Alicante's economy is based around two main sectors: the industrial sector and the service sector. In the industrial sector, construction is the primary employer, and since the 1960s, Alicante has been a hotbed of construction activities, mainly as a consequence of the city's thriving tourist industry.
The Port of Alicante is another major employer in this sector, although over the last 20 years it has transitioned from an industrial port into a commercial one. This is demonstrative of the wider economy of Alicante, which now relies almost entirely on tourism. The port is one of the busiest commercial ports in Spain, and is the docking point for many cruise and ferry companies.
In addition, many people are employed in hospitality, primarily in the restaurants, bars, and hotels that line the Alicante beachfront. Expatriates working in Alicante tend to do so in hospitality, usually in management positions, or at the port; there is also a growing call for English teachers.
Whether or not you will need a permit to work in Alicante depends on your nationality. Spain is a full member of the European Union, and therefore EU/EEA and Swiss citizens will not need a permit to work in Alicante. However, this does not apply to Croatian nationals, who will need a work permit until 2020. If you are a non-EU/EEA citizen, you will need a permit to work in Alicante. Most of the responsibility for securing the work permit falls on the employer, and as a result you must have secured work in Alicante before applying. Once the permit has been approved by the Ministry of Labor, you must present the required documents in order to complete the application. This will include your passport, employment history, a health certificate, a copy of your criminal record, and details of where you will be living in Spain. Work permits are temporary, and usually last for up to one year.
Expatriates living and working in Alicante will be required to pay income tax on their earnings. Expatriates living and working in Spain for more than 183 days in a year will pay income tax at Spanish rates on their worldwide income; whereas expatriates living in Spain for less than 183 days in a year will pay income tax at Spanish rates on their Spanish income only.
Spain has a progressive, sliding scale tax system, which is similar to many other European nations. This means that the amount of income tax you will pay depends on the amount you earn over the fiscal year. The income taxation rates for expats working in Alicante in 2015 are as follows: