How to Work in Spain As an American

Опубликовал Admin
26-09-2016, 03:25
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Because the United States is not part of the European Union, which allows its citizens to work without a special permit in any member country, securing a job in Spain as an American is difficult and time-consuming. Beyond the obstacle of finding a job, the would-be employee must apply for special paperwork allowing him or her to reside in Spain. The steps below will first suggest how to secure a position working in Spain, then teach you how to apply for and secure your work permit.


  1. Search Spanish jobs sites, newspaper classifieds, and expat living websites for an available job in Spain.
  2. Jobs teaching English or working in the tourist sector are generally easier to secure; if you have business or technical skills, seek out specialized firms that might be willing to hire foreign workers.
  3. Seek out tourist-oriented businesses such as bars and hotels, or get a Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate and inquire at language schools for positions, if you are already in Spain.
  4. Have your employer submit an application to the Spanish Immigration Office approving you for a work permit and residency visa.
  5. Renew your passport if it is expiring in the next year.
  6. Request a Police Records certificate from the local police in the from any place where you have resided more than six months in the past five years. This letter needs to be notarized. If you have lived outside the USA in this period, you will require a letter from those countries.
    • If you have been living in the United States for at least five years, you will need to request and receive an FBI records report. This can take up to three weeks to receive once you requested it.
  7. Consult a doctor and have them give you a report, printed on doctor's stationary, stating that you do not have any contagious diseases, drug addictions, or mental illnesses. There is a standard form letter on the website that your doctor can use.
    • In the United States, the doctor will need to be your regular doctor who has seen you regularly. If you do not have a previous medical relationship with the doctor, you will find it very hard to get this letter. The doctor may require you to take a blood test, and provide your immunization records before giving you the letter.
  8. Secure two passport-sized photos of yourself.
  9. Fill out two National Visa Applications from the Spanish Consulate in the United States.
  10. Gather the materials indicated above (including the letter from the Spanish Immigration Office approving your employer's request for a work permit and residency visa) and submit them to the Spanish Consulate that covers your area of residence in the United States.
  11. Pay the visa application fee with a money order. No other form of payment will be accepted.
  12. Appear at the Consulate to gather your visa within one month of its approval. Check your local consulate to see if they require an appointment. Chicago does but Washington DC does not.
  13. Apply for a residency visa in Spain within one month of arrival in Spain.
  14. Register with the Spanish Social Security System as soon as you begin your job in Spain.


  • Because you will need to appear in person to gather your visa from the Spanish Consulate in the United States, it is best to secure a job in Spain before departure; otherwise, you will have to leave the country and return.
  • Working in Spain is much easier for citizens of the European Union; likewise, it is easier for employees to hire EU citizens, as there is much less paperwork involved. Aim your job search at employers with a history of hiring Americans, or make yourself an especially attractive candidate by offering services that workers in Spain and the rest of the EU cannot offer.


  • Do not overstay a tourist visa in Spain or anywhere else in the European Union prior to applying for a work permit and residency visa. If the Consular authorities see that you have broken travel rules prior to securing a job, they will not approve your visa application.

Things You'll Need

  • Job offer
  • Work visa
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