Can I work as a teacher in Madrid with a student visa?

[:en]Many people from English speaking countries come to Spain with a student visa. Once they are here, many want to earn some extra money teaching, and the common question is “can I work as a teacher in Madrid with a student visa”?

The short answer is YES you can. Or maybe it would be better to say, legally you can. But things in Spain are never so straighforward.

People under a student visa can work up to a number of hours. If I am not mistaken they cannot do more than a part time worker would, as they are supposed to be studying at the same time. So they can work up to 20 hours a week.

So, in theory, you should have no problem.

However, many academies or schools will not accept people with student visa. Why if it is legal?
Because the administration keeps a tight control on contracts done to foreign students. So that means:

  • these type of contracts always attract the attention of the government, and many academies don’t want that (not our case).
  • These contracts are “separated”, checked by the administration and every process realated to them takes more time and steps.
  • On many occassions the administration will reject the contract, or get back to the employer for further enquieries. Which means more delay, more steps and getting charged more by the legal consultants.

In a nut-shell, it’s not worth the trouble for many academies. Specially when there is no lack of teachers who don’t need a visa.

For example, I am the manager of an academy in Madrid and the legal advisors have advised us against hiring teachers with student visas. That means you have less teachers to choose from, and you might be discarding excelent professionals.  I hope this changes in the near future, as I’ve had great past experiences with teachers with student visas. But when you have a business in Madrid, the LAST thing you want is more paperwork and more trouble with the authorities.

So, as a conclusion, people with a student visa can work up to 20 hours in Spain. They might find academies who don’t accept visas and it is not because they wouldn’t like to hire these teachers, but because bureaucracy in Spain makes it unadvisable. Others have no problems, so keep on looking.

Good luck![:]

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