Do you have a job offer in Spain in a highly qualified position? Do you have a qualified degree at a prestigious university and would like to work in Spain? Then the highly skilled professional visa is your work permit. But, how to start? Which are the required documents and its procedure? In this post, we are going to go over everything you need to know about this work visa. Are you ready?
WHAT IS THE HIGHLY QUALIFIED VISA?
The Highly Qualified Visa or Highly Skilled Professional Visa is a work permit that enables citizens from outside the European Union to live and work in Spain legally, provided that they will start working in a managerial or qualified position.
Which are, exactly, the labor profiles that would be eligible to apply for this work permit as a highly skilled professional?
- Managers and individuals who manage a relatively large group of people inside a company
- Individuals who work in really technical and specialized job positions
- Non-EU citizens who finished their superior studies in a prestigious business school or university
This residence permit, regulated by Article number 71 from the Entrepreneur Law, grants the before mentioned individuals a two-year residency authorization (plus renewals up to 5 years).
There are more benefits apart from the fact that you will be able to live and work legally in Spain. Furthermore, you will also be able to move freely through the Schengen area and bring your family to Spain with you.
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE WORK PERMIT AS A HIGHLY QUALIFIED WORKER
Having a job offer in Spain is one thing, but being eligible for the highly skilled professional visa is another.
Then, how can you make sure that your concrete situation matches what the Spanish Immigration Law requires to successfully obtain this residence permit?
We will go over the main conditions and situations that would be aligned with the Entrepreneur Law.
First of all, and as how we mentioned before, you should take a look at your profile. One of the main reasons that the Immigration Office declines applications for this kind of visas is because the applicant has not studied in a prestigious university or business school.
Therefore, if you would like to obtain a highly qualified visa, it is completely recommended to have completed a masters degree or a Ph.D.
THE COMPANY YOU WILL BE WORKING FOR
If you have an advanced profile with a master or Ph.D., the next thing to consider would be the company you will be working for, another crucial factor.
Which kind of companies are a perfect fit for this residence permit?
- Large business and corporate groups. There are several factors that determine that your company is considered big enough, and it should just meet one of them. We are talking about factors such as the company having more than 250 employees, that it generates more than 50M € in revenue per year, or that it has net assets valued higher than 43M€. There are other factors such as foreign investment and stock valuation also to be considered.
- You work for a Small or Medium Enterprise (SME), but the company operates on a strategic sector for the country. That is something certified by the Directorate-General for Trade and Investment. Which are the sectors that would roughly fit here? Renewable energies, communication, technologies, water treatment… just to mention a few.
- The project that the company develops must be aligned with the socio-economic interest of Spain. Mainly, this implies that the company generates employment over time and that its activity contributes to the technological and innovative development of the country.
THE TASKS YOU WILL BE DOING FOR THE COMPANY
Finally, the last part: your work inside the company. It is not enough that you have a skilled profile or that the company is aligned with the socio-economic development of Spain. Your concrete tasks also matter, and in a deep sense.
There are two main options here.
The first situation is that in which you are going to execute a managerial position in the company operating in Spain. This is, if you are a large corporate employer.
On the other hand, you do not hold a managerial position, but the concrete tasks you perform are regarded as highly skilled. In this case, the job description that you are going to send into the competent authority is really important.
It must clearly state how those specific tasks are regarded as advanced. There is no specific guideline here, but dealing with hundreds of clients worldwide has taught us how to specifically prepare this documentation.
Therefore, if you would like to make sure you successfully obtain your residence permit as a highly-skilled professional after the application, we would really recommend that you let us help with all the required forms.
YOUR EARNINGS: THE SALARY REQUIREMENT
If you go through the Immigration Law regarding work permits and highly qualified professionals, you will now find clauses related to the minimum amount of money you should be earning in the country for your application to be successful.
And this is really important.
We have seen many cases in which individuals got their applications rejected just because their salary was not big enough.
How much should you be earning? It depends:
- If you get a job offer as a manager/director, a minimum of 54.000€ per year is required.
- If you are a scientific or intellectual professional, that amount gets reduced to 40.000€ per year.
Finally, you must take into consideration that the variable part of your salary won’t be considered for the total amount.
Nevertheless, you can enjoy a 25% reduction on the required amount provided that you haven’t reached the age of 30 or the company that is hiring you is a PYME (small or medium-sized company).
YOU ARE HIRED BY A UNIVERSITY OR BY THE GOVERNMENT
Finally, we wanted to address this additional situation, one that does not fit any of the before mentioned cases.
You do not necessarily need to have a job offer from a company to obtain a highly qualified visa. You can also have an offer by a public institution such as a University or the Government to be eligible too.
