Intra-Corporate Transfer Residency Visa in Spain

intra-corporate transfer residency

Everything you need to know about the work permit that allows you to relocate in Spain to work for the headquarters of a multinational company located in the country! After reading this post, you will fully undesrtand the detailed requirements to successfully apply for this visa, the step-by-step application procedure, and the two types of intra-corporate transfer residency visa

The residence authorization for intra-company transfer workers is a specific type of qualified work permit granted for 3 years to those non-EU workers transferred to Spain by a company that has its offices in several countries around the world.

That is to say, in many cases, we find multinationals with headquarters in a third country (let’s say, for example, the United States), and also with offices in another country, like Spain.

In these cases, the company could transfer workers from one office to another (from the U.S. headquarters to the Spanish ones); and it could do so thanks to the intra-company transfer residence, which will allow those employees to legally remain in the country while they carry out their professional activity.

Specifically, this authorization allows the transfer of workers, managers, or specialists from one headquarters to another so that:

  • The worker can complete specific training that must take place in Spain.
  • To carry out their professional activity regularly, continuing with their work but at the Spanish headquarters due to an internal reorganization or expansion.
  • Manage one or more teams in the country

In the following sections we will review with greater detail all the possible reasons for this transfer that are accepted by the corresponding law.

But which is that law precisely?

Related legislation

Intra-company transfer visas are regulated under the Entrepreneurs Law 14/2013; in this case as an initiative to attract foreign companies in Spain, as well as international talent; boosting the Spanish economy as a result.

One of the most positive aspects of this legislation is that it will be the UGE (Large Companies and Strategic Collectives Unit) who will review all the applications, so the resolution is granted in record time.

Main advantages of this visa

Among others, this visa offers the following advantages and benefits:

  • Possibility to make a joint application and include your relatives with you (spouse or civil partner, dependent children, and parents).
  • You will be able to enjoy a really fast resolution (usually 20 days).
  • This residency can be applied for while in Spain as a tourist.
  • It does not take into account the national unemployment situation, something that in many cases makes it very difficult to obtain a work permit.
  • It is a residence authorization granted for 3 years instead of 1 (as is the case for residences under the general regime).
  • Possibility to enter, live and work in any EU member country when obtaining the ICT-EU typology.

Do you have any doubts so far? Ask us anything or keep on reading for more information:

The 2 types of intra-corporate transfer visas

There are two different modalities when applying for this visa:

Residence permit for intra-company transfer workers ICT EU

This is the card that will be requested when you intend to transfer one of the three types of workers to Spain:

  • Workers who need to carry out training activities in the Spanish headquarters to integrate into the company’s processes and operations (during which time they will continue to receive a salary)
  • Specialists who have valuable knowledge and who need to move to Spain to make it available to the team in the country.
  • Executives and managers who need to move to manage a division or department in the Spanish offices

In these cases, the duration of the transfer may last a maximum of 1 year in the case of training, and 3 years in the other two.

One of the main advantages of this type of intra-company transfer is that any foreign worker in a company’s head office located in any other EU country could be transferred to Spain, or vice versa: to any head office located within the European territory if he/she is in Spain; although always with prior notice to the UGE.

That is to say, as the main advantage, this type of authorization (ICT EU) offers the right to mobility within the EU.

National residence authorization for intra-company transfers

On the other hand, we find this second variation of the residency for intra-company transfers, but this time following a more national approach.

Basically, this authorization proceeds when the maximum duration of transfer established in the previous case (1 year or 3, depending on the type of professional) has elapsed completely, or for other cases, such as the transfer of workers for the execution of a contract (CSS) or the transfer of workers for a professional relationship (IPs).

Main requirements

In this section you can find all the requirements that must be met in order to successfully apply for intra-company transfer residency.

As you will now see, most of them depend on the professional profile of the worker who will relocate to Spain, as well as others related to the company itself.

What are these requirements?

  • First of all, to demonstrate that there is real business activity on the part of the company’s headquarters in Spain (i.e., that it is operational and fully functioning)
  • The company to which the employee is transferred in Spain must be part of the same group as to the original headquarters the worker comes from
  • The transferred worker must have a higher degree (bachelor, master, or Ph.D.)
  • If the previous requirement is not fulfilled, a minimum of 3 years of professional experience is required
  • The employee must have been working for at least 3 months in one or more companies of the group
  • A criminal record certificate with no criminal record must be presented.
  • Finally, the transfer and the reasons why it will take place must be accredited

In case the company is already registered in the UGE fast-track, most of the processes and requirements will be faster and reduced. 

Application process

How does the application process for this residence work?

As we have mentioned, all applications for this visa are made at the UGE, but in this case they must be submitted by the company who transferring the worker.

In that sense, there are two options to do so:

And this must be done at least 90 days before flying to Spain; although it is also possible to obtain this residency once the worker is already within the Spanish territory; as long as she is in a legal situation (with a valid tourist visa).

The processing is very fast, since in just 20-30 days you will receive an answer.

Once the foreigner receives a positive resolution, she must apply for the visa at the Spanish consulate located in the country of origin (or omit this step if she is already in Spain).

In this phase of the process, the times depend on each consulate, but since it has preferential processing, it usually takes about 7-10 days to obtain it.

With this visa, the foreigner will have 30 days to travel to Spain and enter the country, at which time she will finally obtain her TIE or physical residence card at any immigration office.

How to renew the intra-corporate transfer residency

Like all visas under the Entrepreneurs Law in Spain, we are talking about a residence and work authorization for 2 years.

Once this time comes to an end, there is the possibility of renewing the card as long as the limitations of the collective agreement between both countries (country where the headquarters of the foreign worker is located and Spain) are respected.

It is important to keep in mind that the fact of submitting the renewal application automatically extends the period of stay or residence by the applicant worker until a resolution is reached; so at no time would you remain in an irregular situation.

Do you need help to get your work permit? Our immigration lawyers will guide you online:

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

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