Highly Qualified Worker Visa Spain: In-Depth Guide

Table of Contents

1. What is the Highly Qualified Worker Visa in Spain?

The residence permit for highly qualified professionals may be requested by those companies that require the incorporation in Spanish territory of a foreign professional who meets certain requirements in terms of his/her academic or professional training and the remuneration stipulated in the corresponding employment contract.

The recruitment of highly qualified professionals is usually a fast process, since the deadline for resolving the files is 20 working days and no review of the National Employment Situation is required.

In this article we will arm you with all the information you need to successfully apply for a Highly Qualified Worker Authorization.

Highly Qualified Worker Visa Spain

2. What makes it different from the standard Employee Permit?

The difference between the two residence permits lies in the fact that the permit for highly qualified professionals has considerably stricter requirements in terms of salary and academic or professional training. Therefore, the permit for residence and work as an employee allows many more job offers than the permit for highly qualified professionals.

The disadvantage of the residence and employment authorization is that as a general rule, the so-called National Employment Situation will be reviewed. This is not the case when hiring a Highly Qualified Professional.

Do you want to know what the National Employment Situation consists of? Do not miss this article:

What is the National Employment Situation?

We will explain it here!

3. What are the requirements to apply for the Spanish Highly Qualified Worker Visa?

Please note: First of all we would like to point out that this permit is not intended for EU citizens. They have another mechanism at their disposal – the EU citizen registration certificate.  Below we will detail all the requirements to be eligible for this permit:

Main Applicant + 1 family member + 2 family members + 3 family members + 4 familiy members
€30,240
€41,580
€45,360
€49,140
€52,920

*For each additional family member from this point onwards, an additional €3,780 must be added. Updated August 2023.

3.1. Specific requirements for the Highly Qualified Worker Visa Spain

Professional Group Minimum Annual Wage
Directors and Managers
54.142 €
Other technicians, professional scientists and intellectuals
40.077 €

4. Documentation required to apply for the Spanish Highly Qualified Worker Visa

Please note: As a general rule the documentation provided should be recent. This means that it should not be more than 3 months old since the document was issued. It is also important to have in mind the formal requirements detailed below.

4.1. Documents that all applicants must provide

Required Document Translation required Apostilled/Legalized Notes
No
No
Complete Passport
No
No
With entry stamp (if you apply in Spain)
Employment Contract
Spanish Doc.
No
Minimum duration of 6 months. Must meet salary thresholds.
Job profile
Simple
No
We have a template for our customers.
Documents accrediting professional competence
It depends
It depends
In case of providing a university degree, it must be apostilled and translated by a sworn translator.
Certificate of being up to date with tax obligations (Company)
No
No
The employer company must be up to date with its tax obligations.
Criminal Background Certificate
Sworn
Yes
Must be recent (no more than 3 months old)
Responsable Declaration Criminal Background
Simple
No
We have a template for clients
Proof of Payment of Admin. Fee
No
No
We can pay for it on your behalf
Proof of Financial Means
Simple
No
No additional proof of financial sufficiency is required if only the principal applicant applies.

4.2. Regarding the Employment Contract

The employment contract must be for a minimum duration of 6 months. The duration of the permit for highly qualified professionals will be adjusted to the duration of the contract. However, the maximum duration of the initial authorization may not exceed 3 years.

The second important element is the stipulated salary. This varies depending on the position to be occupied by the foreign worker:

Professional Group Minimum Annual Wage
Directors and Managers
54.142 €
Other technicians, professional scientists and intellectuals
40.077 €

For the preparation of an indefinite term contract we recommend the use of the following contract model made available by the Ministry of Labor and Social Economy – CLICK HERE.

4.3. More information about the professional profile to be provided with the application...

It is a descriptive report to be written concisely and should include the following information:

The above-mentioned data are not the only ones that should be included in the descriptive report. Still having doubts? we can help you! We also have a template for our clients..

Do you still have questions about the Highly Qualified Worker Visa in Spain?

Thanks to our extensive experience with the Highly Qualified Worker Visa we can help you!

