How to Apply for a Highly Skilled Professional Visa in Spain
If you originate from outside of the European Union, you will need a visa to live and work in Spain.
A common type of visa, which was introduced as part of the 2013 Entrepreneurs Law, is a Highly Skilled Professional visa, which is also known as a Highly Qualified Professional visa.
Keep reading to find out how to apply, including all the documents you’ll need.
Who is eligible to apply for a Highly Skilled Professional Visa?To be eligible to apply for this type of visa, you must be either:
- A manager or individual that manages a relatively large team inside a company.
- An individual in a genuinely technical or specialized role.
- A graduate or postgraduate from a well-known university or business school.
Requirements to be granted the visa
For this type of visa to be granted, certain criteria must be met - both by the hiring company and by the individual applying for the permit.
For companiesFor companies, one of the following must apply:
- It must employ more than 250 workers in Spain.
- It must have an annual net turnover of over 50 million euros in Spain.
- It must have received an average annual foreign investment of over one million euros for the last three years.
- It must have a valuation of more than three million euros.
- Small or medium-sized companies must belong to a strategic sector (as certified by the Directorate-General for Trade and Investment).
Additionally, business projects in the public interest that generate significant, long-term employment can also apply for this visa-type for any foreign-national employees.
The most favourable candidates are those who have achieved their qualification from a prestigious institution, ideally a Master’s degree or Ph.D.
The minimum salary requirement for a management position is 54,142 euros per year and for a non-management position, it is 40,077 euros per year. However, if you are under 30 years old, or are being hired by an SME (PYME), then this is reduced by 25%. High earners may be interested to understand more about Spain’s Beckham Law.
What you will be doing for the company is also important. Here are the two main options:
- You will be in a managerial position.
- You will be performing highly skilled tasks (which must be proven in your application).
What’s the application process?
Visa applications must be submitted via the Unit for Large Companies and Strategic and Economic Sectors (UGE-CE). Once the employer’s initial application is approved, the individual must make their visa application.
You can apply from inside Spain within three months of arriving, or from the Spanish Consulate in your country of residence.
Here’s our 10-point checklist of the documentation you will need to apply:
- A passport-style photo
- Original passport (and a copy)
- Private health insurance or public social security coverage
- A background check
- Application form
- Proof that you have paid the required fees
- Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any dependants
- Proof of your qualifications
- A job description for the role that you will be doing
- Your CV
More information and guidance for the procedure can be found on the UGE-CE website.
Once the Visa is Granted
If your application is successful, you will be granted residency for two years. However, once this period ends you will be able to apply to extend this by a further two years, and then again for a further five years, as long as the original conditions can still be met.
Having a highly-skilled professional visa will also allow you free movement within the Schengen member countries. With the visa, you can obtain a residence permit for your spouse and children.
Contact the team at Strong Abogados if you need help or further guidance with this process.
Important Note: In the situation where a professional is already employed by the same employer in a different country, read our article here about Corporate Work Permits.