If you are a non-EU citizen who is planning to study in Spain or is already doing so, this article will be good news for you. The visa we will talk about today solves the problem many foreigners have: how can I start working after my studies finish? In those cases, the residence permit for students who look for a job in Spain is the solution. And in this article, we will explain how to get it and which are the requirements to get this job search visa


What is the job search visa?


The job search visa is a residence permit granted to non-EU citizens who have finished their studies in Spain so they can extend their time in the country for one additional year, time in which they can find a job or start their own company. 



Before, foreign students in Spain only could stay in the country until the time their studies were finished or until their residence card expired. Possessing a student visa allowed you to legally be in the country for just that period of time.

That is, for sure, an ideal option for many. 

If you are a foreign student, you can not miss this article, as it’s a great opportunity for those who look to acquire more experience in the professional environment in a foreign country.

Main benefits


Which are the main benefits that this permit offers?

  • Like with the student visa, that allows you to bring your spouse or children and stay in the country with you, here the same happensThe relatives that have been accompanying the student willing to extend their say in order to find a job, will have permanency linked (the whole time) to the holder of the main authorization (the foreign student in Spain). So they can also stay with you in Spain for another year with the job seeker visa. 
  • You realize the whole application online. 
  • The application process is really fast, lasting a maximum of 20 days. 


Can I work in Spain with this visa?


This residence permit creates several doubts, and many come from this topic. No. You are not allowed to work in Spain with the residence permit to look for a job.

This visa is the bridge to getting a work permit. So once you find a job offer, you will need to initiate the work permit application process (even though easier as you already live legally in Spain), to be able to work. 

Even though you cannot work with this visa, it is a required step for being able to do it.

Do you have any doubts so far? Ask anything to our lawyers here and get an instant answer:



    How to get a job in Spain as a foreign student


    Many students, once they have finished their studies (university degree or masters), want to experience their first contact with the working environment. They immediately seek for job offers in Spain. Others are brave enough to start their own project,  so they start a company.

    But they encountered two problems, related to how the situation was before.


    The situation of foreign students in Spain before the change in the regulation

    Let’s quickly analyze how things were before this new law came into force so you can understand how to proceed. 


    Lack of legal time 


    First of all, their student residence permit does not allow them to stay enough to do that. As we have mentioned, that card is only valid until the duration of their studies, and they can’t renew it as the course has come to an end. 

    That expiration date was assigned by the university explaining the time that the student needed to finish the whole course that he/ she is studying.

    That forced many students to look for a job or internship at the same time that they were studying, and as soon as they were finished they had to leave the country.

    Not enough years with the student visa


    Furthermore, getting a work permit as a student can be complicated. Especially if you have just studied for one year in Spain, because then you can only get a work permit as a highly qualified worker.

    Getting a regular work permit as a student requires at least 3 years with a student visa in the country

    The solution to start working as a student: the job search visa


    Nevertheless, since September of 2018, the situation changed completely. 

    Now, as a foreigner with a student visa, you are allowed to stay in the country after finishing your studies. How? Applying for the residence permit for students looking for a job.

    You can start this procedure 60 days before or 90 days after you finished your studies in Spain, and it will only allow you to stay for a maximum of 12 months in order to find a job or to start your own business project. So the time constraint is solved. 

    Furthermore, no need for the job to be highly qualified: you can get a regular work permit to work for any company in the Spanish territory

    So, as you can see this permit creates a perfect path for all of those who find it difficult to get a work permit in the first place (as the requirements are really tough). You can first study for one year in the country, then get the job search visa, and finally, start working for a company. 


    Requirements to get the residence permit for students seeking a job in Spain


    This may be one of the most important sections of this article. And here we will solve many of the questions our clients usually ask us. Which are the requirements you must meet to get the job seeker visa in Spain?