If you have a job offer from any of those institutions to conduct research for them, operate as a teacher or a technician, you can also apply for this special type of residency.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO APPLY FOR THE HIGHLY SKILLED VISA IN SPAIN
As with all the residence permits in Spain, there are some documents that are common to any visa and some specific. In order to apply for the highly qualified work permit, you will need to provide:
- ID photo (passport type).
- Passport (original) and a copy. You should bear in mind that the passport cannot be more than 10 years old.
- Document proving that you have sufficient funds.
- A document certifying that you have paid the required fees.
- A description of the job you are going to develop in Spain. Here is when stating how qualified the job position plays an important role.
- Applicants resume (CV).
- It also helps to provide an advanced degree from a prestigious university or prestigious school, if the applicant possesses it.
MAIN REQUIREMENTS TO SUCCESSFULLY APPLY
Presenting the right documentation is not enough. There are certain requirements you will also need to meet:
- You must be over 18 years old.
- This work permit is for non-European Union citizens, as EU nationals do not need to apply for a regular residence permit.
- You will need to present your background check, therefore you cannot have criminal records (neither in Spain neither in any other country).
- Having contracted social security insurance that offers full coverage in Spain (whether it is from a public or a private institution) is also mandatory.
- You can’t be residing in Spain in an irregular situation.
PROCESS: HOW TO APPLY FOR THE WORK PERMIT AS A HIGHLY SKILLED WORKER STEP BY STEP
Now you know which is the documentation you will need to present and what requirements you should meet.
The next question is: how to do it? How can I get my work permit in Spain?
First of all, and perhaps the most important thing, you must have a job offer in Spain. Once a company in the country has an interest in you, you can start with the process.
Then, you will need to get a residence visa (a regular residence permit). And you have two options here.
In the one hand, you can apply while residing in Spain, provided that you hold a regular situation in the country. On the other hand, you can also apply while being abroad (in your origin country). In that last case, the application must be summited to the Spanish Consulate of your country. The processing of your application can last up to 10 days.
You will need to submit this application form.
Once obtained, it will grant you the residency for one year. What happens next? How can you still work and live in Spain?
Once that year ends, you can apply for a residence authorization. It takes 20 days of processing, and it will grant you the residency for two years. You can find the document to do the application here.
You can renew this authorization, provided that the original conditions are still met, up to 5 years.
Can your employer apply for the residence permit for you?
Yes. If you are in a regular situation in Spain, your employer can initiate the procedure for you.
Where should you apply and send the required documents?
The Large Business and Strategic Sectors Unit will be the institution in charge of validating that you truly hold a highly skilled job position. This unit is part of the General Direction of Migrations.
Therefore, you will need to submit your resume and job description to them.
If you meet their specific requirements, you will get what is called an “authorization of residence for highly qualified professionals”. That could be then submitted to the Immigration Office to get, finally, your Spanish residency.
CAN YOUR SPOUSE AND CHILDREN JOIN YOU?
As you may know, when you apply for a Spanish residence permit you can do a joint application. This means that the main applicant can also obtain a residence permit in Spain for their family (spouse and children).
In the case of the highly skilled professional visa, both spouse and children must submit the same application as they would if they were family members of an investor, including the same documentation that would be necessary in that case.
WHAT IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A JOB POSITION BUT WILL JUST BE TRANSFERRED TO SPAIN?
Let’s say that you already hold a job position as a highly qualified worker in your country. But the company you work for wants to relocate you to Spain.
In that case, you should apply for the intra-corporate transfer visa. The process and requirements for the application are completely different, as it has its own nuances. Furthermore, it has preferential processing, if you are eligible, you will be able to obtain that residence authorization faster than any other permit.
And that applies both for individuals working on a multinational that are transferred from one country to another (Spain); and individuals who are transferred from another company inside the same group.
FROM STUDENT VISA TO WORK PERMIT
Finally, there is something you must also consider. Because, if you have been studying for one year in Spain with your student visa you can get your work permit as a highly qualified worker.
The requirements in terms of the job position are still the same, but the legal procedure is a bit simpler.
LET US HELP YOU GET YOUR WORK PERMIT!
After reading this post, you may still have some doubts regarding your particular case. In that case, we will be glad to answer them. You just need to send us an email at email@example.com and we will solve all your doubts as soon as possible!
On the other hand, maybe you need help applying for the highly skilled work permit and/or preparing the documentation in the right way. We can help you!
We have helped over 1000 clients get their residence permit in Spain and that is what we specialize in. Therefore, if you would like to successfully apply for this visa and get it FAST, let us be in charge of everything. We will eliminate all the hassle for you!