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Visa for Highly Qualified Workers and Intra-Company Transfers

Visa for highly qualified workers: Visa to carry out a work activity as an employee in Spain as a highly qualified professional, member of senior management personnel meeting certain criteria set forth in prevailing legislation, or as a graduate or post-graduate of a prestigious university and/or business school. 

Visa for intra-company transfers: Visa to carry out a work activity as an employee in Spain as a member of senior management personnel, a specialist or a trainee, to perform a contract, or in regards to a professional relationship, when the transfer is made within the same company or group of companies. 

The following family members of the worker may also obtain the visa: 

  • The spouse or unmarried partner.
  • Children and adult children who are financially dependent on the worker and who have not created a family unit of their own.
  • Relatives in the ascending line in the worker's care.

Starting March 1st 2024, applications for Non-working visas must be submitted in person by appointment only at the BLS Spain Visa Application Center in Washington, D.C. 

In order to apply for a Non-working visa at the BLS Spain Visa Application Center in Washington, D.C. you must be a resident in our jurisdiction (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina). 

Please be sure that you have all required documents before scheduling an appointment, as only complete applications with all requirements will be admitted.

To find more information and schedule an appointment at the BLS Spain Visa Application Center in Washington DC, please follow the link: BLS Spain Visa Application Center
BLS Visa Application Center: 1660 L Street. NW, Suite 216, Washington, D.C., 20036
Phone number: 516-888-1169 (BLS call-center for USA)


Required documents for the worker​​ 

1. National Visa Application form. Each applicant, or their representative, must complete and sign a visa application form, filling in each of its sections. Visa applications can be filled out electronically or handwritten in capital letters. 

Please do not forget to fill out numbers 17, 18 (your address, email and telephone number), 21 (intended date of entry) 24, 25 (NIE) and 27 (complete information related to the employer in Spain) on the application form.

2. One photograph. Glued or clipped onto visa application form. Photo specifications: Recent (taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance), passport-size, color photograph, printed on matte/glossy paper, taken against a white, light, clear, uniform background, facing forward, without dark or reflective glasses, or any garments concealing the applicant’s full oval of the face. 

Photos with a dark background or with objects or people that can be seen behind your head will not be accepted. ​

3. Valid, unexpired passport. The original and a photocopy of the page or pages of the passport that contain biometric data must be submitted. The passport must have a minimum validity period of 1 year and contain two blank visa pages. Passports issued more than 10 years ago will not be accepted

4. Proof of legal residence in the United States. Non-U.S. citizens must also submit proof of legal residence in the United States: U.S. Resident Card (Green card) or valid U.S. long term Visa. Original and copy. 

B-1 and B-2 visa holders cannot apply for a visa in the United States; they must apply for it in their country of residence or country of origin.

5. Proof of residence in the consular district: The applicant must be a legal resident in our consular jurisdiction (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina). Residence must be proven by one of the following, valid documents: U.S. driver’s license, state ID. Original and copy.​

6. Residence authorization. Authorization of Initial Residence for Highly Qualified workers (“Autorización de residencia inicial para trabajadores altamente calificados”) or Authorization of Initial Residence for Intra-company Transfers (“Autorización de residencia inicial para traslado intraempresarial”). These authorizations are issued by the UGECE (“Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos”, del “Ministerio de Inclusión, Seguridad Social y Migraciones” de España), or the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration of Spain. 

Each family member accompanying the worker must submit a Residence authorization issued in favor of the family member. ​

7. Criminal background check certificate. Applicants of legal age (18 years old and older) must submit the original and a photocopy (not notarized) of their criminal background check certificate(s) issued by their country or countries of residence for the past 5 years. 

  • The criminal background check must be issued by the U.S. Department of Justice – Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). We do not accept State or Local Police Background Check.
  • The background check must be issued within the 6 months preceding the submission of the visa application. 
  • The background check must be authenticated with The Hague Apostille. We do not accept background checks without the Hague Apostille. The Apostille must certify the signature on the Criminal Background check, not other signatures. We do not accept apostilles that certify the signature of a local notary that stamps a seal on the criminal background check.
  • The criminal background check will not be accepted if it has been altered or damaged in any way, including damage caused by removing staples. 
  • The background check must be accompanied by an official translation into Spanish by a sworn/certified translator (the translation does not need an Apostille and the Apostille does not need a translation). ​

If the applicant has spent more than 6 months (more than 180 days) during the last 5 years in another country (outside the USA or Spain), an additional criminal background check from every country of residence must be provided. The criminal background checks must be authenticated with the The Hague Apostille, unless it is issued by an EU member state. The criminal background check issued by an EU authority does not need to be apostilled to be accepted. If the country in which the applicant has lived in the past 5 years does not subscribe to The Hague Convention of 1961, the background check must by authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the issuing country and then by the Consulate of Spain in this country. The background check must be accompanied by an official translation into Spanish (if the original is not written in Spanish).​

Please submit an original and a copy of all documents: Criminal background check, Apostille and official translation.​

You may​ find certified translators through the AMERICAN TRANSLATORS' ASSOCIATION

8. Declaration of responsibility (original and photocopy) of the absence of criminal records in the countries in which you have resided during the past 5 years. Signed declaration template.docx

9. Proof of the representative's identity and capacity. If the visa application is submitted through a representative, a copy of the identity document or passport of the representative and of the power of attorney or document accrediting representation must be submitted. The originals must be shown when submitting the application. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish. 

