Residence for training or research: visa and permit

What do you need to know?

If you want to carry out a training, research or innovation activity at a university, business, scientific research or technology development and innovation centre, or at a research body in Spain and you have an offer, the host entity must request a research residence permit.

VERY IMPORTANT

The permit is requested by the company or entity (online) and not the individual concerned.

The individual concerned must apply for the visa before travelling and after the permit is approved.

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.

What is your current status?

If you are outside Spain, you must request a national visa in order to enter Spain once your residence permit has been granted.

If you are legally in Spain, the university, business, R&D+i centre or research body is responsible for completing the procedure for obtaining the residence permit.

What requirements must be met to apply for the visa?

In order to apply for a national (long-stay) visa, certain general and specific requirements must be met, depending on the reason for travel.

General requirements

  • Not being a citizen of an EU or EEA state or Switzerland, or a family member of individuals from those countries to whom the rules for EU citizens apply.
  • Having no criminal record in Spain and in the countries where you have resided during the last five years.
  • Medical certificate.
  • 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 public or private health insurance taken out with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain.
  • Paying the application fee for the national (long-stay) visa.

 

Specific requirements

You must have the training and research permit, the requirements for which are detailed below.

What requirements must be met to apply for the permit?

To apply for the permit, both the researcher and the host entity must meet the following requirements:

 

RESEARCHER REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Not being a citizen of an EU or EEA state or Switzerland, or a family member of individuals from those countries to whom the rules for EU citizens apply.
  2. Not being in an irregular situation in Spanish territory.
  3. Being over 18 years of age.
  4. Having no criminal record in Spain and in the countries where you have resided in the last five years for crimes provided for in the Spanish legal system.
  5. Not being listed as liable to be refused entry in the territorial area of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement to that effect.
  6. Having documentation to prove the professional qualification required for the job.
  7. Having public or private health insurance taken out with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain.
  8. Having sufficient financial resources for yourself and your family members, if applicable, during your period of residence in Spain.
  9. Having one of the following profiles:
  1. 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.
  2. Scientific and technical staff who carry out scientific research, development and technological innovation in business entities or R+D+i centres established in Spain.
  3. Researchers hosted as part of an agreement by public or private research organisations, under the conditions laid down in the regulations.
  4. 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.

 

NECESSARY FEATURES OF THE ENTITY:

  1. Being a body referred to in the Spanish Science Act (public universities, public research bodies, both state and regional, as well as universities and private bodies in accordance with the first additional provision of the Act, etc.).
  2. Being a business or R&D+i centre established in Spain.
  3. Being a public or private research body that has signed an agreement.
  4. Being a higher education and research body or centre.
  5. Being a business school established in Spain.
  6. Paying the fee for processing the permit or visa.

Can I bring my family with me?

Yes.

The spouse and children under 18 years of age or of legal age who are financially dependent on the holder and who have not constituted by themselves a family unit of their own. Dependent relatives in the ascending line can also accompany you.

How long is it valid for?

The permit is valid throughout the contract or hosting agreement if less than two years, with a maximum of two (2) years, and may be renewed for subsequent periods of two (2) years provided the same conditions are met.

What do you need to do?

  • Visa: You can only complete the formality in person, going in person to the diplomatic missions and consular offices of Spain in your country of residence. Only exceptionally, and for justified reasons, may the consulate allow the application to be submitted by a duly accredited representative. Check with the relevant diplomatic mission or consular office about the specific procedure before starting the application.
  • Permit: The company or entity hosting the worker in Spain must process the formality online at the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE).

What steps must you take to obtain a visa?

