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Looking for Work in Spain

Looking for Work in Spain

Am I allowed to work in Spain?

All EU citizens have the same right to live and work in Spain as a Spaniard and do not require a work permit.

I don’t speak Spanish, what are my chances of finding work?

This can be a big barrier and will narrow your opportunities. However, non-Spanish speakers will have more success in the areas where there is a high expat population. Amongst the British communities, there are always people who prefer to use British tradesmen such as plumbers and carpenters. This applies to any job in which complete understand and communication is necessary e.g. hairdressing and other services. Tourism, real estate, insurance and finance open further avenues.

Are my UK qualifications valid?

According to EU law, any trade or professional qualification that has been awarded in the EU will be recognised in Spain. To have your qualifications recognised, take your certificates and translations to the Ministry for Sport, Education and Culture in the field in which you wish to work to obtain ‘homologacion’. See the Spanish Embassy and the British Consulate in Madrid For medical and agricultural qualifications see

Can I claim unemployment benefit/job seeker’s allowance?

Yes, you do have rights to the same Job Seeker’s allowance as you would get in the UK. It is paid by the Spanish INEM (National Institute of Employment) for a maximum of three months. In order to qualify you must first register in the UK.

Will I have to pay tax?

Yes, if you are resident for more than 183 days in a calendar year. Spanish income tax tends to be lower than the rest of the EU. The tax rate is calculated after allowing for various deductions, including living expenses and social security payments. It starts at 10 per cent for the first four thousand Euros of taxable income, rising to 45 per cent on taxable income over forty five thousand Euros.

How do I pay tax?

It is automatically deducted by your employer. You need to make an annual tax declaration at your local tax office.