Recruiting Highly Qualified Professionals in Spain

A Highly Qualified Professional is a manager or worker who holds a position requiring advanced knowledge and expertise in a qualified or technical field. This category encompasses professionals such as engineers, architects, or doctors whose skills are in high demand among companies due to their scarcity in the Spanish labour market.

Fortunately for companies, several legislative changes in recent years have increased the flexibility in hiring this type of professional in Spain. Thanks to these modifications, the simultaneous processing of permits for Highly Qualified Professionals and their family members is permitted, and the residence and work permits are now valid for three years, with the option for renewal for an additional two years. Additionally, the hiring criteria have been expanded to include graduates from higher-level vocational programs and the previously existing size and turnover requirements for employers have been eliminated. These changes have extended the scope of application to small and medium-sized enterprises.

Work permit processing

The Large Companies Unit (UGE) processes work permits for the recruitment of Highly Qualified Professionals as regulated in the Entrepreneurs Act. The UGE is responsible for handling the initial work and residence authorizations for these professionals within a maximum period of 20 working days following the submission of the application.

As part of the standard procedure, once a positive resolution is obtained from the UGE, the Highly Qualified Professional must apply for the corresponding visa at the Spanish consulate in their country of origin before entering Spain. However, if the Highly Qualified Professional is already in the country in a regular situation when the UGE issues its resolution, this requirement can be omitted, streamlining the process, and considerably reducing processing time.

Upon arrival in Spain, the professional can proceed with the regular registration process with Social Security and submit the employment contract to the State Public Employment Service (SEPE), just like a Spanish worker would.

Renewal of the permit

The renewal of the Highly Qualified Professionals permit is only allowed within 60 days before the expiration of the initial authorization. The renewal process occurs again before the Large Companies Unit, adhering to the requirements for the initial granting.

These modifications have profoundly transformed the Spanish labour market, enabling the recruitment of Highly Qualified Professionals globally, enhancing company workforces, and promoting the unrestricted movement of workers worldwide.

If you need additional information regarding the recruitment of Highly Qualified Professionals in Spain,

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

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