Job Search Visa in Spain: Residency for Students who Look for a Job

new law for students in spain looking for a job

If you are a foreign student in Spain studying your degree, master’s or Ph.D… the new change in the Spanish immigration law will really benefit you. The creation of a residence permit for students who look for a job will enable you to live legally in Spain while looking for a job or create your own company. Do you want to discover which are the requirements and how you can benefit from this job search visa? Then you must keep reading.

Many foreign citizens do the same: they start studying or conducting research in Spain in order to live legally in the country. Why? Because, like that, they can apply for a student visa, a residence permit that enables them to stay without any problem. But… what happens when the study or research period ends? That the resident permit expires, so the individual cannot stay in the country any longer. And that is a problem.

However… the situation has now changed. A new law has been approved, and if you are in that situation, it will highly benefit you.

How? The new residence authorization to look for a job in Spain or job search visa will enable you to reside legally in the country until you find a job or have started your own company. That simple.

Hence, the job search visa has become of the most efficient ways to move from student visa to work permit, working as an intermediary step.

Are you interested in applying to this temporary residency permit? Well, you are lucky. Cause we have answered for you the main doubts that may arise.

Who can apply for the job search visa?

Those foreign students who have finished an undergraduate degree, Master or PhD, and who do not wish to renew their student visas anymore.


Do you have any doubt so far? Ask anything to our immigration lawyers and get an instant answer:

How long does the residency to look for a job last?

It lasts a maximum of 12 months, without extensions

This means that you have a full year to look for a job in the country or to start your own company. 

Given that this permit is for students with higher education, the granted time is sufficient enough to regularize the situation.

In the case that you want to start your company, we advise you to contact us so we can speed the whole process as we help you with all the legal aspects of constituting a company in Spain.

Once you find a job offer, you will be able to modify to a work permit. Find out here all the requirements and how to apply for that modification.

Application process and deadlines

During the 60 days before your student residency has expired, or during the 90 days after your card expires.

You really need to be time conscious with immigration issues, as deadlines are really strict!

The immigration offices in Spain (Oficina de Extranjería) will require from you the “looking for a job” residency authorization from the province you are going to reside in.

How long does it take to get an answer from the immigration office?

Once you have submitted your application, the Immigration Office in Spain has 20 working days to resolve it. In the case that you don’t receive any answer during this period, your application will be considered as approved, and you will get your permit.

Which documents should you submit?

The 4 main documents you will need to submit as a student or researcher in Spain who wants to look for a job are:

  • University certificate that shows you have finished your studies
  • Health insurance
  • Accreditation of sufficient economic means to support it
  • Document certifying that you have paid the corresponding fee

What happens with the relatives or the student/researcher?

One of the most positive aspects of this kind of permit is the possibilities it opens for the family of the individual studying in Spain.

Once the student gets the permit, Her family will be able to stay with her during the time she is looking for a job. This means that they have their residency granted for 12 months.

Can you start a business with a job search visa too?

If you consider that you are an entrepreneur and would like to embark on the process of constituting your own company, you will need to incur into the following two steps:

First of all, you will need to apply for the initial residency authorization to work as “cuenta propia”

Once you have that legal situation resolved, you will start your entrepreneur visa application.

Does this sound a bit overwhelming and complicated? You don’t need to worry about that, cause in Immigration Lawyers Spain we have helped hundreds of foreign individuals to start their company in the country and get their entrepreneur visa.


If you need any help with the related legal aspects and would like to save time there, do not hesitate to contact us and let our immigration lawyers solve all your doubts:

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new law for students in spain looking for a job

4 Replies to “Job Search Visa in Spain: Residency for Students who Look for a Job”

  1. My name is Haytham and i have been living in Spain for 4 years and finished my masters in international marketing in Barcelona, Spain.

    I applied for the new law of allowing students 1-year resident permit to look for a job and I got the resolution (Favorable).

    So please I would like to know if I got a contract now from a company willing to hire me, would I need more things to do or another process to go through? or the company just need to make an ALTA in social security so I can start working immediately?
    Awaiting your advice,

    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Haytham,

      You now need to change your current permit to work permit, which is a completely different legal procedure.

      If you need help with that do not hesitate to contact us.

      Kind regards!

  2. I have been in Spain on study permit and now I have job offer . I have completed Diploma in Travel and tourism.
    I have job from from a Super market ..
    What kind of documents required for this kind of visa ?

    1. You should first transition into a job search visa, then get a regular work permit. Your employer must be the one initiating the procedure.

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