New laws for third country nationals

14 September 2018

Effective 4 September Royal Decree – Law 11/2018, of 31 August 2018, on EU Directive on Conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, internships came in to effect in Spain.

Who will be affected?

  • Third-country nationals non-resident and resident in Spain as students searching for employment, research studies, internships, trainee contracts.


  • The EU Directive on conditions of entry and residence of third country nationals non-EU students and researchers requires the 17 Member States to communicate national legislation which fully transposes the Directive on the conditions of entry, residence and intra-EU mobility of non-EU-nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training, voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects, and au pairing (Directive 2016/801). Member States had until 23 May 2018 to bring their national legislation in line with this Directive and to inform the Commission accordingly. Member States had additional two months to fully adopt the Directive in their national law.


  • A new Residence Authorization has been created for students searching for employment. Having completed Level 6 studies, students may request a residence permit for 12-month period that allows them to look for a job related to the studies undertaken.

Once the job offer has been made, the company must request the residence and work permit on behalf of the student.

  • A new Residence Authorization for internships has been created for those students who are residing in Spain or abroad and have signed an internship agreement or trainee contract with Spanish companies. According to current labour regulations, this authorisation for an internship agreement is valid for maximum of one-year and two years for a trainee contract.
  • Two additional categories have been created within the Residence Authorisation for Research: EU and National.
  • An initial student permit can be requested by interested parties who are residing or regularly travelling to Spain, at least one month prior to expiration of their current immigration status. The authorities will communicate their decision within a period of one-month from request.


  • Effective 4 September.

Should you have any questions, please contact the following:

Irene Martin
Immigration Manager Spain
Santa Fe Relocation
Tel.:      +34 695 228 239

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