find your nearest motorbike repair workshop and discover all the advantages it has to offer

Caser Expat Insurance

Living and Working in Spain

3 things to consider when hiring foreign workers in Spain

January 20, 2022

In an increasingly globalised world where specific know-how and specialised skill sets are oftentimes unevenly distributed among countries, more and more employers within Spain are sourcing international talent for positions within their companies. Lots of businesses sweep the local market on the hunt for local talent, but often fall short, before soon realising the benefits of hiring foreign workers in Spain. Not only do foreign professionals offer a fresh perspective, often beneficial to business, they can also bring an unmatched skill and language set that’s hard to come by in Spain, as well as a stream of network connections in their country of origin that can be harnessed by the new employer. Seems like a slam dunk, right? The only downfall when deciding to go down this route is the Spanish bureaucracy that ensues. If you’re thinking about hiring foreign workers in Spain, there are a few things you should know beforehand.

hiring foreign workers in Spain two girls working

1. Legal requirements for hiring foreign talent in Spain

Although it may seem obvious, Spanish companies are free to hire both EU nationals and non-EU nationals, but what may not seem obvious are the bureaucratic intricacies involved in the latter. The free movement of workers between EU member states is set out in Article 45 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union, prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of nationality between EU countries when it comes to employment, so targeting candidates within the European Union is essentially a free for all. But what happens if you want to hire outside the EU? This is where it gets trickier. The requirements for hiring non-EU nationals depend on the foreigner’s situation:

1. Foreigners with a temporary residence permit for scholarships or studies

This collective is free to work part-time or full-time provided that their working hours are compatible with their studies. In the latter case, the duration of this type of permit may not last longer than 3 months.

2. Foreigners who come to Spain to work without a residence or work permit

Anyone from outside the EU who wishes to come to Spain for professional purposes, whether self-employed or employed, must obtain an initial temporary residence or work permit in Spain. In this case, the employer will be responsible for applying.

What are the requirements for applying?

  • With some exceptions, the position that the employer wishes to fill must be included in the National Occupation Shortage List or submit a certificate issued by the Regional Public Employment Service.
  • The employer must be adequately registered with Social Security and up to date on all Social Security and tax payments, and guarantee employment for the duration of the contract to the foreign worker.
  • The worker status must be legal and, where applicable, hold the necessary qualifications to perform the job.

Further information on the steps to be followed by the employer when applying for the residence and work permit are outlined below.

3. Foreigners who already hold a work and temporary residence permit

In this circumstance, the employer is responsible for making sure the work permit is in force (they are valid for one year and must be renewed), otherwise they will be subject to substantial fines.

2. Different types of work permit

There are various types of work permits to take into account when hiring foreign workers in Spain. Permits to work as an employed person

  • Permit A: Issued for work with a limited duration. It may be limited to a specific activity and geographical area. Its duration will correspond to the duration of its supporting contract, with a limit of nine months.
  • Permit B (initial): It may be limited to a specific sector or activity and geographical area and its duration will be established in the employment contract, subject to a limit of one year.
  • Permit B (renewed): Enables any activity to be carried out throughout the national territory for a period of 2 years. This permit may be obtained by holders of a B (initial) permit upon its expiry.
  • Permit C: Enables any activity to be carried out throughout the national territory and is valid for 3 years. It may be obtained by holders of a B (renewed) licence upon its expiry.

hiring foreign workers in Spain two people working with their computers

3. Required documents and steps to be followed by the employer

1. Submit the application
The employer must submit the application for the residence and work permit either in person or via a legal representative to the competent authority in the province where the professional activity is to be carried out. The following documents must be submitted along with the application:

  • DNI or NIF (National ID Card and Tax ID, respectively). If the employer is a legal entity, the power of attorney that authorises legal representation to the person filing the application should also be attached.
  • Proof, where applicable, of exemption from consideration of national employment status.
  • The original employment contract accompanied by a copy.
  • Proof of financial, material and human resources for the business undertaking.
  • A copy of the candidate’s passport of national ID, as well as any relevant educational certificates or qualifications, where necessary for the job in question.

IMPORTANT: Both copies and originals of each of the documents should be submitted and/or checked. Any documents written in a foreign language must be accompanied by a sworn translation and stamped. The permit obtained by following this process and submitting the above documents is conditional on the worker obtaining a visa, entering the country and registering on the Social Security system.

2. Pay the corresponding fee

In addition to submitting the application form and supporting documents, the employer is required to pay the corresponding fee and fill out form 790. The worker will also be required to pay a small fee. After this, it’s just a matter of waiting up to three months for the response.

As you can see, there are plenty of tricky obstacles to overcome when hiring foreign workers in Spain for your company, but we hope we’ve provided you with enough information to help you navigate the bureaucratic process a little bit more smoothly. Don’t forget about the benefits that foreign talent can bring to the table at your business once legally set up here, or the benefits you can bring them, such as business health insurance to make sure they’ve got the right protection in their new home. Check out our post on business medical insurance here. Good luck with your recruitment process!

Download Free Guide: How to obtain the NIE


Let Us Know What You Thought about this Post.

Put your Comment Below.