Work permits

Who needs work and residence permits?


European citizens are legally free to live and work in Catalonia while residence and work permits for non-EU citizens are easily arranged

Non-EU citizens wishing to work, or carry out any professional or for-profit activity must be over 16 years of age with a visa and a work and residence permit. Generally speaking, residence permits are awarded together with work permits and may be:

  • Temporary: valid for a period of more than 90 days and fewer than five years.
  • Permanent: this authorises the individual to live and work in Spain indefinitely and is obtained after having lived legally and continually in Spain for five years.

The most commonly used type of permit for living and working as self-employed is the initial permit, which can be renewed at a later date.

International mobility - Act 14/2013

Act 14/2013 establishes a new legal framework on highly qualified immigrants. The aim of the law is to attract investments and talent, and to promote an entrepreneurial spirit. We deal with four types of visas covered by the law:

  • Highly qualified employees
  • Intra-company transfers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Investors
Work permits
We offer a fast track service for work and residence permits for hired employees who are senior managers. This service is intended for companies whose investment project is managed by Catalonia Trade & Investment.

Further information

Please contact us for further information regarding work permits, setting up a business fiscal and labour legislation, environmental issues or any other subject related to foreign investment and not addressed here. 


Passeig de Gràcia, 129
08008 BARCELONA
Tel: (+34) 93 4767287
catalonia@catalonia.com