Obtain Highly Skilled Professionals Visa for Spain

Updated on Friday 22nd May 2020

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Non-EU foreign nationals can obtain a highly skilled professional’s visa for Spain and can then become employees in the country. A company that hires a skilled professional must do so when the foreign national is already legally in Spain, or if he is in his country of residence in which case the visa must be obtained.
 
Our team of immigration lawyers in Spain can help employers who wish to hire a highly-qualified non-resident submit the application, as required by the Ministry of Labor, Migrations and Social Security
 
Understandably, the process is more complex when the foreign national is not already living in Spain and he must obtain a visa from the Spanish embassy, consulate or diplomatic mission. In this case, both the company hiring the highly skilled employee and the future employee himself will need to undertake the needed steps in order to obtain the temporary residence and work permit for a highly qualified professional. 
 
A highly skilled professional is an individual who has attended a form of higher education training for at least three years and has the necessary qualification to perform a job with a high level of training. This is also applicable to advanced research programs.
 

Requirements for the company hiring the highly skilled professional

 
The company that is willing to hire a non-EU highly qualified professional must submit an application that will include the following documentation:
  • the company details: the tax identification number of the company and the legal representation attestation for when the application is submitted by an individual; when the employer is not a legal entity, there is no need to present the tax ID number.
  • details about the project: the business project for which the employee will be hired as well as proof of the resources that will be granted for this purpose.
  • the employment contract: this is required in order to show the position for which the highly skilled employee will apply;
  • employee details: copies of his identification documents as well as proof of training and higher education qualification.
A company that wishes to hire a third-country national for a position suitable for a highly qualified professional has to be a large company or a corporate group. Alternatively, it has to be a small or medium-sized enterprise in a strategic sector or it needs to develop a business project of general interest. Companies that qualify as SMEs in strategic sectors need to obtain a certificate that states their implication in the selected sectors from the Directorate-General for Trade and Investment.

A company can take advantage of this type of visa regardless of its size or the sector in which it activates when it will hire a graduate or a post-graduate from a University or a prestigious business school that is eligible for the highly qualified position. The Ministry of Labor, Migrations and Social Security is the one to oversee public employment in general. Investors who need more information can reach out to our lawyers and Spain immigration specialists. 

Registered companies in Spain can benefit from a simplified application procedure for hiring a highly qualified professional. 
 
The company may submit this application via its legal representative and one of our immigration lawyers in Spain can handle this step. We can help prepare the needed documentation, including the files listed above as well as any other documents, as may be required in a specific case.
 

Spain immigration with a highly skilled professional visa for individuals

 
Once the company has submitted its part of the application, the foreign national is also required to submit a visa application at the local embassy, consulate or diplomatic mission. This must be done in person and the application is submitted together with:
  • identification documents: passport or recognized travel document with a validity period of at least 4 months after the date of the application.
  • proof of no criminal record: a certificate that shows that the applicant has no criminal record and thus has not been engaged in any criminal offense, as understood by the Spanish law; this must be issued for the past five years.
  • medical certificate: proof that the applicant does not suffer from diseases listed in the International Health Regulations.
  • proof of employment: a copy of the employment contract that is to be stamped by the Immigration Office.
Other documents may be required, such as the university degree for graduates or post-graduates from prestigious business schools and, in some cases, other documents for relevant background checks for the applicant. The resume is also required for the application.  
 
The highly skilled professional is required to collect his visa in person and enter Spain within three months after having received the visa. The next step for those professionals interested in emigrating to Spain in this manner is to register with the Social Security System.
 
The highly skilled professional permit is valid for a period of one year and it can be renewed. It is possible for these highly qualified professionals to also apply for a temporary family reunification permit for the family members who may join the employee in Spain. We can give you more details regarding the general rules for family reunification that must be observed in this case.
 
Hiring a Spain immigration lawyer can help simplify the application process as the lawyer will be the one to stay in contact with the Spanish authorities and make the necessary changes and additions to the application, as needed. Working with an immigration specialist can shorten the application preparation and submission time and can allow both the employer and the employee to begin their collaboration in the shortest amount of time possible.
 
The application process for a highly qualified foreign professional is not a complicated one and, as opposed to other types of permits, the company hiring the foreign national is required to handle an important part of the process. The process is a streamlined one in the sense that the visas may be obtained within ten days when all the documents are in order and the residence permits within twenty days, provided that the qualified foreign national has offered all of the mandatory documents.
 
For some foreign nationals, the highly skilled professional visa is advantageous not only because it allows them to work in Spain in a recognized and well-remunerated position but also because the family members can apply jointly for the residence permit with the purpose of accompanying the main applicant. Alternatively, they can apply successively. Family members are the spouses and the children (minors and financially dependent on the holder of the visa) or the parents who are in charge of the visa holder.
 
According to the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social Security, the following statistics were available for foreign nationals working in Spain in 2018: 
 
  • there were 15,829 approved work authorizations for foreigners, both men, and women.
  • out of these, 10,127 applications were submitted by men.
  • 5,702 applications were submitted by women.
Contact our team of immigration lawyers in Spain for more information about the highly skilled professionals' visa and other types of visas and permits.

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