Do you want to live and work in Spain? While the economic boom at the beginning of the millennium has now given way to an intense crisis and high unemployment rates, more job prospects are slowly opening up. Here you will find the most relevant information to help you get a job in Spain if you are a foreigner.
Method 1 of 3: Preparing for a Job
Step 1. Assess your level of Spanish
In Spain, 98% of available employment requires command of the Spanish language. The level of Spanish required will vary depending on the area, but it is essential. The Instituto Cervantes has offices in capitals around the world and also the Centro Cervantes website. There you can evaluate your level of Spanish. Since Spain is a state made up of several socio-cultural communities, having knowledge of Galician (Galicia), Catalan (Catalonia) and Euskera (Basque Country) can be a considerable plus.
Step 2. Find the immigration department in your community
Visit the Spanish embassy of your country, or the website of the Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations of the Government of Spain, in which the immigration departments of each community are listed, to know the requirements to be able to travel, reside and work legally (at sometimes vary from community to community). In this way, you will be able to access legal employment and, therefore, social security, which guarantees free medical care, as well as retirement and education.
Method 2 of 3: Obtain the necessary permits to work in Spain
Step 1. Get the work visa
To work, the fundamental requirements are the work visa and the residence permit. For the work visa, the requirements are different if you want to work on your own or dependent.
- If you want to work on your own (open a business), it is possible to enter the country with a tourist visa and change the condition once you have settled in Spain.
- If you want to work in a dependency relationship, the visa is only granted when you have a job: that is, you must have the job before traveling, since you must present a letter from the employer to the Immigration authorities.
Step 2. To have legal residence, you must first obtain your NIE:
Foreigner Identity Number, which you can request from abroad, or already in Spain. You will find all the relevant information on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Spain. This document allows you to work until you obtain, after five years, permanent residence. Permanent residence gives you full citizenship rights. In case of doubts, consult:
Method 3 of 3: Start Your Dream Job Search
Step 1. Once you have your residence and visa, contact the State Public Employment Service (SEPE):
the great nucleus to know almost the totality of the job offer. In addition to its website, which provides access to up-to-date information and which covers the vast range of possibilities of interest, the SEPE is made up of almost a thousand centers of attention and assistance for people qualified to work in Spain who are looking for work.
- This network is known as the National Employment System. If you are already in Spain, visit it in person. Each city council and each province has SEPE centers, made up of professionals in professional orientation who also have up-to-date information on specific demand for work. Attention in SEPE centers is totally free.
- Having legal employment in Spain can be the first step to establish yourself in countries of the European Community with greater economic stability, such as Germany or England. Keep in mind that European legislation often does not facilitate the movement of labor from one country to another for citizens of other continents.
- One solution is that, after having legally resided the minimum time established, you acquire Spanish nationality.
Step 2. Once you have found the job offers that interest you, listen carefully to the directives of the SEPE officials:
They will tell you how to apply for the job, where to do it, what documentation to submit, etc. In most cases, they will provide you with all the necessary forms.
If you prefer to search for employment online, the most efficient sites are: computrabajo.es, infojobs.net and Accióntrabajo.es. On these platforms the offer can be overwhelming. Search what interests you, present updated information and do not give bank details, under any circumstances. The key is to apply for the most jobs. Open an exclusive email account for your job search
Step 3. Get informed
Considering that it can take a considerable time before you begin to receive income from your work (that is, you are legally authorized to do so), it is important that you inform yourself about the living conditions in the place you have chosen to live and work (rentals, transportation, food, etc.) and have enough money to support yourself for about eight or ten months. This term is variable and depends on the conditions of the job offer.
Step 4. Check if your credentials are acceptable
When presenting your professional credentials, it is advisable to check if they are comparable to the Spanish market. Often, foreign university accreditations differ from those of Spain. Some of the most demanding sectors may require refresher or leveling courses; for example Nursing, Law.
Step 5. You must be willing to try various temporary jobs
These part-time jobs, in activities such as a busboy, or cleaning hotels or offices, allow at least to cover daily expenses.
Step 6. Do work practices in areas of your interest, which can be understood as professional updating
Fellows (or "interns" in other countries) do not receive financial compensation, but they do receive invaluable training on the labor mechanics of the industry.
Step 7. Prepare for the time of the interview and the presentation of the resume
It is recommended not to make up the file, and above all, not to pretend to have a language level that is very far from reality. Also, remember that your activity on social media says much more about you than a job interview.
- At present, it is considered that the secondary services and telecommuting sectors in technology and communications companies are the ones that hire the most personnel, although the salary levels are low. According to the results of the Labor Force Survey, in the north of the country, in cities such as Madrid, Bilbao, Oviedo and Barcelona, the highest rates of job creation are registered; while Andalusia and Extremadura, southern provinces, have up to 35% unemployment ("unemployment", as the Spanish call it).
- One of the strongest industries in Spain is tourism, with its vast network of interrelated services, such as hotels, restaurants, transport, etc. Other areas that remain unscathed in the face of the crisis are Engineering, Computer Science, Marketing. In these sectors, the use of languages other than Spanish is key. In order of importance: English, German, Chinese.
- The EURES service is the most important information and advice network on job vacancies in Europe. And it is only valid for European citizens.
- Given the intensity of the crisis and the levels of unemployment, numerous fraudulent job offers have emerged. They are offers too good to be true that appeal to desperation to profit. Be careful and never pay money up front for a promise of employment. No way. If you are the victim of any fraud, report it: