Spanish residence authorization for highly qualified professional

There are different ways of obtaining residence in Spain and they do not always have to do with investing in real estate. In Spain, it is possible to obtain a residence for highly qualified professional, a gainful residence or an inter-company residence.

In the following article we will focus on the residency for highly qualified professional, what are the requirements, benefits or how to get it.

The Act 14/2013, of September 27, of support to entrepreneurs and their internationalization, provides the authorization for highly qualified professional (HQP). Therefore, companies requiring the incorporation of professionals from outside the EU for the development of a work or professional activity may apply for a residence permit for highly qualified staff.

At the time of the application, the professional can be located outside the country or residing in Spain legally. If you are abroad, once the company obtains the residence permit, you will be able to apply for the corresponding visa at the Consulate of Spain in your country of residence.


The main purposes of the residency for highly qualified professional are eliminating bureaucratic tasks in the process of attracting talent to the Spanish business sector. Furthermore, it also seeks to promote the internationalization of the Spanish company at the same time that improves the competitiveness of the economy itself.

This objective is achieved through residence authorization for highly qualified professional. It has the same duration as that set out in the contract or document proving the existence of a professional relationship between the two.

Companies wishing to apply for residence authorization for their senior or highly qualified staff must meet the following requirements:

  • The company must have more than 250 workers in the 3 months prior to the application.
  • The annual net turnover in Spain has to be more than 50 million euros.
  • The company must have equity in Spain of more than 43 million euros and must have made an average annual gross investment from abroad of at least 1 million euros in the three years preceding the application.
  • The value of the investor’s stock or position has to be more than 3 million euros.
  • Through a report by the Directorate-General for Trade and Investment, the company should prove the belonging to a strategic sector.


On the other hand, highly qualified professional who are part of a business project may also obtain a residence permit provided if they meet one or more of the next conditions:

  • Significant increase in the creation of direct jobs by the company applying for recruitment.
  • Job maintenance.
  • Significant increase in job creation in the sector of activity or geographical area in which the work activity is to be carried out.
  • An extraordinary investment with a socio-economic impact of relevance in the geographical area in which the work activity takes places.
  • The concurrence of reasons of general interest for trade and investment policy.
  • Relevant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.


The residence permit allows to reside and work throughout the national territory, including family members if they meet the age provided for in the labour regulations. If the foreigner is not in Spain, he can process a residence visa once the authorization is obtained.

There are other outstanding benefits like freedom of movement in the Schengen states, joint processing for family members and the extension of the validity of the situation of residence or stay in Spain of which the foreigner was the owner until the resolution of the procedure.

This is a brief summary of the benefits obtained with this vis:

  • Visa-free travel to Schengen zone
  • Right to live and work in Spain
  • Entire family is eligible to the programme
  • Good quality life
  • Access to one of the best healthcare systems around the world
  • Access to an excellent educational system

Finally, it’s noted that it’s an agile process because visas are resolved and notified within 10 business days. Regarding residence authorizations, they are resolved in 20 business days and can be applied through a legal representative.

 Zahra Maaroufi, Orience International Lawyer