The visa for highly qualified professionals (PAC) is a residence permit that allows citizens from outside the European Union to live and work legally in Spain, assuming they will do so in a highly qualified position.

But what exactly are the professional profiles required to successfully apply for this residence permit?

  • A person who has higher education or equivalent professional experience of at least three years.
  • Applicants who are graduates, postgraduates from universities and business schools.
  • Persons with degrees in regulated professions. In these cases, the homologation of the degree will be required.

It must be an employment relationship in which the worker joins the company as an employee, applying the corresponding collective bargaining agreement.

This residence permit provides the aforementioned persons with a residence authorization of 3 years or equal to the duration of the contract, in case it is shorter. Once this period has elapsed, they may apply for renewal of the residence permit for 2 years, and may obtain permanent residence after 5 years.

In addition, there are more advantages besides the fact that you can live and work legally with this visa. You will also be able to move freely within the Schengen zone, and bring your family to Spain with you from the beginning. However, it will be the EU Blue Card work permit that with the same requirements will allow you to work in any EU country.

However, people often ask the following question: when I am given the residence and work authorization as a highly qualified person, is it an authorization that allows me to work in any company in Spain? If not, what happens if I stop working for the company with which I obtained the authorization, or I am fired from my job? Do I lose the residence and work authorization?

Although it is true that the authorization as a highly qualified worker is granted for a specific job and with a specific company, if the company decides to abandon the job or the worker is dismissed, the worker will have the obligation to communicate this circumstance to the Large Companies Unit (UGE), and if he/she wishes to continue being the holder of an authorization as a PAC, he/she must submit a new application, from Spanish territory, which will be granted as long as it is accredited that he/she continues to be highly qualified. This should preferably be done within 30 days after the end of the employment relationship.

There is also the possibility of changing the authorization as PAC for a residence and work authorization once 1 year of residence has been completed, but in this case it would cease to be considered as PAC. Therefore, if these requirements are met, the person does not lose his/her residence because he/she loses the job. But there is a risk that, if within 30 days he/she does not get a job that allows the company to request a new authorization for the worker, or 1 year has not elapsed since obtaining the residence authorization, he/she could lose his/her residence authorization as a PAC.

At the time of application, foreigners may be abroad or already in Spain in a regular situation. If they are abroad, they must apply for the corresponding visa at the Spanish Consulate once the company has obtained the residence authorization.

Therefore, we could say that its characteristics are:

  • A single residence and work authorization, which authorizes you to work in a job in a specific company, and not anywhere in Spain.
  • No labor market test is applied.
  • Free movement within Schengen member countries.
  • Simplified processing: 20 days for residence permits and 10 days for visas. Procedures can be carried out through a representative.
  • Combined processing for family members.
  • The presentation of the application for residence authorization will extend the validity of the residence or stay of the holder of the authorization in Spain until the end of the procedure.


What you should know before applying for a Highly Skilled Worker visa in Spain:

  • The most important thing to take into account in this type of authorization is to have higher education or experience, which must be at least 3 years.
  • The amount of salary that must appear in your job offer must be more than 40.400 €/year; but if it is for directors or managers, this amount must be at least 54,578 €/year.
  • Some studies that are regulated professions (lawyers, clinical psychologists, architects, engineers who sign projects, among others), must be previously validated in Spain. This process takes some time (more than a year), so it is important that you do it before applying for any job as a highly qualified person. Some medical specialties take more than 3 years to be recognized as valid in Spain.
  • When you apply for residence authorization as a highly qualified person, you can also apply for residence authorization for your family members.
  • You can apply for a visa as a Highly Qualified Worker within 3 months of your arrival in Spain, or at the Spanish Consulate in your country of origin or residence.

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