Working in Spain

Congratulations! You are invited for an interview with an employer in Spain! In this article you can read about what you need to do before you can start to work for you new employer in Spain. Please read this carefully and if you have any questions, you can always contact us.

What do you need?

  • NIE is an abbreviation for Número de Identidad de Extranjeros, your identification number in Spain.
  • Seguridad Social is the Social Security services for which you have to register yourself. This institution takes care of your medical care but also for  other social services. You need this number to be able to work.
  • Spanish bank account

These are the three most important things you need to get when you start working in Spain.

How, where and when?


The NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is the identification number in Spain for everyone who is not a Spanish citizen. It is the counterpart to a DNI for Spanish citizens. Both EU citizens and non-EU citizens get issued a NIE. The NIE is not a fiscal residency identification; you can have a NIE and be fiscal resident in another country.

You must make an appointment online for your NIE application. You can do this already because it takes time to get a date for the appointment and then pick up your NIE.

You can do the following:

  • Go to the following link 
  • In the lower section you can click on ACCEDER AL PROCEDIMIENTO
  • in the next screen you need to choose the city or municipality you are in and click on the button ACCEPTAR
    • Now it gets tricky as every city/municipality/province has their own method – You’ll need to choose the option for the N.I.E. (for Barcelona for example you need to choose CNP – CERTIFICADOS UE, for Valencia it is POLICIA – Certificados / Comunitarios, in Madrid you’ll need to choose the option POLICIA – ASIGNACION DE NIE
  • Click on ACEPTAR at the bottom of the page
  • In the next screen you will need to fill in your passport/ID number and your complete name.
    • BEWARE: Make sure you do this step correctly without any misspellings, because if there is one letter or number wrong your application can not be submitted.
  • When you have correctly filled in the Captcha you will get a screen in which you can choose a date and place.

Also important: You will need to enter an address, even if this is a temporary address, that should not be a problem.

It is important that you schedule an appointment as soon as you know you have an interview for a job in Spain. This will save you time for the moment you start working. As you will need the NIE to work.

Documents whose original must be shown and a copy of them will need to be submitted:

Social Security Number (Seguridad Social)

Registration: You will have to do it personally at the office of the Seguridad Social 

Documents you will need to present:

  • Registration form that you have already completed;
  • Passport or Identity card
  • Declaration of intent from your new employer, or your employment contract if you already have one. 

BEWARE: if you are NOT registered at the Seguridad Social your new employer can’t set-up your employment contract so it is very important you arrange this at the moment you arrive in Spain.

TIP: If you have lived and worked before in Spain you will already have your NIE and SS Number, you can find them on your payment slip/employment contract of your previous job. However, your new employer needs a copy of the registration.

Open a Spanish bank account

The Spanish employer requires that you open a Spanish bank account when you go to work in Spain. This is to prevent commission payments.
We recommend opening an account at La Caixa. They have offices on almost every corner of every street. Beware not in every office they have english speakers, if you find you can’t communicate with them, just try to go to the next office.

Also good to know

You will only receive your employment contract on your first working day to sign. This usually happens in 3-fold. One for you, your employer and the administration office. It is a standard document that is used for everyone in Spain but is filled in with the specific characteristics of your job, income and any conditions of the employer.
As in all other countries, you have rights and obligations with your employer. That is quite extensive but a few useful tips are never gone!

If you get sick, you need to get a sickness certificate. That is called the `Baja´. You can obtain this from your regular GP so make sure you request a doctor from your local medical center. For this you must be registered with the municipality.

The day before you start working again if you are better, you also need to get a note stating you are better. This is called the Alta. Without this note both your employer and you are punishable, so make sure you have it when you go back to work!
For doctor’s visits, you may stay away from office for a maximum of 18 hours per year. Of course always in good consultation with your employer or manager. But make sure you always get a proof of “justificante” from your doctor before you return to work.

You can also check this link:
These are the legal labor rules that apply in Spain if you work for an employer. Each sector has its own collective agreement, called `Convenio Colectivo ‘ with the specification behind it per sector.

If you have read this and still have questions, you can always contact us has developed very rapidly since its foundation in 2016 into an established recruitment and selection agency.


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