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Useful Advice And Top Tips On Working In Spain

Mar 12, 2008
Fuelled by the influx of tourists and the resultant boom in Spanish property prices, more and more foreigners are moving to and working in Spain. Unlike in the past when Spain was just a temporary holiday destination for tourists, the number of immigrants working in Spain has risen in leaps and bounds in the last five years.

There are several reasons why working in Spain has become such an attractive option. For many, the lure of buying relatively inexpensive Spanish property and living in the beautiful country sets them to look for suitable employment and business opportunities. For many others, it is the prospect of a much more relaxed and stress-free working environment in Spain that draws them, despite the fact that working in Spain will not be as highly paid as in many other European countries.

However, many of the other perks that come with working in this beautiful country more than make up for a few lost pounds or Euros! There is no shortage of job opportunities for foreigners with the right kind of skills and experience.

Broadly, there are two options for working in Spain: either find a suitable employer or start a business and be self-employed. The latter option is particularly appealing to a lot of migrants from other European countries; rough estimates indicate that almost one-tenth of new enterprises starting up in Spain are set up by foreigners.

Considering the popularity of Spain as a tourist hotspot, it is not surprising that a number of jobs are available in the tourism & hospitality sector, particularly in the coastal regions. Moreover, as the Spanish property sector continues to grow, the construction industry also offers several options for working in Spain.

There is a strong demand for bi-lingual professionals in various sectors, as well as for teachers. Those with experience in housekeeping and other domestic services are also much sought-after, to serve both wealthy locals as well as foreigners who are retiring to Spain having bought Spanish property.

Spain provides a congenial environment that welcomes foreigners from anywhere in the world and provides them with opportunities for working, and integrating into society. As in any country, foreign nationals desirous of working in Spain must follow some simple legal procedures.

While citizens of EU member countries are free to work in Spain without a work permit, non-EU residents are required to obtain the necessary work permit. Also, before starting work, prospective employees are advised to get formal contracts drawn up which clearly stipulate the terms of the employment. Even though initially a new employee may be given a short term permit to work in Spain, the employer is obliged subsequently to provide a long term contract (subject to conditions, of course.

Typically, if you are working for a company, they will arrange for all the relevant paperwork to be completed; however, if you intend to be self employed, then you are advised to obtain the services of a 'Gestor' who will guide you through the requirements of working in Spain in your chosen field. The majority of UK nationals who migrate to Spain seem to start their own business. The local Town Hall issues the necessary permit for working as a self-employed professional in Spain.

As in the UK, employment in Spain generates taxes. Employers are expected to deduct social security from monthly wages. When operating a business, the government expects you to pay the VAT (known as IVA in Spain), though there are certain minimum requirements for your business before you attract the attention of the VAT inspector.

One of the benefits of working in Spain and paying your social security is that you will be entitled to free medical facilities which are first class and comparable to, if not better than, those in the UK.
About the Author
Dennis Collins, an eternal student and freelance writer, has lived and travelled abroad for 30 years and frequently writes on a variety of interesting and wide ranging issues. Find out more about working and purchasing a Javea Property in the sun today.
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