Highly qualified professional job descriptions undergoing greater scrutiny

9 Mar 17



What is the change? Spanish authorities are applying stricter scrutiny to job criteria for foreign highly qualified professionals applying under the Entrepreneurs’ Act.

What does the change mean? While there has not been any official change in policy, authorities will no longer be as lenient when assessing job descriptions to establish that the foreign assignee will fill a position in national occupation classifications 1 and 2 matching a highly qualified job position.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: HQP work permits under the Entrepreneurs’ Act.
  • Who is affected: Companies hiring and assigning foreign nationals as highly qualified professionals under the Entrepreneurs’ Act.
  • Business impact: Employers should anticipate greater scrutiny of each application for highly qualified professionals.
  • Next steps: Companies should review their job descriptions and verify that HQP applicants strictly meet all criteria.

Background: Under the Entrepreneurs’ Act passed in October 2013, managers or highly qualified professionals are eligible for residence permits allowing work, and the applications are not subject to the labor market test. Up until now, even if the job position belonged to professional group 1 or 2 in accordance with the National Catalogue of Occupations, the authorities have been lenient in relation to the responsibilities indicated in the job description.

BAL Analysis: Employers should anticipate stricter adherence to qualifying criteria of HQP applicants. In addition to requiring that the job position fall within the appropriate occupation classification, the applicant’s educational background and experience must be in line with the job position offered, and authorities have generally applied more scrutiny to applicants earning less than €30,000.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Spain. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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