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Visas and work: How Indians can move to Spain in 2024

The Local Spain
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Visas and work: How Indians can move to Spain in 2024
How Indians can move to Spain in 2024. Photo: Ketut Subiyanto / Pexels

Many Indians are attracted to Spain because of its excellent quality of life, work opportunities and strong community that have already settled here. But, moving to Spain can be very confusing, particularly with the number of different visas available.

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If you’re an Indian wanting to move to Spain, you have several different options, but the visas and residency permits you can apply for will greatly depend on your specific circumstances.

According to figures from Spain's National Insititute of Statistics (INE) there were 51,440 Indian nationals living in Spain 2022. They are the third largest Asian community in Spain after Chinese and Pakistanis.

The first wave of Indians migrated to Spain in the late 19th century and since then, many have made this country their home and established a strong community, which makes settling in even easier.

It’s worth noting that Indian nationals don’t have the automatic right to work in Spain or anywhere else in the EU because of their status as third-country nationals within Europe’s single market, but thankfully some visas will allow you to work here. 

READ ALSO: Five interesting facts about Spain's Indian community

Digital nomad visa (DNV)

Spain’s digital nomad visa was introduced at the beginning of 2023 and allows non-EU nationals, like Indians, to live in Spain if they have a remote job or are self-employed. In Spanish it’s called the visado de teletrabajador de carácter internacional. It can be applied for either from the Spanish consulate or embassy in India or while you’re here as a tourist. 

A tourist visa allows Indians a stay of 90 days in Spain, which gives you more than enough time to apply. Plus, you’re allowed to overstay if you’re application is in progress and you’re waiting for a decision.

As well as being a remote worker or self-employed, however, there is a long list of requirements you need to meet including proof of earnings, permission from your employer to work from Spain and having held your position or worked for your client for more than three months. The company you work for must have also existed for more than one year and you cannot earn more than 20 percent of your income from Spain.

You can bring family members with you on the visa, provided you earn enough money to be able to support them. There’s a set amount required by the government for each one you bring.

READ ALSO: What are the pros and cons of Spain’s digital nomad visa?

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Non-lucrative visa (NLV)

Spain’s non-lucrative visa is ideal for Indians who want to retire to Spain or those who have enough funds to support themselves and want to spend an extended period of time here. As the name suggests, you cannot work on the non-lucrative visa, so you must prove you have sufficient savings or have passive income from investments or renting out your house back home in India for example.

Keep in mind, the financial requirement is fairly substantial and you will also be obliged to pay for private health insurance.

One advantage of this visa is that you can also bring family members with you, but you must prove you have extra funds to support them and have private health insurance. 

READ ALSO: What are the pros and cons of Spain's non-lucrative visa?

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Student visa

In order to apply for a student visa to come and live and study in Spain, you will need to be accepted onto a course that lasts longer than three months. This could be at a local university or a private institution for example.

As well as paying the course fees, you will have to prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and that you have private health insurance. Luckily, there is no age limit and you can apply either from India or within Spain.

Even though you have to show sufficient funds, the visa also allows you to work up to 30 hours a week. Like the visas above, you can bring family members to live with you, but they do not have the right to work, so you must prove you have extra funds to support them too.

READ ALSO: What are the pros and cons of Spain's student visa?

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Work permit as an employee (por cuenta ajena)

Moving to Spain for a job is slightly more complicated. This is because in order to be considered for a job as a non-EU national, in the majority of cases the position must be on Spain’s shortage occupation list.

You can find list of careers published by Spanish employment agency SEPE here. It’s worth noting that around 95 percent of these are in the maritime and shipping industry (from naval mechanics to ferry staff, chefs and waiters), as well as sports coaches, so if you have experience doing this work or it’s something you want to do, then you may stand a good chance.

The list is updated every quarter, so it's worth keeping an eye out for new positions opening if you want a job in another field.

If you have found a job offer that you have the skills for or a company that wants to hire you, you must start your application from the Spanish consulate in India or the country in which you live. Unlike some of the other visas, you cannot apply for this while you’re a tourist on holiday.

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Golden visa

Recently, the Spanish government announced they would be scrapping the golden visa, but as of yet no date has been set for when the scheme will end and according to lawyers applications for now are still open.

The visa is sometimes referred to as an investor visa, and allows non-EU citizens such as Indians the right to live in Spain if they buy a property worth over €500,000.

So if it’s your dream to move to Spain and you have the funds to be able to buy a home, this could be a good option if you move quickly and start the application process soon.

READ ALSO - Spain's soon-to-end golden visa: Can I still apply and what if I have it already?

If you’re not in the position to be able to apply that fast, the investor visa is still available to those who invest €1 million in a Spanish company or transfer €1 million to a Spanish bank account.

The visa allows you to bring family members and also allows you to work. It’s valid for one year only, however, you can exchange it for a residence permit, valid for a further two years once you’re in Spain.

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