Lawyers Marbella

Obtaining work and residence permits in Marbella

At Lawyers Marbella our lawyers will provide advice on all aspects related to obtaining work and residence permits, taking into account your legal situation and personal circumstances.

The Spanish Aliens Act distinguishes between temporary and permanent residence status. In this way, temporary residence permits to stay in Spain for a period of more than ninety days (since if it is less than ninety days, the most advisable thing is to apply for a stay visa for this purpose) and less than five years. Initially the temporary residence permit is annual and after this period it will be necessary to renew it.

There are different types of temporary residence permits and some of them also involve a work permit. The procedure for applying for this permit differs depending on whether you are going to be self-employed or employed. In the second case, if it is also the first time that a residence and work permit is applied for, the procedure and authorisation have special characteristics.
The initial application must be made by the employer or company in the Foreigners' Office corresponding to the domicile in which the work is to be carried out and this will only be valid for the occupation and the specific geographical scope. The worker benefiting from the work permit cannot be found irregularly in Spain at this time.

Once this visa is granted, the foreigner will travel to Spain and will be able to start his activity, enhancing the corresponding affiliation and registration in the Social Security.
When deciding whether to approve the residence and work authorization, it is established that it is necessary to take into account the existence of Spanish, Community or foreign workers resident for the activity or profession and geographical area in which they intend to work, as well as a reciprocity regime in the foreigner's country of origin, since if so, it is possible that the authorization may be denied on the basis of the "national employment situation". The refusal with this argument will not be valid in cases where the worker is immersed in any of the exceptions contemplated in article 40 of the Aliens Act, such as, for example, family members reunited at work age, the job is included in the catalogue of occupations difficult to cover or a negative certificate is obtained from the Public Employment Services.


In the case of foreigners wishing to work on their own account, a residence and work permit will be required to enable them to do so. In this case, some specialities are given with respect to what has been said above due to the special circumstances involved in starting a new economic activity.

A foreigner wishing to work as a self-employed person in Spain is required to meet certain requirements such as having the required professional qualification or qualification or sufficient accredited experience in the exercise of the professional activity and, where appropriate, membership when required.
In addition, it is necessary to comply with the legislation in force for the start-up of an economic activity and to prove that the investment planned for the implementation of the project is sufficient. It is also necessary to ensure that the expected economic activity will result in the maintenance of the worker.

The initial authorization for this reason has a duration of one year and may be renewed if the continuity of economic activity and compliance with the corresponding obligations with the Social Security and Taxation.