9 November 2018

SPAIN: Immigration restrictions on foreign nationals

1. Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit only available for specialists

Spanish authorities confirm that the Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit will only be available for specialists going forward. Applicants are being subjected to the same criteria as ‘specialists’ under the EU ICT Permit. 

What defines a ‘specialist’?

Someone with specialised knowledge essential to the host entity’s areas of activity, techniques or management. The definition also takes into account the individual’s general high level of qualification, professional experience, work or activity requiring specific technical knowledge and/or membership in an accredited profession.

The EU ICT Directive was adopted to harmonize immigration rules for intracompany transferees in most EU countries and to facilitate the transfer of managers, specialists, and graduate trainees both into and within the region.

It is expected that as the EU ICT Permit becomes more established, more EU countries will abolish or limit the use of their equivalent national schemes.

2. Push for local hiring

Under the new policy, employers face a new requirement to explain why they cannot hire a qualified local worker for the offered position. Authorities, however, are not requiring specific documents or labour market tests as proof, yet. This could mean that employers find it more difficult to sponsor foreign workers if there are local workers who qualify for the roles.

3. New administration

Employers are now required to confirm that assigning foreign workers is a standard company practice. Although immigration authorities have not specified the required documentation to corroborate this, employers will likely face increased administration pressures. 

What does this mean for the client?

Specialists require higher salaries and so will have higher relocation expectations, meaning employers will need to accommodate this into their plans. Non-specialists will now have to apply for national permit options, which aren’t as streamlined and are much more complex and time-consuming to obtain, so HR need to plan ahead and accommodate such delays.

If ICT Permit applications are rejected, employers should seek advice on whether to appeal.

Employers should review their talent acquisition programmes and prepare for the upcoming additional administration.



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