How to change from looking for a job visa to work permit

from looking for a job visa to work permit

Since 2018, the residence permit to look for a job visa has benefited hundreds and hundreds of students in Spain.

For it is undoubtedly the perfect opportunity to stay in Spain after finishing your studies and be able to find a job or make preparations to start your own business.

But the doubts come once this year of residency is over. What to do then? How can I change to another type of residency (since this one cannot be renewed)?

In this post we will analyze in detail how to change and modify the visa to look for a job to a work permit. We explore all its requirements, which residences you can modify to, and other crucial aspects to enjoy an easy process.

Until the end of 2018, foreign students in Spain had few options to get a work permit after finishing their studies.

If they did not find an offer as highly qualified workers, they had to wait until they had been studying for 3 years before they could modify to a regular work permit.

This undoubtedly made the process more difficult, as most studies have much shorter durations.

However, the creation of the job search visa was the solution for many of them.

This non-profit residency (as it does not allow them to work) enabled them to stay 12 extra months in the Spanish territory to be able to easily move to a work permit afterwards.

How does it work?

Simply, by offering this valuable year so that the foreigner can find a job offer, or go through all the steps required to set up her own company (or start working as a freelancer).

You can find all the requirements to apply for this residence authorization here.

What’s next is exactly how this transition process works.

To which residences can you modify with a job search visa?

One of the main upsides of the job search visa is that you can modify to different residence and work authorizations, both under the general immigration law and under the entrepreneur’s law.

More specifically, you will be able to modify to:

However, we find an important point in relation to timings.

For if you intend to modify during the first 10 months (since you found a job offer quickly), you would only be able to modify to a highly qualified permit.

Hence, it would not be until the 10th month that you would be able to change to a regular work permit.

And in that case, the national unemployment situation would not apply since you would already have been a resident for one year when you receive the resolution.

When will you be able to make the modification?

Here we enter a key and fundamental point in the whole process.

The foreigner holder of the residence visa to look for a job has a total of one year in Spain to find a job offer or start his own business.

But when exactly can you make the transition from a job search visa to a work permit?

First of all, you must keep in mind that, unlike other renewals, this modification must be made WITHIN the year that the residency lasts (and not 90 days after the expiration of the card).

However, within this year, the modification will occur when the foreigner finds the job offer.

If the offer is found in month 2, it will be in month 2 that the modification will be made.

And if she finds it in the last month of that year, in the last month.

In other words, it is not necessary to wait until the end of the year that this card lasts.

Main requirements

In general, the requirements to modify a work permit will be exactly the same as those that correspond and are specific to the residence and work authorization you are applying for.

That is to say, you will have to review the requirements of the highly qualified visa, the regular work permit, or the entrepreneur visa depending on what you are moving to; since there are no unified requirements.

However, we do find a key point whatever the modification is.

On the one hand, the job you find must be strictly related to your studies. That is, you cannot finish a degree in finance and start working in a bar.

And, on the other hand, that same job must be in line with the level of studies you have completed; so the technical requirements must be as high as your studies allow (and never less).

And what happens if I don't find a job offer?

What to do in those cases when the full year of job search has passed and you have not been able to find any job?

The fact is that this residency cannot be renewed, and this fact requires a different solution.

That is why the most common in these cases is to return to a stay for studies.

You will have to enroll in an educational institution and reapply for a student visa.

Do I have to wait until I have the card before I can start working?

No. Once you have submitted your modification application and receive the favorable resolution, you can start working directly, that same day!

With a positive resolution, the company will be able to register you with social security and assign you the corresponding number.

Thus, it is not necessary to wait to have the physical card (TIE), you can work directly with the resolution.

However, this does not mean that you should not get it. You must go to the immigration office with your resolution to register your fingerprints and finally get your card.


Do you need help or have doubts about the modification from job search visa to work permit? Our immigration lawyers will provide you with personalized legal assistance, contact us now!

Get in touch with our lawyers and let us guide you step by step:

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from looking for a job visa to work permit

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