Working in Spain while being Russian: paperwork

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If you are not a citizen of the European Union and you plan to find a job in Spain, you will need a permit if you want to become an employee or an employer. Despite the fact that there is a crisis in that country, around 50 thousand permits are issued in Spain every year. An employee who has a work permit in Spain in 2019 also receives a residence permit. It is important to know well all the procedures for foreigners, so there will be no need to worry about deportation during the period of the work contract. 

Working in Spain

Is it possible to work in Spain without a work permit?

A work permit is a document that is legally binding and allows you to work without citizenship in another country. Without this document, it is forbidden to work in Spain.

Work Permit in Spain

Illegal attempts to find work always end in deportation. Therefore, it is better to spend time on the paperwork and officially look for a job with the possibility of obtaining a residence permit, for which it will be necessary to request the assignment of an NIE (in spanish: asignación de NIE), which will be the worker's identification number while in Spain. 

In addition to a work permit in Spain, Russians will need a basic knowledge of the Spanish language . Then, the possibilities of finding a prestigious and better paid job increase significantly.

What permission is required to work under contract?

Often, workers are hired. To be eligible to work in Spain, you must have the following types of permits


Type B (original). With this permit, you can work in a specific profession or activity. The area of operation is limited to the approved area, because the permit specifies a specific company. On the basis of this document, the employer draws up an employment contract for a period not exceeding 1 year.

Type B (re-registered). This 2-year authorization is obtained upon expiration of the Type B (original) document. Professional opportunities are extended, but the geographic area may be limited.

Type C (extension with the obtaining of the residence permit). This permit is not limited by activity or territory, it is allowed to work anywhere in the country. The document is issued for 2 years. Only holders of a Type B permit can obtain it.

In other words, a Type B permit (initial) can be extended for a Type B permit (re-registration) and once its validity has expired, a Type C document can be issued.


As a result, it is possible to obtain a residence permit, the presence of which does not constitute a separate work permit.


Permission to work on your own

To open an individual business, you will need the following permits:

Business plan

Type D (original). The document indicates a specific type of activity in a specific location. You cannot apply for a permit for one type of activity and participate in another. Validity period: up to 1 year.

Type D (re-registered). The holder of this document is not limited to the locality: the permit is valid throughout Spain for two years. Professional activities can also be varied. Holders of a Type D (Initial) permit are eligible when the permit expires.

Type E. This type of permit allows you to do business throughout Spain without restrictions. It can be one or several lines of business. The document is issued for 2 years only to holders of a Type D (Re-registered) permit on expiry. Type E owners can have more permanent residence.

Who are the special work permits for?

There are four types of special permits that can be used by citizens of other countries:


Type F. This permit is issued to residents of the border area of Andorra, Portugal and other neighboring countries. The work activity is possible by order or on a self-employed basis. The main condition is the daily return to the place of residence to spend the night. That is, the residence must be in the country of origin, and in Spain, only work. The permit is valid for 5 years, after which it can be renewed.

Type A. This document is suitable for seasonal work, for example, in agriculture, short-term activities (renovation, construction of an object, installation, etc.). It indicates the type of work, location and duration. An employment contract is drawn up on the basis of the permit. The duration of both documents must be the same. The employment contract can be extended for a period not exceeding 12 months. In the future, it is allowed to renew or re-register.

Type G. Designed for temporary jobs. For example, if a company is located in another country and sends its employees to Spain to perform the necessary work in a specific facility. The permit is issued for one year, if necessary, it is extended for another year.

Type T. The permit is issued to an employee who resides outside the European Union. The firm that brings him/her to work must issue a letter of invitation (carta de invitación) and assume the transportation costs. The permit is temporary, the period of validity coincides with the duration of the employment contract, but does not exceed 9 months. Having returned after finishing the work in his country, a person is obliged to register at the consulate that issued the visa.

Characteristics of obtaining a work permit

A work permit will not be issued in Spain. You must contact the Spanish consulate in your place of residence, which will help you obtain a long-term visa and a work permit. In Russia, these are Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The paperwork is a long process and can take 2-3 months. It is necessary to be in the country at this time, because you can be invited for an interview at any time.

