Work or Study in Madrid

If you are considering finding work or studying in Madrid, here are some important things to remember and use as a practical guide:

Work and Study Permits. A citizen from any EU country can work in Madrid without a work permit, but he or she would be required to get a tarjeta de residencia (residence card). They can also enter the country as a tourist and then register with the Spanish national employment as a job-seeker. Once they are able to find a job that requires a stay in the city for more than three months, then they have to present their employment contract as a prerequisite for obtaining a residence card.

Non-EU nationals on the other hand would have to obtain a work (permiso de trabajo) and a residence permit from a Spanish consulate in their own country before even going to Madrid. For non-EU foreigners the work permit is typically arranged and paid for by the employer, as the law is quite stringent on the employment of a non-EU national over a EU national.

In the same vein, a non-EU citizen wishing to study in Madrid (or any part of Spain for that matter) should obtain a student visa from a Spanish embassy in their own country. For families who have already migrated to the city and wishing to enter their children in school, there is a process of validating  previous education records that is required by the Spanish Department of Education. Parents must also submit to their respective town hall a copy of the child’s birth certificate or passport.

Available Types of Work: Foreigners who come to Madrid would find that there are several viable job opportunities to consider. There are volunteer jobs where the individual can receive accommodation and a small amount of money. If you’re interested in short-term jobs there are casual or seasonal posts that can be found in the city – bars and cafes looking for help, campsites and tour agencies looking for guides or camp staff or ticket sellers and event promoters. Au pairs or nannies are also in demand in Madrid, as well as English teachers. For help finding a job in Madrid, the following agencies can help with their listing of available posts as well as more useful information for securing a job: Infojobs (, Infoempleo (, Anuncios de Empleo-Clasificalia and cultural centers such as Alliance Francaise, British Council and Goethe Institut.

Educational System: In Spain, school is compulsory and is free of charge for all children from 6 to 16 years of age. For foreigners who do not have the facility for the Spanish language “bridge” classes are provided so that they can study Spanish before being able to join a class in a traditional school. After the compulsory education, students can choose to take “Bachillerato” studies in preparation for higher or university education, or vocational training. There are also international schools that follow a particular curricula and schedule of their countries of origin and language schools.

School year in the city (and throughout Spain) runs from September to June, with three terms of 11 weeks and two breaks – Christmas and Easter/spring. To find a comprehensive listing of schools and universities and other useful information for studying in Madrid, the Ministry of Education ( maintains an up-to-date website.

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