Procedures established in Title IX of Royal Decree 577/2011

Title IX and first additional clause (section 3) of Royal Decree 577/2011 consider a fast track (regulated under the legal name "Procedure") to authorise entry, residency and work of foreigners for professional activities with economic, social or labour interests regarding the realisation of research and development or teaching projects requiring high qualifications.

This type of permit is optional, i.e. it may be requested notwithstanding the rest of the options, and is not a different kind of authorisation but a fast-track procedure for managing permits. This type of fast-track procedure, processed by the UGE-CE, will be one of the most widely used procedures (providing the conditions are fulfilled by the researcher and employer) for periods longer than three months. It is an optional procedure initiated by the body (university, state research organisation or enterprise) which leads to obtaining one of the following residency and work permits set out in previous sections:

  • Temporary residency and work permit for research (scientific visa).

  • Temporary residency and work permit for highly qualified professionals (EU blue card).

  • Temporary residency and paid employment permit.

  • Temporary residency and work permit involving transnational provision of services.


In the latter case, the receiving company must fulfil the requirements for enterprises. To apply, it is necessary that the applicant be in one of the following situations:

  • Highly qualified specialists and scientists whose reason for coming is to carry out research projects or participate in development activity at universities and R&D&I centres of recognised prestige or at research and development units belonging to enterprises established in Spain.

  • Lecturers recruited by a Spanish university to teach or perform other academic activities.

  • Highlyqualifiedspecialistsandscientistsrecruitedbythe Spanish Government, Regional Governments, Local Governments or organisations either run or owned largely by the aforementioned institutions and whose mission is to promote and carry out research.

  • Executive or highly-qualified personnel for companies or employers that carry out activities involving investments or the creation of jobs in Spain that are considered and established as a public interest (due to the number of jobs, the socioeconomic impact of the investment or its significance in terms of scientific-technical innovation).

  • Executive or highly qualified personnel belonging to companies that meet any of the following characteristics: having more than 500 employees in Spain; having an annual net turnover of more than €200m in Spain or net worth – also in Spain – of €100m; having declared gross annual average investment of no less than €1m during the three immediately preceding years with entirely foreign capital.
    This procedure may also be applied to small and medium-sized companies established in Spain that belong to the following strategic sectors: information and communications technology; renewable energies; environment; water and water treatment; health sciences; biopharmaceuticals and biotechnology; and aerospace and aeronautics.

The application should be presented in person by the person legally acting on behalf of the company, the contracting body or the individual or the employer, before the UGE-CE52 of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the competent authority for resolving this application within a maximum of one month. The national employment situation will not be taken into account for the approval of this permit.

Once permission has been granted, the researcher must submit the residency and work visa application form to the diplomatic mission or Spanish consular office, which must issue the permit within a maximum of 10 days. The work and residency permit awarded will have the period of validity indicated for each permit.

If the stay exceeds six months, the researcher must apply for the foreign national identity card.

In addition, the UGE-CE is also responsible for processing permits for the relatives of workers admitted to this procedure. The type of permit awarded to relatives depends on that awarded to the researcher; in this respect, the UGE-CE may resolve and process the following permits:

  • Temporary residency permit for family regrouping.

  • Temporary residency permit without work or professional activity.

  • Temporary residency and paid employment permit.

The duration of the family permits provided for in this case shall under no circumstances exceed the main authorisation period. The family member application may be presented by the employer together with the request of the foreign worker, or separately later on.