Permits for hiring highly qualified non-European workers in Spain

In the age of increasing globalisation, recruiting highly qualified non-European employees has evolved into both a necessity and a competitive advantage for numerous international companies and corporate groups.

Law 14/2013, of 27 September, on the support of entrepreneurs and their internationalisation, combined with the recent amendments introduced by Law 28/2022, of 21 December, on the promotion of the startup ecosystem and Law 18/2022, of 28 September, on the creation and growth of companies, has streamlined the visa processing procedure. This, in turn, has lowered costs for the recruiting companies and substantially boosted the volume of permit applications to the Unit of Large Companies (UGE).

Beyond the visa processing for highly qualified workers (PAC), UGE handles various other visa categories that offer comparable advantages in foreign markets. Noteworthy among them are:

  • The Intra-Company Transfer Visa is designed for professionals rendering services to another company of a group in Spain
  • The Investor Visa, commonly known as the Golden Visa, provides residence and work permits through investments in the Spanish market.

These visas undoubtedly present an attractive option for Spanish companies and international corporate groups, opening up a wide range of possibilities for the hiring and transfer of non-EU employees.

However, the value of these visas isn’t solely for the contracting companies. Workers coming to provide services in Spain can also enjoy compelling tax incentives and secure work and residence authorizations for themselves and their families. Applications for these permits can be made concurrently with or after the hiring of the employee.

Processing of Permits

The procedure for obtaining these permits takes three straightforward steps, or even just two:

  • Submission of necessary documents to the UGE
  • Visa application at the Spanish consulate in the home country
  • Application for the Foreigner Identity Card (TIE) and registration with the Spanish Social Security, if applicable.

If the applicant was already in Spain at the time of the UGE decision, only steps (2) and (3) described above would be necessary. This streamlined approach significantly expedites the procedure.

For expert guidance on recruiting highly qualified non-European workers in Spain,

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

Related Articles