By Agustín Sáez.

Since 2013, hiring international talent in Spain has become a feasible and easy option for companies. That year, Spanish government issued a special immigration law, aimed to accelerate, and smooth international talent transfers or hirings.

After more than 9 years, these processes are a very common reality for those entities which want to go global and grow economically, considering international talent as a competitive factor that must be considered very seriously, especially for those companies focused on IT activities.

Main goal of Spanish Immigration Special Law

About 10 years ago, Europe noticed that international talent was an important factor regarding economic growth, so it was vital to struggle for the best. Bearing this in mind, each European country issued their own national immigration law aimed to facilitate talent hirings.

In Spain, this special law regulates different permits for investors, entrepreneurs, highly qualified professionals, employee’s intracompany transfers, recent graduates and, sooner than later, for digital nomads (probably by mid-2022).

Among these permits, there is a concrete one aimed to those foreigners who come from a non-EU country, with a highly qualified education or huge experience on a concrete field, and with a job contract with a Spanish entity: Highly Skilled Professional Residence Permit.

Advantages of this regulation

Those companies that want to hire international talent will be able to go through a rapid process, which will allow to get the work permit in record time. These are the most important milestones of this law:

  • Electronic Submission: This application can be submitted electronically, attaching scanned copies of the required documents.
  • Employee in Spain: One of the most important developments is that the employee can apply for this permit being in Spain as a tourist, saving visa step before the Spanish Consulate at their home country.
  • Relative’s applications: Employee’s dependents applications will be submitted and solved at the same time than the main one. This measures tries to attract talent allowing their relatives to travel with them.
  • Deadline: This permit will be granted within the next 20 working days after application submission.
  • Positive administrative silence: If this application is not solved within the next 20 working days after submission, the permit will be granted by positive silence.
  • Expiration Date: The permit will be granted for a maximum period of 2 years, renewable for additional periods of 2 years.

Viable applications: Main requirements

Despite of these advantages, non every company and candidate are eligible for this highly skilled professional permit, but they must fulfill major requirements, such as the following ones.

The company must meet one of the following requirements:

  • More than 250 employees. 
  • A turnover higher than 50,000,000. EUR.
  • An equity higher than 43,000,000 EUR
  • Over 3,000,000 EUR of foreign investment within the last three years.
  • An investment stock higher than 3,000,000 EUR.
  • To be considered a SME from a strategic sector.
  • To have a project considered to be of general interest.
  • If none of the above is met, the foreign worker must hold a Bachelor’s or Postgraduate Degree.

The employee’s salary shall be:

  • Executive or Manager: A minimum of 54,142 EUR/year.
  • Non-executive position requiring specific training or experience: 40,077 EUR/year.
  • Candidates under 30 years old, or SME considered strategic sector, can prove less than the previous wages.

The foreign candidate must hold a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree or PhD, or they must be able to accredit a minimum work experience of 3 years in the same activity and performing similar functions to those that will be performed in the new entity. 

Why this is a trend?

In the last 20 years we have experienced a huge technological innovation, and companies are getting used to this new trend slowly, taking advantage of this development to improve their production, offering highly competitive and innovative products within technology industry.

Regarding that, this partially new economic activity represents one of the main economic sources in our country now.

However, this makes totally necessary to hire foreign workforce specialized in these sectors, who know the latest innovations that their activity has experimented. We are talking about highly qualified or experienced professionals that allow development and evolution of those business activities in Spain, at the same time they act as trainers of Spanish citizens.

Moreover, the number of Spanish professionals and managers with the necessary skills to manage business internationalization is, in some cases, insufficient, and it is necessary to hire foreign professionals specialized in very specific fields.

Because of that, nowadays immigration policy is an element of competitiveness, and its contribution to the country’s economic growth must be considered. Thus, the admission of highly qualified professionals in the countries of our environment is a reality which is estimated to represent 30% of international economic emigration.

So one of the most important factors that any company must focus on it is the international talent they hire, with huge formation and long experience, who will be able to show new procedures, trends, innovations, etc, teaching their knowledge to Spanish workforce.

By Agustín Sáez.

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