How to Apply For Unemployment as a Foreigner in Spain

The prestación por desempleo de nivel contributivo, commonly known as paro, is a social service that seeks to protect workers who have lost their jobs or have seen a sharp reduction in their work hours. Every worker who pays into the social security system contributes to this fund through their paycheck, at a rate that is usually less than 2%.

Everything related to the work world is regulated through the SEPE – el Servicio Público de Empleo Estatal.

COMO_SEPE Office Seville

Do I qualify for paro?

Most employers pay social security for their employees, and each day worked equals a día cotizado. When your contract is terminated you may be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits if you meet a few key requirements.

Those interested in applying for paro must have a social security number (this will be on your paycheck stub) and have been employed for a minimum of 360 days during the last six years. However, it’s not necessary that your 360 días cotizados be consecutive or with the same employer.

If you have worked for less than 360 days, you may still be entitled to a small subsidy, depending on the number of days and hours you worked.

In short, if you are on a scholarship like the Language and Culture Assistant Program, are self-employed, or have not been working the minimum amount of days, you do not qualify for compensation under the unemployment program. You are also not entitled to unemployment benefits if you voluntarily leave your job.

Where should I go to ask for paro? And when?

Once you’re officially dado de baja, or taken off payroll, you will be given a few documents: your finiquito (bonus for finishing a contract, in the event that you’ve not been fired but let your contract run its course), your certificado de empresa that is a tally of your working days and wages during your contract, and your last paycheck stub, called a nómina. You should also ask your employer if you have any vacation days to use up before you are elegible to apply for unemployment benefits.


Remember that you must apply for paro within 15 days of the termination of your contract. Those with paid vacation days can sign up within 15 days after their paid vacation days have run out.

The easiest way to get an appointment to sign up for paro is through the SEPE’s online cita previa platform. Simply put in your zip code and NIE number, and you’ll be assigned to the nearest SEPE office, as well as given a date and time. Make sure the date is after your final day of work, or you’ll be making an extra trip.

What do I bring with me to my paro appointment?

You should bring the following documentation to your cita:

  • A valid NIE and copy
  • Your passport and copy of information page
  • A copy of the Solicitud de Prestación
  • La Tarjeta del Paro (if you have one)
  • Your last two paycheck stubs
  • Certificado de Empresa or other document, stating you’ve been let go
  • Any degrees obtained in Spain or legalized in Spain through homologación
  • Your bank account details

If this is your first time signing up for the prestación, you’ll have to make two appointments, called a cita mixta in Andalucía.  In your first appointment you’ll get a document called a Tarjeta del Paro, which is necessary for the second appointment, in which you hand in your documentation and give your bank details to receive your money.

If you have asked for unemployment before, ask for a cita previaSolicitud de prestación contributiva – Reanudación. This is a single appointment to update your details and apply for the prestación.

How much money will I get? How long can I be unemployed for?

Each case is different, but the monetary compensation will depend on several factors: Do you have children? Have you asked for unemployment benefits in the past? Do you work part-time? How much money is claimed on your paycheck stub? Has your salary changed in the last six months?

The best way to find out approximately how much money you’ll receive and how many months you’re entitled to benefits is through SEPE’s online simulator.

During the first six months of the prestación, you have a right to claim 70% of the gross amount on your last paycheck. After six months, that amount drops to 50% for the duration of your unemployment months, or until you are hired and dada de alta in the social security system again.

I got hired. Now what?

Congratulations! Your employer will usually do all of the dirty work for you, but should you need to cancel your benefits, you can make an appointment at your nearest SEPE, choosing “Baja de Prestación” or calling SEPE’s hotline, 901 11 99 99.

Have more questions about working in Spain? We’d love to hear from you. Email us at

Author: Como Consulting Spain

Cat and Hayley are relocation specialists who can help you move to, live in and work in Spain. We'd love to hear from you!

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    • Most in depth article I’ve found on Paro. Brill.

      What is the Solicitud de Prestacion and how do you get it?

      Post a Reply
      • Hi Pete. Thanks for the heads up, looks like the SEPE updated their website and the link was broken. It’s fixed now. The solicitud de prestación is the official form you fill out with all of your personal information to request your unemployment payments.

        Post a Reply
        • Great thanks.

          Also, if Paro is 70%, is there a limit on how much you get? Surely if you were lucky enough to be picking up a million a month they wouldn’t fork out 700k would they?!

          Post a Reply
          • You know people who make that much money?! Color us baffled!

            Maximums depend on a number of things, not just how much you have on your nómina. if you have children, you get slightly more. Max in 2014 was about 1400 if you have two or more children.

          • Ah ok. Any idea what the limit is without any dependents?

          • Yep, here’s the most complete and latest info we’ve found:
            – Importe mínimo mensual de la prestación por desempleo o paro:

            Si no tiene hijos a su cargo: 497 euros.
            Si tiene al menos un hijo a su cargo: 664,74 euros.

            – Importe máximo mensual de la prestación por desempleo:

            Si no tiene hijos a su cargo: 1087,20 euros.
            Si tiene un hijo a su cargo: 1242,52 euros.
            Si tiene dos ó más hijos a su cargo: 1397,83 euros.

  1. Really helpful article, made sense of a lot of things and i’ve shared this page with lots of English speakers in the same situation!

    After the appointment, what happens? Do we have to do a “signing on” via the website with the username and password they gave us etc? I can’t seem to find any advice on where to do this etc. and no one at the time told me anything!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Rob, thanks for sharing!

      The next step after you’ve been approved is that you’ll have a letter sent with your vida laboral listed, as well as the number of days and monthly amount of help you’ll receive. You do not have to do anything further, unless 90 days pass, in which you’ll have to sign online and update that you’re still in paro. If you do not do this, you risk having the prestación taken away.

