Living and working in Ibiza for UK Citizens
If you are a non-EU citizen and wish to live and work in Ibiza for an extended period of time, you must apply for residency or a work permit. By maintaining your residence in Ibiza, you will be able to take advantage of all the benefits of working in Spain should you decide to do so on a permanent or extended basis.
As the Spanish government is welcoming new entrepreneurs into its country, if you have a solid business project you would like to set up in Spain, that could be a great way to qualify for a residency in the country.
Who needs a work visa?
If you want to live and work in Spain, there are two main branches of authorities that you will be dealing with: the immigration authority under the Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones (Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security, and Migration), and the labor and employmentauthorities under the Ministerio de Trabajo y Economía Social (Ministry of Labor and Social Economy).
Fortunately for EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens, moving to Spain is simple, and they can live, work, and study in the country without restriction. However, most non-EU/EEA citizens, also called third-country nationals, need a work permit and must secure an employment contract before they can apply for one. UK citizens who wish to come to Spain to live and work post-Brexit will also need a residence and work visa.
When you arrive in Spain, to stay long term, you must apply for a residents permit (Tarjeta de Residencia – TIE) and a Foreigner’s Identity Number (Número de Identificación de Extranjero – NIE) through the local Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or police within 30 days.
You will need the NIE for all your finance and administrative procedures in Spain; this includes opening a bank account, receiving your salary, registering for social security, paying taxes, buying property, and applying for a Spanish driver’s license. Keep in mind that everyone working in Spain, whether they are a paid employee or self-employed, must register with the General Social Security Fund (Dirección General de la Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social – TGSS). If you are an employee, then your employer will do this for you, but if you are self-employed, it is your responsibility.
Work visas for seasonal workers
If you are a non-EU citizen wishing to carry out seasonal work in Spain, you will need to obtain the following:
- a work and residence permit
- a work and residence visa
The visa application process is nearly the same as if you were applying for long-term employment. However, there are a few additional requirements:
- Your employer must provide accommodation in “conditions of adequate dignity and hygiene”
- Your employer must pay your travel costs
- You must agree to return to your country of origin when the contract is finished
How to apply
Before you apply for your work and residence visa, your employer must obtain a work permit from the Provincial Aliens Affairs Office, or from any official department of labor in the different Autonomous Communities.
Once the work permit has been authorized, the residence permit is granted together with the work permit by the Provincial Aliens Affairs Office. Once the work permit has been authorized, you must apply for a work and residence visa at the Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence which will allow you to enter Spain to work.
Length of validity
Permits are valid for a maximum of nine months per calendar year and will be of the same duration as the work contract. Shorter contracts and permits can be extended, but only up to a maximum of nine months in total.
If you intend to work for yourself in Spain, then as well as complying with the same requirements for permission to reside as are applicable to someone without permission to work, you will need to demonstrate that you are able to comply with the Spanish rules currently in force in relation to the commercial activity in question. This includes evidence of any qualifications that entitle you to carry out that activity, that you have sufficient funds to invest in the activity to make it viable, and an indication of the number of people you may employ, if any.
You will also need to show that in addition to the funds available for investment in your economic activity you have sufficient funds to support yourself, which will be the same as those required for people applying for indefinite permission to reside, as set out above.
Setting up a New Business
In Spain, if you choose to set up a business – you will need to have your NIE number organised beforehand and any relevant paperwork relating to your education – for example, certificates prepared, because depending upon what you plan to do, your qualifications may need to be recognised officially. This should be dealt with by your business advisor, who will also advise you on structuring the company, legal issues, and planning (you could also ask your Gestoria for direction with this).
Proof that your business proposition is viable
Recently, the Spanish government approved the first draft of a law with several immigration and tax advantages for startups and digital nomad visas. This law aims to promote the ecosystem by attracting emerging companies, talent and capital to develop innovative entrepreneurial activities in Spain.
If you are applying for permission to work for yourself in Spain, then in addition to supplying evidence of your ability to fund yourself and your business, as well as showing that you have adequate qualifications to carry out the work, you will need to present what is essentially a business plan showing how you will develop your economic activity from a practical and financial perspective, in addition to the employment that you expect your activity to create.
In essence, your business needs to make sense to you and to the Spanish authorities in order for you to be granted permission to work for yourself in Spain.
The procedure to be followed
When you make your application for a visa to work for yourself in Spain, you will need to show that you have:
- sufficient health insurance,
- that you do not have a criminal record, and
- that you are not suffering from a serious illness.
If all is in order then you will be issued with a visa within a month and will be able to enter Spain within three months, as would be the case for those collecting visas for permission to reside without permission to work. All non-EU foreign nationals residing in Spain will need to apply for a residence card from the immigration office closest to wherever you are living in Spain. If you have permission to work and do not register with the social security office within three months of your arrival, you may be fined and your right to remain may lapse.