On a great number of occasions, you may be asked for a work-life report as a foreigner in Spain, whether it is to access a job, to receive unemployment benefits, for retirement, or for an immigration procedure. That is why it is essential that you fully understand what an employment history report is (called “informe de vida laboral” in Spanish) and all the situations in which it is required. In this article you will learn all the details and step-by-step procedure to obtain it (and completely for free!).
What is the “Informe de vida laboral”?
An employment history report (called vida laboral in Spanish) is a document issued by the Spanish Social Security that contains all the interactions and relationships that you have had with this institution.
That is to say, it includes (in chronological order) all the data corresponding to your work history in Spain, specifying the conditions of each job you had.
Thus, this report details:
- The total number of years you have been contributing to Social Security in Spain.
- All the places where you have been working (in order), as well as the date when the contract started and when it ended.
- The type and modality of employment contracts you have had in each case.
- If you have been registered as a self-employed worker (autónomo) and for how long.
- A summary of all the situations assimilated to registration in which contributions have been made; such as paid vacations not taken, if you have received unemployment benefits, and other similar agreements.
As you can see, your employment history includes in detail your employment situation at all times since you started working in the country, as well as the periods in which you have been unemployed or self-employed.
That is why this document will be essential for a large number of procedures and formalities, and you will be forced to request it from the government (something that, as we will see below, is quite simple).
Just so you can identify it, it looks like this:
Let’s see why this document is so important and when will it be required.
When is the employment history report used in Spain?
There are at least four situations in which you must submit your informe de vida laboral:
To prove a specific period of work
On many occasions, when you want to apply for a scholarship, apply for a public job position, enter a rented apartment or apply for a mortgage (for example), you will be asked to prove that you have been working for a minimum period of time.
Thus, the employment record is the official document that you will have to present in these cases, ensuring that you meet the minimum requirements.
Keeping a work record for future benefits
There are certain aids or benefits that depend on the number of years you have been working and the specific conditions of each job contract.
For example, we are referring to a retirement pension, with a monetary amount to be received depending on the number of years you have contributed to Social Security.
But not only retirement.
Collecting unemployment benefits or disability benefits also depend on your work history.
Thus, the vida laboral groups and records all these parameters, which will later be reviewed to determine the amount you will get from the government.
Accessing a job
Although quite uncommon, some companies may ask you for this document through their application process.
For what purpose?
To verify that you have exactly worked in the companies included in your CV or mentioned in the interview, and during the exact period of time that was mentioned.
Thus, the employment history record could be an indispensable document for you to be accepted for a new job.
For immigration procedures
There are certain immigration procedures that require your employment history report.
We are talking, for example, about the arraigo laboral, which requires proving that you have worked for a company in the country for at least 6 months.
Furthermore, the family reunification process or the residency as a family member of an EU citizen also requires this document in order for the Spanish resident to demonstrate her capacity to economically sustain the non-EU citizen.
Is the data reflected in this report always 100% accurate?
Generally speaking, yes.
Your employment history report will reflect the reality of our interactions with Social Security and will show all dates accurately and precisely.
However, it could happen (although very rarely) that there is an error or that some specific information is missing.
That could be the case if, for example, you were working during a year in which computer systems were not yet used for registration.
But there is a solution.
If you find something is missing, simply formalize a claim to this institution providing all the missing information, as well as the documents that justify it.
And with that, they will include it so that the report is complete.
But you don’t have to worry. In 99% of the cases, the report will be complete and include all your information properly.
Requirements for requesting your employment history report
The most important requirement to request this report is to be registered with the Social Security in Spain.
That is to say, no matter your nationality, as long as you have an affiliation number with this Spanish institution you will be able to access and download this document.
But that is not all.
In addition, it will be very important that your data is properly updated at the present time, especially with regard to your current address (in case that you have moved, for example).
How to obtain you employment history report step by step
Requesting your vida laboral in Spain is completely free, and you have 4 different ways to do it as we will see below.
Our recommendation is that you use the different online options, since in this case the process is immediate and you will not have to wait to receive the document days afterwards.
However, whatever method of the following you use, it is essential that the Social Security has your DNI or NIE number (if you are a foreigner), your date of birth, and your home address (which must be your current address).
How can you request your employment history report online?
Obtaining it via the internet is very simple, and you have two different paths available depending on whether you have a digital certificate or not:
With digital certificate or cl@ave
If you have a digital certificate or cl@ave, it is always best to use this method.
To do so, you must first enter the Social Security Electronic Headquarters here.
Then go to the “ciudadanos” section, and then click on “informes y certificados.
If you scroll down to the bottom, you will find the option “informe de tu vida laboral”, which you should click.
And you will be presented with the different options to request and download this document.
In this case, you will select cl@ave or digital certificate (depending on the online ID method you have).
Important note. You may encounter some errors or you may not be able to finish the process.
That is why we recommend, before doing anything, to read the technical requirements of the platform, which you can find here.
Only certain browsers and specific conditions are supported, so you may need to upgrade your system or change your browser in order to download the report successfully.
No digital certificate
On the other hand, you may not have a digital certificate.
In that case, and if you still want to continue requesting it online, you must choose the option “sin certificado” within the different boxes we saw in the previous step.
Once you have completed the form, you will receive an application receipt.
Afterwards, you will receive your employment report at the address associated with your data. It is important that this information is up to date, because if you have moved, they will send it to the previous address.
Requesting your vida laboral via SMS
It is also possible to request the employment history with your smartphone (by sms), and this option is still totally free.
The only thing you must check is that the Spanish Social Security has your correct phone number.
How does the process work in this case?
First of all, you must enter this link.
Once inside, fill in the data requested by the platform, mainly your DNI or NIE, plus date of birth.
You will then receive a code to your phone via SMS, which you must type in on your computer (as a new section will open), and automatically after entering this code the report will be uploaded and sent to you by mail.
Requesting the employment history by phone
Finally, you can also request the report calling via phone.
The contact number is the +34901502050, and the customer service hours are from 9 am to 7 pm from Monday to Friday.
You will have to leave your data (ID card or address), specify which document or report you are requesting, and within a week it will be sent to your home address by postal mail.
Please note, however, that this option is not available in all regions and provinces of Spain, so we recommend you use one of the previous ones.
Remember that if you have any questions, our team of lawyers is at your complete disposal. Ask us anything here: