Spain to Offer Visa Relaxation for International Students and Graduates

Spanish government to ease visa processes for international students and graduates

The Spanish government is set to legislate a new University System Law (LOSU), following which non-EU students will be granted residence permits for their entire study duration and the right to remain in Spain for one to two years after graduation.

The government authorities are currently formulating the LOSU legislation yet to receive its parliamentary approval before becoming a law. If the bill gets passed, the new rules are expected to apply in 2023.

As per the current rules of Spain, non-EU students are granted residence permits for only a year and must apply for an annual extension to continue their studies. On completion of their studies, they can apply for a post-study work visa to remain in Spain for a year and search for a job. However, they are not allowed to work within this period, making their stay difficult unless they have ample financial resources to support themselves. 

Apart from this, Spanish universities also face difficulties admitting international students. One of the prime problems for it is red-tapism, i.e., the delay involved in validating the previous qualifications of students due to the formal complexities in the process. As a result, Spain’s ability to compete for international students has been reduced. 

Spanish Universities Minister Joan Subirats pressed on finding ways to retain [international student] talent that have undergone the training to keep their residence status and look for work for two years.

The departure of youth to other countries in Europe in search of job opportunities has led Spain to develop its strategy that offers grants and discounts for scientists and entrepreneurs. Attracting international students and high-skilled workers from Africa is also part of an overall plan. 

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