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Highly Qualified Work Permit Spain

If you are a highly qualified worker wishing to work in Spain, you must apply for a Highly Qualified Work Permit. This guide will discuss the best options for highly qualified professionals and how to apply for a Highly Qualified Work Permit with a job offer from a company within Spain.

Our highly trained immigration lawyers here at IAS are equipped to help and advise you while applying for the visa. If you need assistance with your immigration to Spain, you can call us at (+44) 333 4149244.


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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Spain Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Spain visa or permit, IAS Spain immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Ireland successfully, we can help businesses and individuals achieve their goals.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Expert support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

    Confidence that your case is being handled by an experienced team.

    In-house document checks done by lawyers who are accredited by the IBA in Madrid and Seville.

    Regardless of what your Spain immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    With a Highly Qualified Work Permit for your company, you get to live and work in Spain for 1 year, and you will be permitted to renew your visa at the end of this period.

    As of 2021, over 530,000 individuals are migrating to Spain on a yearly basis. To join them as a highly qualified worker, you will need to work with your employer to obtain a Highly Qualified Work Permit, allowing you to live and work in Spain.

    Below, you will find information regarding the process and the requirements to see if you are eligible for the permit with the job offer from your company.

    What Is a Highly Qualified Work Permit Spain?

    The skilled worker permit is designed to allow for highly qualified professionals outside the European Union to live and work in Spain.

    Workers with job offers for large companies and strategic small or medium businesses (SMBs) in skilled work activity roles could be eligible to apply for a residence permit from outside the European Union.

    The program is designed to facilitate the import of workers in manager and executive positions. It is aimed at professionals in industries that require special knowledge, training, and skills – such as the tech industry.

    The worker scheme is supported by the regulations in law 14/2013 regarding support for the highly skilled professional and their internationalisation.

    It is permitted to bring family members with you, who must be one of the following:

    • Your spouse or unmarried partner.
    • Unmarried children that are financially dependent upon you.
    • Relatives in the ascending line that is dependent on your care.

    These family members will also obtain the visa and residence permit as joint applicants, allowing them to live and work in Spain. The permit is valid for one year or the same period the permit is granted, so long as it is under one year.

    What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the Highly Qualified Work Permit Spain?

    When applying for your Highly Skilled Worker Visa, it is essential to note that your company will impact your eligibility. You will find a list below of the type of companies to be eligible for the highly skilled professional work permit:

    • Large companies and strategic SME companies.
    • Companies within a large group of companies.
    • Companies developing projects of strategic interest to the Spanish economy.

    Not all companies are eligible for the visa, and you should verify your company’s eligibility to apply for the visa. There may be special considerations for highly qualified graduates who have received graduate or post-graduate degrees from a prestigious business school.

    You must also meet one of the skilled worker eligibility requirements, which are structured as follows:

    • You must be a highly qualified worker, meeting one or more of the following criteria:
      • The worker must have an undergraduate or postgraduate degree or a PhD from a prestigious university or business school.
      • The worker must be a highly qualified professional or a manager or executive.

    You can begin applying if you meet the above requirements and your company is approved under the visa program.

    How to Apply for a Highly Qualified Work Permit in Spain?

    To begin the application process for the permit for highly qualified professionals, the employer must begin the application process with a formal offer of employment.

    It is important to note that you must apply for the work permit in person at the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in your country of origin. You will need to book an appointment for your application.

    To book your appointment with the Spanish consulate or embassy in London, draft an email to the embassy with the following information:

    • The type of visa you are applying for.
    • Given name and surname.
    • Passport number.
    • Email address.
    • Phone number.
    • Place of residence.

    If you cannot travel to the embassy, you can ask a duly accredited representative to submit the application. A parent or guardian can hand in the application for children and minors.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to receive assistance on Highly Qualified Work Permit for Spain.

    What Documents Should I Prepare before Applying for a Highly Qualified Work Permit in Spain?


