Can I Work in Spain on a Student visa?

Question

“I’m in Spain. My TIE is a student tie and student visa as well but says no autoriza a trabajar”. So that was a surprise for me. I still have 8 more months for the expiration of my TIE (total is 9 months). What can I do in order to be able to work in Spain?

Can I stop studying if I get a job offer and to apply for the residency? Or if there is anything else? As I know finding a registered university doesn’t help me unless if I apply for the visa again. Thank you”

Answers

These are the answers of Spainguru’s Facebook group members:

“If you get a contract you can apply for a work permission on the student visa. You can work up to 30 hours, but depending on where you live it can take months to be approved and many places won’t do it due to the wait time and cost. If you’ve been here for 2-3 years (I forget which) you can do a visa modification if you are offered a full time work contract and they’re willing to sponsor you— called cuenta ajena.

But it is also extremely difficult to find a company willing to do it for time and cost. I switched from teaching English to university from Spain— but you’ll be in same position as it’s the same visa just a different program of study.

So your options are to wait it out on a student visa until you can modify, get Pareja de hecho with someone, or pray for a miracle work wise.”

“Thank you for the message. I’m here only a bit more than a month. I can just leave not a big deal. Just wanted to see if there is any option left before I decide to give up. Finding an offering company that would wait that period is tough. What region would take shorter time I can relocate. Besides that do you know If I get that offering company do I still have to graduate the school or I can stop studying?”

“If you quit what you’re studying they will cancel your visa— and you can’t get a job in another region on student visa as they consider it a conflict with your studies. The only exception is if you’re doing practices or internship related to what you’re studying.”

“I mean you are a student of what? They give the right to work only for UNIVERSITY STUDENTS.” – “I’m a student of a school which is not registered anywhere. That what they said me in extranjeria”

“Not much options honestly. To work legally you can 1. Register as autónomo or open your own company and modify your student visa for the residencia por cuenta propia. 2. To continue studying, extend your student permit and work part time with that student permit. 3. To continue studying, and modify your student permit for work permit (por cuenta ajena) after 2 years of studying and getting a job offer. 4. To find a company that would arrange a work permit for you. That option is almost impossible, unfortunately, even if you’re highly skilled specialist. 5. To get married or get into a registered partnership (pareja de hecho) with a Spanish citizen and modify your residency for tarjeta comunitaria / arraigo familiar.”

“Thank you for the detailed options. So I guess the best option for me is just to leave????”

“You can go to your local extranjería (national police) and ask for the paperwork for work authorization. In last quarter 2022 they began allowing up to 30 hrs as long as it doesn’t interfere with your studies or visa obligations if you are an auxiliar.”

“Thank you. What is an auxiliar status?” – “Auxiliar de Conversación is an English teaching program on a student visa. You can now work 30 hrs” – “Thank you. I didn’t know about that. Do I have to apply for that program at the consulate while applying for my visa or now when I’m in Spain?” – “Look up NALCAP they just opened the application for Auxiliares for next school year a few days ago”

“Technically, auxiliares de conversación should not get the autoriza a trabajar because the program doesn’t provide a diploma/degree at the end of the program (except for the ones with Instituto Franklin). But the funcionarios processing the batch don’t care to look at individual applications so some get lucky.”

Conclusion

The possibilities of working in Spain on a student visa reveals complex regulations and various potential paths, but they all require careful consideration of visa conditions and potential risks to residency status. For students, options include obtaining limited work authorization, modifying the visa with an employment offer.