Tips for Doing Your Work Visa in Barcelona

0 Comments 15 July 2012

Tips for Doing Your Work Visa in Barcelona

If you are a non-EU citizen in Barcelona applying for or renewing a work visa, these tips will help make the process suck less. Watch this humorous short movie, entitled “036,” about doing paperwork in Spain to prepare for what lies ahead.

Important Websites

Use these websites as more of a reference point since they usually do not provide complete information.

Barcelona City Hall
General Information
Immigration Department of Spain
Immigration Offices in Barcelona

Tips and Advice

Ensure You Go to the Correct Office

Doublecheck that you are going to the correct office and have all the required documentation by calling Citizen Assistance Services at 060. You can also send your inquiry by e-mail to the Immigration Office at They usually respond within a few business days.

Doublecheck that You are in the Correct Office

When you visit the Immigration Office, you should first stop at the information desk to ensure that you are in the correct office. Most immigration offices require you to visit the information desk to obtain a number and/or place in line anyway.

Arrive Ahead of Time

Arrive an hour before the office opens to avoid long wait time. Generally, depending on the office and time of year, wait times are usually around 1 or 2 hours (going faster every year). Bring snacks, a bottle of water and a book to pass the time.

Bring 3 Copies of All Documents

Bring 3 copies of all relevant documentation, including any correspondence from the Immigration Office. Bring all possibly relevant documents in original form and copies, especially your passport, Spanish identification card (NIE) and empadronamiento (dated within the last three months), as well as your work contract, paycheck (“nomina”), etc. Print a copy of the appointment or “cita previa”, if you have one.

Translate and Legalize Foreign Documents in Advance

Translate, notarize and obtain an Apostille of the Hague seal for any foreign documents (check with your Embassy or click here to see which countries this pertains to).

Pay Processing Fess in Advance

Pay the taxes (“tasas”) in advance if you can. You can pay these at any bank and most banks require two copies of the “tasa” sheet to process the payment. If you have a bank account, you can try to scan the bar code on the “tasa” sheet and pay directly through the ATM machine.

Remain Polite

Don´t expect the functionaries to be polite, but you should always try to remain polite.

Ask About the Next Steps

Before you leave the office, make sure you understand the next steps that have to be taken to finalize the process. You may be given a document with a website address to check the status of your application.

Be Prepared to Make Several Visits

Don´t set yourself up for disappointment: expect that you might have to make multiple visits to provide additional paperwork. If you have to return to the office to bring additional paperwork, ask if you can enter without waiting in line and confirm the hours that the functionary will be there, as well as the functionary’s name.

Helpful Vocabulary
Spanish Identification Number for Foreigners / NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros)
Residation Authorization / Autorización de residencia
Proceedure / Trámite
Processing/ Tramitando
Tax / Tasa
Applicaiton / Solicitud
Appointment / Cita previa
Bulletin / Hoja informativa
Passport / Pasaporte
Copy / Copia
Documentation / Documentación
Case number (tracking number) / Número de expediente
Slip / Resguardo
Immigration office / Extranjería
Functionary (government employee) / Funcionario


Photo from movie “036”

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