By Agustín Sáez.

Transferring international talent to Spain is a feasible and easy option for companies since 2013, when Spanish government issued a special immigration law, aimed to accelerate, and smooth international talent transfers or hirings.

After more than 9 years, these procedures are a very common reality for those entities which need to translate non-EU employees to Spain and incorporate them to a concrete project or to develop a concrete job in temporary basis, maintaining their labor contracts with the foreign entity.

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 work for a non-EU company, with a foreign labor contract, and their company needs to displace them to Spain in temporary basis to perform a job and project, but keeping their foreign job contract: Intracompany Transfers.

Viable applications: Main requirements

However, non every company and candidate are eligible for intracompany transfers, but they must fulfill some requirements, such as the following ones:

  • Foreign entity, foreign labor contract, and foreign employee.
  • Spanish entity: There must be a Spanish company where the employee is going to be transferred.
  • Both companies (foreign and Spanish), must be part of the same business group, or having a service agreement which contemplates the home company will transfer some employees to the host company to perform a concrete service in temporary basis.
  • Foreign labor contract: Employees will keep their job contracts with the home company along the whole displacement.
  • 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. 
  • The workers must have worked for the home company a minimum period of 3 months before the transfer.
  • Social Security: If there is a bilateral agreement between Spain and the foreign country regarding Social Security matters, workers will continue enrolled at their home country along the transfer. Otherwise, they must be registered and quoted at Spanish Social Security.
  • Job Conditions: Companies must guarantee minimum job and displacement conditions which fulfill labor regulations (salary, schedule, holidays, etc.).

Two intracompany transfer classifications

  • UE INTRACOMPANY TRANSFERS: Aimed to directors, specialists, or employees in formation. In the first two cases, they will be able to stay for a maximum period of 3 years, while employees in formation will be able to stay for one year maximum.
  • NATIONAL INTRACOMPANY TRANSFERS: Cases non contemplated in the first group, and for those directors and specialists who were already here 3 whole years and need to stay for a longer period.

Advantages of this regulation

Those companies that need to transfer employees to Spain, 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: The application can be submitted while the employee is in Spain in a legal way, 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.
  • 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.

Why this is a trend?

Globalization allows to reach agreements with foreign companies which are able to offer some services which do not exist in Spain yet, and they must be performed by foreign specialists, who train Spanish workforces in new trends. This immigration regulation allows Spanish companies to bring those foreign specialists or directors.

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 activities represents one of the main economic sources in our country now.

However, this makes totally necessary to bring foreign workforce specialized in these sectors, which increase productivity and innovation.

Nowadays, immigration policy is an element of competitiveness, and its contribution to the country’s economic growth must be considered. Thus, international transfers is a reality in our environment, so allowing and facilitating those transfers help us to grow and improve our competitiveness.

By Agustín Sáez.

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