Important dates are coming for workers around the world. May 1st, International Workers' Day, is here, and what better way to celebrate it than with good news, because did you know that, once you have completed your higher education studies in Spain with a residence permit, any foreigner can apply for an authorization to seek employment for a period of one year? Well, here at Echeverría Abogados, we will explain you everything you need to know about this method to opt for a residence in the Spanish country and, therefore, in the European Union, which also celebrates its day this May 9.

The rule that we are going to present to you indicates that "we could" apply for a residence and work authorization as long as it is for: or to sign a labor contract; or, on the other hand, to present a business project of our own. However, as it usually happens in matters of law and immigration, the fact that it can be requested does not mean that it is easy to obtain.

So, as we usually do in Echeverría Abogados, let's go point by point.

What is it?

  • To begin with, a fact that may be important for many people: the residence authorization for seeking employment after higher studies is a permit that allows accumulating years for those who wish to apply for Spanish nationality by residence. This is the opposite of the years spent in Spain with a residence permit for studies, which does not allow the accumulation of time to apply for Spanish nationality.
  • This job search authorization is valid for 1 year, non-extendable, and can be obtained after completing any type of higher education (Bachelor's or Master's degree).
  • Once obtained, it is possible to access a job or present a business project, as long as they are related to the level of studies completed.
  • If the application is not resolved within 20 days, residency is considered granted.
  • As to whether the applicant's family members may accompany him/her during this residence for the purpose of seeking employment, the rule is clear: they may do so if they did so previously with the authorization to stay for study purposes.


  • The first thing you need, obviously, is to have completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree and to have done so under a study stay authorization.
  • The second is to apply for residency for the purpose of seeking employment within 60 days before or 90 days after the effective date of the study stay. Not before, not after.
  • Make the application electronically.
  • And to address it to the Delegation or Subdelegation of the Government in the province where you are going to reside.

Clause of six to obtain residency

Once the residence permit has been obtained for the purpose of seeking employment, if the person obtains a job or is going to start a business, an application for residence as an employee, in the first case, or as a self-employed person, in the second case, may be filed. But be careful, because in order to obtain a residence as an employee, the applicant must comply with one of the following clauses:

  • The position in question is included in the Catalog of Difficult-to-Fill Occupations for the respective quarter.
  • There is a negative certificate from the Public Employment Service stating that there are not enough suitable candidates for a certain job position.
  • Recruitment is aimed at Chilean or Peruvian nationals, as there are international agreements in this regard.
  • This is a worker required for the renovation of an installation or production equipment.
  • The worker is the child or grandchild of a native Spaniard.
  • The job is to exercise the function of a manager or a position of trust in a company.

It is because of these exceptions that we find people who have completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree, who apply for a job search visa, who obtain it and who, nevertheless, when a job offer appears, cannot access a residence and work visa because their situation does not fall into one of the categories mentioned above.

Other ways

Thus, one of the few ways left for someone who does not meet any of these requirements is to wait until one year has passed since he or she obtained the residency for job search and, at the time of renewal, provide a job offer that does meet them to modify his or her authorization.

And the difference is that here the national employment situation will not be applied and therefore any job will be admitted, as long as it meets the minimum requirements.

Another way, although more complicated, is the one we are using in some occasions in Echeverría Abogados: requesting the change of authorization before the year, according to the provisions of art. 200.1. second paragraph of RD 557/2011, which mentions: "Exceptionally, the foreigner who accredits a need to work due to supervening circumstances to guarantee his subsistence may access the residence and work situation, without the need for the period of one year to have elapsed."

You know that at Echeverría Abogados we always have an extra bullet. In this case, the most appropriate one for a day like May 1st: the right to reside and work of anyone who needs it for their subsistence. So you know, if what you are looking for is to stay in Spain after having completed higher education, we will spend every last one of our legal cartridges for you to achieve it.

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