Working in Spain After Graduation 

Spain is one of those countries that ongoingly attracts students for higher education and work after graduation. As a top-five European country, Spain offers undergraduate and postgraduate students the opportunity to work in a variety of fields. The post-study work visa will allow you to stay in Spain and start working for up to one year.

If you want to stay in the country after completing your degree, choosing the location where you want to settle down carefully is essential. The cost of living in Spain varies by location, it can be expensive to find accommodation in large cities like Madrid and Barcelona, but generally, it is easy to live affordably in Spain. 

StudiesIn is the #1 digital student consultancy for studies in Spain and provides end-to-end services and counselling for students and parents.

StudiesIn offers guidance to students from the moment they decide to study abroad to local relocation support in Spain to finding a job after graduation, arranging all necessary legal permits along the journey.

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Can I Work in Spain After Graduation?

Spain offers a wide range of job opportunities. Even if you don’t speak Spanish fluently, you can make use of your degree in whatever area you choose to study. Although finding a job as an international student can be a bit challenging, that is still possible. Looking up companies willing to sponsor international students would make finding a job matching your qualifications easier.  

Accordingly, you can evaluate it yourself and see how you can develop your skills so that you can build a network to become a competitive candidate for the aiming company. It is also important to keep in mind that your chances of landing a job will vary considerably based on your area of expertise. 

Students looking for work might apply for a residency permit. The maximum period of time you may stay in Spain to look for work or to launch your own business idea is 12 months, and you may begin this process 60 days before or 90 days after you have completed your studies there.

The secret to being successful in getting jobs is to be fully prepared. You have to make sure that your profile matches the job vacancies, your resume is eye-catching enough, and you are ready for interviews. However, if an occupation is on the shortage occupation list, it is easier for international students to get employment in Spain. The Public Employment Service releases such lists on a quarterly basis, so you can always keep an eye on it. 

Besides looking for jobs after graduation, international students decide to stay in Spain to further continue their education. If you have found the master’s or doctoral degree that interests you, then spending more time in Spanish schools will bring you closer to your dream career. 

Spain Job Search Visa

What essentially is a Job Search Visa has a close relation with non-EU citizens. As a seeker of a residence permit in Spain, the job search visa allows you to extend your time in Spain for another year after you have graduated. non-EU citizens depend on the Job Search Visa in order to continue other administrative procedures that will allow them to live and work in Spain. Additionally, you can use the time at your disposal to find a job or start your own business. In the past, international students could only stay in Spain until the end of their studies or until the expiration of their residence cards. 

On the other hand, you only need to obtain your Identification Number in Spain (NIE) and your EU registry certificate if you are a citizen of a European Union country, an EEA country, or Switzerland. But to live legally in Spain for an extended period, neither a visa nor a residency permit will be necessary.

Today, the benefit of a job search visa is still keeping students keen on their dream jobs around Spain. However, it is important to know that a job search visa is a bridge to getting a work permit. To be able to work, you must initiate the work permit application process once you find a job offer.

It is possible to apply for this permit 60 days before your student Foreigners Identity Number (NIE) expires or 90 days after it has expired. Generally, the process takes between 20 days and 3 months, so it is best to apply as early as possible. If you have dependents who rely on you while studying, you could include them in your visa application.

Spain Post Study Work Visa

If you’re a Non-EU/EEA citizen who wishes to live and work in Spain, you must obtain a Work Visa. Without a Work Visa, a company cannot legally employ non-EU/EEA nationals. Since Spain doesn’t have a visa specifically designated for foreign graduates of Spanish universities, it might be challenging for non-EU students to obtain a work permit after graduation. For you to gain employment, your employer has to authorize your hiring. You can apply for a work visa after getting a work and residence permit with your employer’s assistance.