To obtain a Spanish work visa, you need the following documents:


  • Civilian passport and copies of all pages;
  • passport , until the expiration date of which there is at least four months;
  • three photographs;
  • confirmation of the financial situation (bank statement or letter of sponsorship from the employer);
  • a certificate of absence of criminal records for a period not exceeding three months;
  • a copy of a work invitation from the employer;
  • health certificate ;
  • a copy of the original work and residence permit contract with the stamp of the Immigration Office.

It is important to bring all the documents, since the absence of any of them may result in the denial of a visa. For professions such as sportsmen, sailors, drivers, journalists, the list of documents and the registration procedure is different.

Characteristics of obtaining a work permit

All documents must be translated into Spanish and legalized with official certification. This is done at the Spanish General Consulate or with the help of a certified translator.

There are many qualified Russian citizens living in Spain who do not practice their profession. The fact is that translating a diploma into Spanish is not enough. It is necessary to make the notification - recognition (confirmation) of the diploma in Spain. The procedure has some nuances and is performed by regulated professions such as doctors, translators, architects and others. At the same time, additional training may be required in those disciplines that were not studied at university.

Benefits of obtaining a permanent permit

Permanent resolution has many benefits. It allows you to perform any type of activity by contract and on your own without restrictions. It can be obtained by holders of type C and E permits upon completion of their validity.

The permanent permit is valid for 5 years. You can re-register it an unlimited number of times.

In addition, you are allowed to live and work in Spain as a citizen.

Who can obtain a special permit

A special permit is intended for foreign citizens who played an important role in the life of the country, for example, made a contribution to the economic and cultural development of Spain.

A special permit is valid throughout the country and allows you to carry out any professional activity.

Subject to formalities, the special permit can be easily re-registered after 5 years. You are allowed to conduct business or work for others.

"Blue Card”

Spanish blue card

This document is an analogous to the American Green Card, which makes it possible to live and work in the territory of any European Union country. The Blue Card provides many benefits to the holder.

The holder of the Blue Card has the right to apply for a residence permit for his/her family in Spain.

It is much more difficult to obtain than the usual permit: social guarantees from the employer, proof of payment of taxes, work contract and other documents are required. If the employee is refused, he can appeal.

In addition, if at any time you acquire Spanish nationality, you will need a certificate of agreement (certificado de concordancia), since your NIE will be replaced by a DNI.

Employment with a student visa

Migrant workers in Spain are involved in various industries. Students studying in this country hope to find work here in the future. In order to do so, most students look for open positions, which allows them to gain practical experience in their chosen profession, earn a living and increase their integration into society.

Employment with a student visa

Employment with a student visa helps find a good employer and obtain their support in receiving an invitation to work after graduation.

It is important that work shifts do not overlap with peers and that employment is partial. You can get permission from the police station. Its validity will not exceed the duration of the student visa.

Consequences of illegal employment

While you are working legally in Spain you should not leave the country without asking for a return authorization (autorización de regreso), otherwise you could be incurring an illegality, even without knowing it. If only to settle some issues in your country.

An exceptionally legal job allows you to earn good money and not get in trouble with the law. Many do not know the legal complexities and take risks. Employees face difficulties:

  • without a valid visa;
  • without a work permit;
  • if the terms of the employment contract do not match the actual job.

When these facts are clarified, the illegal immigrant will face a fine and deportation without the possibility of entering Spain, and sometimes the EU.

Large scale sanctions are imposed on the employer. It also assumes the responsibilities and costs of deportation of the illegal worker.


Spain is a country with numerous bonuses in the form of a temperate climate, good salaries and social guarantees, which attracts both tourists and migrant workers. When choosing employees, employers take into account the age, marital status and qualifications of the applicant. If you have the necessary knowledge, skills and desire to work, there will be no problems with paperwork and employment. And if you have the nationality of a European Union country for whatever reason, remember that it will be much easier, since you will only need the certificate of registration as a European Union citizen (certificado de registro de ciudadano de la Unión Europea).

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