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Applicants can submit a temporary residence authorisation application after arrival in Spain with a visitor, resident or other legal immigration status. It is also possible to obtain temporary residence authorisation before arrival in Spain and then enter with a long-term type D visa.
The temporary residence authorisation for Highly Qualified Employees (local hires and self-employed applicants) according to the Entrepreneurs’ Law requires the Spanish entity to register with the UGE under one of a number of qualifying criteria. Applicants must be managers or specialists with a university degree or relevant work experience of at least three years in similar positions. Graduates and postgraduates from Universities and prestigious business schools will be considered highly-qualified employees without the company needing to meet company requirements. The minimum salary for Managers and Directors is currently EUR 54,142 per year. For other professionals and specialists, it is EUR 40,077.
Intra-company transfer and service contract fulfilment may also fall under the Entrepreneur’s Law, but only if the transfer does not qualify for the Intra-Company Transfer Permit (EU Directive 2014/66). The assignment should either be within the same group of companies, linked by common ownership or should be in relation to a service agreement between the sending and host companies. The applicant must have either a university degree or three years of relevant experience, and must have been employed by the sending company for a minimum of three months.
Companies registered with UGE under any of the listed corporate criteria of the Entrepreneurs’ Law have the option to process applications under a simplified procedure, which requires prior blanket approval from UGE, but does not require any proof of the applicant's qualification, seniority or experience.
The Intra-Company Transfer Permit (EU Directive 2014/66) is only applicable to assignees sent to Spain for over 90 days from outside the EU and has a maximum total duration of stay of three years. It is important to note that if an applicant meets the qualifying criteria for this process, he/she may not apply under an alternative route (i.e. may not use the Intra-Company Transfer Entrepreneurs' Law route).
ICT permits under Directive 2014/66 allow mobility within EU member states - i.e. work permission is not required for EU ICT permit holders to work in other member states for less than 90 days and a streamlined Mobile ICT permit application may be submitted if working in other member states for longer than 90 days.
The Blue Card is an EU-wide (with some exceptions) immigration process for highly skilled employees with a local job offer in the destination country and a salary at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary for the specific job to be done. The Blue Card offers some concrete benefits to the applicant. Although applicable according to Spanish Immigration Law, this process is no longer frequently used in Spain; it has been replaced by the Highly Qualified Employees (Entrepreneurs’ Law) route.
The Local Hire Work Permit (Smaller Companies) is for non-EU nationals employed in Madrid. This route should be followed when the company or employee assigned to Madrid does not meet the criteria for the Unidad de Grandes Empresas (UGE) routes, and so the work permit has to be processed through the local immigration office (Delegación del Gobierno).
The Van der Elst is an immigration process whereby a non-EEA national who is employed and contracted by a home entity in the EEA country and sent on short-term assignment to another EEA country no longer requires a work permit. However, a residence visa must be applied for if the assignment is for longer than three months, and a residence card if the assignment is for longer than six months.
EU/EEA/Swiss nationals on assignment to or employed in Spain do not need a work permit. However, if the stay is for longer than 90 days, an EU Residence Certificate should be applied for. For EU/EEA/Swiss nationals sent on secondment from the EU/EEA/Switzerland, a declaration should be submitted to the labour inspectorate prior to the commencement of the assignment.
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