Here are some Work Visas for a variety of jobs and durations of employment in Spain:

Highly-skilled Professional Visa 

To get a Work Visa as a non-EU citizen, you need to find a “Shortage Occupation” job. “Shortage Occupation” jobs seek new applicants since there is a lack of suitable candidates within the EU. The employer must apply to the Ministry of Labour for a Work Visa. Since work permit applications can take up to 8 months to process, it is better to have personal things going on. If the Ministry of Labor approves the application, the embassy or consulate will issue the work and residence visa. The permit is valid for two years, and you can renew it for another two years.

To get the Highly-skilled Professional Visa, you should meet these criteria:

  • Be a manager or an individual who manages a large group of people inside a company and should have a minimum of 54,000€ annual salary.
  • Be an individual who works in technical and specialized job positions
  • Be a non-EU citizen who finished tertiary education in prestigious business schools or universities and has a minimum of 40,000€ annual salary.

Self-employed or Freelance Worker Visa

To obtain a self-employed work visa, you should initially obtain a residence and self-employed work permit. After getting these two important documents, you can further your procedure of applying for a self-employed work visa​​. 

Here are some of the requirements you should meet for a self-employed work visa​​:

  • Fill in the national visa application form. Upon completing it, do not forget to sign.
  • Photograph. A recent passport-size color photograph taken against a light background.
  • Valid passport.  The original and a photocopy of the passport page or pages containing biometric data. The passport must be valid for at least four months and have two blank pages.
  • Criminal record check certificate. Applicants of legal age must submit both the original and a copy of their country or countries of residence’s criminal record check certificate(s) for the previous 5 years. 
  • Medical certificate. Original and a copy of a medical certificate certifying that the applicant is free of any disease that could have serious health consequences for public health, as defined by the 2005 International Health Regulations.
  • Proof of residence in the consular district. A student must submit proof that they are attending classes, in person, in the consular district, or that they are a legal resident of the consular district.
  • Proof of the representative’s identity and capacity. In case of foreign documents, you should legalize or apostille and, if applicable, translate them into Spanish.
  • Payment of the visa fee. The visa fee is 80 euros. However, the price might change for some nationalities, and you can consult the Consular Office to get a more precise answer. 

EU Blue Card

People who spent at least 3 years completing a higher education qualification can apply for an EU Blue Card, which allows them to work as skilled professionals. Professionals with a minimum of five years of high-level experience are also eligible. An employer submits your application on your behalf once you receive a job offer. For you to get the EU Blue Card, your work contract should include a salary that is at least 50% more than the average wage in Spain or at least 20% more if your job position and skills are in demand. After you get the card, you need to apply for a visa at the Spanish embassy. You can renew the blue card as long as you meet the conditions.

Entrepreneur Visa

With this type of visa, you can start a business and get a Spanish residency. Entrepreneur visa requires strictly followed steps since the government is much more selective regarding Entrepreneur Visa applications. They only accept projects with strong growth potential, which are innovative, and include a significant technological component. To renew this permit, you must demonstrate that the business is performing as planned in the business plan for the next three years.

Finding a Job in Spain Tips

There are a lot of informal routes to find jobs in Spain, such as word-of-mouth, networking, and speculative applications. Especially the last one, in which you can submit your job application regardless of advertised vacancies. However, there are many other ways that lead to job opportunities; you just need to be proactive, seek opportunities, and network. Sectors where you’re most likely to find opportunities include the services sector, IT, engineering, finance, and healthcare.

Here are some tips on how to find jobs in Spain:

  • Look up job websites in Spain. You can find jobs in Spain on various job websites, including specialized websites for different professions.
  • Networking in Spain. Try to create a healthy network with people, as many jobs aren’t advertised openly in Spain. Word of mouth or personal contacts are two of the best ways to find employment.
  • Check recruitment agencies and job opportunities published in newspapers. Is it always a good idea to search for agencies on Sistema Nacional de Empleo.
  • Always count on teaching jobs in Spain. You can find lots of opportunities for teaching English in Spain. Because there is such a high demand for English teachers in Spain, jobs are plentiful, whether in a small town in Andalucia or a large city like Madrid. However, remember that holding a TEFL qualification will always bring you better job opportunities.