Residence for Workers and Technicians in the Audiovisual Sector in Spain

residency for workers in the audiovisual sector

There are many workers and technicians dedicated to the audiovisual or artistic sector who must travel to Spain to perform or develop their professional activities, often for a short period of time. For these cases, there is a special visa and residence authorization with very favorable requirements for them.

In this post you are about to discover everything you need to know about this residency for workers in the audiovisual sector. We will analyze the maximum duration of this permit, the documents you must provide in detail, how does the application process work, and much more.

This authorization was created for foreign professionals who work as artists or technicians in the audiovisual sector.

That is, people who carry out activities performed both before the public and also that are recorded for their subsequent broadcasting through the media.

In this sense, there are three different modalities depending on the duration of the foreigner’s work:

  • Stay (short-stay visa), for periods of up to 90 days within 180 days
  • Long-stay visa, for periods between 90 and 180 days
  • Residency permit, if the worker must stay for more than 180 days in Spain and up to 3 years, which may be extendable. This duration will be equal to the duration of the work contract if it is less than 3 years. 

In the case of having requested the visa but then needing to extend the period for work reasons, it will be possible to move from visa to residence authorization as long as the process is initiated at least 30 days before the expiration of the 90-day period.

In any case, the purpose of the transfer or trip must always be the performance of these types of activities; either because a Spanish company hired the foreigner, or because a foreign company transfers her to Spain.

Please note that in the first case (stay of up to 90 days) it must be requested as long as the foreigner comes from a country that requires a visa to enter Spain (and more specifically the Schengen Zone).

In the case of being exempt from applying for a visa, it will not be necessary to apply for this authorization.

What is its total duration?

The duration of the residency for workers in the audiovisual sector, as mentioned above, depends.

It can range from 90 days in the case of short-term stay, up to 3 years in case of obtaining the residency.

The most common is to find foreigners in the first case, applying for a visa for a period of 90 days within a total period of 180.

It is the same thing that happens with the tourist visa, but with an important difference.

Unlike the tourist visa, this authorization allows you to stay in Spain and work legally.

That is to say, even though it authorizes the foreigner to stay in the Spanish territory for a period of time equivalent to a regular stay, it will NOT be necessary to request a work authorization, since this visa carries implicitly the right to work and carry out such artistic activities within the audiovisual sector.

Possibility to include your relatives within your application

One of the advantages of this authorization is that the family members accompanying the artist or technician (main applicant), can also obtain their residence authorization or visa.

We are talking about:

  • Spouse or civil partner
  • Children (as long as they are under 18 and are economically dependent on the main applicant)
  • Parents under the care of the artist/applicant
  • The parents or legal guardians of the minor (in case the foreigner exercising the activity is a minor)


Required documents

Below you will find the complete list of required documentation you will need to submit in order to obtain this authorization or visa. Then we will understand where you must send them.

We will differentiate the documents according to the type of authorization you are going to request:

Documents to obtain the short-stay visa

The process in this case is quite simple, as reflected in the few documents you will need to provide, but varies depending on whether you come from a country that requires a visa or one that does not.

In the case of coming from a country that does NOT require a visa, you will simply need to provide the following two documents:

  • NIE number (identification number as a foreigner), to be requested once you enter Spain
  • In case you do not have a Social Security agreement that can cover you in Spain, registration with the Social Security

And in case you come from a country that DOES require a visa, we add an extra document:

  • Tourist visa
  • Foreigner identification number or NIE, which you will get when entering Spanish territory
  • Social Security registration

Documents to obtain the long-stay visa

On the other hand, to apply for a long-stay visa in the audiovisual sector (duration of more than 90 days), the process is a little more extensive in terms of documentation.

In this case, you must submit:

  • Passport-size photograph, white background
  • Passport
  • Documentation that proves that there is an employment or professional relationship with the company that hires the worker or transfers her
  • Documentation certifying that the applicant (worker) is indeed part of a project and performs tasks within the audiovisual sector
  • Public or private medical insurance (if there is a Social Security agreement, then it is not necessary)
  • In the case of coming with family members, document proving the family relationship
  • Responsible statement from the hiring or transferring company certifying that it is registered with the Social Security

Documents to obtain the residency authorization (for more than 180 days)

And, finally, to obtain the residence authorization:

  • Application form (as an intra-company transfer)
  • Passport, which must be valid and in force
  • Document proving the payment of the 790 fee
  • Document proving the employment or professional relationship with the company hiring or transferring the foreigner
  • Documentation proving that the foreigner is part of a production project in the audiovisual sector
  • In the case of family members accompanying the worker, documents proving the family relationship
  • Public or private medical insurance in case the foreigner will not be covered by the National Health System or by an agreement
  • Parental authorization if the applicant is under 18

Where is the application submitted?

In the case of a short-term stay or visa of up to 180 days, the application will be processed at the Diplomatic Mission or Consular Office of the country in which the foreigner is currently residing.

In addition, it is also possible that in the case of a minor, the application will be made by her guardian or legal representative; or in other situations, it will be processed by a representative of the company that hires (or transfers) the professional.

In these cases the process will be initiated in the consulate that corresponds to these applicants (who make the procedure on behalf of the worker).

On the other hand, to apply for the residence authorization of more than 180 days, it will be the Spanish company who will submit the application online at the electronic headquarters of the Ministry of Migration, but it will be processed by the UGE (Large Companies Unit).

If the applicant is outside Spain, once she receives the favorable resolution, she must apply for a visa to be able to enter Spanish territory.


Remember that if you need legal advice to obtain your residency and successfully immigrate to Spain, our immigration lawyers are at your complete disposal.

Get in touch with our lawyers and let us guide you step by step:

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residency for workers in the audiovisual sector

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