An internship is a program that some companies and universities offer wherein a student may apprentice or train in an occupation or profession to gain practical experience, and sometimes also to satisfy legal or other requirements for being licensed or accepted professionally. These internships can be carried out in other countries, and for this purpose it is necessary to have a residence authorization for professional internships.
Internship in Spain
Spain is the 13th largest economy in the world by Gross Domestic Product or GDP and has established itself as a major hub for international business. This has been further aided in 2018 when the Spanish Law for Entrepreneurs was updated to include the internship residence permit. Foreign students from non-European Union countries will have the opportunity to live and work in one of most beautiful countries in the world but also in the center of European business and culture and history.
Foreign students from non-European Union countries who are pursuing a higher degree or graduate studies (level 6 at least) in Spain or abroad, or who have completed their studies within a period not exceeding two years can avail of the opportunity to live and work in Spain through the residence authorization for professional internship or internship residence permit.
The most popular cities in Spain for internships are Madrid, the capital of Spain and the country’s largest city, Barcelona, Spain’s second largest city, Valencia, Sevilla and the Canary Islands. Business, finance and accounting, marketing, education, and tourism and hospitality are the most sought-after sectors as they encourage non-EU foreign students to join their internship programs.
Characteristics of the Residence authorization for professional internships
The student visa only allows the holder to stay in the country while pursuing their studies while the internship residence permit allows the holder residency for a maximum of two years. This means, that the holder can legally live and work in Spain for a maximum of two years depending on the kind of document the applicant has been granted by the company or academic institution in which he or she is apprenticing or training.
The duration of the internship residence permit is of the same duration as the agreement or contract the holder has with the company or academic institution. After the agreement or contract has ended, the company or academic institution can apply for a work permit for the holder or the holder may apply for a work permit on his or her own.
An agreement will only allow the holder to reside in Spain for a minimum of six months to a maximum of one year and cannot be extended.
A contract will allow the holder to reside in Spain for a minimum of six months to a maximum of two years. Should the company decide to hire the holder, the company applies for a work permit for the holder so that holder can continue to work in the company after the internship residence permit has expired.
Benefits of the Internship Residence Permit
- Students who already have a higher degree in the two years prior to application can modify their student visa to an internship residence permit that will extend their stay in country without complex procedures.
- Students can work in Spain without needing to wait for the required 3 years to get a regular work permit.
- The internship must be carried out in the same academic field and at the same level of qualification as the higher education degree or the referred study program.
- Students can apply directly from Spain without having to apply for a visa in their home country.
Requirements of the Internship Residence Permit
- The applicant must have public or private health insurance that is valid for the period of residency in Spain and renewed automatically.
- The applicant must show proof of a higher education degree in the last two years or that applicant is continuing his or her studies in Spain or abroad.
- The applicant must show a work placement agreement or contract at the same qualification level as the higher education degree or program being pursued.
- The applicant must show proof of sufficient economic means for monthly upkeep of about €537,84/month while living and working in Spain.
- The residency internship offers the possibility of immediate employment in the company where student has trained.
- The application process for a residency internship is completely online.
- Types of Internships in Spain
Types of residence authorization for professional internships
The student internship is part of the degree program that the student is enrolled in and is regulated by an agreement between the university and the company offering the internship. The student is not considered an employee and therefore will not be paid a salary.
The graduate internship are for those who have graduated and would like to receive further training or on the job experience from a company of their choice. They may or may not be paid a salary depending on the arrangement with the company.
Application Process for Internship Residence Permit
- The application for the internship residence permit is submitted online by the company or academic institution that will host the applicant to the Spanish Immigration Office.
- It takes about thirty days for the application to be processed by the Spanish Immigration Office.
- If the internship residence permit is granted and the applicant already has a student visa and in Spain, then the applicant can immediately start the internship. If the applicant is abroad, a student visa will need to be obtained first to be able to enter the country.