    • First of all, you must have finished your studies. Those need to be a minimum level of 6 that is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree, and it can also be a Masters’s degree (level 7) or a Ph.D. that (level 8). So a language course won’t let you get the post-study work visa. 
    • You need to have health insurance
    • Also, it is crucial to prove that you are economically independent. That is, that you possess enough economic resources to stay in the country during the time of your job research (a complete year).
    • Not all universities or schools will work. The exact study and university must be inside a list given by the government.
    • Foreigner students can apply for this student permit 60 days before your authorization as a student expires or 90 days afterwards. And that won’t necessarily match the duration of your studies. 


    How do I know if my university/studies are valid for the post-study visa?


    This should be the first thing you check out, maybe even enrolling in any university in the first place. Because if you wish to stay in the country for the long-run, it makes a lot of sense to devote time considering what to study.

    As we said, not all universities work. In order to get your residence permit to look for a job as a student, you must make sure that your university is inside the list you will find by clicking here.

    If it isn’t, your application will get denied. 


    Application process


    Getting this visa is simple. As we said, you must be in Spain for the application Nevertheless, as this permit is new and recent, you must apply online or via electronic means.

    Bear in mind that the whole process must be made in the same city that you are residing, so the authorities can verify your official certificate.

    Once you submit all the required documents (which we will now see), it will take a maximum of 20 days for the immigration office to issue their response. After this period of time, if there is no response, the silence will be considered as approved.

    Once the application is approved, you will need to get an appointment at the Police Station to register your fingerprints and get your residence card. 

    If you want to make sure your application gets accepted and you can finally extend your stay as a student in Spain, do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] and let us help you: we have dealt with more than 1000 international clients with the same needs.


    List of documents to submit


    During the application for your post-study work visa, you must include, to get your card:

    • Application form EX-01. It’s the same as for the non-lucrative visa, but this time you need to mark the option “Titular de estancia por estudios superiores que cesa, para búsqueda de empleo”.
    • Payment of the corresponding fee 790/012, which you can find here.
    • Passport and NIE.
    • City registry (“padrón”).
    • The document that certifies you got a favorable response from the immigration office. 


    What happens when I find a job? From job seeker visa to work permit


    As we said, with the job seeker visa you will have 12 months to find a job in Spain. But what happens once you find it? Basically, you will need to change your residence permit to look for a job to a regular work permit

    But we encounter two different possibilities: you can start working for a company, or you can create your own one.


    Moving to a work permit as a self-employed (“por cuenta propia”)


    If you want to set up your own business, this will be the path to follow. In that sense, there are two options available: doing it trough the entrepreneur visa (if your project is innovative and involves a high level of technology), or going through the regular way. 


    Moving to a work permit as an employee (“por cuenta ajena”)


    In this case, the first step will be to find a job offer from a company willing to hire you. It is important that the job you find is related to your previous studies, and require the abilities that correspond to your level of education. 

    Here you also have two options: applying for a regular work permit, or getting one as a highly qualified worker (if your salary is over 40.000€ per year and we are talking about a technical or managerial position).

    In the first case the Entrepreneur’s Law will be the applicable one, and in the latter the General Immigration Law. And this has an important implication. Because if the general Immigration Law is applicable, then the national situation of unemployment will be taken into consideration

    If there is a Spanish national or a legal resident who is willing to take that same job as you, she will have priority.

    Only in really specific cases (as when you are the children or spouse of a resident in the country, children of a Spanish citizen by origin, etc.) you will have that priority too. Nevertheless, the government stated that if not getting that specific job would risk your ability to possess enough financial means, then the national situation of employment could be skipped. 

    But if the general rule applies, you can only get that job if there are no other Spanish citizens suitable or willing to be hired by the company.


    Get legal assistance with your visa application


    Now you know how the new immigration regulation regarding student visas can benefit you. Are you willing to extend your student residence permit stay in order to find a job opportunity? Let us be your immigration lawyers in Barcelona.

    Ask us anything here (fast response guaranteed in less than 24 hours):




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