      Once you’re hired, a gestor or your employer will take care of putting you back into social security, so you’ll be paid your corresponding days the following month. This means that, if you’re given 700 euros and you’re hired and dado de alta on the 15th, you’ll receive half of your payment the month after being put back into the system. Good luck!

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      • Thanks for all the info. I have another question. I had my meeting at the unemployment offic, where I have them my bank details and I received a document ´Solicitud de prestación contributiva`.. The woman said that I will receive the information by post. Do I have to do anything else or just wait?

        Post a Reply
        • Hi Thomas, glad to hear you found it useful, and hopefully something great is on the horizon! The Solicitud should be all complete if you’ve handed in your nómina and bank information, so the INEM will send a document to you, via post, regarding how much you’ll receive, and for how long. The employee probably gave you an idea, but this document also has the date that you’ll need to update your paro, should you be unemployed for more than 90 days. It’s important to go back and update by the specified date, or you could get a fine. If memory serves, your money is usually deposited monthly on or around the 10th of the month, and partial months are retropaid. Good luck!

          Post a Reply
  2. Do I have to work 360 days in the last six years in Spain or in general ?

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      • Hi Como, really helpful article and comments – thank you.

        I’m a South African citizen (with an EU Dutch passport) who moved to Alicante a year ago – my Spanish 5 month contract is coming to an end on October 30th and I’m interested in applying for unemployment benefits until I find a new job.

        What paperwork or documents do I need to prove that I was employed previously in South Africa, in order to prove my 360 days of work in the past 6 years? If the documents are in English, do they require official translation – and do you have any recommendations in Spain for this?

        Thanks in advance

        Post a Reply
        • Hi Gareth, you can only apply for unemployment benefits from another country if that country as an agreement with Spain. And, yes, any documents not in Spanish must have an official translation. You can google the list and find an ES-EN ‘traductor oficial’ in your area, but be sure to shop around for rates.

          Good luck!

          Post a Reply
  3. Goodday ,my contract is ending soon and I will be going to my country for ten days will I still qualify for paro?

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  4. really useful stuff.. However I am having an issue getting my ertificado de empresa & finiquito or payslips out of my ex boss.. he is ignoring me and it is now the 15th day.. Will I be wasting my time going to a cita without these? What do I do? When I left he said he would send them to me at the end of the month.. I am guessing he meant the end of this month now. Apparently this is quite a common occurrence here.

    Post a Reply
    • Bill, we’re sorry to hear you’re having issues, and it’s sadly not too uncommon. Did you happen to sign any paperwork regarding the finiquito? You should seek legal action if you’re not given what you’re entitled to, provided it’s worth the money to spend on a lawyer. Please let us know if we can help recommend someone.

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks.. I was just sent the finiquito to sign only yesterday after asking so often…but they told me not to put the date on, after I initially put it after my signature…. Cant the soc security investigators help or wont they get involved.. a lawyer could take forever and cost thousands!.. what about the police? Do they get involved?… it seems there is nothing I can do about this and they, like others, will get away with it. maybe you could recommend a lawyer or union that helps in these cases that dont charge

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      • If they make me sign for the finiquito when they do eventually give it to me, do I use a lawyer or JP(is there such a thing in Spain)as a legal witness to verify that I was only given it on that date.. whenever they decide to actually move themselves on this!!? What legal document can I get them to sign that they have given it to me on that date?

        Post a Reply
        • Hi Again Bill,
          We’re so sorry this is happening but as Cat said before, it is not at all uncommon. I (Hayley) actually refused to sign a finiquito based on the fact that the information was all wrong and the back pay that they owed me was not stated. I was advised this by a lawyer because once you sign your finiquito you as relinquishing all rights to legal action, basically agreeing that all debts have been settled. If you are talking about a sizable amount of money then you can seek legal recourse. Please email us at and we can recommend someone to take on your case. However, bare in mind that if the sum of money you are seeking is any less than several hundred euros that it is not worth your time or effort – these cases can take years to resolve!

          Post a Reply
  5. Related to the Finiquito, I am enquiring about getting mine from the academy I am on an October-July contract with and they have said that my holiday pay was used up over the Christmas and Easter breaks, which I think in total add up to about two weeks. Is this correct or am I still entitled to anything still?

    Post a Reply
    • There are special laws / convenios for educators whose holidays are not petitioned (you never asked for those days off, they were given to you because your educational institution was closed during Christmas and Easter holidays) receive a full finiquito upon completion of their contract. However, there are plenty of academies and private schools which ignore these rules and trick, lie or simply ignore the law so they will not have to pay. You are welcome to point out that you are entitled to your full finiquito, but if they’re not willing to pay you’d have to file a denuncia and take them to court, which could take years.

      Post a Reply
  6. Hi there ,

    I am finding very helpful your infos! Thanks for them all!
    I got question tho. I have been working in Spain past 3 years all together 1 year and one month . My contract is ending 19.7 2015 however this is my almost second month on Baja due to health issue .
    My Baja is ending next week and I was thinking to cut my contract but now I see if I do that I won’t get Paro . What is the best to do ? I don’t want to return back to work because I am remaining on medication and need to take break .
    Is there any way company can do mutual termination of my contract and I won’t have any hassle after with Paro ?
    Also I still don’t know how much money will I receive for my Paro and what my payslip will look like since they will be the last two as you mentioned I need them to bring to the office .
    Maybe my basic salary will be lower because of Baja in my payslip?
    Thanks a lot

    Post a Reply
    • Ps – does Baja affect my basic salary in the payslip ? How much I should expect in my salary at the end of the month if I am on Baja? many thanks M.

      Post a Reply
      • Hi Martin,
        Thanks for reading, we’re glad you’ve found the information helpful. Unfortunately we cannot say for sure how your baja will affect your paro or your pay, that’s something you should consult with the business you work for or a gestor. Best of luck to you.

        Post a Reply
  7. I’d like to ask about the TIE. I’ll be in the process of renewing it. It has been approved, but I will not have the card yet, just the old one (it’ll be in the process of making the card). But it’s has been approved the renewal. Is there any problem in asking for the benefit?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Juliana, bring your expired TIE and proof of approval for the new card, and you’ll be set. It’s used for proof of person and the person attending you will just make sure your name, TIE and social security number match up. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks for the information!!

        Post a Reply
  8. Hi, great blog, found it very helpful.

    I finished my contract today, June 30, and I got an appointment for the 15th of July. This will be the first appointment. I am worried this won’t be within the allotted 15 days. Could you help with this?

    My appointment was the first appointment available, via the website. does the second appointment have to be completed within the 15 days too?

    Thanks in advance, best wishes.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Andy,

      We’d suggest calling the fijo line in your province. I was able to get an appointment the day I wanted (today, as my contract ended yesterday, too) at the time I wanted. You can find a list of the numbers here: Simply explain that you’re now off contract and you’d like the tarjeta de demanda as soon as possible, and they may even be able to schedule you for the prestación appointment in the same call. Good luck!

      Good luck!

      Post a Reply
  9. Thanks for the advice. But I have a question to on. I’ll apply for the unemployment benefit but I live in the Netherlands as I do a PhD for the European commission which is paid by a Spanish university. I have to go to Spain one month before the end of my contract to take the fingerprints to renew my TIE. So I’d like to use this trip to already go for the first time to SEPE to see the documents. Is it possible? As it’ll be just to take the documents?

    If it’s not, how long it takes between the first and second appointment with SEPE? Just few days?


    Post a Reply
    • Hi Juliana, thanks for reading and reaching out.

      When you apply for unemployment, you cannot be on a work contract and must present what’s called a ‘certificado de empresa’ that states you’ve been let go or have finished your contract. What’s more, you have to renew your ‘demanda de empleo’ every 90 days or risk a fine.

      I was in the office the other day to apply and had my first and second appointments (to update my demanda and then to ask for the prestación) 30 minutes apart.

      Good luck!

      Post a Reply
      • Great read but I have a couple of questions. I finished my contract on the 31st of July and booked a cita previa online. The problem is the date they gave me for the sae is in two weeks while the prestaciones one is for next week. As I’m in the system ( I got dole last summer and 6 years ago) is it necessary for me to go to the sae one? I know in the article it says it’s not necessary, but I’ve heard conflicting reports. Thanks in advance.


        Post a Reply
        • Hi Stephen,
          Thanks for your question. If you’re in Andalucía, then you will need to renew your demanda de empleo and get your tarjeta del paro before you can sign up for your prestación. I (Hayley) did this just last week and ran into a similar problem, but they were able to give me a last minute cita for the tarjeta and I returned the following day to present documentation for the prestación. Hope that answers your questions!

          Post a Reply
          • Thanks Hayley, I rang them shortly after I sent my message and they confirmed what you said. Another thing, a colleague of mine, who applied 2 weeks before me said our academy sent her “certificado de empresa” directly to the dole office. Is this done regularly? Once again, thanks for your help?


          • Some larger empresas send their certificates directly to SEPE rather than printing them out for each individual employee. My company for example did that and the funcionario was able to pull up the certificado directly on her computer.

  10. Hi,

    I was wondering if you been working for more then a year, are there some reasons why they would deny you paro?

    Post a Reply
    • PJ, you could be denied if you’ve cheated the system (we doubt this is the case!) or if you were not contributing to social security. In all other cases, so long as you’re in the system and have been contributing, you are entitled to a prestacion.

      Post a Reply
  11. Thank you for all the help from this website. I have a question regarding the visa. Can I apply to the unemployment benefit while the extension of my visa is still being process? Or I already need to have the result? I’m asking because a friend of mine had the unemployment benefit with his visa still waiting for a result. But I don’t know if in his case it was an exception or it is a normal procedure. I’m doing a PhD in Spain.
    Thank you for any comment here

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Juliana,

      We’re a bit confused by your questions as unemployment benefits are only granted to those who are already living and working in Spain legally and who have worked a minimum of 6 months. Also, what type of visa are you referring to? We would need more information about your particular situation in order to help you.

      Post a Reply
  12. HI, can you help me, I was working as a teacher for 18 months in Madrid and was dismissed yY the school virtually the last day of term in early July with all of my holiday pay paid up until the end of early Sept. I successfully brought a claim against my employer and it was adjudged at the end of july that I had been unfairly dismissed and was awarded monies in respect of this but no job back. I had a pre booked holiday after this and on returning to Spain I have only found out that I am now able to claim unemployment benefit and respectfully ask the following question. A) given that my termination was deemed unfair and my holiday entitlement has been paid up until the 7th of September when the new school term started does that mean that I have until the 21st to apply for my benefit. unfortunately the date I have been given is the 22nd of September.
    B)If i am deemed over the 15 days am I entitled to anything at all

    Thanks for your help

    Post a Reply
    • Hu Duncan,
      It is our understanding that you have 15 day from the day your holiday pay finishes, to apply for paro: your unemployment benefit. If you have been given an appointment for past this date we suggest going to the office in person and explaining your situation. Best of luck!

      Post a Reply
  13. Hi,

    This website is very informative! Thank you so much!
    I have two questions. One is regarding the 15 days to apply for the benefit. I just want to confirm that this 15 days is to make the appointment online, not necessarily to go to the office. I was told (and read somewhere) that these 15 days was the period to make the appointment online.
    The other question is relative to the U1 form that I have due to one year that I’ve worked in the Netherlands. The problem is that the form is in Dutch. What do I do? Do they accept that? Should I do an official translation or do they accept a simple translation? Do you know something about it?

