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Filming in the Region of Madrid


The Region of Madrid is a destination for international productions. The talent of the professionals and crews, the great technical expertise of the audiovisual companies based in the region, the diversity of the locations available and the tax incentives are attracting more and more international shoots to Madrid.

The production of international audiovisual projects in Madrid generates great opportunities. International audiovisual professionals wanting to work in the Community of Madrid and in Spain must apply for authorisations to enter and work in the country for professional reasons.

Within the framework of the central government's project 'Spain Audiovisual Hub of Europe’, the administrative procedure for the entry and residence of foreign audiovisual professionals has been simplified.


The instructions determining the new procedure for entry and residence of third-country nationals working in the audiovisual sector are regulated in Order PCM/1238/2021 of 12 November , following the Agreement of the Council of Ministers of 2 November 2021.

The official instructions include three different ways to access and stay in Spain for professionals working in the audiovisual sector, depending on the period of stay of the applicant.

  1. Audiovisual professionals who will stay in Spain for up to 90 days in any 180-day period do not have to obtain a work permit and a visa if they come from countries exempt from visa requirements under EU regulations.
  2. Professionals in the audiovisual sector who are going to stay in Spain for more than 90 days, up to a maximum of 180 days can obtain a visa that will be sufficient to stay and carry out their activity in Spain for the duration of their stay. In addition, foreigners who initially came to Spain for a 90-day stay in any 180-day period can apply for a specific permit for the audiovisual sector for a maximum period of 180 days.
  3. The third way is by obtaining a residence permit which is a specific permit for foreigners who will reside and work in the audiovisual sector for more than 180 days.

Pursuant to these three ways of entry and residence, foreign artists or professionals can stay in Spain with their direct family members, a key element for many professionals.

This new procedure also allows under-age artists or professionals to entry in Spain and work in the audiovisual sector accompanied by their parents, in order to preserve the interests of the minor

Another important element of this new procedure is that it broadens the definition of audiovisual professional to include not only renowned talent or artists, but also all the technical professionals who take part in the production.

This new procedure will benefit audiovisual companies that operate creating both traditional content and the new digital multimedia and interactive productions, such as software development, video games and transmedia content or content incorporating immersive experiences, as well as those that develop artistic activities performed in front of the public and broadcasted through mass media.

This flexibility helps to encourage not only international productions coming to Spain, but also it will make it easier for local 100% Spanish productions to participate in international co-productions with fewer administrative hurdles.


Audiovisual productions whose technical equipment comes totally or partially from another country, as well as Spanish companies that decide to film abroad, must plan and organise their activity in accordance with the currently applicable transport and customs legislation.

The European Union functions as a Customs Union, whereby its 27 member countries form a single territory for customs purposes. Therefore, there are no fiscal borders and there are no controls or formalities linked to the transport of material between EU countries. However, it is advisable to make a declaration at the corresponding customs office regarding the material transported in order to be covered by the law.

The transport of equipment to or from non-EU countries is governed by the conditions of the ATA Carnet , a document needed for the transport of goods and equipment for professional work, which replaces the national export and import documentation.

The ATA Carnet streamlines customs procedures, reduces costs and allows the use of one single document to travel to several countries. It is issued by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry or its equivalent in each country. In Spain, the ATA Carnet is processed by the Spanish Chamber of Commerce .

In order to obtain an ATA Carnet, the foreign production company must provide a list of audiovisual equipment, invoices and a deposit, if applicable. The material must have a travel insurance and the documentation must include a valuated inventory. Each ATA Carnet has its own expiry date, after which the material must be returned to the country of origin.


The UK's exit from the European Union has led to changes in migration policy and specifically in the working conditions of British workers in the film industry. Currently, British workers need a visa to enter Spain for work purposes.

For professionals in the audiovisual sector, the administrative procedure for entry and residence in Spain has been simplified (see section on Visas).

Workers already residing and/or working in Spain before 31 December 2020 can apply for a new residence permit. These residents and workers are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement, even if they are working on a temporary basis.

More Information

Currently, British workers, like all other workers from non-EU countries, need a visa to enter Spain for work purposes. They will have to apply for a visa under the general regime as if they were from a third country.

The following guide published on the website of the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration explains the procedures and steps to apply for a residence document and visa to enter Spain for UK nationals.

End of COVID-19 restrictions, requirements and controls for entry into Spain

The restrictions, requirements and controls for entry into Spain for Covid-19 have been completely eliminated. No traveler is required to present any vaccination certificate, negative PCR/antigen test or recovery certificate.