10. Disclaimer form

11. Payment of the visa fee. Different rates are applied due to reciprocity. In 2024:

  • U.S. citizens: $190
  • Citizens of Australia: $3.111
  • Citizens of Bangladesh: $99
  • Citizens of Canada: $811
  • Citizens of Ethiopia: $508
  • Citizens of Mauritania: $263
  • Citizens of the UK: $917
  • All other nationalities: $88

Required documents for family members.​ For each family member accompanying the worker it will be necessary to submit:​

  • All the required documents specified in sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 and 11. Where applicable, those specified in 7, 8, and 9 also. In the case of minors, the visa application must be signed by one of their parents or by a duly accredited representative.  
Please note that in case of accompanying family members, each applicant must submit a different residence authorization (point 6). That means every residence authorization must indicate the name of the family member.

  • Documents proving family relationship with the worker: Birth certificate, marriage certificate issued by the civil registry, certificate of registration as an unmarried couple. ​
  • In the case of adult children (18 years and older), documents proving financial dependence, the adult child's civil status and that they continue to form part of the family unitIt can be certificates of disability, of cohabitation at the same address, etc.
     
  • In the case of relatives in the ascending line, documents proving financial dependence and that they form part of the family unit. Foreign documents must be legalized or apostilled and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish. 
  • In the case of an unregistered couple with a stable emotional relationship equivalent to a registered couple: Notarized declaration stating that you are an unregistered, unmarried couple with a stable emotional relationship equivalent to a registered couple, and any other document proving the unregistered partnership with the applicant for at least 1 year, for evaluation. 
Foreign documents must be legalized or apostill​ed and, where applicable, must be submitted together with an official translation into Spanish. Please submit an original and a copy


When necessary to assess the application, the Consular Office may request additional documents or data and may also ask the applicant to come in for a personal interview.

 

Procedure​​

  • Who can apply for a visa: In order to apply for a Non-working visa you must be a resident in our jurisdiction (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina).Visa applications must be submitted in person by the applicant. 
  • Place of submission: The application must be submitted in person by appointment only to the BLS Spain Visa Application Center in Washington, D.C
BLS - SPAIN VISA APPLICATION CENTER, WASHINGTON DC
1660 L St NW, Second Floor, Suite: 216, Washington, DC 20036

To find more information and schedule an appointment for National visas at BLS Spain Visa Application Center in Washington DC, please follow the link: BLS Spain Visa Application Center

Please note that there are different sections for Schengen Visa and for National Visa appointments.​

Please be sure that you have all required documents before scheduling an appointment, as only complete applications with all requirements will be admitted. 

If the worker is accompanied by his/her family members, the worker (or the representative) can submit the applications for all the family members. It is not necessary that the family members come to the BLS Office to submit their application.
  • Rectifying the application: The Consular Office may ask the applicant to submit any missing documents, or to provide additional documents or data that are necessary for a decision regarding the application. The applicant may also be called in for a personal interview. 

  • ​Decision period: The legal period for reaching a decision is 10 days from the day when the Consular Section forwards the documents through the visa system (not from the day the applicant submits the application at the BLS Office), but this period may be extended when an interview or additional documents are requested.  
  • Collecting the visa:​ BLS Office will inform the applicant regarding the procedure to collect /return the passport and any other original documentation.   
  • Visa refusal: Visa refusals will always be notified in writing, setting forth the grounds on which the decision adopted was based. 
  • Appeals: If a visa is refused, the applicant may submit an appeal for reconsideration to this Consular Office in Spanish within 1 month of the day following the date on which notification of the refusal is received. An application for judicial review may also be filed with the High Court of Justice of Madrid within the 2-month period beginning the day after the date on which the applicant receives notification of the visa refusal or of the dismissal of the reconsideration appeal. 
  • Validity period of the visa: The visa is valid for 1 year, or for the same period as the residence authorization granted (if the residence authorization is valid for less than 1 year).
    The visa accredits residence in Spain during its validity period, making it unnecessary for the worker to obtain a Foreigner Identity Card. However, it is advisable to apply for a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE, "Tarjeta de Identificación de Extranjeros") after the worker’s entry into Spain, especially if the residence authorization is valid for more than 1 year. The TIE is renewable, and it is possible to initiate the TIE renewal procedure within 60 days before the expiration of the card.  ​​