It is no secret that the race for the best talent began a long time ago and that companies, at least those that have become aware of it, are making ever greater efforts to attract and retain this talent.
Of all the initiatives being carried out, opening up recruitment processes to other countries and thus gaining access to a greater number of professionals is, especially for companies in the technology sector, of the utmost importance.

The possibility of being able to count on international talent not only exponentially increases the pool of potential candidates to be considered, but also helps us to work and promote something as important as diversity.

At Axazure we have been opening that door for years and we love to welcome people who have decided to be part of this project, even if they have to move to another continent to do so. We feel extremely honoured, grateful and excited to have each and every one of them on board.
That is why, in this article, we would like to share our experience managing this kind of international processes with the PAC visa, which not only require Axazure to go out to the international market to recruit the best talent outside our borders, but also to meet certain legal requirements to obtain a work visa and tons of patience.

Procedures and processes for working in Spain with a PAC visa

The first thing that, in my opinion, is important during the management of this type of procedure is communication and total transparency with potential candidates throughout the entire selection process. To this end, it is essential that we take the following points into account from the beginning of the interviews and share them with the candidates at every step of the way:


Not all visas have the same requirements

Only by taking into account the requirements of the current legislation can we make a first filtering of candidates who meet the requirements of the regulation, so that neither the company nor the candidate wastes time in starting an interview process if we already know that one of the requirements for the visa is not met.

In our case, the objective is to be able to bring the professional in question to work in Spain under the Highly Qualified Professional visa (Entrepreneurs Law 14/2013) and the reasons are that it is a work permit that, due to the requirements it has and the time needed to obtain it, is usually very well suited to the needs of most technology companies.


What are the requirements of the visa we are going to apply for?

In our case, some of the PAC visa requirements that we would like to highlight are:

+ Not to be irregularly present in Spanish territory.
The application for the granting of the visa is generally processed from your country of origin. In this way, the professional will collect his or her visa at the end of the process at the Spanish consulate and will travel with it to our country.
If necessary, the application can also be made from Spain as long as the person is here legally (e.g. on business). In this case, once the authorisation has been granted, you would not have to return to your country to apply for a visa.

+ Not have a criminal record in Spain and in their previous countries of residence.

+ You must have a University Degree, accredited professional experience in the sector and that the job offer includes a gross annual salary, the minimums of which are set out in the law based on the profile (technician/manager and the candidate’s age >30 years or <30 years).


What is the process we will follow and what will we need?

  • The Employment Contract, payroll and Social Security are processed with the company in Spain. This is processed telematically at the Large Companies and Strategic Collectives Unit in Madrid.
  • By law, the processing time for the file is 20 working days, from the presentation of the application to the Large Companies Unit + 10 working days for the consular phase of the application for the work visa at the competent Spanish Consulate (of the candidate’s country of origin).
  • Once the visa has been issued, the worker would enter Spain within the validity of the visa and could start working once he/she has been registered with the Spanish Social Security by the company as a worker.

With regard to the timeframe, our advice is to allow an average of 3 months to be on the safe side. If everything is resolved more quickly, all the better, but we should not consider the incorporation of the professional before this period and the candidate should not arrange any kind of plane ticket, transfer, move, etc. to Spain until he/she has the resolution in his/her country of origin, not even, if he/she is working, should he/she inform his/her current employer that he/she is leaving the company. Otherwise, all that is achieved is to put a lot of pressure on both parties over something they have no control over, such as a governmental procedure to obtain a work permit. There may be delays or even, although unlikely in our experience, the application may be denied. Therefore, be very careful how you manage the timing and expectations of the other party.

A lot of documentation will be needed and will be requested by the authorities as part of the application dossier:

On the company’s side

  • Confirmation of the Legal Representative.
  • Descriptive report. This is the most important document in the dossier, so it is necessary to provide as much detail as possible in each section.
    • Brief history of the company.
    • Services provided and mention of important clients served.
    • Proyectos importantes, logros obtenidos, facturación, inversiones previstas, objetivos, etc.
    • Name of the job in Spanish according to the CNO – National Classification of Occupations
  • Gross annual salary to be received in Spain and duties to be performed.

On the candidate’s side/a

  • Background information from each of the countries in which he/she has lived.
  • Scanned copy of University Degree legalised for its validity in Spain.
  • Complete and recent scanned copy of your passport.
  • Updated and detailed CV in the functions you have been carrying out in each job position.
  • Confirmation of your current address, parents’ names and if you are travelling with family.


What are the implications of the permit we are going to apply for?

