SPAIN – Evidence of Four Years of Tertiary Study Now Required for Work Permit Applications
The Spanish immigration authorities at the Large Business Unit (Unidad de Grandes Empresas), which processes work permit applications from qualifying companies (see this alert for more details) have started, effective immediately, to request evidence of four years of tertiary level study to support work permit applications.
Why Four Years?
Spanish tertiary level qualifications generally require four years of study. Therefore, in order for a foreign university degree to be recognised as equivalent, the duration of the course should have been at least four years. Alternatively, if the applicant has completed a three year undergraduate degree, as is standard in many countries, the work permit application must be additionally supported by evidence of one further year of postgraduate studies.
Who Is Affected?
The new criterion applies to all applications made at the Large Business Unit, both for transnational assignees and local hires, including applications which have already been made and which are currently in process. So far, requests for the additional supporting documentation have been made in the case of applications where the degree was completed in India only; however, it is likely that the requirement will be rolled out to other applications in the near future.
It is possible that exemptions may be made on an exceptional basis for Blue Card applications, where the applicant has at least five years of relevant professional experience.
Since most degree certificates do not state duration of course, it is now recommended to support all work permit applications with transcripts showing dates of commencement and completion of the course. Note that the degree certificates and transcripts must be Apostilled or legalised in the country of origin for use in Spain, and may also need to be translated. Obtaining the additional documents from the university of graduation, plus the Apostille/legalisation and translation will all take additional time.
- Note the new criterion for evidence of educational qualifications and prepare applications accordingly.
- Allow additional lead time for work permit applications in order to prepare the necessary documents.