    Thank you!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Juliana,
      Yes, we have been told the same thing, as long as you make the appointment within the timeframe then you should be fine.
      As for the U1 form, we don’t know the specifics or what you are applying for but, if it’s something you need and the form is in Dutch then you will definitely need it translated into Spanish if you are going to present it for use in Spain. Best of luck!

      Post a Reply
      • Thank you for the very fast reply! This U1 is just to prove that I have worked in the Netherlands for 1 year, so they add this period to calculate the unemployment benefit.
        Just another question. Do you know if in general, when there’s a need to have a translation, this translation must be an official one (like a sworn translation) or it can be a translation that , for example, a fluent person does, but without being “official”, without stamps, etc.

        Thank you again for the help

        Post a Reply
        • Hi Sara, yes, an official sworn translation will be required. Spain’s tesorería has been cracking down on fradulent applications, and they ask that everything be in castellano for their understanding.

          Post a Reply
  14. Please help what if employer Won’t give me paper work needed to sign on?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Bob, you’ll be turned away without this paperwork. If you’re unsure of your rights, consult a lawyer and good luck!

      Post a Reply
  15. Good morning. I am a permanent resident in Spain, currently not working. I’m trying to get on to the unemployment register ( not to claim el paro). I’ve been given to arrange an appointment but when I input my NIE and date of birth the system doesn’t recognise me although I have worked in Spain before. Not sure how to proceed and would appreciate any advice, please.

    Post a Reply
    • If the computer isn’t recognizing you then it’s time to go to your nearest Oficina de Empleo. They should be able to help you sort everything out in person. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
  16. I am Pakistani national with permanent residency NIE-EU. I am entitled to the unemployment allowance in Spain and after having some job in UK (obtaining UK visa on my Pakistani passport) I am interested to move there. Do UK social security system accept my remaining unemployment allowance from Spain? Is there any way to shift my unemployment money in UK leagually?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Muhammed, we work exclusively with non-EU clients, and we’re not well-versed on UK tax law. You could ask in expat groups, as someone likely has had the same issue as you. Good luck!

      Post a Reply
  17. Hi Como,

    I was working up until July of 2015 as an English teacher in Madrid. In August many English teachers are laid off, albeit temporarily. At the time I moved provinceand since then I have been living on savings (and a small win on La Primitiva) in rural Murcia. Now I’m out of money. I have plenty more than 360 days of work behind me, but clearly it is more that 15 days since I stopped work. Does that mean I’m entitled to nothing if I were to attempt a claim now for some assistance? Some years ago I claimed unemployment and I hadn’t actually worked for many months prior to the claim. I only need assistance for a little while.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi There Fino,
      Technically you are too late to apply for paro, but there are other schemes for assistance. We would suggest you make an appointment and talk to them and see if you are elegible for any help.

      Post a Reply
      • Thank you. I will make an appointment. I don’t remember the name of the assistance I relieved last time, but you’re right, it wasn’t “paro”.

        Post a Reply
  18. May I know, how to ask for collective unemployment allowance and what are the steps need to follow? I have heard without setting a business as self-employed one can’t ask for.

    In case if its really essential to set up a business then my next question is; how one could start online trading ( while living in Spain and how to request self-employed permission and fulfil other legal formalities for this activity and ask collective unemployment allowance.

    Thanks a lot in advance for any suggestion.

    Post a Reply
  19. I have a question.. what if you leave the country. how can they know that you did that?

    Post a Reply
    • They often send letters asking you to report to the office with your passport so that they can check up on you / check your passport for stamps showing travel. Not everyone is called in, but if you’ve been selected for a check and you don’t show up, they’ll cancel your paro and fine you.

      Post a Reply
  20. I am on paro these days, if I inform SEPE to make temporary suspension as I am to travel out of Spain. Is it possible to make this kind of stop and resume afterwards in three or four months as get back?

    Post a Reply
    • You can only get a baja from unemployment if you meet one of three requirements: you begin working again, your paro runs out or you become an autonomous worker. It is assumed you cannot travel outside of Spain while on paro, lest your benefits be taken away. Good luck, Muhammad!

      Post a Reply
      • So, it means while on paro even one can’t make an informed travel of a few months.

        Well another question is, how to ask collective paro for starting a small business (and autonoma ultimately)? Is there any guidline available on this?

        Post a Reply
  21. Brilliant and really helpful!!!!

    Post a Reply
  22. I have been in full time employment for 7 years and suspect that I may be made redundant at the end of June. I work in a school that would be closed during July & August would any redundancy pay off include my salary for these months ? Also as I am nearly 63 would there be any further supplement in redundancy benefit .

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Mary, our guess is that you are fija discontinua. You may apply for benefits from the first day you are officially unemployed (you may have unpaid vacation days to “enjoy” first). Check with your company, but you only have 15 days from the day you are officially unemployed to apply. If you are laid off entirely, you will receive a severance pay, which depends on your years working and the pay scale you are on. Best wishes.

      Post a Reply
      • Mary, sorry to hear about your plight. If you have any vacation days still to claim, you’ll have to let those expire first, and then you can apply for unemployment. What you make depends on your take home salary and whether you’re full or part time. Good luck!

        Post a Reply
  23. Hi i am a bit confused once i go to the cita page im given a option of choices and i do not know which one i am applying for?
    This is my 1st time unemployed in my life – worked for 1.5 year on indifnido contract was laid off on monday 7th but my contract has been finish on the 4th.

    I just need to know which choices i need to make in the cita page to get me 1st appointment please can you help

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Wendy, if you are applying for the first time, you’ll need a cita mixta to apply for both the cartilla de paro and then ask for the renumeración. Good luck and sorry to hear of your being laid off.

