Blog Entries

Residency Type: Getting a “cuenta ajena” work permit through arriago social

So you´ve been in Spain for at least 3 years (either on a Student Visa or “Irregularly”) and you love Spain and want to stay but the likelihood of you getting A) pareja de hecho or B) married to a Spaniard or EU Passport holder are slim to none. So what are your options? Well one of them is the Arraigo Social.

If you have the entrepreneurial spirit then the Arraigo Social por Cuenta Propia is more your style. (post soon to come)

For those of you looking to be able to be contracted full-time or part-time in Spain instead of working as a freelancer – then Arraigo Social por Cuenta Ajena is what you are looking for.

The Basics:

  • Must have been in Spain (empadronado preferably) continuously for at least 3 years – you must not have been out of the country for more than 120 days over the course of those 3 years.
  • Must speak Spanish fluently and can show that you are integrated into society
  • Must have a job offer and contract that is valid for at least 1 year (40 hours minimum) and where you will earn the Spanish Minimum Wage (IPREM) – see below in this article for more info.
  • Must have a clean background check from both the USA and Spain.

arriago social spanish identity card

Now some of you are thinking, “How do I show that I am integrated into Spanish society?”

You have to prove it and that requires evidence.

The most important thing is to save as many official documents as possible over the course of your 3 years in Spain! 

Examples: Spanish Bank Account, Correos & Western Union, Spanish private health insurance & public health medical docs, Gym memberships, Contract, Public Transportation, Documents from any courses taken in Spain…etc. And a copy of your Empadronamiento as well as a Historial de Empadronamiento if you have moved over the course of the 3 years. The important thins is that it is some sort of official document signed, dated and if stamped from its source then even better.

And in true Spanish fashion – get ready to make copies of everything!

Another requirement to prove integration is by getting your “Certificado de Insercion Social” depending on the Communidad Autonoma where you are attempting to get Arraigo. Most require some sort of an interview where you will be signed off as “integrated” which is required documentation when putting your documents in to be processed.

For specific information related to Insercion Social in each Communidad – please contact your local government for more info:

(If you are based in Madrid make sure to attend the CEPI “Conoce tus Leyes” course and have your interview there at one of the CEPI centers that are located around the city. This course if FREE and more importantly it is REQUIRED to obtain your Arraigo in Madrid. Click on the link for more info: Madrid CEPI Centros )

Required Arraigo Documents:

  • Valid Passport
  • Certificado de Empadronamiento
  • A Police Background check from your home country (Translated & Apostille of the Hague)
  • Proof of your 3 years in Spain (see Examples list above)
  • Certificado de Insercion Social from your Communidad Autonoma
  • A Job Contract valid for 1 year (mínimum of 40 hours and following the Spanish minimum wage requirements (Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples – IPREM) – contracts can be from 1 or various employers to reach total.

Spanish minimum wage for 2016 (Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples – IPREM):

IPREM daily min wage: 17.75 euros/day

IPREM monthly: 532.51 euros/month

IPREM yearly (12 payments): 6,390.13 euros/year

IPREM yearly (14 payments): 7,455.14 euros/year

arraigo social 2

After applying for and recieving a “favorable” with your Arraigo Social you will have a valid Temporary Work Permit valid for 1 year.

This includes a Spanish Identity Number (NIE), Spanish Identity Card (TIE) and a Spanish Social Security Number which allows you to use the public health system as well as all of the other social services available.

You are also permitted to work anywhere in the country with this permit. And by having your Social Security Number and NIE, you CAN change employers and apply for other jobs in Spain – this is important to note for those who are looking for a way to expand out of the teaching english world.

After 1 year you will have to renew (a future blog post to come) and after receiving a “favorable” with your first renewal you will have the same valid Temporary Work Permit valid for 2 years. And again after those 2 years you will have to renew a second time for another valid 2 years. When you go to renew for a 3rd time (3rd time is a charm, right?) as you will have been in Spain for a collective period of 5 years you can renew for a Larga Duracion Work Permit  that is valid for 5 years! There are two kinds of Larga Duration Permits in Spainfor Spain only and for the European Union. So for those of you looking to stay either short-term or long-term in Spain with a legal work permit , this process is a good option for you.

For the complete list and process on Arraigo Social from the Spanish government see here:

(This post was originally posted on May 25, 2015 and was last updated on May 14, 2016)