European citizens are legally free to live and work in Catalonia while residence and work permits for non-EU citizens are easily arranged
International mobility is key to foreign companies coming from abroad and for attracting talented workers into Catalonia. Good deployment planning greatly facilitates the entrance of highly skilled workers to Catalonia, and also increases the chances of success for implantation of projects within the region.
Nationals from EU Member States
Nationals from EU Member States, the European Economic Area or Switzerland can enter, reside and work in Spain, having the same rights and obligations as Spanish citizens.
Nationals from non-EU countries
Nationals from non-EU countries are required to obtain an authorization to live and work in Spain. The regulatory framework for immigration in Spain is characterized by the coexistence of two laws, the application of which depends on the characteristics of the interested person and the immigration reasons. Along these lines, there is a wide range of possibilities for obtaining a permit quickly and easily: visas and permits are processed and approved in 10 and 20 working days, respectively.
The Entrepreneurs Act (L 14/2013) contemplates a wide range of visa or permit possibilities, such as for highly qualified professionals, intra-company transfers, entrepreneurs and investors. Dependent on the UGE-CE (Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos), the Law 14/2013 promotes entrepreneurial culture, attracting foreign talent without taking into account the National Employment Situation (internal labour market), and offers an accessible entrance of investment and talent considering it beneficial for the region.
Furthermore, there is a second law of immigration that allows one to obtain other types of visa, such as employees with a labour contract, self-employed employees and transnational provision of services. This is the Law on Foreigners (LO 4/2000), which regulates different kinds of residence permits limited to a concrete regional area in Spain.
Unlike the Entrepreneurs Act, the Law on Foreigners takes into account the National Employment Situation for the granting of certain permits and also works under the auspices of the Catalan Government. Another feature that differentiates them is in how they are applied: while the Entrepreneurs Act procedures can be performed in Catalonia, the Law on Foreigners demands that projects must be implemented in the country of residence.