Schedule Free Consultation

5. How to apply for the Spanish Highly Qualified Worker Visa?

It is extremely important to have in mind that the employer company is the legitimate subject to request the initial residence and work authorization for highly qualified professionals. Therefore, it must be the employing company that signs the MI-T application form.

We recommend that the contract be signed with the digital certificate of the employing company.

Once the applicant company has gathered the corresponding documentation, the corresponding file will be submitted to the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE). The latter will have a period of 20 working days to issue a resolution. If a resolution is not issued within the aforementioned period, the application will be considered by positive administrative silence.

Si el profesional altamente cualificado se encuentra fuera de España, deberá solicitar, una vez se dicte la resolución favorable, el correspondiente Visado para Profesionales Altamente Cualificados en el Consulado de España de su demarcación. Este tendrá una duración de 1 año y deberá modificarse en los 60 días anteriores a su expiración.

Si el profesional altamente cualificado se encuentra dentro de España se le concederá el permiso directamente por un período de 3 años.

6. Can the Highly Qualified Worker's permit be extended to family members?

Yes, the family members of the highly qualified worker will also have the right to reside in Spain. The duration of the permit will be linked to the authorization of the principal applicant and will enable them to work both as employees and self-employed. For this purpose, the following documents must be provided:

Required Document Translation required Apostilled/Legalized Notes
No
No
Complete Passport
No
No
With entry stamp (if you apply in Spain)
Private Medical Insurance
Simple
No
Required if there is no Social Security registration
Criminal Background Certificate (of legal age)
Sworn
Yes
Must be recent (no more than 3 months old)
Responsable Declaration Criminal Background (of legal age)
Simple
No
We have a template for clients
Documentation proving the family relationship
Sworn
Yes
Certificate of Birth/Marriage
Proof of Payment of Admin. Fee
No
No
We can pay for it on your behalf

6.1. Who can obtain a permit as a family member of an Highly Qualified Worker?

These family members will be eligible for permits as family members of the Entrepreneur:

  • Spouse
  • Domestic partner
  • Dependent ascendants
  • Children under 18 years of age or disabled
  • Children of legal age who are economically dependent on the main applicant and who have not constituted a family unit by themselves.

7. Post-approval procedures: What to do when I am approved for the Highly Qualified Worker Visa in Spain?

When you reach this point, you have obtained a favorable resolution – congratulations! However, there are still steps to be taken – specifically two: the so-called “empadronamiento” (census registration) and the application for the residence card (TIE), in that specific order.

7.1. Empadronamiento (Census Registration)

In Spain, registration is a mandatory procedure for all persons residing in the country. It consists of notifying the local authorities of your place of residence in Spain and to carry out this procedure you must complete the following steps:

Step 1:Search for accommodation

There are several situations that entitle you to live in the property: a rental contract, being the owner of the property or having the owner's authorization.

Step 2: Appointment at the town hall

The competent authority to carry out the registration is the town hall of the locality in which you are going to reside. It is advisable to make an appointment.

Step 3: Go to the Town Hall

On the day of the appointment, go to the town hall with your passport and the title that entitles you to live in the dwelling in question (contract, property title, authorization).

Step 4: Request the census certificate

Once the registration has been formalized, do not forget to request the corresponding empadronamiento certificate. You will need it for the next step.

7.2. Residence Card (TIE) application

You have finally reached the finishing straight. The migratory journey is almost over. Once you have your residence card, you will be able to reside in Spain for the duration of your permit. What do you have to do to get it?

Step 1: Make an appointment

You must first request an appointment for the fingerprinting*. Due to its scarcity it can be a difficult task. Be patient. We will be at your disposal if you need help.

Step 2: Collect the documents

In order to apply for a residence card (TIE) it is important that you prepare the necessary documentation. More information below.

Step 3: The fingerprinting

On the day of the appointment you must present the corresponding documentation and your fingerprints will be taken.

Step 4: Pick up the card

After 30 to 40 days after the fingerprinting you will be able to pick up the residence card. For this you will again need an appointment.

*You can get your appointments HERE.

Documents you need to apply for the residence card (TIE):

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