Work Permit in Spain: How to Get a Work Visa to Spain

9/05/2018.- Work Permit in Spain. Obtaining a work permit in Spain (as well as a work and residence permit) is a lengthy and bureaucratic process. The main reason why is the (still) high unemployment rate in Spain, despite the fact Spain’s employment and economic growth have been steadily rising in the last few months. As a result, the immigration system favours the hiring of Spanish nationals over foreign nationals.

However, work permits in Spain are easier to obtain if foreign applicants fall under one of the preference categories, namely investors, entrepreneurs, highly qualified professionals, researchers and employees under inter-company transfers.

In this article we will focus on the work permit in Spain necessary for inter-company transfers. Legal framework, required documents, time and main benefits will be analyzed.

Work Permit in Spain: Main features for inter-company transfers

1.- Legal framework.-

The Spanish migration framework (Entrepreneurial Support Act of 27 September 2013 – Law 14/2013) offers two options for intra-corporate transferees of third country nationals (non EU):

  1. EU Intra-corporate transferee (ICT-UE) residence permit for managers, specialists and trainee employees.
  2. National residence permit for intra-corporate transferee for other categories, such as the transfer of workers to manage a contract (CSS), the transfer of workers under a professional relationship.

2.- Required documents to apply for a work permit in Spain.-

In both cases, the following documents shall be required to obtain a work permit in Spain:

To be provided by each employee:

  1. Full copy of the Passport of each applicant in one PDF file;
  2. Degree Certificate of the professional qualification (Higher education qualification or equivalent), duly legalized and translated by a sworn translator; or credited professional experience for more than 3 years, duly legalized and translated as well.
  3. Document that provides evidence as for the existence of a previous and continuous employment relationship with the Company (or with companies within the same group) for a period of more than 3 months;
  4. Background checks: Certificate of criminal records duly legalized with The Hague Apostille, and translated by a sworn translator. It has to be issued by the relevant authorities of the country (or countries) where the employee has been residing for the last 5 years;
  5. Displacement letter issued by the Company (Employee’s relocation letter or posting letter). It has to explain the reason of the posting and the labour conditions of each employee, as well as the period (length) of the transfer;

 To be provided by the Company (the employer):

  1. PoA of the proxy holder of the Company and a copy of his passport, NIE or Identity Card;
  2. Company documentation proving the reason for the transfer.
  3. Documentation from the receiving company: Copy of the NIF (Tax Identification number) and proof of the existence of the activity in Spain (copy of Social Security contributions and Social Security number, or tax statements, etc. etc.);
  4. Documentation proving Company’s relationship with Social Security: Certificate of coverage of the country where the Company is located, determining that it is responsible for the fulfillment of the obligations with the Social Security in Spain;
  5. Good standing certificate of the company that provides the service, attesting the existence of the company in his country. Once more it has to be translated into Spanish –sworn translation – and accompanied with the apostilled.

The above referred documents shall be filled together with the relevant application form. Application forms are available at the official immigration office website .

3.- How long does it take?

A work permit in Spain (under Law 14/2013 as described above) takes 20 working days to be issued following the submission of all required documents.

That said, we are aware that effective business planning and budgeting requires estimates of when key professionals can begin working in Spain. Therefore, our team performs regular monitoring on the status of the open applications. Thus, we try to speed up the process as much as possible.

4.- Main benefits:

The main benefits provided by the option described avobe are the following:  i) A single authorization for living and working valid anywhere in Spain. It includes relatives if they meet the expected age labour regulations; ii) No labour market test applied; iii) Free movements within the Schengen member states; iv) Combined processing for spouses and children; v) The application for a residence permit will extend the validity of the residence or stay of the permit holder until the end of the procedure.