When a foreigner will start R+D+i (research and development) or similar project in Spain, the residency for research is the permit that the company or university must apply for in order to bring the non-EU citizen to the country.

Although it is not one of the most demanded permits, it has many advantages, especially when it comes to its simple application.

In this article we will summarize the most crucial points about this authorization so that all your doubts are cleared, and guide you step by step in its application procedure.


What is the residence for research?


When the foreigner who receives an offer in Spain does so to start a research or development program (R+D+i) instead of for a regular job, she must apply for this residence permit for 3 years known as residency for researchers.

Certainly, this is a very advantageous authorization due to the fact that it is under Law 14/2013 (also called Entrepreneurs Law).

This means that it can be obtained directly from Spain and will enjoy a fast-track resolution in just 20 working days.

As with the student visa, only if the duration of the research project is longer than 6 months should the foreigner apply for a TIE or physical residence card.

In addition, family members of the main applicant may also be included, who may also obtain a permit to live and work legally in the country.


Who is this permit for?


There are 5 different groups of foreigners (non-EU citizens) who can apply for this residence permit:

  • Firstly, all those foreigners who have been hired to be professors in a university, business school, or higher education center in Spain
  • Those foreigners who are going to develop technological development/innovation or scientific research tasks within a research and development company
  • Researchers who have subscribed to an agreement with a research organization (public or private)
  • Research personnel of Science, Technology, and Innovation. This is defined in article 13 of Law 14/2011 of June the 1st
  • And, in addition, Ph.D. students (who would then not apply for a visa for studies), as long as they can prove that they have been included in a research project of the university


How does the application process work?


The first thing to consider is that it will be the company itself (whether public or private) or the university that will initiate the application process for the foreign researcher.

This application will be made online through the electronic headquarters of the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social Security; and it will be addressed to the UGE (Large Companies Unit) in Madrid.

And when should it be requested?

As we have already mentioned, and as it falls under the Entrepreneurs Law, this authorization can be requested both from Spain (with a tourist visa) or from the country of origin before traveling to Spanish territory.


What are the requirements for a successful application?


The list of requirements to obtain residency for research is not too extensive and follows the line of most of the residence authorizations in Spain:

  • A copy of the complete passport must be provided
  • You can’t be younger than 18 years old
  • Not to have a criminal record in the last 5 years
  • Not to be in an irregular situation in Spain
  • Not be prohibited from entering the Schengen area
  • Have public or private health insurance contracted with an insurance company in Spain
  • Demonstrate the possession of sufficient economic funds to keep you in Spain for the duration of your investigation
  • In case you have included family members in your application, you must also demonstrate sufficient funds for them
  • Payment of the corresponding application fee


Do you have any doubts or would you like to receive personalized legal assistance for your immigration procedure? Then do not hesitate to contact our team of expert lawyers.


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