Technically a EU resident doesn't require a work permit to work in Spain, but he does require a residence card, which is usually issued for five years.
A non-EU foreigner who carries out an activity for monetary gain (fines lucrativos) in Spain requires a work permit and a residence card (issued simultaneously for the same duration). A work permit (permiso de trabajo) for a non-EU national is initially valid for one year, after which a five-year permit may be issued no longer restricting the holder by area, activity, employer or industry. The spouse and children under 21 years of age of a non-EU work permit holder are also granted certain rights to work in Spain. Note that fees for work permits were raised sharply in 1997 and are now between 150€ and 300€ (which is mostly paid by employers).
EU Nationals: If you're a EU national you can enter Spain as a tourist and register with the Spanish national employment office Instituto Nacional de Empleo/INEM as a job-seeker (demandante de empleo). When you're offered a job, you should obtain an employment contract (contrato de trabajo), which is necessary when applying for your residence card.
Non-EU Nationals: Non-EU nationals must obtain a visa for the purpose of employment before arriving in Spain, the granting of which is subject to the approval of the work permit. When applying for a visa, a copy of the application form, passport and medical certificate certified by the consulate are returned to the applicant as proof of his application. These must be sent by the applicant to the prospective employer in Spain with other relevant documentation, who then applies for a work permit to the provincial office of the Ministry of Labor (Delagación Provincial del Ministerio de Trabajo). A position must have been advertised to EU citizens through the INEM before it can be given to a non-EU citizen and a work permit will be issued only when it's demonstrated that there isn't an unemployed EU citizen available to do the job. The employment of non-EU nationals must be approved by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (Ministerio de Trabajo y Seguridad Social), who can propose the employment of a EU national in place of a non-EU national. Applications must also be approved by the provincial office of the Ministry of Labor, where the prospective employer is registered.
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