When it comes to work permit to stay in a country, there are usually several options, for example, tourist, student, investor and highly skilled professional visa; the latter is designed for people who work in large companies or specialize in a certain area.

For the members of the European Union, this procedure is brief and does not have many requirements, however, in 2020 the United Kingdom consolidated its separation from this organization, so the protocol for UK citizens will be different.

Below we explain what a Highly Skilled Professional Work Permit is, also known as HSP and we will tell you the steps you must follow to apply for it.

What is the Highly Skilled Professional Work Permit?

It is a special residence permit that allows citizens who are not members of the European Union to live and work legally in Spanish territory. It is a document issued to workers who have an important position within a company.

So, the people who can apply for this work permit are managers, leaders of large teams within a company, workers who carry out specialized technical activities and those who finish their studies at prestigious universities and business schools.

There are two possibilities to apply for the highly skilled professional work permit. In the first, the company offers an employment contract to the employee and he becomes another member. In the second, they establish a contractual relationship; that is, the self-employed worker offers his service to the company.

In the latter case, the income offered by the company requesting the service must be greater than 75% of the income obtained by the independent worker.

aproval work permit

How do you apply for the HSP?

The application process for the Highly Skilled Professional Work Permit must be requested by both the company and the employee and can be done both in Spain and in the United Kingdom.

First, a company representative, duly accredited, must prepare the necessary documents and send the request to the authorities in charge of the process, including the Unit for Large Companies or UGE (in Spanish, Unidad de Grandes Empresas).

Then, foreigners who apply for the work permit must present their personal documents and those issued by the company from their country of origin or from Spain, as long as they are in a legal situation; that is, they have all their valid identity and residence documents.  

The applicant must also have a tourist, student or non-profit residence visa. With these documents, the foreigner can start the application.

If the person is in his country of origin and does not have residency in Spain, it is necessary to request the residence authorization from the Spanish consulate and wait for its approval; then, the applicant must travel to register his fingerprints and receive his residence card.

 work permit application

Is the HSP applicable to all companies?

Despite the fact that all companies need an executive manager and specialized technicians in a certain area, not all of them have the power to apply for a Highly Skilled Professional Work Permit for one of their employees.

Among the requirements, the company must be large, it must belong to an important group of companies or it must be an SME in a strategic sector for Spain. Even if it meets any of these three conditions, the company must develop a strategic project of general interest.

Only in the event that the applicant company hires a worker with a degree or postgraduate degree from a prestigious business university in Spain, the size and sector of the company will not be taken into account.

Academic training of the applicant for the HSP

The academic profile of the HSP applicants must reflect a highly skilled professional; that is, they must have a university degree, as well as a master’s or doctorate in their area of specialization.

In the event that applicants have not finished their higher education, they can demonstrate their experience with employment references indicating that they have experience of more than three years in that sector and that they have performed the tasks they will perform in the company that is hiring them.

In the same way, the UGE will evaluate the position they will have within the company and will decide whether or not their hiring is necessary. Plus, the minimum wage of the hired foreigner is more than € 50,000 per year.