Main new regulations affecting student permits in Spain

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AGM Abogados

On July 27th 2022, the Spanish Government has approved some new modifications of the Spanish General Immigration Law (known as Law 4/2000) with the Royal Decree 629/2022 of July 26th.  Those laws had already entered into force the August 16th 2022.

One of the main modifications affects foreigner students. For those the new regulations affects to the following points:

a. Students carrying out studies in an authorized educational center in Spain (*) will be automatically incorporating a work authorization (either through self-employment or employment relationship) in their student’s visas (art. 42 of 4/2000 Law):

Certain restrictions apply to this incorporated work authorization:

  • The work activity must be compatible with the studies (criteria of maximum 30 hours per week based on the student work authorization regulated by the same law)
  • It only applies to certain studies such as University Studies (Degree, Master, PhD, i.e), studies of regulated training for employment or obtaining a certificate of professionalism, or studies to the award of a certificate of technical aptitude or professional qualification for a specific occupation.
  • The authorization will not be limited to a specific region if it can be demonstrated that the work activity can be done without requiring continuous displacements.
  • The validity of the work authorization will be determined by the duration of the student permit authorization.

b. Other students stablished in art. 37.1 of the 4/2000 Law will have to apply for a Work Authorization separately sponsored by a Spanish company (art. 42 of 4/2000 Law)

The same restrictions of hours, region limitation and validity will apply.

c. Students completing their authorized studies will be allowed to convert their permit directly to a Work Permit authorization (art. 199 of 4/2000)

The previous regulation was requiring 3 continuous years of student status to convert the student permit to a work permit (unless you did it through the highly qualify permit or the work internship permit both regulated in the Entrepreneur Law). The new Law does only require accrediting the completion of the studies you did in Spain. Relatives of student will be allowed to apply for a residence permit if they were in Spain previously under a relatives student permit.

The authorization must be submitted within the validity of the student permit (maximum 60 days before expiration) and until 90 days after the expiration as it happens in students’ extensions permits or job search permits (**)

After the law has entered into force the following residency options can potentially apply for foreign students in Spain:

  1. General work authorization (either “Cuenta Ajena” or “Cuenta Propia” words use in Spanish for work employment or self-employment). After completing your studies in Spain.
  2. Highly qualify permit (in any moment if you can accredit certain requirements as minimum salaries; 41,000€ gross salary/year for technician or professionals’ profile’s & 54,000€ for Directors).
  3. Work Internship Permit if you have university studies completed within the past 2 years prior to the application.
  4. Entrepreneur permit (in any moment if you have a relevant business project it means that can be potentially interest for the Spanish government).

At AGM Abogados we can guide and provide the corresponding assistance to determine the suitable work permit option you may be able or interest to request after completing your studies. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any query. Click here

(*) Art. 37.1.a) of 4/2000 Law: students carrying out studies in an authorized educational center in Spain, in a full – time program, leading to the award of a degree or certificate of studies (Certificate of Completion or Diploma Certificate) who had obtain the permit under the new immigration regulation.
(**) You can only apply for the Work Authorization regulated on art. 199 if you access from a student status. It does not apply if you are under a job search permit.

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