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I am national of the UK and Bulgaria. I currently hold a British passport and live in the UK (since 2004). I do not have a Bulgarian ID or passport, but I believe that I can acquire those relatively easily via the official avenues.

I wish to relocate to Spain, but retain my remote job. I am currently self-employed. My primary client is happy to make me an employee IF it makes this move easier.

As far as I understand here are my possible avenues:

Option Apply as Difficulty Requirements
Self-employment visa UK national Hard 🔴 Incorporating a company in Spain, proving business feasibility, having Spanish clients, many more...
Remote Worker visa UK national ?? Supposedly will be available December 2022, but given it has already been delayed a lot, who knows. Not sure what its requirements are.
Employer of Record UK national Med 🟡 Find an EoR operating in Spain. Convince current client/employer to pay up to cover the fees
Just turn up? BG national Easy? 🟢 Enter Spain with BG national ID / passport

All options will require me to apply for residency and work permits, as far as I understand.

Is this correct? Are there other avenues?


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All options will require me to apply for residency and work permits, as far as I understand.

Spain can (and as far as I'm aware does) require EU citizens to register, but their right to work in Spain is automatic. For example, if you were searching for a job in Spain you would prove that you are authorized to accept employment by showing a Bulgarian passport or national ID card.

Even the registration requirement is carefully worded in EU law to avoid any mention of a "permit": rather, there is a registration "receipt." This terminology seeks to underline that your right to live and work in Spain flows from EU treaties rather than from a discretionary grant of permission by Spanish authorities.

So yes, the last option is definitely the easiest, and it is so easy that there really isn't much point in considering other options unless you find that getting a Bulgarian passport or ID is somehow more difficult than you think.

Being an employee of your primary client rather than a contractor is likely to make your move easier if and only if your primary client is in Spain (more precisely, if they already have employees on their payroll in Spain or are willing to set up a payroll operation there for you, perhaps through a third-party payroll processor). If your client would want to put you on the payroll anywhere else, things get somewhat complicated and more than a bit sketchy, since you would be paying payroll taxes and social security contributions in a place where you are neither living nor working.

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    Additionally, if you are self-employed in Spain (and pay taxes and self-employment social security ("autónomos") in Spain), it is legal for you to sell your services to your client abroad. If your client is in the EU it will be even easier.
    – Pere
    Commented Sep 19, 2022 at 21:38

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