      Post a Reply
  24. Hello I have worked in Spain for approx 6 years in 2014 I claimed Paro for 6 months at the full 70% rate .Then in 2015 I worked again for 6 months I have claimed Paro again but they have only given me 50 % is this correct ?

    I thought after working again the paro would reset itself and I would be entitled to the full 70%.

    If you could help it would be very much appreciated

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Stephen, you do get docked down to 50% after six months. If you think you’ve been shorted, best to consult a tax lawyer, as we are mere slaves to the Man!

      Post a Reply
    • Hi Stephen,
      We’re not paro experts and your conditions depend entirely on your initial salary and if you’ve used up all of the paro you had gained during your first working period. We’d suggest you go in and ask about the change, they’re usually very forthcoming with these things.

      Post a Reply
      • Thank you for your help

        Post a Reply
  25. One question,
    Can I renew my NIE residency card with Paro documents?
    I mean, when I loose my job, and after that my NIE get expires, How I can renew my NIE witouth job offer but under Paro? what is the process for renew and what documents needed for the police to renew the NIE?


    Post a Reply
  26. Can you tell me how a mutual termination agreement works?is the employer obliged to pay the employee anything? Does such an agreement have any effect on the company and is the employee still able to claim paro?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Sarah, if you came to the end of your contract, you are legally able to get what’s called a finiquito, which is like an end-of-contract bonus and is payable according to how long you were with the company. When you say mutual termination, could you specify a bit more? Feel free to send us an email if you’d like it to stay private.

      Post a Reply
  27. First of all. How have I never heard of this page, it’s amazing.
    My problem: I missed my apointment for demanda de trabajo today because of traffic. This apointment was 13 days after I was fired. The next apointment I was given is 25th of april – 25 days after I was fired. What will happen? Will I not be entitled to any paro?
    Your reply is much appreciated!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Louise,
      We would recommend returning to the office with all of your papers ready and simply explain your situation. If you’re currently not working be prepared to get there early and wait it out! Someone should be able to fit you in!

      Post a Reply
  28. Hi sir
    I just wanted to confirm that if i have the benifits of totel 8 mounths and i got three mounths already and same company where i was working is calling me start the work again so i can start again ? As i have still right of 5 months benifits remaning but if i start again in the same company will i lose these remaning 5 mounths ?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi There,
      If you do not use up all of your paro benefits, they remain in your “account” and the next time you claim paro you’ll start with those 5 months that were left over from before.

      Post a Reply
  29. Thank you for a very useful resource.

    I wondered if you could tell me whether it’s possible to claim ‘paro’ when working reduced hours to make it up to 70% of your previous salary?
    I am a teacher whose contract finishes in June for the summer like many other English teachers but the school has asked me to work some hours in July ( but approximately half of what I’m currently working) and am wondering if I will be worse off than not working and claiming ‘paro’?
    My boss seems to think I can claim paro to make up the difference. Please could you confirm if this is the case and how it works?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Alli,
      As far as we know you can only claim paro if you are 100% unemployed. If you boss is right, however, and you can claim paro, we’d love to hear more details.

      Post a Reply
  30. I have worked for the last 2 years teaching English in Spain. The contracts were for different academies and run from mid sept – mid June (el tiempo partial). Last year I claimed the subsidio for 3 months but I expected to be able to get the full paro this summer but apparently not. Do you know why?

    Post a Reply
    • We do actually, and unfortunately you won’t like it. In order to claim paro you have to have worked for 360 days (cumulatively) while if you have worked under that you are elegible to claim the subsidy you mentioned – a “subsidio por insuficiencia de cotización.” However, when you claimed the subsidy you essentially cashed out or used up all of your días cotizados or days worked, which means that once you started working again you were earning days starting from 0 – which is why you now do not have the requisite 360 days to claim paro. The same thing nearly happened to me (Hayley) two summers ago, but I decided to live without the subsidy one summer in order to be elegible for the full paro the following summer.

      Post a Reply
  31. Hi there, I was working for a company for 9 years and now claiming the paro since January. I start work as a teacher in October.

    When I claim Paro in July next year will the rate reset to 70% as I am earning again or will it still be at 50%?

    I saw a similar question above but I couldn´t understand if the value reset as I have obviously over 360 days and I am earning again and adding to that. Or does it just use up the paro first earned (but at 50% of the new gross earnings) and then reset after that´s gone?


    Post a Reply
    • Hi Dawn,

      Paro works a bit like a little bank account. Over the years you put into the account as you work and then when you claim paro it comes out of that account. Until you have exhausted the paro you are entitled to from your old company you will not “reset” the next time you claim paro. However, the days of paro you have in your “account” / earned can only be known by enquiring directly at your corresponding paro office. Hope that helps!

      Post a Reply
  32. I’ve been told that my contract will not be renewed so finish working on October 17th. However, i wont receive the final wage until November 1st. Do i go to the office after the 17th or after i receive my final wage?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Steven, the 15 days begin from whenever your company has given you the baja, regardless of whether or not you’ve been paid your last wage. Best to check with them to be sure you’re in the system as a baja before going to the unemployment office!

      Post a Reply
  33. Hello,
    I found your website whilst searching for some details for my friend. I’m hoping you can at least point me in the right direction as to who we should contact.
    My friend lived in Spain for about 8 years, working for 7 of those years. After her marriage broke down, she left her job and started to recieve the paro payment. Then she decided to return to her home country, but was still recieving the payments to her account. I’m not sure how long the payments continued for after she left. But she was still able to access the account. She never assumed that she was not entitled to it. But, recently she became aware that she may not have been entitled to the money as she had no intention of returning to Spain anytime soon. I believe it was a news story somewhere?
    Now she fears a possible criminal case. Although she still had no immediate intention of returning. But , as the divorce is being finalised soon, she may have to return for a short time. She is concerned that there may be problems if she does. So, with that, we would obviously like to resolve this. Who should we contact to establish what she should do. A lawyer? The Government department? Noone?
    Obviously not expecting a resolution here, but hoping you could point us in the right direction to someone or someway of discovering a solution, or even if one is needed?
    Thanks in advance, Bren

    Post a Reply
      • Thank you for the reply.

