Some guidance for those citizens who intend to work in Spain are collected here. Foreign citizens who intend to perform in Spain any lucrative, labour or professional activity, must meet the following requirements:

  • Be older than sixteen, unless the work activity takes place on its own, in which case it is required to be over eighteen years
  • Obtaining prior authorization to reside and work in Spain. Such authorization must be requested by the employer to offer employment contracts.
  • Obtaining visa that has been issued after the residence permit and work

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What should you do to work in Spain?


After arriving in Spain, foreign workers must:

  • Check the Social Security System
  • Order the foreigner’s identity card

Citizens of the European Union and their families, provided that the latter travelling or join these citizens, are subject to a specific legal regime based on the rights recognized by the Treaties.

Consequently, foreigners relate to Spain because of their economic, professional or social interests may request personally a NIE (Número de Identidad de Extranjero) to the Directorate General of Police, directly or through consular offices of Spain abroad.

The application must be submitted at the Consular Office in whose district he resides abroad, in person or through duly accredited forms. You must accompany the request with a copy of the biographical page of the passport in containing the data of the owner representative.

Union citizens may provide a copy of the identity card, instead, and accredit the economic, professional or social interests that justify the request.

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The Número de Identidad de Extranjero (NIE)

Obtaining the NIE itself is not difficult: just go to the closest police office.
But there’s a problem: the NIE is not released without an employment contract
or the certificate of empadronamiento (almost a kind of certificate of domicile).

A work contract is difficult to achieve without the NIE, so it’s a bit of a dog chasing its tail. The empadronamiento instead is quite easy to get if you live alone (and you have a rental contract).

Just go to the the citizen enquiries bureaus of the local Ayundamiento to apply. If subrent a room, you’ll have to ask your landlord (that should be the holder of a lease) to declare that you live at his house.

The second problem is time: normally it takes about a month to get the NIE.

An alternative is to come to Costa Blanca for a few days a month before the actual departure, and take a room for rent in order to apply as soon as possible for the certificate of  empadronamiento and therefore apply for the NIE.

Then go back in your homeland – the NIE will come and you can start looking for work seriously.

Obviously everything is easier for you if you have a friend who can hold and declare  that you live in his house.

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