    To apply for this permit, you must gather various documents and fill out application forms to complete your portfolio. To help you understand how to do this, below is a list of the required documents to be provided for a Highly Qualified Work Permit application:

    • The national visa application form – each applicant must fill out and sign the application form. An accredited representative can perform this process on behalf of the applicant.
    • Passport style photographs – you must provide colour passport photographs that are well-lit with a light background and nothing obstructing your profile.
    • A valid passport – you must include your valid passport in the application. It must be valid for 1 year and mustn’t be older than 10 years. You should also present photocopies of the passport’s biometric pages. Your passport will remain at the consulate during the processing time.
    • Residence permit – you must provide an original copy of your residence authorisation or residence permit provided to the company you work for by the Large Companies and Strategic Groups unit.
    • Criminal record check certificate – you must present an original and a copy of a criminal record check certificate issued by your country of origin, covering the last 5 years. The document should be notarised and accompanied by a translated version. The record check cannot be more than 3 months old upon submission.
    • Proof of residence in the consular district – you must provide evidence of your legal residence as a citizen in the consular section outside of the European Union or proof that you have been attending classes in the consular district. Please visit the Spanish consulate website for your country of origin to verify your consular district.
    • Proof of representative’s identity and capacity – if a representative will be applying behalf, they must provide evidence of their power of attorney or document accrediting representation. This should be an original document, and you should provide notarised and translated editions in Spanish.
    • Payment of the visa fee – the payment can be made when you or your representative visit the consulate or embassy to hand in the application.

    Which Documents Should My Family Members Provide in Their Applications?

    To apply for this visa and include family members, you must provide the following documentation:

    • Family members and dependents should provide all the documents listed above, including a parental or guardian signature for minors.
    • Partners must provide documents evidencing the relationship. If you are applying for a highly qualified visa as a dependent, you must provide evidence documenting your relationship with the worker. This includes civil registry birth certificates, marriage certificates, or certificates for an unmarried partnership. You can also provide documents indicating that it is an unregistered partnership. You should have these documents notarised by an accredited party, and the papers should be accompanied by Spanish translations where applicable.
    • Unmarried children who aren’t minors must be able to provide documents evidencing their financial dependence on the worker and their civil status. These documents should be notarised, and you should provide a Spanish translation.
    • Ascending line family members should provide documents evidencing their care dependence on the worker. These documents should be notarised and paired with Spanish translations.

    Please be mindful that the consulate could request additional information and documents from your family members should you not provide sufficient evidence in the application.

    If you are unsure how to evidence your dependence on the worker for the application process, you can find help with one of the immigration lawyers here at IAS. We can help you to put your family member application portfolio together and ensure the evidence of your dependence is sufficient for the application.

    What are the Processing Times for the Highly Qualified Work Permit?

    When you submit your application for a Highly Qualified Professional Work Permit, you are required to be reachable via your contact phone number or email so that the consulate can contact you if they require further documents.

    The decision on your residence permit will be reached within 10 days of submission. However, if you are required to provide additional documents or visit the consulate for an interview, this period could be longer.

    Once you have received approval for your residence permit application, collect your visa within 1 month of receiving the approval notification. You should deliver your visa in person, or your accredited representative must collect the visa. Upon your visit, one of the consulate officers will discuss the procedure for returning your passport and documents.

    Once you have received approval to be a resident worker in Spain, the company you work for should register you with the social security system.

    What Are the Salary Requirements for a Highly Qualified Professional Visa in Spain?

    The salary requirements for highly qualified workers will differ depending on the nature of the job offer.

    In the case of those receiving a job offer for a managerial or directorial position at the company, you need to earn 54 000€ per year or more.

    If you receive a job offer for an academic or scientific position, you need to earn a salary of 40,000€ per year or more.

    However, you will be granted an exception for some positions, allowing you to apply with a 25% reduction coefficient. Eligibility for the reduction is as follows:

    • You must be working for an SME in the strategic sector.
    • You must be under 30 years of age.

    If your employer pays your salary in kind, this income can only account for 30% of your yearly salary figure towards the permit.

    If you have any questions about Highly Qualified Work Permit, our team is happy to assist.

    Why Might They Refuse My Highly Qualified Worker Visa Application?

    The Spanish consulate or embassy might refuse your highly qualified worker application for the following reasons:

    • Insufficient information and documentation.
    • Incomplete application forms.
    • Lack of funds.
    • Selecting the incorrect visa type.
    • History of immigration violations.
    • Criminal history.
    • Invalid travel insurance.
    • Intention of returning to home country is unclear.

