For international students from outside of the EU, the prospect of studying in Spain brings with it a unique set of opportunities and challenges. This article aims to shed light on a particularly promising avenue for such students—the job search visa.
This visa offers a solution to the common dilemma faced by foreign students: how to transition into the workforce after completing their studies. In this guide, we'll unravel the intricacies of obtaining this visa, detailing the requirements and steps to secure the coveted job search permit.
Who is the job search visa for?
The job search visa stands as a residence permit tailored to non-EU citizens who have successfully completed their studies within Spain. This visa extends their stay in the country by an additional year, providing a crucial window for these graduates to seek employment or initiate their entrepreneurial ventures.
Prior to the introduction of this visa, foreign students were bound by the timeframes of their studies or their residence card's expiration date. The expiration of a student's residence permit, typically tied to the duration of their studies, posed a challenge. However, the job search visa, established as a response to this issue, creates an alternative solution.
This visa proves indispensable for foreign students seeking to gain valuable professional experience in a foreign land. By offering an additional year of legal residency for job hunting, this permit is a game-changer for those seeking to make a seamless transition from academia to the professional realm.
What are the benefits of the job search visa?
1. Continuity for Families: Similar to the student visa, the job search visa extends to the student's family members—spouse and children—allowing them to stay alongside the student during this extended period. This ensures that family dynamics remain unaffected by the transition.
2. Online Convenience: The application process for the job search visa is streamlined and digital, offering the ease and convenience of online submission.
3. Swift Processing: The application process is designed for efficiency, with a maximum processing time of 20 days.
Can I Work in Spain with a Job Search Visa?
A crucial point of contention surrounding the job search visa pertains to its allowances for work. It's important to note that this visa does not grant you the right to work in Spain. Instead, it serves as a stepping stone towards acquiring a work permit. Upon securing a job offer, you must initiate the application process for a work permit. While this might seem like a limitation, it's a necessary step to transition into the professional workforce.
Despite the absence of work privileges, the job search visa plays a pivotal role in facilitating the journey toward obtaining employment in Spain.
Seizing Employment Opportunities: Navigating the Process
Once students complete their studies, many are eager to embark on their professional journeys, whether by securing a job or even launching their own business ventures. However, the prior framework posed certain challenges:
1. Time Constraint: The duration of a student's residence permit was often insufficient to facilitate a smooth transition into the workforce.
2. Work Permit Hurdles: Acquiring a regular work permit as a recent graduate was challenging, particularly for those with a limited duration of study.
The introduction of the job search visa, in September 2018, addressed these issues comprehensively. Foreign students can now apply for this visa within 60 days before their student authorisation expires or within 90 days thereafter. This strategic timing bridges the gap, allowing students an additional year to pursue job opportunities or entrepreneurial endeavours.
Moreover, unlike the previous limitations imposed on work permits for recent graduates, the job search visa removes the constraint of requiring highly qualified positions. Instead, it opens avenues for obtaining a standard work permit that enables graduates to work across various sectors within Spain.
Requirements for the Job Search Visa
Understanding the requirements for the job search visa is pivotal. Here's an overview:
1. Completed Studies: Applicants must have successfully completed their studies, which must be at a minimum level 6, equivalent to a bachelor's degree, or higher (such as a master's degree or Ph.D.). Language courses are excluded from qualification.
2. Health Insurance: Adequate health insurance coverage is a requisite.
3. Financial Independence: Applicants must demonstrate economic independence, with sufficient financial resources to support their stay in Spain during the job search period (up to one year). Typically 100% of the IPREM for the main applicant (€7.200); 75% of the IPREM for the initial relative (€5.400); and 50% of the IPREM (€3.600) for each additional relative.
4. Approved Institution: The educational institution and study program must be listed by the government for eligibility.
5. Application Timing: The job search visa application can be submitted within 60 days before or 90 days after the student's authorisation expires.
It's crucial to verify whether your university and study program are included in the government's approved list before embarking on the application process.
The application process for the job search visa is straightforward but requires adherence to specific guidelines:
1. Application Form EX-01: You will need to complete the EX-01 application form.
2. Local Verification: The entire process must be conducted in the city where the applicant resides, enabling authorities to verify official certificates. You can locate your nearest immigration office.
3. Response Time: Once submitted, the immigration office has a maximum of 20 days to respond. If no response is received within this period, silence is interpreted as approval.
4. Fingerprint Registration: Upon approval, applicants must schedule an appointment at a Police Station to register their fingerprints and obtain their residence card.
The job search visa has transformed the prospects for international students in Spain, allowing them to extend their stay beyond their studies and transition into the professional sphere. By seizing this opportunity, graduates can effectively bridge the gap between academia and employment, opening doors to a multitude of career paths.
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