Residence permit for training and research

Updated 01/2022

Permit to reside and work as a researcher, valid for the whole of Spain 

  • What do you need to know?
  • What do you need to do?

The FEE is € 72.53 (the amount is borne by the company)

The VALIDITY is the same as the duration of the contract or agreement, with a maximum of TWO YEARS 

The application must be made PRIOR to obtaining a VISA or IF YOU ARE ALREADY IN SPAIN LEGALLY

It is processed ONLINE by the entity hiring the researcher 

What is it?

This is the document that entitles the holder to reside and work in Spain as a professional researcher at a university, in business entities or in a research body established in Spain. This document must be obtained by foreign nationals from outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Important information

The permit is requested by the university, business entity, R&D&I centre or the research organisation or someone representing those entities and having the necessary accreditation.

  • If the citizen is outside Spain, this permit is an indispensable requirement for obtaining the relevant national (long-term) visa.
  • If the citizen is in Spanish territory legally, he or she only has to obtain a permit to reside and work in the territory.

In both cases, the permit to allow the residence of family members can also be requested, jointly or subsequently.

The residence permit  for research has the duration of the contract or agreement, with a maximum of two years, and may be renewed for successive two-year periods provided that the same conditions are maintained. 

For more information, go to the Government of Spain's Immigration Portal and the information sheet for researchers available in English, Russian, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish).

Why do you have to apply for it?

It is important, since obtaining it is essential to prove the acquired right to reside and work in Spanish territory, for people who are not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland.

Who does it apply to?

It applies to people from outside the EU, the EEA or Switzerland who travel to Spain to carry out training, research, development and innovation activities in public or private entities.

Who has to apply for it?

The application must be submitted by the university, business entity, R+D+i centre or the research organisation.

What requirements must be met?

To apply for the permit, both the researcher and the host entity must meet certain requirements. 

Researcher requirements
  • Not being in an irregular situation in Spanish territory.
  • Being at least 18 years of age.
  • Having no criminal record in Spain and in the countries where you have resided during the last five years.
  • Not being forbidden to enter Spain or being listed as liable to be refused entry in the territorial area of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement to that effect.
  • Having a university degree or equivalent or, where appropriate, at least three years' professional experience.
  • Paying the fee for processing the permit.
  • Having one of the following profiles:
    • Research staff provided for in article 13 and in the first additional provision of Law 14/2011, of 1 June, on science, technology and innovation.
    • Scientific and technical staff who carry out scientific research, development and technological innovation in business entities or R+D+i centres established in Spain.
    • Researchers hosted as part of an agreement by public or private research organisations, under the conditions laid down in the regulations.
    • Teaching staff hired by universities, higher education and research bodies or institutions or business schools established in Spain, in accordance with the criteria laid down in the regulations
Entity requirements

Proof of compliance with Article 72 of Law 14/2013 applicable to the entity: 

  • Body referred to in the Spanish Science Act (public universities, public research bodies, both state and regional; universities and private bodies in accordance with the first additional provision of the Act, etc.). 
  • Business entity or R&D+i centre established in Spain. 
  • Public or private research organisation that has signed an agreement. 
  • Higher education and research body or centre. 
  • Business school established in Spain. 
Which body is responsible for the formality?


Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos (UGE). (Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit)

What advice and suggestions could help you?
  • If, at the time of application, you are outside Spain, you will have to apply for a national visa in order to enter Spain once your residence permit has been granted. If, on the other hand, you are already in Spain legally at the time of application, you will be exempt from this formality.
  • Your family members may accompany you on your trip and, at any time, they may jointly apply for a permit or visa or do so at a later stage. This condition applies to:
    • Spouse or unmarried partner
    • Children who are minors, or who are of legal age, and who are financially dependent on the holder
    • Dependent relatives in the ascending line
What other linked formalities should you know about?

What do you need to do?


The university, business entity, R&D+i centre or research body is responsible for completing the procedure for obtaining the residence permit.  

Remember that your family members can accompany you on your trip and that they will be able to apply for a permit, together with your application for authorisation or at a later date.

What steps must you take to apply for the permit?

The entity applies for the permit

The university, business entity, R&D+i centre or research body must apply for the residence permit for research. This application is processed at the Large Companies and Strategic Collectives Unit in Spain. 

To make it easier for the company to obtain the permit, consult the documentation required to have it prepared in case it is requested.

  • When documents are provided in languages other than Spanish, they must be translated into Spanish by means of sworn translation
  • On the other hand, all foreign public documents must be legalised beforehand, except where the document in question has had an apostille certificate attached by the competent authority of the issuing country.
    • In the case of standard EU forms, neither their translation nor their legalisation will be necessary, in accordance with the provisions of the EU regulations that relate to them.

It is important for you to know that the public documents issued in your country of origin which are necessary to complete formalities for coming to Barcelona must comply with international legalisation requirements.

There are two methods of international legalisation of a public document, depending on whether or not the country issuing the document is a signatory to the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961:

  • If the country issuing the public document is a signatory, the document will be recognised if it bears the Hague Apostille stamp. This stamp will be processed in the country of origin.
  • If the country issuing the public document is not a signatory, then the legalisation process will be carried out through diplomatic channels.

In addition, any documents issued in a language other than Spanish must be translated by means of sworn translation. In the case of standard EU forms, neither translation nor legalisation is required. 

General documentation
  • Full copy of his or her passport with minimum validity of six months and at least two blank pages.
  • Health insurance taken out with a company operating in Spain.
  • Criminal record certificate (if in Spain at the time of application).
  • Proof of sufficient financial resources for you and your family members during your period of residence in Spain.
Specific documentation
  • Accreditation of the university or body that contracts and where the research activity will take place.
  • Copy of the contract or professional relationship with the institution.
If you are outside Spain, apply for your visa

If you are outside Spain at the time of submitting the application, once the permit has been approved you must apply for a visa in order to be able to enter the territory.

In order to find out about the procedure for obtaining the entry visa, consult the information on the formality, which contains all the details on how to obtain it.

Entry into Spain

Remember that, once you are in Spain, you will have to complete other formalities: