How to get a visa or a residence permit in Spain

Come to Spain

We recommend immigrants to always remain legal while residing in Spain. Do not enter the country without the required paperwork. There is a large population of illegal immigrants and this is a politically sensitive issue so there are efforts being made to prevent entry and to find and deport people living illegally in the country.


Non-EU citizens

A non-EU citizen will need a visa to enter Spain, except if there exists an agreement between Spain and the foreign home country that indicates that a visa is not required. Applications for a residence visa must be placed before the Spanish Consulate of your home country before you
intend to enter Spain. They are handled by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación) through this Consulate office.
There are different types of visas, which are issued depending on what is your purpose for entering Spain: studying, working, tourism, investment, etc. Therefore, you should apply for your visa according to your needs. You will be required to produce specific documentation, depending on the type of visa you need and, afterwards, the visa-process will take some months depending on each case.

Getting the visa

Visas are managed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its consulates and embassies around the world. You apply for and obtain a visa through the Spanish consulate nearest to your residence. Honorary consuls generally cannot issue visas but may provide the application forms.
Since visas are never issued in Spain, you must apply for them before you leave your country of residency, about 8 to 12 weeks before the date of your arrival in Spain. Do not attempt to enter Spain without a visa if you need one. There is no emergency procedure, you can’t bribe the police, your embassy in Spain can’t help and you will probably be refused entry.
In order to apply, you must have a valid passport with at least three months until expiry, so be sure to allow adequate time to obtain or renew both the passport and get the visa application processed.

Visa types

Visas are valid for the length of time stated on them, starting on the date of arrival in Spain. There are different types of visas, which can be divided into the following categories:

  • Residency visa
  • Business visa
  • Student visa
  • Tourist visa
  • Transit visa

You cannot enter Spain under a tourist visa and then, while staying in Spain, apply for a residence visa. For such purposes, you must return to your home country in order to obtain the appropriate visa first.

The Residence visa should not be confused with the Residence Permit, which allows you to live in Spain after getting your residence visa. Residence visa is initially granted for one year and it may be renewed for an additional two-year period. Once it has expired, you may apply for permanent residency visa, which must be renewed after five years.

Self Employed Work and Residence Permit

The self-employed work and residence permit is for those who wish to set up a business in Spain. The immigration authorities will take into account the following:
• The potential creation of new jobs, capital contribution, new technologies and improvement of production conditions.
• Proof of having financial means to carry out the project (minimum of 60,000 €).
• Proof of having the professional capacity to carry out the project.
• The existence of a regime of reciprocity in the country of origin.
• Medical and criminal record clearance.
Depending on the business or venture and number of investors, we recommend a minimum of 100,000 € for a sole applicant. This rule is not fixed and it may vary between countries and type of investment. In any event, this investment should remain safely deposited in the name of the applicant. Although you can withdraw the funds as soon as the bank certificate for the sum deposited is issued, we recommend that this amount is held in this bank account during the entire application, in order to maximize the chances of approval. Some activities do not require a professional capacity or qualification, such as restaurants, hotels, retail shops, etc.

Set up yor own business in Spain

To set up your own business or work on your own, the following work permits must be applied for:

• Type D: (initial) issued to undertake a specific activity in a determined area of the country.
• Type D: (renewed) issued to undertake any activity in the whole country.
• Type E: issued to undertake any activity in the whole country.
• Permanent: it enables the foreign worker to perform any professional activity where he has the qualifiction required.
The type E work permit holders may obtain this work permit once theirs has expired. It is mandatory to renew this permit every 5 years.

If you have a job offer from a company in Spain

In accordance to the Royal Decree 2393/2004 (Real Decreto 2393/2004 de 30 de diciembre), non EU citizens who wish to obtain a salaried and work residency permit may do so subject to the criteria and procedures set below.


You can obtain a job offer from a company in Spain:

  • Type A: for seasonal and time limited work, up to 9 month.
  • Type B: to work in a specific profession, activity and geographic area for a maximum period of 1 year.
  • Type B (renewed): once the initial type B has expired. It entitles to carry on various professions or activities within a
    maximum period of 2 years.
  • Type C: issued to the B renewed work permit holders once it has expired. This entitles the foreign worker to perform any
    professional activity throughout the Spanish territory.
  • Permanent: it enables the foreign worker to perform any professional activity where he has the qualification required.
    The type C work permit holders may obtain this work permit once theirs had expired. It is mandatory to renew it every.

How can we help you?

Regarding Self Employed

  • We can apply and assist in obtaining a work and residency permit for any person with sufficient financial means to open a business in Spain.
  • We offer advice in greater detail as to favorable business projects for residency application purposes.
  • We can also introduce our clients to reputable independent agencies specialized in the purchase of suitable and appropriate existing businesses.
  • Certificate of proof of financial means: In order to obtain this certificate, LABE Abogados will open a bank account for you in a high street bank where you will be able to deposit your funds. We will require a limited power of attorney to do so (but not to operate it) and to apply to the bank for the certificate proving that the funds have been lodged in accounts in the name of the applicants. As soon as the bank certificate is issued, you can export these funds back to your home country at any time, if you wish.
  • Business Plan: We require the applicant to submit us a business plan which should mention the following: investors’ background, business description, initial investment, projections on the number of Spanish employees, targets and area of business. We recommend investors to form a Spanish S.L. Company as a corporate vehicle (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada), with a minimum required start up share capital of 3,006 € (can be capitalized with movable goods or cash) and the shares being distributed between the investors. There are no restrictions for foreign nationals of any country to own shares in companies in Spain. For this, we will also require a power of attorney. The same one obtained for the Certificate of proof of financial means will work, soliciting that it also allows us to: incorporate companies, accept posts of administrators/directors in your name and take all necessary steps for the full registration of the said company in the appropriate provincial Companies House. This power of attorney should also authorize us to apply for your NIE number (Foreign Identification Numbers).

Current Spanish legislation determines that all applications are to be filed in the Consulate of the country of residency of the applicant. Therefore, it is necessary to assemble all the required paperwork prior to filing the application, which we recommend doing following the procedural steps explained below. These steps are to be carried out by LABE Abogados and the Applicant, simultaneously, in order to speed up the process.

Regarding Salaried Work or Trusted Corporate Role

  • Our specialized lawyers will analyze individually the case and will comment on the most important aspects
    concerning this type of residency, in particular, the gathering of the documentation.
  • Once the necessary documentation has been gathered, the file will be submitted to the Foreigners Department of the province of the company address. The Foreigners Department will analyze the paperwork submitted by the company (employer) in order to verify if the legal requisites have been complied with.
  • Immigration lawyers from LABE Abogados will be in touch with the Spanish immigration authorities to make sure the file is acted upon and to maximize a successful outcome.
  • Our office will advise as soon as the application is decided upon.
  • On successful outcome of the application, the applicant must request a visa in the Consulate, within one month.
    from approval.
  • Once the applicant is in Spain, it is necessary to apply for the residency card, within one month from arrival.

    You can also download our guide in PDF «Spain Live & Work»

Why should you chose LABE

An in-depth knowledge of the Spanish immigration system

We guide the client throughout the process.

We arrange all the paperwork.

We assist the client once in Spain to apply and collect the residence card.

Contact us

3 + 2 = ?

This contact form is deactivated because you refused to accept Google reCaptcha service which is necessary to validate any messages sent by the form.

También te puede interesar:


Tfno: +34 91 314 90 16

Fax: +34 91 279 79 13


Lunes a Jueves
De 9:00 a 19:00

De 8:00 a 15:00

Últimas Noticias

Centro de preferencias de privacidad

Aceptación de cookies

Utilizamos estas cookies para poder ofrecerte mejores servicios.

Google Analytics

Llámanos y te ayudaremos+34 913 14 90 16