Who needs a Visa?

Holders of an EEA (EU Member State, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Swiss passport do not require a visa to travel to, or stay in, Spain for a maximum period of 90 days.

Business Visa

Business Visas are issued to appropriate visitors travelling to Spain to attend business meetings, conferences, and engage in business activities.

Type of Visa

Nationals who require a visa for business purposes, must apply for a Business Visitor Visa. In most cases an applicant would apply for a Schgengen Business Visa.

Application Process

All applications will need to be submitted to the appropriate Spanish diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of residence.

Processing time

The processing time for a Spanish Schengen Business Visavaries acording to the nationality of the applicant.  Visas are generally issued within 2 to 15 working days in the UK.


This visa will generally allow the traveller to travel freely within the Schengen area for a period of up to 90 days within a 6 month period, provided that Spain is their main  destination, and where they will spend the longest period of time.

Work Authorisation

There are a number of different work authorisation categories.  The appropriate one will depend on a variety of criteria, such as the nature of the intended work, education and work experience of the employee, the employee’s financial standing and the number of employees within the host entity in Spain.

Type of Visa

A well know and common category of Work Authorisation that is applied for by many corporate companies and individuals is the Transnational Work and Residence Permits (“G” permit), for highly skilled employees.

Application Process

The usual application process  for a Transnational Work and Residence Permit follows:

  • Submission of the Transnational / Local Work Permit Application to the application authorities in Spain.
  • Submission of the Work / Residence Visa application to the Spanish diplomatic post in the applicant’s country of residence.
  • On arrival, the employee will need to apply for a Residence Permit. The application process will include the taking of fingerprints. The employee must also visit the local Spanish police station to apply for their “Número de Identificación de Extranjeros” (NIE) residence card.
  • The employee must collect the residence card in person once it has been granted.


Processing time

Processing times are generally in the region of 4 to 14 weeks.


A Transitional Work and residene Permit has year’s duration and may be extended.


The immigration status of a dependent, family member is reliant on the type of permit and status of the main or principal applicant. In some cases a dependent may be able to work. However, more often than not, they will need to apply for work authorisation and be granted a Work Permit in their own right.

Penalties for Non Compliance


Employing a foreign worker who does not have the requisite work authorisation is an offence.  If convicted, the company may be fined.


Foreign workers who do not comply with Spanish immigration laws of Spain may be fined.

Points to Note

  • For transnational applications, a legalised and translated Power of Attorney from the home company is needed.
  • Police Clearance Certificates are required.  Depending on the nationality of the applicant, and the country from which the certificate will need to be obtained,  this can take several months to procure.
  • Legalised copies of personal documents are often also required.
  • The financial standing and status of the company in Spain have a bearing on immigration process.

The employee must be able to demonstrate that they have an adequate education and appropriate work experience for the position in question.


The contents of this article are for information purposes only.  The information and opinions expressed in this document do not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal advice or a comprehensive statement of law or current practice.  Immigration rules and requirements frequently change without notice.  You should not rely upon the contents of this document but instead should seek appropriate professional and legal advice in the light of your personal circumstances.  No liability is accepted for the opinions contained or for any errors or commissions. Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further information.