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With around 9000 foreign nationals expected to migrate to the Canary Islands in the following year alone, Lanzarote is a fast-developing island with plenty of employment opportunities, especially if you are looking for seasonal work. As most of Lanzarote’s economy is based around tourism, the types of jobs available are within this sector. Ranging from PRs, chefs, entertainers to bar jobs, builders, receptionists and some admin positions, you will have to keep an open mind and not come with preconceptions when it comes to employment on the island. It’s worth noting that finding a job here is quite harder than on mainland Spain and speaking Spanish is a must for most opportunities out there.
The Legal Requirements
As the United Kingdom is currently part of the EU, you don’t need a visa or work permit to get employed in Lanzarote. However, in order to work legally in Spain you have to apply for a NIF number (Numero de Identificacion Fiscal) which is very similar to the national insurance number in the UK, used for all tax related subjects.
Enrolling with Social Security is another important step if you want to live and work in Lanzarote. Making social security payments is again comparable to the UK - you will have to make monthly payments of around 240€.
If you will be working for a UK based employer and plan on spending more than 12 months on the island, then you would have to pay employee contributions to the Spanish state. To benefit from state health care, you must obtain a E106 form from the Department for Work or the Inland Revenue in the UK.
Types of work available
We suggest you try to look for employment opportunities while on holiday, rather than buying a one-way ticket to Lanzarote. A studio apartment costs around 400€ per month excluding bills and other living costs, therefore it is recommended you come with some savings or try to find shared accommodation to begin with.
If you are a skilled worker such as builder, carpenter, painter then self-employment (autonomo) is the best option for you. If you’re not a fluent Spanish speaker and waiting in long queues is not for you, then we suggest you go through a Gestoria - a type of company that helps citizens with paperwork, taxes and other bureaucratic matters.
Seasonal work is widely available on the island: bartenders, baristas, waiters, dancers, reps, chefs, animators, hotel entertainers, bouncers, housekeepers and in average, these jobs will earn you just a little over 1000€ per month. Most young people looking for seasonal work will often take 2-3 jobs and will be paid cash in hand.
If you’re planning on permanently moving in Lanzarote, then Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and Arrecife are the best resorts to look for work, as more opportunities are available here. You will find more admin positions, jobs in IT or telecommunications, teaching opportunities and jobs in the healthcare system (doctors, nurses).
Usually, companies will offer you an initial 3 month contract, with an extension possibility of further 3, 6 or 9 months. After that, the Spanish law forces companies to offer you a fixed contract.
Where to look for work
You have to physically be on the island in order to get a job, as most jobs are found either in newspapers or by word of mouth. There are little if any job opportunities that can be arranged prior to arriving on the island. Many expats have said that it is more about who you know rather than what you know type of situation when it comes to employment so it’s important to make a lot of connections and meet new people - one opportunity leads to another!
Your best chance of finding work is to go and ask around in hotels, restaurants, shops, nightclubs etc depending on what type of work you’re interested in.
Newspapers and magazines where they have a special job section - Bolsa de Trabajo in Spanish are The Gazette or Estohay. There are also job opportunities online on websites or forums.