Residence permits for researchers through Law 14/2013, of 27 September
As in the case of the Law relating to Aliens, there is a specific procedure for research personnel, which, if the requirements are met, does not prevent the application for a resident's permit for highly qualified professionals, workers making intra-corporate movements within the same company o group of companies or, even a permit for entrepreneurs. The following family member members are also included with the scope of application of this law: the spouse or person with an equivalent sentimental relationship; children, minors or of legal age who, financially dependent on the permit holder, have not formed an independent family unit; and dependent ascendants who accompany or join the worker.
As regards entry and stays for periods of less than ninety days, Law 14/2013, of 27 September, on Support for Entrepreneurs and their Internationalisation (hereinafter, the Entrepreneurs' Law), please refer to that established in Regulation (EU) 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 9 March 2016, on a Union code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (Schengen Borders Code), and Regulation (EC) 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 13 July 2009, establishing a Community Code on visas (Visa Code).
In the case of long-stay visas and residence permits, the Entrepreneurs Law establishes various common general requirements and other specific requirements depending on the group in question:
Not be in Spain illegally.
Be over eighteen years old.
Have no previous criminal offence record in Spain and in the countries in which they have resided in the last five years, for criminal offences considered under Spanish law.
Not appear as undesirable in the territories of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in this respect.
Have taken out health insurance whether public or private with a company authorised to operate in Spain.
Proof of having sufficient economic resources for yourself and members of your family during your period of residency in Spain.
Pay the fee required for the processing of the permit or visa.
In this case, foreign citizens (both those who are abroad and those who are resident in Spain) wishing to carry out training, research, development and innovation activities, either in public or private organisations, may obtain a residence permit if they fall within any of the following cases:
Researcher as referred to in article 13 and the first additional clause of the STI Law.
Scientific and technical personnel performing scientific research or technological development and innovation work in businesses or in R&D&I centres established in Spain.
Research personnel covered by a public or private research body agreement, under the conditions established by law.
Teaching personnel contracted by universities, research bodies or further education centres, or business schools established in Spain, in accordance with the criteria established by law.
Individuals represented by a university, business entity, R&D&I centre or research body should submit the application form available on the Immigration Portal and on the UGE-CE website. The following documents must be attached with the application:
Photocopy of valid full passport or travel document.
A document certifying that they have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members during their stay in Spain. This can be substantiated, where applicable, by the corresponding employment contract or documentation accrediting a professional relation or for reasons of training.
Health insurance whether public or private with a company authorised to operate in Spain, unless the activity to be carried out includes insurance under the National Health System.
If the foreign citizen is in Spain as the holder of a short-stay visa or study visa for a period of less than six months, they should submit the certificate of no criminal record issued by the country or countries in which they have been resident in the last five years.
Proof of payment of the fee (paid by the permit holder and, in the case of minors, by the parent or legal guardian). Model 038 for the payment of the fee is available on the Ministry of Employment and Social Security website (https://sede.empleoyseguridadsocial.gob.es/es/sede_electronica/ tramites/tasa-038/index.htm). The fee payable will be displayed when the corresponding box is ticked in section 7.
This permit allows the foreign citizen to reside and carry out research activities in Spain and is valid for up to two years (or the period stipulated in the contract or agreement if this is less than two years).
If, on the application form, the researcher is shown as living abroad at the time of making the application, they should obtain a research visa before arriving in Spain and, after entering the country, they may apply for the foreign citizen identity card. If, to the contrary, they are already in Spain, they may apply for this card directly.
The renewal application should be presented by the researcher in person and authorises the extension of the permit validity until the resolution of the proceedings. This validity may also be extended in the event that the application was sent within the ninety days after the expiry of the previous permit, without affecting the initiation, where applicable, of the corresponding sanctions proceeding. The permit will be renewed for two years and, if the contract is not indefinite and has a shorter length, for the length of the employment or professional relation.
Absences of more than six months per year will be considered, unless the foreign citizen is accredited as an employee of a company which, although conducting activity abroad, has its operational base in Spain.
The following should be submitted with the application:
- Copy of the foreign citizen identity card (if they have been in Spain for more than six months).
- Updated copy of the full current passport.
- Certificate of no criminal record (if they have been outside Spain for more than six months).
- Proof of payment of fee.
- Contract of employment or accreditation of professional relationship.
Spanish legislation offers two alternatives for the intra-corporate transfer of foreign citizens (who are not citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland):
The EU-ICT intra-corporate transferee permit for management, specialist personnel and trainees.
The national intra-corporate transferee permit for other cases, for example the transfer of employees for the implementation of a contract (CSS) or for a professional relationship (IP).
The application to be presented will depend on the personnel to be transferred to the business centre or group of business located in Spain. For further information, please see articles 73 and 74 of the Entrepreneurs' Law.