        Yes, we realise its sticky, but you have given us a starting point. Much appreciated.
        Regards, Bren

        Post a Reply
  34. I have worked in Spain for the last 12 years full time with contract and for the last 3 months part time. My contract will finish at the end of the month but I am now worried about how much the Paro will pay as I have only worked part time for the last 3 months. Ive been told that they calculated the amount you receive for the whole time you have been paying in is this true or do the calculate the last six months you have worked.

    Hope you can help


    Post a Reply
    • Hi Sheila,
      No need to worry about earning less should you need to go on paro. If you have never taken paro from the job you worked at full-time then that is the job that will reflect your unemployment payments until they run out. Once you have “emptied” the “account” you were paying into at the full-time job then your paro rate will change to reflect your part-time position. Hope that helps set your mind at ease.

      Post a Reply
  35. Hi Guys,

    Long story short, my boss started bringing up crap during ameeting about me sending poeple to another class, as their was some confusion. So he questioned my integrity and saying things like you can go to the doctors on workdays (it’s in a work policy), which I had to because of a hip problem. Also he said, your attitude in a meeting was bad, when I asked about asked collective employee problem. And during the same meeting today he said that he wanted to fire me because of 3 complaints, which was convenient because of moving afore mentioned students. He has sent me a final warning email tonight which is ridiculous. I don’t know what I can do, because I don’t know if I can work for him anymore. Can I claim el paro if he fires me? I’m on an indefinite contract. Your help is appreciated.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi there, sorry to hear that you’re having a tough time at your job. If you’re on contract and have worked for at least 360 days (in total, whether it’s with the same employer or a different one), you are entitled to both paro and an indemnización for being fired. If you have more questions, please email us!

      Post a Reply
  36. Hi my name is Philippe and found this blog very helpful. I have arranged both citas today at soib and inem. I worked in spain for the past 3 years and start to work for another company in June. This job is only temporarily until oktober so my concern is that when I request for the paro now until June when I start the new job, that I will not be qualified to receive paro again at the end of the year after the new job.. When it’s more needed.. Can some one advise please if I still will be qualified to obtain the paro after that working period of 5-6 months when I ask for paro now for 3 months?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Philippe,

      So long as you have worked the minimum and have “meses restantes”, you will be eligible for paro. For example, many teachers are only hired for ten months at a time, then fired for the summer before being rehired. For each year worked full-time, you get several months’ paro (usually two). We hope this helps.

      Post a Reply
  37. Hi Guys, I do have a question. That is true the maximum time limit for paro (24 months) has been changed only up to 18 months?

    Post a Reply
  38. Hi,
    Great info. Thank you. My issue, which I hope you can advise on is that I have worked in Spain as teacher since Feb 2015. My first contract my employer put me as Atonoma which apparently was incorrect as I only worked for them..20 hour contracted. They then realised their mistake and in April 2016 put me on employed contract till June. I then got another job in September with another school and worked their till I left to take up another job in a different school(March 2017). My contract ends at the end of June with 10 days holidays, I think.
    After my conract ends I am moving to Cadiz as I have a new job starting September.
    I know it is long winded but would I be entitled to claim unemployment in Cadiz till my contract starts.
    I am worried that the period as atonoma will have an affect.

    Post a Reply
    • Irene,
      Unfortunately, if you have not cotizado or worked a full 365 days as a contracted employee then you are not eligible for unemployment. However, there are other ayudas which you can apply for since you have worked! Your best option would be to go to the unemployment office and inquire. However, keep in mind that if you take an “ayuda” that you are essentially spending your days worked and must use up however many months of “ayuda” you qualify for before you can ask for paro in the future.

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks. That is what I thought. I have will have worked a total of 13 months as contracted teacher when June comes around so might just qualify.

        Thanks :- h

        Post a Reply
  39. Hi there, thank you for the useful info. I just have a few questions:
    1) Do I have to wait before I’ve physically attended the first appointment for the tarjeta del paro before making the second appointment with SEPE?
    2) Do I have to wait until I’ve worked my last day before making both of the above appointments, or can I just make an appointment for after my last day while I’m still working?
    3) On the SEPE website you have to select a “tipo de trámite” when making the appointment. Which option should I select for requesting unemployment benefit?

    Many thanks for your help 🙂

    Post a Reply
    • Hi James:
      1. Sometimes you can get a cita mixta, which would include both of the appointments, it just depends on your office.
      2. Yes, you cannot apply until you have finished working AND finished your “vacaciones no disfrutadas”
      3. The website is constantly changing so I don’t want to put something here and have it be wrong for future readers. Email me a screenshot of the appointment window and I’ll let you know which you need to choose!

      Post a Reply
  40. Hi, I have received my Residencia and Trabajar status according to the LEY 14/2013. Now my work contract and NIE will expire on the same date. How can I apply for Paro since my NIE is expiring? Without NIE can I apply for a Paro? Do I have to change that status of my NIE to apply for a Paro or get the Paro and extend my NIE?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Ahmed,
      Unfortunately you are not elegible for unemployment benefits if you have an expired NIE. If you apply for renewal then you can also apply for paro!

      Post a Reply
      • Hi Como Consulting Spain,

        I am also more or less in the same situation.

        Does this mean that first I should apply for the extension of my permit (without a work contract) and then when they ask me to prove the fund for survival then I will have to apply for PARO and then submit this document as a proof of income?


        Post a Reply
        • Hi Deep,
          Government subsidies including unemployment cannot be used as proof of means in order to renew residency permits.

          Post a Reply
          • My friend was doing PhD in Portugal with work contact and status as employee. After contract ended, he applied for extension (on basis of his PhD). For proof of funds, he got a letter from social security mentioning that he has unemployment benefit for 12 months.

            Don’t know why paro (unemployment benefits) can’t be accepted as source of funds in Spain.

  41. Hello. This is my first time applying for the paro. On the SEPE’s online cita previa platform website, after putting my name and postcode, which option should I click? Thanks

    Post a Reply
  42. Hi there,

    Thanks very much for providing such helpful info and links. Today I went to my local Empleo office. It’s my first time so I had booked an information appointment. The woman dealing with me gave me the “justificante demands de empleo” and told me to create a profile on SEPE’s website. She did not take my documents yet (passport copy, NIE, finiquito etc). Maybe I missed something she said, but I’m wondering when I submit my documents. Is it when they contact me or do I book another appointment online, this time selecting the “Entrega de documentación solicitada por el SEPE” option?


    Post a Reply
    • Hi PJ,
      You’ll want to request an appointment for “solicitudes de prestaciones contributivas, subsidios y PREPARA.” The second appointment type that you mention is only to turn in additional documentation that is missing or specially requested by SEPE should your application require it. Best of luck to you!

      Post a Reply
      • Thanks so much for your help!

        Post a Reply
      • Thanks again for all your help. I’m delighted to say that I have been approved for the paro, which is great!!!
        They have sent me a notice by post telling me that I’ll get my first payment in August. There are five different amounts quoted on the document and I don’t have a clue how to calculate what I’ll be getting per month. The five figures which are quoted at the end of the document relating to following:
        1. “Base de reguladora diaria”
        2. “% sobre la base reguladora”
        3. “% aplicado en función de las horas trabajadas en los últimos 180 días”
        4. “cuantía diaria”
        5. “base de cotización por Contingencias Comunes”

        If you could help I’d really appreciate it because I’m lost. If not, I’m very thankful for all of the help you have already given.


        Post a Reply
        • Hi PJ,
          The crazy mathematics of the paro office are not our forte. You can calculate your pay to be about 70% of your salary.

          Post a Reply
          • Hi,

            Is the 70% a rough guide? Is that within some boundaries (maximum/minimum) so people could expect to get less or more? Is the 70% gross or net?

            Thank you,

          • Hi James,
            It’s just a rough estimate, there are a lot of factors that come into play. The best way to get a clear idea is to make an appointment at your local Servicio de Empleo office and have them estimate it for you!

        • Hi PJ.
          I would love some advice from you as I have an appointment with my local SEPE to get obtain my first Paro. I have an appointment in late Aug and have all my paper work prepared as per the above mentioned.

          So first appointment – are there any questions they may ask or probe me about? My Spanish is ok, but it is not up to scratch, will I need to bring an interrupter or will it be straight forward?
          What happens in this appointment?

          I am due for some indemnizacion from my company but this will not be sorted out before Sept/Oct, will this effect my Paro? I mean, do they ask about it?

          The 2nd appointment is only needed if they say so (or I am missing documents)?

          Post a Reply
  43. Hi,
    Again, as everyone says, thank you so much for your help. It’s truly invaluable! Having read the last few comments I still have a question.

    This is what I understand so far.

    For the very first appointment I pick, “Solicitudes de prestaciones contributivas, subsidios y PREPARA”. In that appointment I’ll get the tarjeta del paro.

    After that appointment I have to book a second appointment to give them all of my documents. I don’t believe the mixta option exists in Madrid.

    Is that second appointment one of the other options on the list (maybe option 3: Entrega de documentación solicitada por el SEPE)? Or will the second appointment be the same option as the option I chose the first time (Option 2: Solicitudes de prestaciones contributivas, subsidios y PREPARA)?

    Many thanks for your help.

    Post a Reply
  44. Hello.

    I have been recently let go as at the end of July 2017. My job is based in Madrid.
    I am currently on a highly skilled visa according to ley 14/2013, with NIE expiry Aug 2018, as a NonEU.
    I have worked in IT 1 year and 1 month, therefore the company has offered the standard 33 days for “indemnizacion”.
    They have also given me a euro amount paid of the “vacaciones no disfruta” – it does not give number of days.

    1. It has been mentioned, “paro” can only be obtained after the vacation days run out. As it is not written on my notice, how do I know when this date/day is? I see “periodo de liqidacion = 08/2016-07/2017. Dias 0″ is this it – I can claim now?

    2. Even though I am nonEu, since I have paid social security of more than 1 year and my NIE is still valid for another year, I am entitled to unemployment/Paro for a max of 4 months, is this correct?

    3. My release date was 27/07, while my paro appointment (which I made online under “solicitudes de prestaciones contributivas, subsidios y PREPARA”) is 23 Aug – does this still fall within the 15 days? This date is ok? Or I should into the office and ask for another appointment?

    Thank you so much.
    This site has been so helpful, I am ready to kiss your feet!!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi May

      1. If it says 0 days then yes, you are elegible.
      2. It’s best to check with the office directly regarding how long your paro will last.
      3. As long as you made your appointment within 15 days of being let go, you are fine.

      Post a Reply
  45. Hi,

    when paro is being paid are payments also being made towards pension and health service As in UK, ‘dole’ money also includes payments towards pension etc.

    If not, can one pay voluntary contributions towards pensions to keep payments up?

    Thanks in advance.
    Donna Roberts

    Post a Reply
      • Hi, Thanks.

        Does that mean that pension contributions are not made automatically while on paro?


        Post a Reply
          • Thanks. So I presume I will need to carryo on my state pension contributions separately myself while on paro.

            I assumed they would be made automatically, the same as health service etc. Any idea how to start paying my voluntary state pension contributions?

  46. Hello,

    Does anyone have information on how to claim paro in one go?
    I heard if you start a company there is a way.

    Alternatively does anyone have any lawyers in this area to assist with claiming in one go?

    Thank you.

    Post a Reply
  47. Please am Spanish working in U.K. and now back to spain can I apply unemployment benefit in Spain. ?

    Post a Reply
  48. I have two jobs which will finish a week after each other. The first to finish is a 20hr contract and the second a 3hr contract. If I want to claim paro, which contract will they base the contributions on? Will they add them together or base them on the last contract worked?

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Sarah,
      That really depends. The workings of the INEM are a bit beyond us at times. Your best best is to enquire in person for an estimate!

      Post a Reply
  49. Hi, thanks so much for this article, it has been so useful! I just have one question; I have gone through all the steps( registering as unemployed and giving back details etc) and am now just waiting to receive the letter with details, I had the final appointment 2 weeks ago and still haven’t received any information… is this normal? And along with that do you know how long it usually takes for the letter to come through? Thanks on advance!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Hannah,
      That depends on where you have applied and their payment cycles. Here in Andalucía letters would take about 15 days to arrive and payment was always made the following month around the 10th. If you’re curious or need an update we’d advise checking in with the office directly.

      Post a Reply
  50. I work with two company and one will finish in October but other still remain can I have right to get paro?

    Post a Reply
  51. Hello,
    This website is incredible!

    I have empadronamiento for 3 years and have been working, but I never applied for residency.
    I have an NIE number.
    Am I entitled to paro without having residency?

    Thank you very much!

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Danny,
      We’re sorry but if you’ve been working illegally then you are not elegible for state subsidies / paro.

      Post a Reply
  52. Hi, what can happen if you claim paro and leave the country. I’ve heard this is common but I don’t know the consequences or chances of being found out. I’ve been working for 20 years paying the unemployment tax on a high salary, so I deserve something.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Arron,
      We totally agree you deserve your paro, but they Spanish government will only allow you 15 days out of the country while you are on unemployment. This time has to be previously advised. Some people get away with travel while on the dole, others are checked in on periodically during this period (asked to appear at the office once a month for example). Here’s a great article explaining the allowed periods and what can happen if you don’t meet them –

      Post a Reply
  53. Hi there, I do have a question, hoping you can clarify for me. Are the 360 days minimum days worked, or calendar days?
    Thanks in advance!

    Post a Reply
  54. Hi, I got let go after 10 months now. How much Paro will I receive?

    Also, I was employed in Spain for 4 months in 2014 (and dont have any other employment in Spain). Had left abroad and returned

    Post a Reply
  55. Hey. In Norway if you quit your job you get a 8 week quarantine, where you are not paid unemployment benefits. if you are fired it is 7 days.

    I am wondering i how this works in Spain, if you quit your job. do you not qualify for paro?
    if you do is there a quarantine?(I have worked for more than 360 days)

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Johnny,
      In Spain if you quit your job you are not elegible for unemployment benefits, but there are other “ayudas” that you might be elegible for in the meantime.

      Post a Reply
  56. Hello. Thank you so much for allowing us to ask questions and providing us with advice and information. My question is that I worked for a company for one year. My contract finished on the 1st of September 2017. I had not applied for the paro (promised another job which fell through), anyway point is that it is clearly more than 15 days and have been told by a friend that now I am not eligible. basically i would like to know is there still a way to apply or is it impossible. I have an appoint this week but would like to know a little in advance
    Thank you

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Tony,
      The only people who can really answer if you are elegible are not is the office itself. Go ahead to your appointment and see what they tell you! Good luck!

      Post a Reply
  57. I have just made all of this steps and I don’t know if it changed, or it depends on the office, but my steps were slightly different. I could not register as unemployed online. I needed to go to the office, take a number and wait till my turn (around 30 min). They demanded my NIE number (the official document), passport or ID with the photo confirming my identity and very important – a prove of the address. My office was a regional one, that only serve one zone in Madrid and without a prove I really live in the zone they could not register me. As this prove they need a contract for the rent, empadronamiento or at least a bill with the address and my name. They asked simple question as if I can work full hours and which area I am looking for a job at. You need to know how long did you work for each company and date for every document, for example for driving licence I needed to tell the exact date I got it. After being register I am already eligible for the unemployment benefit. The only trick is to visit or register online every 2 month at the dates they tell you. Then, if you dpn’t just want the money, but you also want the office to actively look for a job well taiored, personalized offerts you need to make sth that is called “presentacion”. In order to do that you make a “cita” online and bring all the documents you mention, and much much more. Interestingly, your university etc diplomas are only valid if being homologated, they do not accept european union documents, which is kind of stupid and deprive Bologna system from any sense.
    Hope it helps 🙂

    Post a Reply
  58. Dear Comoconsulting,

    Thanks for all your informative posts. I’m (non-EU national) approaching end of my work contract and have been looking for proper information. My situation:
    Working at university as researcher and also enrolled as PhD student. TIE status is “autoriza a trabajar”. My (3-year) work contract is going to expire by the end of 2018. To complete my PhD, I’ll have to renew my TIE on basis of university enrollment as doctorado. Will they change my status to “student”? If yes, will I be eligible to get paro in that case?, given that I’ve contributed to social security for three years.

    Thank you.

    Post a Reply
    • Hi Muhsin,
      We’re pretty sure that you are elegible for paro even if you are a student, however the best thing you can do it visit your local social security office and enquire directly!

      Post a Reply


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