+ The Authorisation granted is linked to the company that applies for it.
+ If the work contract is indefinite, the initial permit is granted for 2 years with renewal after another two years. After 5 years of legal and continuous residence in Spain, you would be eligible for the Long-Term Residence, which is valid for 5 years and renewable

These renewals have an additional cost each time they are applied for of between €750 and €1,000 and require additional updated documentation on the worker’s status which requires as a basis that they continue to provide their services in the same company. If the company is going to cover the CAP visa application but does not subsequently offer coverage for renewals, it is worth discussing this during the process or reflecting this in a document within the company’s policies so that it is clear beforehand..

Additionally, Latin American nationals, after 2 years of legal and continuous residence in Spain, may apply for Spanish nationality.

+ This visa allows the spouse/partner and minor children and dependent adult children and dependent ascendants to be regrouped at the same time, and also allows adults to work.


Professional advice:

Let us remember that, on the part of the company, the need for these profiles and their incorporation in the shortest possible time may be critical, but on the other side there is a professional about to leave his country and perhaps also his family, managing countless changes on both a personal and professional level. In our case, we have professionals specialised in this area who provide detailed monitoring and who offer the following services:

+ Review and preparation of the dossier.
+ Presentation of the application to the competent body.
+ Close monitoring of the status of the application with the competent authorities.
+ Assistance in the consular phase when appropriate once the Residence and Work Authorisation has been granted.
+ Accompaniment during the fingerprinting process and application for the Residence Card (TIE) at the corresponding Police Station.
+ Assistance in the collection of the card within approximately 1 month after the fingerprinting.


What are the costs associated with visa processing?

The government fees for processing a PAC visa are: Permit fees €72.53 + Alien Identity Card fees €15.92.
In addition, given the recommendation to have specialised professionals who can advise us on the procedures, the professional fees for obtaining the permits vary depending on the company, the lawyer, the type of procedure and the services included, but they are usually, for each worker, between €800 and €2,000 + VAT + Government fees + translations (normally they are not included if these are necessary). In the event that the worker is travelling with family, the family package (excluding the worker) is on average around €1,200 + VAT

Finally, and outside the legal framework required to obtain a visa as a Highly Qualified Professional, there are some things that both the company and the candidate should bear in mind to facilitate the arrival of the professional in Spain, who is coming not only to work, but also to live.
Ideally, the candidate should have a contact in Spain who can advise him or her on everything involved in coming to Spain, or even, if the company already has people in the team who have gone through the experience, they can put them in contact with those who are starting out now. It makes life much easier for both parties and starts to foster a team feeling long before they even join the company.

Do you want to know first-hand the experience of some of our Axazure colleagues who have already dared to “cross the pond”? The following article is of interest to you: Moving countries for work?

The most essential thing:

Look for a house, know more or less where to look, both in terms of internet portals and in the most recommendable neighbourhoods or closer to offices, residential perhaps if you come with family, with more shops and more life to socialise if you come alone…. but always bear in mind that you will need to make a significant financial outlay as most of the properties ask for 1 month’s deposit, which is returned if there is no damage to the property, when you leave the flat + the current month + 1 month’s agency fee, if you have gone through a real estate agency and not directly with the owner.

My recommendation in this regard is that, even if you start looking as soon as possible, the arrival is direct from the airport to a temporary accommodation, perhaps for a month or so to be calm and in this way the person has the opportunity to physically go and visit the homes that interest him/her in the areas that best suit him/her and compare.

Opening a bank account, each entity has a different policy with respect to migrants who are still in the process of obtaining their physical NIE (the official document with a Foreigner’s Identity Number). It should be understood that, even if the professional has already been approved for the visa and granted this number, he or she will not be able to make an appointment at a police station to obtain and collect the official document that accredits him or her until a few weeks after arrival in Spain. Therefore, you should limit yourself to banks whose policy allows you to open a bank account only with the visa approval document and your passport (a photo ID is required).

Finally, and as other aspects to take into account:

Make the comparison in terms of differences in purchasing power / cost of living which, in most cases, differs substantially with those of the country of origin and this has a direct impact on the salaries that companies offer and those that each professional must take into account.
On the other hand, it is also important to get your driving licence approved before coming to Spain. It is easier to do this in the country of origin than once at the destination, and for those who are used to having the autonomy that a car gives you, whether it is your own for day-to-day work or the option of renting one when you want, it can be important.

We hope that all this information can be useful to anyone interested in working at Axazure and that because they do not have a visa or European nationality they have not taken the step to apply for one of our offers, let you know that if you have experience in Dynamics 365 Finance & Operations, Customer Engagement, Power Platform, talent and, above all, attitude, a visa will not stop you! We’ll take care of it ; ).

About the Author: Natalia Castelló

Procedures and processes for working in Spain with a visa PAC (Highly Qualified Professional) Axazure
HR Director

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