Working in the Canary Islands?

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Working in the Canary Islands

The biggest industry in the Canary Islands is definitely tourism, and it always demands international workers. Still, the islands offer also other opportunities both for nationals and expats. Check out more useful information in our expat guide!

Economic Overview

The majority of the Canary Island’s economy is centered on the travel and tourism industry. Of the archipelago’s 25 billion EUR GDP, 80% is made up of the gross income from the millions of holidaymakers who travel from far and wide to enjoy the climate, hotels and scenery of the various islands. Another major sector that provides income for the inhabitants of the islands is the banana industry. There are a number of agricultural produce businesses in the Canaries, but the manufacture and exportation of bananas is the most significant to the economy. The steadily growing economy of the region is also partly down to the large foreign direct investments that have been made over the past decade to develop tourist-based real estate and facilities in the Canaries. The Canary Islands offer lucrative tax concessions for foreign investors who create five or more jobs.

Work Permits for the Canary Islands

Citizens from European Union countries can move to and work in the Canary Islands with no visa or work permit restrictions. Foreign nationals from non-EU countries must obtain a residency visa in order to live in any of the islands of the Canaries. The residence visa does not grant permission to work; in order to find employment and earn a wage in the district, non-EU expats must be in possession of a working visa. With one of these permits, foreigners can reside permanently and find work in the Canary Islands, as well as anywhere else in Spain. Anyone from overseas wishing to find work in the Canaries on a voluntary basis does not need a working visa. Spain does not have any working holiday agreements with any other nations.

Job Hunting in the Canary Islands

There are ample work opportunities across the Canary Islands, but there are also huge numbers of expats from around the world who move to this idyllic archipelago every year looking for a job. In order to stand out, expats should prepare an excellent CV, make business contacts and most importantly, be skilled in their profession. There are websites such as ThinkSpain that offer a vast array of vacancies for foreigners, ranging from bar staff to PR and executive management roles. To narrow the search down to a certain Canary Island, it is worth finding a more specific job listing site, such as GranCanariaJob or Lanzarote Information. Expats with an interest in working with children should look into the numerous adverts for au pair or English-speaking teaching assistant jobs.

Harald Waibl

"If you are looking for the expat community on the Canary Islands, just join InterNations and you will be in the middle of it."

Lotta Koskinen

"A vacation paradise can be quite boring for a traveling spouse. So I joined InterNations and met many interesting expats on Teneriffe."

Global Expat Guide