Residence and work permits

One of the commonly asked questions by foreign individuals before moving to Spain is easiest and rapidest of residency acquisition within the country. Specifically, whether it is advisable to initiate the process while situated in the country of origin or to directly enter Spanish territory and pursue residency from there. A significant number of individuals believe that acquiring residency is more feasible from within Spain.

However, this is an erroneous notion, as the Immigration Law accords greater ease in permit acquisition for those individuals who apply for residency from their country of origin. In contrast, permits granted to individuals within Spanish soil are generally regarded as exceptional circumstances. 

How to process a Residence and Work Permit

The residence and work permit is a common authorization granted by the Spanish Administration to foreign nationals who possess a job offer and are located in their country of origin, provided that they meet the following requirements:

The employer must request the permit, emphasizing the importance of the initiative being taken by the hiring company and not by the foreign citizen, who is the taxable person in this operation.

The job offer must comply with the national employment situation, which implies that the employer must prove that they are requesting the employment of a foreigner because they have not found anyone in Spain who is willing to occupy the position. As long as unemployment in Spain remains high, obtaining a permit through this method will be difficult. Nevertheless, there are three exceptions to this rule, which are frequently used by foreign nationals to acquire a permit through this method:

Firstly, the offer must be included in the catalog of difficult-to-cover professions published quarterly by the Spanish Government. This catalog compiles the most demanded professions that nobody wants to do. In the past, this was a successful approach, as the catalog included professions such as domestic worker, waiter, or construction laborer, however, currently, it has fallen out of use since it only lists professions related to working on board a ship on the high seas.

Secondly, the offer must be made to a citizen of Chile or Peru. These countries have signed an agreement with Spain that exempts nationals of these countries from the requirement to overcome the employment situation, that is, a company can directly hire a Peruvian or a Chilean, as long as they are in their country of origin. The granting of residence and work permits to foreigners is a general case administered by the Spanish authorities for those who have a job offer and are in their country of origin. To manage this permit, the employer must initiate the process, and not the foreign citizen who is the beneficiary of the procedure. The job offer must be issued after considering national employment situation and demonstrating that the employer is seeking to hire a foreigner because no suitable Spanish candidate has been found for the position. 

These exceptions encompass various circumstances, but the most frequent include:

  1. Being the spouse or child of a foreigner with a renewed permit.
  2. Children or grandchildren of Spanish nationals of origin.
  3. Foreigners who have dependent ascendants or descendants of Spanish nationality.
  4. Foreigners who have agreed to participate in a voluntary return program.
  5. Filling positions of trust or managerial positions in companies.
  6. Highly qualified professionals.
  7. Workers belonging to a group of companies who come to work in Spain.

It is worth noting that a foreigner who wishes a residence and work permit must not have a criminal record in their country of origin. This requirement is apparent for obvious reasons.

Upon identifying a suitable candidate, the procedure involves three phases as outlined below:

  1. The initial step entails the employer’s submission of an application that includes the job offer and all necessary documentation to the Foreigners’ Office located in the Spanish province where the employer’s head office is based.
  2. Upon approval from the Oficina de Extranjería, the candidate must proceed to the Spanish consulate in their country of origin to apply for the corresponding visa. It is essential to bear in mind that despite receiving approval, the consulate reserves the right to deny the visa for various reasons. Therefore, it is crucial to approach this phase with care and seek appropriate guidance.
  3. Once the visa is granted, the candidate must travel to Spain and schedule an appointment with the Police within one month of arrival for a T.I.E, the foreigner’s identification card, which will feature their NIE number. The company will subsequently register the candidate with Social Security, and contributions will commence.

It is essential to renew the first card, which must occur one year after issuance. As a general rule, the candidate must still be employed and able to provide evidence of having made contributions for at least half the duration of the permit when renewing.

If you fall within any of the aforementioned categories and are considering migrating to Spain, do not hesitate to seek assistance from Extranjeristas. Our services include submitting the application on the employer’s behalf, managing and monitoring the visa application process at the Spanish consulate, and scheduling an appointment with the Police for the residence and work card. For further information, please contact us without hesitation.

Although it is important to obtain the first card, we cannot neglect its renewal, which must be carried out one year after it is granted, and as a general rule, when renewing it, you must still be in employment and prove that you have paid contributions for at least half of the time the permit was granted.

If you are included in any of these cases and you are thinking of migrating to Spain, do not hesitate to use them. Extranjeristas can help you, both in the process of submitting the application on behalf of the employer, as well as in the management and monitoring of the visa at the Spanish consulate, and even arranging the appointment at the Police to get the residence and work card. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.