Frequently, foreign companies with subsidiaries located in Spain require skilled labour from third countries outside the European Union, in some cases senior manager from any other of its establishments, or employees with extraordinary qualifications for strategic sectors, as the case of aviation may be.

Regarding the obtention of the residence and work authorization in Spain, Spanish Law 14/2013, of 27 September, of support to entrepreneurs and their internationalization, offers agile and simplified procedures which companies looking for the abovementioned singular professional profiles may apply, provided that they met some specific requirements.

Residence and work authorisations for highly-qualified professionals may be applied by:

  • Companies or group of companies which met any of the following characteristics:

Average staff during the three months immediately prior to submitting the application greater than 250 employees in Spain, registered in the relevant Social Security system.

Annual net business turnover in Spain, of over 50 million €.

– Volume of own funds or equity or net worth in Spain exceeding 43 million €.

– Annual average gross investment, from abroad, not less than 1 million Euros in the three years immediately prior to the application filing date.

Investment stock value or position according to the latest data from the Foreign Investments Registry of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of over 3 million Euros.

– In the case of small and medium sized businesses established in Spain, that they belong to a sector considered strategic, which is certified by a report from the Directorate-General for International Trade and Investments.

  • Companies developing a business project considered and certified as of general interest by the Directorate-General for International Trade and Investments. This report is issued according to the relevant circumstances of each case, in consideration of several factors, such as the significant creation of jobs, the social and economic impact in the geographic area where the project is going to be developed, or the contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.
  • Graduates, postgraduates from renowned prestige universities and business schools.

The application shall be submitted by electronic means, before Unit for Large Companies and Strategic Economic Sectors and, once submitted all the required documentation, there is a term of 20 working days for the approval of the residence authorisation.

Apart from the procedures for highly-qualified employees, Law 14/2013, provides for procedures for investors, entrepreneurs, researchers, and employees subject to intracompany transfers

Definitely, these kind of procedures, most of the time unfamiliar for companies, entails a valuable tool, allowing them to avoid the prolonged terms of the general law of foreigners, and… as the saying goes, time is money.


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