Renewals of up to two years may also be requested provided the conditions applied at the initial granting of the permit continue to be fulfilled. However, there is a maximum duration for the transfer for certain categories that conditions the validity of the permit or the possibility of renewal:
The transfer of management and specialist personnel: maximum of three years.
The transfer of trainees: maximum of one year.
Just as the law regarding Aliens considers different figures other than that of researchers specifically which may be used for the contracting of research personnel, the Entrepreneurs' Law includes other groups in which certain researchers may be included. In this respect, a residence permit may be requested for highly qualified professionals by companies requiring the incorporation in Spain of foreign professionals for the development of a professional or labour relationship included in any of the following cases:
- Management or highly qualified personnel provided the company or group of companies meets any of the following characteristics:
- An average staff in the three months immediately before the presentation of the application of more than 250 employees in Spain, registered with the corresponding Social Security regime.
- An annual net business figure of more than 50 million Euros in Spain; or a volume of equity or net assets of more than 43 million Euros in Spain.
- An annual mean gross investment, from abroad, of not less than one million Euros in the three years immediately preceding the presentation of the application.
- Companies with an investment stock value or position, according to the latest figures from the Registry of Foreign Investments of the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness, of more than three million Euros.
- Membership, in the case of small and medium enterprises established in Spain, of a strategically considered sector accredited with a report from the Directorate General of International Trade and Investment (DGCI).
- Management or highly qualified personnel who form part of a business project which implies, alternatively and provided that the alleged condition on the base of this supposition is considered and accredited as of general interest by the DGCI, a significant increase in the creation of jobs.
- Graduates and postgraduates from universities and business schools of recognised prestige.
The specific documentation shall accredit the assumed access, and that the job requires high qualifications.
As in the previous case, the foreign citizen may be abroad or legally in Spain and, therefore, the need to obtain the visa or not will depend on the starting point. This also applies to the presentation of the certificate of no criminal record.
The effects of the permit and its period of validity are the same as in the case of the research residence permit. Similarly, when applying for renewal, it is necessary to demonstrate that the requirements which enabled the initial permit to be obtained continue to be fulfilled.
It is not necessary for the research activity to be confined to an external labour or professional relationship, and therefore those foreign citizens wishing to carry out an entrepreneurial and business activity of an innovative nature and who believe that this is of special economic interest to Spain may benefit from the entrepreneurs' residence regime. This permit, as with the others considered in the Entrepreneurs' Law, is valid throughout Spain and permits the holder to reside and work in Spain. However, unlike the other permits mentioned above, the length of the initial permit and of the renewals is always two years. In addition, the general requirements are common to all and the specific requirement establishes that a report from the DGCI must be presented.
The application must be presented at the UGE-CE and include the business plan which the unit sends to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness. The group of experts from the DGCI will assess the following areas:
The professional profile: training and professional experience, and the involvement of the interested party in the project.
The business plan, which must include, at minimum, the following elements:
Project description: business activity to be carried out, start date, location, proposed legal structure of the company, potential economic impact of the investment, description of the expected number of jobs to be created, and their duties and qualifications, proposed promotional activities and sales strategy.
Description of the product or service: the description should be detailed and include innovative aspects.
Market analysis: market assessment and expected evolution, description of possible competitors, assessment of potential consumers and analysis of supply and demand.
Funding: required investment, sources of funding and financial plan.
The added value for the Spanish economy.
If the foreign citizen is abroad, they should apply for the entrepreneurs' visa at their corresponding diplomatic mission or consular post. This visa will be valid for one year and will permit the holder entry to Spain, and the right to reside and work throughout Spain. While the visa remains valid, they may request the resident's permit at the UGE-CE, for which they should accredit the start of the entrepreneurial activity.
If the foreign citizen is outside Spain, once they have obtained the residence permit mentioned in the previous section, they may apply for a residence visa, submitting the following documents:
Criminal record certificate.
Copy of the residence permit awarded.
Visa applications will be resolved and notified within ten days, and will have a validity of one year, allowing the holder to reside in Spain without the need to apply for the foreign citizen identity card.
This procedure is the same for research personnel, highly qualified professionals and posted employees. To process the visa for entrepreneurs, it is not necessary to present a copy of the residence permit, but the entrepreneur project should be included for assessment.
The spouse or person with an equivalent sentimental relationship, children, either minors or of legal age who, financially dependent on the permit holder, have not formed an independent family unit and dependent ascendants who accompany or join the researchers may apply for, together and simultaneously or successively, the permit and, where applicable, the visa.
To do so, compliance with the requirements generally established in section I, together with the family relationship must be demonstrated, and, in those cases that so require, the financial dependence and non-existence of a new family unit.
The authorisation for families is valid for residence and work throughout Spain provided the age stipulated in the labour laws is met.