Work and Residence


The so-called Golden Visa as per Law 14/2013 allows you to obtain a residence and work permit if you are hired as a highly qualified professional by a company in Spain.

The requirements are:

  • The position requires for a highly qualified professional.
  • The candidate has the corresponding qualifications.
  • The position comes with a competitive salary.

The process requires for the employer to apply for the work permit. If the candidate is still in their home country, they then apply for the corresponding visa at the Spanish Consulate in charge of their case before coming to Spain. In case the candidate is already in Spain, the employer applies directly for the residence permit for the candidate.

The application for the work and residence permit can be presented online and have to be resolved within 20 working days.

Internship Residence Permit

The residence permit for someone to realise a professional internship has been introduced in 2018 via an addition to Law 14/2013 to support entrepreneurs. This permit at first was overlooked by many but has gained importance as the best way for a student to change from a student visa to a residence and work permit.

Before, any student who wanted to modify their permit to be able to reside and work in Spain had to have lived and studies here for at least 3 years and present an employment contract for at least one year.

There are two ways to obtain an internship residence permit: through an agreement or by means of a contract.

  • By agreement:One of the possibilities of obtaining this residence permit is by means of a practice agreement. This agreement must be signed either with an institution or with a company.
  • By contract: Another option is to sign a contract for professional practices. In other words, a full employment contract, which is established in the labour regulations. Through this employment contract, you will begin to work as any other employee of the company or individual who hires you.

If you have obtained a higher education qualification in the two years prior to the date of your application for your work placement permit or are undertaking studies leading to a higher education qualification in Spain or abroad, you can participate in an internship programme by signing an internship agreement or work placement contract in order to improve your knowledge, practice and experience in a professional environment.

In those cases where the studies are being carried out in Spain and the foreigner already holds a student visa the following should be taken into account: if the internship is part of the curriculum, these are regulated and supervised academic activities that are part of the study plan, therefore, they can already carry out such internships with their student visa without the need for an additional permit.

In the case of external extra-curricular internships, carried out on a voluntary basis, during their training period and which, although having the same aims as the curricular ones, are not included in the study plans, without prejudice to their subsequent mention in the European Supplement to the Degree, an additional authorisation must be requested depending on the nature and intensity of the activity carried out, as well as its compatibility with the studies. If the internship realised on the basis of an agreement, is incidental, the main activity being that of study, it will not be necessary to request this authorisation. It will only be necessary to apply for the authorisation that is the object of these instructions when the internship is the main activity.

In those cases where the studies are being carried out abroad, this authorisation must be requested for the internship.

Advantages of the Internship residence Permit

It comes with a work permit

Applicant can be outside Spain having studied abroad

Easy for employers, can do shorter contracts

Time counts towards the application for Spanish Nationality

Application can be presented online

Decision in 30 days and positive administrative silence



The signing of an internship agreement or work placement contract that provides for theoretical and practical training


With regard to the scope of the internship, it is required that the internship be carried out in the same academic field and at the same level of qualification as the higher education degree or the higher education study programme being undertaken.


Public or private comprehensive health insurance coverage.


The applicant has to accredit disposing of “sufficient resources”. The means of proof that can be provided and without being exhaustive include, among other sources: own means or those of relatives, subsidies, grants and scholarships or a declaration of taking charge of the host entity.

In relation to the amount of these sufficient resources, it will be verified that it counts for its support, with an amount that represents 100% of the monthly IPREM (564,90 €).


Criminal record in their previous countries of residence during the last five years, those applying for this residence permit and already holding another previous permit of more than six months, will not have to present the certificate of criminal record.


The host entity must provide proof of its legal personality, must be up to date with tax and social security obligations and must pay the corresponding fee.

Student Visa to Work and Residence Permit

If you hold a Student Visa and you wish to obtain a Work and Residence Permit, you need to have spent at least 3 years in Spain on the Student Visa and you have to find an employer who is willing to employ you in a position that goes with the degree you have obtained.

If you do not yet have found an employer, we recommend looking at the other options.

Being completely honest, getting a work permit for Spain is not easy. Depending on the situation, we recommend starting out with other permits to omit some of the more complicated requirements.

The process to obtain a general temporary residency and work permit:

  1. You have to find an employer willing to employ you.
  2. Your employer has to publish a job offer regarding the position they wish to give you and obtain a certificate from the administration stating that no adequate candidates already residing in Spain were found.Because of this requirement, it is almost impossible to obtain a work permit for jobs without the requirement of a high qualification or with a low salary.
  3. Your employer has to apply for the work permit at the administration in Spain.
  4. As soon as the work permit is issued, you have to apply at the Embassy or Consulate in your country of origin for the visa to enter Spain.
  5. Once you have entered Spain, you have to get registered with Spanish Social Security.
  6. Finally you have to apply for the foreigner identity card.

The main problem consists in the National Employment Situation. This aspect is an obstacle which is very difficult to overcome.

There are some exceptions that allow for an easier way to get a work permit:

If you are a highly qualified professional and you have been offered a position based on your qualifications coming with the corresponding competitive salary, you may be eligible for a Golden Visa for Highly Qualified Professionals. In that case, the following process and its difficulties do not apply. Click on the button and you will be shown the relevant information.

If you have already resided in Spain for one year on a different residence permit, for example a Non-Lucrative Residence Permit, you can apply for a work permit without having in mind the national employment situation.

In case you have been in Spain as a student and you wish to now search for a job or start a job, you have different options.

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Adam Bernard