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Expat Work Info Madrid

Madrid has a lot to offer: not only is it the financial capital of southern Europe, but it is also a key player in innovation and technology. InterNations provides you with plenty of information on working in Madrid, from business etiquette to the actual job search, and everything in between.

Visa Regulations

If you do not come from an EU member state, or from Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, or Liechtenstein, you need to apply for a work visa. Be sure to do this before actually moving to Madrid, as visas are not assigned in Spain. The requirements for a work visa may vary, so contact the nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate.

The Spanish government granting you a visa for working in Madrid is not guaranteed. It would help your case if you already had a job when applying for the work visa.

Some companies in Madrid that hire foreigners will assign a lawyer to their case, greatly simplifying the process of entry for their new employee. If this is not the case, it is still recommended to seek the help of an attorney, which, albeit more expensive, is hassle-free and allows you more time for the actual job search.

A good location to familiarize yourself with is the Ayuntamiento (city council), where you can find forms and gather useful information on various topics such as work and social benefits. Unfortunately, large parts of their website are in Spanish only, so it helps if you have a friend or co-worker who can translate for you. The Municipal Office for the Immigrant Population may also be able to help you with such matters.

Taxation: Knowing What to Pay to Whom

To find out what the respective taxation requirements for your country of origin are, please visit the Spanish tax authority’s official website for more information. As a general rule, people earning less than 12,450 EUR annually do not need to file for taxes (impuestos). It is also helpful to contact the tax advisor of your future employer. Keep in mind that tax rates may vary from region to region!

It is possible that you may be a national of a country that has a joint taxation agreement with Spain. Check the UN Database for said agreements. For example, the United Kingdom has a double taxation avoidance treaty with Spain, which means that a foreign national from the UK pays taxes in the country they reside in for the majority of their time.

Employment Prospects — Putting Your Eggs in the Right Basket

The strongest economic sectors in Madrid are that of transportation and tourism, which is not surprising with Madrid being both a transportation hub and the most touristic city of Spain. Some professional experience in the hotel or service industry will be an advantage for anyone looking for employment in these sectors.

Since Madrid is the economic center of Spain, its financial sector is of considerable significance. Banks are among the leading employers in Madrid. The headquarters of three large multinational Spanish corporations (Telefónica, Repsol-YPF, and Banco Santander) are also situated in Madrid. Checking out their online job pages is the most up-to-date way of finding job openings.

Still Looking for a Job?

Although most business people in Madrid do master the English language, it is much easier to go about your job search in Spanish. The best way to find work in Madrid is to read the classifieds section of El País or El Mundo. Of course, there are a number of internet job sites that are helpful as well, such as Info Empleo, Jobsin Madrid and Trabajos. Check out Madrid’s community website for various employment offices around the city.

It is common practice in Madrid to send open applications to larger companies that interest you, as these do not always place ads in newspapers or on job websites, in order to avoid a large influx of applications. Always make sure that your CV and cover letters are both in English and in Spanish. Spanish CVs usually include your photo on the title page and, as an attachment, include all your important certificates, degrees, and job references. Make sure that these are translated into Spanish!


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

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