Visas and entrances of audiovisual material

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The authorizations required to reside and work in Spain depend on the worker\’s country of origin:

The procedures vary depending on the length of stay in Spain, whether you are a self-employed worker or an employed person, and in this case, whether you work for a Spanish company or a foreign company.


The Council of Ministers approved in 2021 the instructions that establish a new entry and stay procedure for professionals from third countries who carry out an activity in the audiovisual sector, under the umbrella of Law 14/2013, of 27 September, to support entrepreneurs and their internationalization.

With this initiative, progress is being made in the development of the “Spain, Audiovisual Hub of Europe” included in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, which includes the need to adopt the necessary regulatory measures to simplify the administrative procedure for authorizations and visas in this sector derived from the economic interest of this sector.

Three routes of entry and permanence for foreign professionals who carry out an activity in the audiovisual sector.

  1. A first route is established for professionals in the audiovisual sector who are going to stay in Spain for up to 90 days in any 180 days period, who will be exempt from the obligation to obtain a work authorization and a visa if they come from those visa-exempt countries according to community regulations.
  2. The second route is intended for those professionals in the audiovisual sector who are going to stay in Spain for more than 90 days, up to a maximum of 180 days. In these cases, foreigners will be able to obtain a visa that will be sufficient to remain and exercise their activity in Spain during its validity. In addition, it is foreseen that those foreigners who initially had come to Spain for a period of 90 days of stay in any period of 180 days may, exceptionally, request a stay authorization for the audiovisual sector for a maximum period of 180 days
  3. Finally for the third way; A residence permit is developed, configured as a single permit for foreigners who are going to reside and work in the audiovisual sector for more than 180 days


For these three routes of entry and permanence, the possibility is enabled for artists or professionals to remain in Spain with their direct relatives.

This new procedure also allows underage artists or professionals to arrive in Spain and carry out their activity in the audiovisual sector accompanied by their parents, in order to preserve the interest of the minor.

Useful information to work in Spain


All the material introduced to the Canarian archipelago in order to carry out cinematographic shootings, video recordings, etc, must be accompanied by an ATA carnet. This is a necessary document for temporary imports that allows the transfer of work equipment in an easy and less costly way.

The Chamber of Commerce of the country of origin issues the ATA carnet. The production company that needs to export its material must present a list of all merchandise that is going to be transferred and its approximate value. The Chamber of Commerce then demands the deposit of a fee on a percentage of the declared value of the merchandise, which can be paid in cash or by means of a bank guarantee.

The ATA carnet is issued with a years validity and must be rubber stamped on entry and exit at the corresponding customs office. If this is not done, the Chamber of Commerce will not return the deposited fee.The Chamber of Commerce of Gran Canaria requires a deposit on a percentage of the declared value of the goods, which can be paid in cash or through a bank guarantee.

An ATA carnet (for temporary imports/exports) issued is valid for a year and has to be stamped at the point of entry at the relevant customs post and on exit, otherwise the Chamber of Commerce will not refund the deposit paid. The carnet costs 166.50 Euros and includes 4 trips per year; if this number is exceeded an additional 9 Euros is charged. The carnet is delivered after two or three days, depending on the complexity of the carnet, once the relevant Chamber of Commerce has received the documentation from the firm.

The following documentation must be provided (it will be forwarded first by email and the originals can be provided when collecting the carnet):

  • ATA carnet request sheets + list of goods (4 signed and stamped copies).
  • Insurance cover application if this option is chosen (2 signed and stamped copies).

For an ATA carnet to be issued a guarantee must be provided to ensure payment of the import duties in the country/territory of temporary admission. The amount of the guarantee will depend of the destination country/territory and can range from 25% to 100%.

To provide a guarantee, one of the following options must be chosen:

  • Option 1: Bank guarantee or deposit in a current account of the relevant sum on the value of the goods. This sum/guarantee is refunded when the ATA carnet is returned to the issuing Chamber.
  • Option 2: Global Insurance (AXA Seguros). With this option, the National Suisse insurance company guarantees the import duties on your behalf. The cost is 0.75% of the value of the goods + Taxes 0.25% + local VAT. In any case, the minimum cost of the insurance is 30 Euros + taxes. If you choose the insurance option, the completed carnet request sheet should be sent immediately and the insurance cover application as soon as possible.
  • Option 3: Deposit in cash corresponding to the percentage set by the country.


For further information please visit the website of the Chamber of Commerce.

Filming permits

The type of permits needed will depend on the island locations that companies or production companies responsible for filming, advertising and photographic projects select to include in their work plan. The exact permit needed will depend on the competent authority in each location (whether Cabildo, National Parks, Canary Islands Coastal Protection Service, General Directorate of Traffic, Town Council, municipal office, etc.) which is responsible for the management and authorisation of the use of these areas (beaches, natural areas, roads, heritage buildings, public buildings or infrastructures, private properties, etc.)