How to find jobs in Spain?

Despite the high unemployment rate in Spain (14% at the end of 2019), thousands of labor migrants try their luck in the EU every year. And for good reason, with an average monthly salary of 2,100 euros, foreigners also have the opportunity to receive a full package of social security, comfortable living conditions and professional growth even with minimal work experience and level of knowledge of foreign languages.  

 But non-compliance with the basic rules of employment often becomes the reason for receiving a refusal to obtain a visa or even deportation from the country in case of illegal border crossing and violation of the legal procedure for registration. We will tell you in more detail how to get the right to work in Spain and not become a victim of scammers. 

The right to work in Spain 

According to current Spanish laws, only adult foreigners have the right to work in the country, subject to the conclusion of an employment contract with an employer.

The employer first applies to the Department of Labor to apply for a work permit to the applicant. A package of documents is provided, including a photo, diploma, workbook. To obtain approval, the migrant’s activities should not be regarded as volunteering, and the contract must be longer than 90 days. If you have a higher education, you must pass a qualification confirmation in Spain.

For low-skilled positions, the requirements for candidates are less stringent – adulthood, stress resistance, organization, and hard work. If you are applying for high, management positions, you should know Spanish, English at least at a basic level, have specialized education and work experience. The presence of offenses, fines, forced dismissals from previous jobs is not encouraged. 

Some specialties in Spain are available to foreigners either only with a residence permit (mainly for vacancies of civil servants) or are available only for those who have citizenship (for all vacancies in the security sector). 

Job search 

We will tell you more about how to get a job in Spain for a foreigner. The easiest way is to find summer and seasonal jobs for jobs with less demand among the local population. According to the current labor code, a foreigner’s resume can only be considered if there are no suitable candidates among the local population of Spain and other EU countries. 

The easiest way to get a job in Spain online is through specialized portals. The applicant can independently choose vacancies and pass an interview directly with the employer without leaving home. 

 The second way to find work in Spain is through intermediaries, companies specializing in the employment of local residents abroad. In this case, professional assistance is provided in choosing vacancies, preparing documents, booking tickets, and housing. It is important to give preference to companies with local offices in your city with at least 2 years of experience.  

Seasonal work in Spain

It is easiest for Ukrainians, Russians, and Belarusians to get a job in Spain on short-term contracts in the agricultural sector. You can find vacancies even without knowledge of Spanish or English, for example: for pickers of fruits and vegetables, it is enough to have a visa, work permit. Either the intermediary companies or colleagues will help you to get to the place of work. 

In-demand vacancies with minimum requirements for candidates:

  • Handymen;
  • Builders;
  • Maids;
  • Housekeepers;
  • Nurses;
  • Fruit and vegetable pickers.

 When working on farms and greenhouses, an early rise is provided (at 4-5 o’clock in the morning). The payment is hourly, by agreement with the employer, additional payments are possible for working additional hours. For fruit pickers, payment is possible depending on the volume of harvested products.

 For seasonal work, short-term contracts of 1-3 months are most often provided with the right to renew. Carefully read the terms of cooperation when signing the contract – the proposed salary, work schedule, number of days off, and vacation days. 

Can a foreigner get a job in a public office?

How to leave to work in Spain for the state. service? The current legislation of the country allows foreigners to hold these positions subject to the following conditions:

 Foreigners – children or husband/wife of a Spanish citizen;

  • The candidate for the position is an adult;
  • A candidate taking part in the competition must not have previously been dismissed from the public service on the basis of a disciplinary procedure;
  • Availability of higher, specialized education. The advantage is the regular passing of advanced training courses;
  • Obligatory passing of special exams and checks;
  • Foreigners with a residence permit in the country can apply for the vacancy of service personnel.

For those who are already lucky enough to get the desired position in this sector, it is periodically necessary to take advanced training courses. In case of refusal, dismissals are applied only in exceptional cases, more often – the absence of an increase and bonuses. 

Civil servants in the country are teachers, librarians, museum and postal employees. Knowledge of Spanish is a must.

Exceptions are all vacancies related to the safety and integrity of Spain, only local residents can apply for them. 

State protection of workers

In June 2011, a new Regulation “On the Rights and Freedoms of Foreign Citizens in Spain” came into force in the country, these acts are aimed at regulating the immigration procedure. The document allows not only to improve the living conditions of foreigners but also to prevent a sharp flow of unskilled labor. 

The regulation provides restrictions on the extension of migrants’ residences, given the absence or presence of delinquencies, arrears, cases of violation of public order, positive feedback from local authorities.

A key innovation concerns illegal migrants. The maximum period of internment for foreigners has been increased to 60 days, due to the complexity of preparing the necessary documents. In the event of detention, foreigners are entitled to legal and medical assistance.   

 After a foreigner got a job in Spain and signed an employment contract with an employer, he has every reason to demand: compliance with decent working conditions, the level of wages and work schedule prescribed in the document, receiving days off, paid leave, medical and legal assistance. In case of disagreement with the employer, you should contact the Spanish Embassy and the Ministry of Labor. 

Registration of a work visa

If you still do not know how to get the right to work in Spain, start by preparing a work visa. You can get it 30 days after issuing a work permit. Most often, a work visa is tied to a profession. In this case, the migrant can easily change the company, but not the position.

It is also important to remember that having an employment contract is not a guarantee of obtaining a visa. Contracts must be approved by the Ministry of Labor. The opportunity to get a job in Spain is mainly provided only to specialists applying for positions in short supply. 

Required documents: 

  • Completed visa application form;
  • A valid foreign and national passport;
  • Certificate of no criminal record on the territory of the country where the migrant has lived for the last 5 years;
  • A valid insurance policy;
  • Copies of work permit and employment contract;
  • Certificate of payment of a fee of 60 euros. 

All documents must be certified and translated into Spanish. Visa applications are processed within 30 days, the refusal can be appealed within 60 days.  

Despite the peculiarities and legal difficulties in employment in Spain, foreigners have the opportunity to get a high-paying job and decent working conditions. It is important to remember that only formal employment provides a migrant with a guarantee of respect for rights and freedoms. 

If you have any questions about finding a job in Spain, we recommend that you contact the specialists. 


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