Traditionally, Spanish immigration policy has been oriented to the management of labor migration flows in accordance with the needs of the labor market, influencing security aspects but without internationalization of the economy.

This conception that was useful in the past has become insufficient in the face of the new world economic reality.

The need to internationalize the Spanish economy, to boost the presence of foreign companies, to attract talent and foreign investment, to seasonalize and diversify the Spanish tourism sector as well as the need to eliminate barriers to foreign entrepreneurship and investment in business projects that affect The creation of employment was determined in 2012 to evaluate the weaknesses and strengths of Spanish immigration regulations.

The SME that wishes to hire a highly qualified professional must belong to a sector considered strategic or lead a business project that can be considered of general interest based on the direct jobs to be created, sector of activity or geographical area where the activity will take place. It is also important that the project contributes to the maintenance of existing positions, or is of interest for Spanish commercial and investment policy, as well as, to suppose an extraordinary investment with relevant socioeconomic impact or a relevant contribution to scientific innovation and / or technology.

The accreditation of the characteristics and contributions of the business project must be done by having a favorable report issued by the General Directorate of International Trade and Investment.

Defining Highly Qualified Staff

What is highly qualified personnel? For current Spanish regulations, these would be people who have the appropriate and specific competencies necessary and required for a specific job or professional task.

The following groups of professionals fall into this category:

  • Management or highly qualified personnel of large companies or groups of companies or small and medium enterprises (SMEs, hereafter) of strategic sectors.
  • Management or highly qualified staff that is part of a business project.
  • Graduates, postgraduates of universities and business schools of recognized prestige.

The regime established in the new Entrepreneurs Act of 2013 seeks to make more flexible the requirements established by Directive 2009/50 / EU and the Spanish immigration regulations for this type of contract, which requires a degree obtained in a higher education center, a minimum professional experience of 5 years comparable to a level comparable to higher education qualifications, among other requirements. All of this made it nearly impossible to use this legal instrument to hire foreign citizens from outside the European Union.

What Benefits Does This Type of Residence Permit Provide?

The procedure is agile and the criteria of the National Employment Situation for the hiring of non-resident foreign citizens do not apply.

The authorization allows you to reside and work throughout the national territory, enables you to obtain a residence visa if the employee is both inside and outside of Spain and enables joint processing for their family members.

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