There are three types of visa for people who have specific or unique professional vocations:
- Work permits for persons with very high qualifications or highly skilled worker
- Visa for persons doing research or involved in training activities
- Residence permit for professional artists and professional athletes
Work permit for person with very high qualifications or highly skilled worker
A highly skilled worker is defined as an individual who has attended a form of higher education or training for at least three years and has the necessary qualifications to perform a job where a high level of knowledge, skills and training is required.
This visa, managed by the Spanish Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social Security, is particularly for non-EU citizens who are:
- Managers or officers in high positions in charge of teams that require a very specific knowledge, training or skill.
- Individuals who work in highly technical and specialized job positions.
- Individuals who have a graduate or post-graduate degree from a prestigious university or business school in Spain.
Advantages of the Work Permit for Highly Skilled Professional:
- Valid for two years and renewable every year until finally eligible for a permanent or long-term residency
- Family of holder can apply for family reunification permit
- Holder can travel freely with the Schengen area
- Holder can work and live in any region of Spain
- Work permit is valid in 25 of the EU countries except Ireland and Denmark
Applicant already in Spain legally as a student or with a tourist visa can apply for the work permit for highly skilled professionals.
Applicant outside of Spain can apply for the residence permit and once in Spain, apply for the work permit.
In both cases, it is very important that the company in Spain that is hiring the highly skilled worker initiates the process. The company must have the following qualifications:
- It must be considered an outstanding company
- It must be a company within a group of companies
- If it is a small and medium enterprise (SME) it must be within a strategic sector in Spain
- It must be a company that develops a project of general interest to Spain
Visa for persons doing research or involved in training activities
This visa is for non-EU citizens who have been officially invited or hired by a recognized center in Spain for the realization of research or training activities for more than 90 days. These centers are universities, centers of the Higher Council for Scientific Research or public or private R&D institutions.
This visa is valid for two years and renewable for an additional two years or for the duration of the contract or hosting agreement.
It is purposely for professionals who for their knowledge, specialization, experience or scientific practices are involved in training, research, development or innovation activities. These are research personnel, scientific and technical personnel, researchers and professors employed by centers of the Higher council for Scientific Research, public or private R&D institutions, and universities in Spain.
It is important to note that the center or institution in Spain that is hiring the researcher initiate the process and must apply for researcher.
Family members of the holder are allowed to apply for residence permits along with the researcher.
Residence permit for professional athletes
The residence permit for professional athletes who can show that they have an extraordinary ability in athletics and is specifically for non-EU citizens who have a fixed term contract or residency that has been requested by a sports club, sports association, sports corporation or other entities that hire professional athletes, coaches, trainers or other persons related to the sports profession and industry.
The applicant’s company, sports association, sports corporation or other entities must be registered and authorized to participate in the activities and competitions of the particular sport. These sports are limited to: basketball, handball, cycling, football, and volleyball.
The fixed duration residence permit is only for one year and non-renewable while the stable permit is for one year and can be renewed if necessary.
Residence permit for professional artists
The residence permit for professional artists is specifically for non-EU citizens who as an individual or as part of an organization, or under the direction of an organizer of public shows, or art entrepreneur is involved in an artistic activity, directly before the public or destined for recording of any kind for dissemination, in any media or venue destined for public shows or performances in exchange for renumeration. The activities carried out may not exceed five continuous days of activity or twenty days of activity in a period of less than six months.
The residence permit is valid only for one year and can be renewed for another year but only if the same work, service or activity is specified in the contract.