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Spain: Entry, Residence and Work Requirements

The following information is provided on a non-official basis and is subject to change. For current and more detailed information, please contact the Spanish representatives in Canada


Canadians are not required to obtain a visa to travel in Spain however Canadians must present a passport which must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of their expected departure from the Schengen area. As visitors to Spain, they may remain in the country for a maximum period of 90 days during a 180 day period effective from the date of entry stamped in their passport, on their first entry into any of the countries of the Schengen territory: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia,  Liechtenstein,  Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The Schengen Convention, in force since March 1995, has abolished internal borders between these countries. While this now allows non-European Union nationals, such as Canadians, to circulate freely within this borderless area, it has also now restricted the length of their stay within the whole of this territory to a maximum of 90 days within a 180 day period.

Canadian travellers who may not have received a stamp on initial entry into a Schengen country are required to take the initiative to obtain one to confirm their legal entry into Schengen territory and should, if they have entered Spain through an internal border, make a declaration of entry at the local police, within 72 hours of arrival, if they plan to remain more than three days in Spain.

Residency and work

Canadians, as all citizens of non-European Union (EU) countries, must obtain a visa from a Spanish consulate in their home country if they plan to:

  • Work in Spain;
  • Reside in Spain for more than 90 days or;
  • Study in Spain for more than 90 days.

It is not possible for a non-EU national to enter Spain as a visitor and change his/her status to that of an employee, student or resident from within Spain. Applications for visas must be made in Canada to the Spanish consulate with jurisdiction over one's place of residence.

The documents required for a visa application depend on the reason for coming to Spain and include:

  1. a valid passport
  2. application forms
  3. photos
  4. a medical certificate
  5. a police clearance certificate (issued by the RCMP)
  6. fees

    Those applying for a visa to work in Spain will also require:
  7. a pre-contract

    students will require:
  8. a letter of acceptance from an approved Spanish educational institution
  9. proof of private health insurance
  10. proof of financial resources for the length of their stay

    Canadians requesting the Youth Mobility Agreement between Canada and Spain will also require:
  11. proof of residency in Canada (provincial health card or provincial driver’s licence)
  12. Return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase a return ticket
  13. Proof of financial reliability
  14. Other documents may be requested depending under what category you request the youth mobility visa.

Those planning to retire in Spain will also require the documents stated in i) and j).

Procedures for a work permit

The employer must first submit an application for a work permit for the potential employee to the provincial office of the Ministry of Labour “Delegación Provincial del Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración in Spain. Once duly submitted, a copy of this application, bearing the stamp of this office and a file number (N.E.V), is given to the employer for the employee to submit when applying in Canada at the Spanish Consulate for his work and residence visa along with all other required documents. The Spanish Consulate will then inform the Regional Labour Office in Spain that the visa application has been submitted and only then will the Labour Office begin to process the application. The approval of the work permit may take from five to eight months to process. If the contract is approved, the Labour Office will inform the Spanish Consulate in Canada through the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the visa may be issued.

If the visa issued is for a stay longer than six months, the bearer of the visa must apply for a foreigners ID card (TIE) through the foreigners police (“Oficina de Extranjería”) within 30 days of their arrival in Spain.

Au pair work

In Spain, working as an au pair is only permitted for citizens of the European Union.

Additional information

The Embassy does not provide lists of potential employers. Anyone coming to Spain to do some on the spot jobhunting must be prepared to return to Canada to apply for a visa if he/she receives a job offer.

For more information on visa issues, please consult the following webpage (content available in Spanish only) 


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