Other immigration information

Unit for Large Companies and Strategic Economic Sectors



The Unit for Large Companies and Strategic Economic Sectors (UGE-CE), which depends on the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, processes residence permits, temporary residence permits and work permits as an employed worker, as well as temporary work and residence permits as part of a transnational provision of services, which are applied for by foreigners whose professional activities involve reasons of financial, social or professional interest or relate to research and development work or teaching work, requiring high-level qualifications, or artistic performances of cultural interest.

Companies and institutions that submit applications for residence and work permits for their employees via the UGE-CE will be exempt from providing evidence that the national employment situation allows for the foreign worker to be hired.

Similarly, they will benefit from a fast procedure (Expedite Service) when obtaining the residence and work permit, and it will also be possible for the foreign worker's relatives to travel to Spain with him or her without having to wait for a later reunification process.

More information at UGE-CE.



Applications can be submitted by individuals or legal entities that, as employers working in Spain, require the incorporation in Spain of non-Community foreign workers, employed for an employment activity that is covered by one of the following cases:

  • Management or highly qualified staff, as long as the company meets at least one of the following requirements:
    • An average staff of more than 500 workers in Spain (affiliated to and registered with the corresponding social security system) in the three months before submission of the application.
    • An annual net turnover in Spain exceeding €200 million.
    • An equity or net assets value in Spain exceeding €100 million.
    • An annual average gross investment volume from abroad of a minimum of €1 million in the three years immediately before submission of the application.
    • It belongs to one of the following strategic sectors: information and communications technologies, renewable energies, the environment, water and water treatment, health sciences, bio-pharmaceuticals and bio-technology and aeronautics and aerospace.
  • Management or highly qualified staff that forms part of a business project that represents, alternatively:
    • A significant increase in the number of direct jobs created by the company applying for the contract.
    • A significant increase in the number of jobs created in the activity sector or geographical area in which the employment activity is to be carried out.
    • An extraordinary investment with a socio-economic impact of importance in the geographical area in which the employment activity is to be carried out.
    • A significant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.
  • Highly qualified foreign technicians or scientists, hired by the state, autonomous regions, local authorities or bodies that foster and develop research, promoted by or with majority shares held by the latter.
  • Foreign teachers hired by a Spanish university.
  • Highly qualified technicians or scientists who are to be hired for research work or to take part in development activities at universities and R&D centres of recognised reputation or in research and development departments at companies operating in Spain.
  • Internationally renowned artists and staff required for their performance, who come to Spain to stage activities of cultural interest.




Where: Unit for Large Companies and Strategic Economic Sectors (UGE-CE)

A preliminary appointment for the submission of applications may be arranged to reduce the time it takes to submit them, bringing forward certain procedures before the appointment.

The prior appointment may be arranged with the UGE-CE by the company in person, by telephone or by email.

The UGE-CE will answer the applicant company by email, sending a form that must be completed and returned by email (

The form contains all the information necessary for issuing the fee form and must be completed once for each application that is to be submitted. The application must include a scanned copy of the first page of the passport containing the basic details of the workers or relatives and the foreigner’s identity cards, where applicable.

When the information sent by the company has been checked and is complete and appropriate, the UGE-CE will set a date, time and service desk and will notify the company by email.

Who: The legal representative of the company that is to hire the foreign worker.

Documentation (translated into Spanish):

  • Three copies of the work and residence application form, signed and presented in person by the employer or the legal representative of the Spanish company.
  • National identity card and, where applicable, public document signed or justified by the legal representative for the individual making the application.
  • Tax identification number of the company or organisation, or national identity card of the employer, and documentation providing evidence that the company or employer is registered with the corresponding social security system and up to date with the corresponding payments.
  • Certificate or affidavit stating that, in the 12 months immediately before the date of application, the company did not write off the jobs it wishes to cover through unfair or null and void dismissals or as a result of collective lay-offs.
  • Full copy of the worker's passport.
  • Worker's CV.
  • Fees.
  • For management or highly qualified staff: Companies must provide a memorandum describing the company's activity and the specific project for which the permit is being applied for and, alternatively, depending on the allegations made by the company:
    • Certificate issued by the General Treasury of Social Security, showing that said company has a staff of more than 500 workers in Spain, affiliated and registered with the corresponding social security system.
    • Certificate issued by a statutory auditor showing that the company has a net turnover in Spain of more than €200 million or equity or net assets of more than €100 million.
    • Certificate issued by the Investments Registry of the Sub-Directorate General of Foreign Investments of the Directorate General of Trade and Investments of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Competitiveness, showing that the company has declared an investment, in gross terms, of an average of a minimum of €1 million over the previous three years, using funds that come entirely from abroad. The Office of the Secretary of State for Trade website offers the possibility to submit the Application for the Certification of Declared Foreign Investments online. To start the session, you must have a digital certificate for legal entities, which guarantees that the applicant belongs to the organisation for which the certificate is to be issued. If you encounter any problem, you can contact the Sub-Directorate General of Foreign Investments at or by telephone on (+34) 91 349 2436.
    • Favourable report issued by the Ministerial Department and relevant body of the autonomous region, according to the subject matter, stating that the company corresponds to one of the strategic sectors as a result of its activity. The company will correspond to one of these sectors if its SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) corresponds to one of the strategic sectors. In this case, the favourable report is NOT necessary. If the SIC does not correspond to one of the sectors, but the company's activity corresponds to the strategic sectors, you must contact the relevant body for the report to be issued.

      To identify the relevant state bodies, contact INVEST IN SPAIN.
    • Favourable report issued by the state body, the autonomous region or local authority with powers in relation to the reason given for hiring the worker and which states the consideration thereof as in the public interest, together with a memorandum describing the business project, including the terms and conditions of the reason given for hiring the worker, together with the number and nature of the permits that are being applied for and the dates anticipated for entry of the foreign workers into Spain.
  • For highly qualified foreign technicians and scientists: Memorandum describing the project in which the foreigner is to take part, expressly indicating the purpose and justification of the research, together with the human resources and budgets provided for it, the work plan, and the tasks to be carried out by the foreigner.
    Also, when the worker is not hired by territorial public administrations, documentation providing evidence that the aim of the organisation is the promotion and development of research and that it is promoted by a territorial public administration or said administration has a majority holding in it.
  • Foreign teachers hired by a Spanish university: Certificate issued by the vice-chancellor of the university, indicating the teaching tasks that are to be carried out and the CV of the researcher or lecturer.
  • For highly qualified technicians or scientists, when the purpose is research work: Memorandum describing the project and the company, organisation or employer, researcher's CV and certificate issued by the competent bodies of the Secretary of State for Research, Development and Innovation within the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Competitiveness, showing the consideration of the R&D centre as one of recognised reputation or the research and development department of a company.
  • Internationally renowned artists: Memorandum explaining the number of shows, venues and capacity, together with the individuals in the team, other relevant details and artist's CV.


Where: Unit for Large Companies and Strategic Economic Sectors. Click here to access the UGE-CE's contact address.


Where: The diplomatic mission or consular office of Spain in the country of residence. Select the Spanish representative office of your place of residence.


  • Visa application form. Click here to download the form.
  • Passport with a minimum validity of four months and a copy.
  • Two photographs.
  • Presentation of the original and a copy of the resolution on the initial temporary residence and work permit as an employed worker.
  • Updated criminal records certificate issued by the relevant authorities of the countries in which the interested party has resided in the five years before submission of the application.
  • Updated medical certificate.
  • Fees.


Where: Police station. Select the police station nearest to your address.


  • Application for residence card for foreigners. Click here to download Form EX17. For further information on the residence card for foreigners, please go to “Foreigner identification number and Residence card for foreigners”.
  • Passport.
  • Copy of the visa and entry stamp.
  • Three photographs.
  • Registration of residency: registration of the official address with the local authorities.
  • Official notification of approval.
  • Fees: initial residence card for foreigners (Spanish acronym: TIE) documenting the temporary residence permit.



  • Obtaining the visa from the diplomatic mission or consular office of Spain: the average estimated time for resolution is 15 days.
  • Obtaining the temporary residence permit and work permit from the UGE: the average estimated time for resolution is 11 days.
  • Residence card for foreigners: this may range from 20 to 50 days, depending on the l area in Spain where it is processed.

Prepared by:

Last updated: 09|10|2013

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