STEP 1: You must obtain the permit
  • In order to apply for the national visa you should obtain in advance the residence for research permit. Once this permit has been accepted and granted, you must apply for the visa, proving that you meet the stipulated requirements.
STEP 2: Fill in the application form and gather the required documentation
  • You must download, fill in and sign the national visa application form, specifying your reason for travel.
  • The visa entry form is available in Spanish and sometimes the relevant consulate provides a version in the language of the country where the application is submitted. The application form is the same for all types of visa (except the Schengen visa).
  • Before making the application, consult and prepare the documentation you will be required to provide.
STEP 3: Request an appointment
  • The visa must be applied for in person or through a duly accredited representative.
  • In general, in order to apply for a visa at the diplomatic mission or consular office of your country of residence, you must make an appointment in advance, through their website or by e-mail. 
STEP 4: Pay the fee associated with the visa application
  • In order to apply for a visa, the established fee must be paid.
  • The amount may vary depending on the country, applicant’s nationality and type of visa.
  • In certain cases, a reduction or exemption from the fee is provided for. However, there is no provision for a refund of the fee if the application is refused.
STEP 5: Go to the place indicated and hand over the documentation
  • Go to the diplomatic mission or consular office of your country of residence to hand in the documents and to be able to apply for the relevant visa.
STEP 6: Receive or collect your visa
  • Once the documentation, fee payment and requirements have been validated, you will be notified if the visa is approved. You may receive it at home or you may have to travel to pick it up in person at the diplomatic mission or consular office of your country. You only have one month to collect the visa after notification; otherwise, your visa will be cancelled.
  • If the visa has been refused, you will receive a notification to that effect.
  • Once you have picked up your visa, remember that you must enter Spain in the following three months.
STEP 7: Entry into Spain

Remember that once you are in Spain, depending on your profile, you may need to complete the following formalities:

What steps must you take to obtain the permit?

  1. Choose an entity (university, business, R&D+i centre or research body).
  2. Gather the necessary documentation.
  3. The entity (university, business, R&D+i centre or research body) must apply for the residence permit for research and pay the relevant fee.
  4. If you are outside Spain, once the permit has been approved, apply for your entry visa.

Who can apply?

  • Visa: Applications for the national entry visa must be made by the foreign national himself or herself. Only exceptionally, and for justified reasons, may the consulate allow the application to be submitted by a duly accredited representative.
  • Permit: The entity (university, business, R&D+i centre or research body).

What documentation must be attached to the application?

In general, you must provide the original and a copy of the documents.

When documents are provided in languages other than Spanish, they must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator.  

On the other hand, all foreign public documents must be previously legalised, except where the document in question has had an apostille certificate attached by the competent authority of the issuing country.

VERY IMPORTANT

The documents must be translated into Spanish by a sworn translator and legalised. In the case of multilingual standard EU forms, neither translation nor authentication is required.

The form of legalisation will depend on whether the issuing country has signed the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 or not:

If the country issuing the public document is a signatory, the document will be recognised if it bears the Hague Apostille stamp. The certificate 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.

Get more information about the legalisation and translation of documents.

The documentation listed below is for information purposes only, by way of minimum requirements, as the documentation required may vary depending on your country of residence. Each diplomatic mission or consular office may require any additional documentation it deems necessary for the purposes of the decision regarding initial permit. 

However, the general and specific basic documentation that you will have to provide is the following:

  1. Passport with minimum validity of six (6) months and at least two (2) blank pages.
  2. Health insurance taken out with a company operating in Spain.
  3. Criminal record certificate (if in Spain at the time of application).
  4. Medical certificate (if applying for a visa).
  5. Proof of sufficient financial resources for you and your family members during your period of residence in Spain.
  6. Accreditation from the entity (university or contracting body) where your will conduct the research activity.
  7. Contract with the entity.

How much does the application cost?

  • Visa: The fee is €60 (in general). If your application is refused, there is no refund of the fee.
  • Permit: The fee is €73.26.

Want to know more?

Which body is responsible for the formality?

Where can I find more information?

You can consult the Government of Spain’s Immigration Portal (available only in Spanish), the Invest in Spain website (available in English and Spanish), the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE) page and the information sheet on researching in Spain available at:

Important linked procedures

Below are some examples of formalities that, depending on your profile, you may need to complete later:

IMPORTANT NOTICE

The procedures tend to change frequently. Therefore, only what is provided by the regulations in force at the time of carrying out the procedure in question is applicable.