Spain's current regulations on foreign nationals establish the conditions under which foreigners may live and work in Spanish territory.

According to article 10 of Constitutional Law 8/2000 on the rights and duties of foreigners in Spain, people from other countries have the right to carry out a paid activity on their own behalf or as an employee of somebody else (provided that the requisites specified in the same law are met), and are entitled to protection via the Social Security (Seguretat Social) system.

Article 11 of the same law states that foreign workers have the right to join a union (sindicar-se) , if they wish, or to join (afiliar-se) a professional organisation (organització professional)under the same conditions as Spanish workers, once they have obtained the corresponding residency permit.

The regulations on foreign nationals establish the requisites, procedures and conditions applicable in order for foreigners to be able to exercise their right to work, provided that they obtain the necessary permits in each case.

Information on your administrative status, authorisation to work for yourself or for somebody else, the renewal of permits and other matters is available from:

  • The government's sub-office in the region in which you live.

  • Specific services run by unions for foreign workers.

  • Free services offered by local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or social organisations (you can find out about such organisations at your town or city hall).

  • Any specialised website that deals with the matters in question, such as the official website of the Guild ofLawyers of Barcelona (Col·legi d'Advocats de Barcelona) or those of other professional guilds (col·legis professionals).

  • A private consultant (lawyers, legal advisers).

Foreigners with the necessary work and residency permits have the work-related rights set out in article 25 of the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia (Estatut d'Autonomia de Catalunya) , notably including:

  • The right to receive training and to promote themselves professionally.

  • The right to access to public occupation services (the Catalan Occupation Service is called the Servei d'Ocupació de Catalunya or SOC).

  • The right to work in conditions that guarantee health, safety and dignity.

  • The right to receive information, to be consulted and to participate in enterprises.