After deciding to move to Spain, many face a certain dilemma: it’s not possible to simply lay on the beach with a couple of margaritas, because somebody has to pay the rent. Before you start working at your new exciting Spanish job, take a look at the requirements you need for working in the country.
1. Get a Social Security Number
The first thing everyone needs, whether they are an EU citizen or not, is a Número de Seguridad Social. This allows you to legally pay your taxes in Spain. To get a Número de afiliación a la Seguridad Social, you will need to fill in Form TA.1 in Spanish and take it to your nearest local office of the General Social Security Treasury (Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social).
2. NIE: Número de Identidad de Extranjero
Getting all the required paperwork for working as a citizen of the EU is surprisingly easy. It all comes down to the NIE number (Foreign Citizen’s Identification Number). This number is useful for paying taxes and opening a bank account for your salary. You can sign a contract without it but you will need to have one before 31st December of the year you start working. The process of getting a Spanish NIE number is one of the most basic things you'll have to do when you first come to Spain.
You will need to apply for a NIE at your local police station. First, make an appointment by clicking “Policia” and then “Certificados UE”. You will need to take with you the following documents:
- Confirmation of your appointment time
- Your current ID, such as a passport (original and a photocopy)
- Completed Form EX-18 (original and a photocopy)
- A copy of your contract of employment
- Completed Form 790 authorising payment for the NIE (around 10.71 euro)
3. Open a Spanish bank account
You can open a bank account in Spain as a resident (if you have your NIE) or a non-resident. Go to the bank with these documents:
- Proof of address e.g. an energy bill
- Proof of income e.g. a contract of employment or payslip
4. Register at the Town Hall
In Spanish, this is known as empadronarse. To obtain a certificado de empadronamiento, you must go to your local Ayuntamiento, or City Council, and register with them the address where you are living. Once again, you will need ID, proof of address such as bills, the sale or rental contract, and the corresponding form for your autonomous community, which you can request directly from the Ayuntamiento when you get there.
5. Register with a doctor and get a health card
You must go to your nearest health centre (centro de salud) and ask to sign up. Just show a valid NIE or ID and they will provide you with a doctor in that centre where you can go any time you get sick. A tarjeta sanitaria Spanish health card will arrive by post in a few days.
6. Work visas for non-EU citizens
Finally, if you are not from an EU member state you will have to do some extra bureaucracy to work in Spain. Basically, you need to be at least 16 years old, get work authorisation from the Foreign office and obtain a visa.
You must be authorised to work and reside in Spain. It is necessary for working and it will limit your work to an activity in a certain sector in a specific geographical area. The application for the permit should be sent to the Foreigner’s office (Oficinas de Extranjeros) or to the provincial office of the Ministry of Labour (Delegación Provincial del Ministerio de Trabajo) if you are already in Spain. If you’re not in Spain yet, you should send your application to the Spanish Consular office in your country.
The documents you must present when applying for the authorisation are as follows:
- Copy of your passport
- Certificate of criminal records
- Official medical certificate
- 3 passport photographs
- Fiscal registration number (NIE or CIF) and the employer’s Social Security registration number
- Offer of employment with labour conditions
- Description of the job and the company’s activity
Once you have your permit or NIE number all done, there’s nothing stopping you from working like any other Spaniard!