    Thanks to the appeal process, you could still have success. If the application for this visa is refused, you retain the right to appeal to the consulate and resubmit your documentation. If your appeal is successful, you can enter Spain with a residence permit and begin work activity. Follow these guidelines during the appeal process to be successful:

    • Appeal within 1 month of receiving notice of the refusal.
    • To submit your appeal, post it to the Visa Department of the consulate via mail or courier service.
    • If you apply for judicial review, the appeal will be submitted to the High Court of Justice of Madrid within 2 months of your receipt of refusal. If you request judicial review following the dismissal of your appeal, you can expect it to be submitted within 2 months of receiving the notice of dismissal.

    If you need assistance during the appeal process, you can contact our team here at IAS. We are experts in Spanish immigration law and can help you to strengthen your case.

    What Is the Difference between the Highly Qualified Worker Visa and the EU Blue Card?

    The visa for qualified professionals is different from the EU-wide work permit. The highly qualified work visa is valid for 2 years, allowing you to work for the company sponsoring your visa and live in Spain. The EU card is valid for 2 years, and it also allows you to live and work anywhere in the European Union, migrating from outside the European Union.

    Additionally, the blue card doesn’t just allow you to work in Spain as a highly qualified worker. It allows you to work anywhere in the European Union. You can only apply for either visa if registering from outside the European Union. Both visas also have requirements regarding your profession. To be able to apply for an EU card, you must be able to meet the requirements:

    • Have a minimum of 5 years’ experience in the same field as your job offer. You should be in active employment for these 5 years.
    • Have at least 3 years’ worth of higher education qualifications. These qualifications must provide sufficient evidence that you have the knowledge necessary for research and high-level training positions.

    If you meet these requirements, you could be eligible for the EU card work permit for the ability to work anywhere in the European Union.

    At IAS, we offer services to help workers with different job profiles understand their work permit options. We can help you to apply for a work permit visa in Spain and recommend alternative options that might be better suited to your needs. If you’re unsure which visa option is right, reach out to our team today.

    How Do You Renew a Highly Qualified Worker Visa in Spain?

    Professionals who have lived and worked in Spain for the duration of their contract with the company need to decide whether to reapply for the same work permit by the company or whether to pursue another option.

    To renew your work permit in Spain, you should be working with the company still, and you plan to continue to work for the company.

    Once your the highly qualified professional card expires, you need to submit the application for renewal within 90 days. You can apply for the renewal 60 days before the card’s expiry date.

    To qualify for renewal of this residence authorization type, there are a number of requirements:

    • Comply with the highly qualified professional requirements that the consulate set out in the application for the Spain work permit, just as you did when you applied the first time.
    • Have received the required salary during your time working in Spain.
    • Provide documents proving that your employment with the company is ongoing and that the company intends to continue your contract working in Spain.

    The visa for highly qualified professionals reapplication will allow you to continue your work with the company in Spain under the same conditions as your first visa card.

    How can IAS Help

    At IAS, we employ a team of highly skilled immigration lawyers that can help you apply for a visa as a highly qualified worker.

    Our team of experienced lawyers will be able to advise you on the most suitable residence permit for highly qualified professionals and will help you to understand the scope of your requirements and benefits.

    We can help you to weigh up the benefits of a blue card against the benefits of a visa for highly qualified professionals. We can help your company to understand the processes involved with obtaining residence authorisation and work permits.

    If your residence permit is running out, and you wish to resume life in Spain, we can help you to reapply for a residence permit based on your current situation and needs.

    If you’re ready to learn more about your options and gain assistance with the visa application form, reach out to our friendly team on (+44) 333 4149244.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    With the work permit for highly qualified workers, you will be able to visit Schengen areas in the European Union using your Schengen visa. You will only be permitted to enter areas that the Schengen visa allows you to enter.

    If you already reside in Spain under a residence authorisation or tourist visa, you can apply for this visa with your company from within Spain. However, your country of origin must be outside the European Union.

    Highly skilled workers are generally in managerial, executive, or research positions, meeting the salary requirements. For instance, if work activity concerned a very niche research topic that the tech industry was seeking, you would be eligible to apply for a residence permit for highly qualified workers.

    In the case of approval for your highly skilled work permit, be prepared to reach out to a social security insurance company to make arrangements. Your company can do this on your behalf, but this must be completed by the time you begin working in Spain.

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