Access to employment

Non-European Union nationals can work in Spain as employees (in possession of a contract with an employer) or be self-employed under certain conditions. To do this they always require a Residence and Work Permit. This permit can be obtained in the country of origin of the foreign person, unless this person is already in possession of a Residence Permit. To be in Spain illegally means that an application for the Residence and Work Permit will be refused.

The minimum working age is 18, although young people can work when they become 16 with the permission of their parents or guardians.

Foreign workers who do not have a Residence and Work Permit do not have legal status but they do have labour rights. Any work situation that can be considered anomalous for example excessive working hours, salary discrimination, money claims, risk of accidents or unfair dismissal can be brought to the attention of the trade unions.

Foreign people with a Residence and Work Permit, may seek employment and to do this can register with the Basque Employment Service Lanbide. Registering with this body also includes the possibility of accessing work training.

One can be certified unemployed by the Basque Employment Service Lanbide and this can be very useful to have as an employer that contracts a certified unemployed person receives allowances for the contract.

For specific issues related to professional training, other bodies than the ones mentioned can be consulted, for example, public bodies like the Basque Foundation for Continuous Professional Hobetuz or in the actual training centres.


Job hunting

The Basque Government through Lanbide supports all those people who are actively seeking employment or who want to set up their own company.

Further information


Fecha de la última modificación: 16/02/2012