Spain Increases Internship Hours for Foreign Students: New Regulations for Student Visa 2023


Spain is committed to providing quality education to international students and is taking steps to create a favourable environment for them. The Spanish government have recently updated the regulations of its immigration laws, providing new opportunities for foreign students who wish to study and work in the country

Foreign students now have greater flexibility to balance their studies and work, this change in regulations opens up new doors for students to gain hands-on experience in their field, expanding their professional network and improving their language skills. By combining studies with work experience, international students can get a better understanding of the Spanish job market and culture, which can be a valuable asset for their future careers.

Here are the key highlights of the new immigration laws, which will benefit foreign students and universities/vocational schools alike:

  • Increase in Internship Hours:

According to the new regulations, foreign students who hold a student visa are now allowed to work in Spain, and can do so up to 30 hours per week during their studies, which includes both curricular and extracurricular internships, paid or unpaid depending on the university and the employer. This is a significant increase from previous regulations with a limit of 20 hours per week, offering students more opportunities to gain practical experience in their fields and will provide companies with access to a larger pool of talented interns.

For extracurricular internships, students will have to go through an extra process with the immigration department. The new rules are designed to benefit both students and employers and are a reflection of Spain's commitment to providing quality education and job opportunities.

The new regulations also allow international students to work full-time during holidays, providing them with additional opportunities to gain work experience.

  • No Geographical Limitations

With the new Reform of the Regulation on Foreigners, the geographical limitations have also been eliminated, allowing students to take on internships and work opportunities anywhere in the country. 

  • Clarity on Maximum Working Hours

The exact number of weekly hours that a student can work during an internship or part-time job is limited to one maximum number of weekly working hours. In accordance with Spanish labour laws, the maximum number of weekly working hours for most employees is 40 hours, with some exceptions for certain professions and industries. This limit applies to foreign students as well, who are subject to the same labour laws and regulations as Spanish citizens.


What This Means for Students and Universities

The increase in internship hours will benefit international students and universities in several ways. For international students, it means they can gain more work experience in their field of study, making them more competitive in the job market. The increased hours will also provide students with more opportunities to improve their language skills and gain a deeper understanding of the Spanish job market and culture.

For universities, the increase in internship hours will allow them to provide their international students with more opportunities to gain practical experience in their field of study. This will improve the university's reputation and attract more international students to Spain.


How About the Requirements for Working in Spain with a Student Visa

In order to take advantage of the increased internship hours in Spain, international students must meet certain requirements. These include:

  • Being enrolled in a full-time study program;
  • Holding a valid student visa;
  • Ensure work does not interfere with studies and academic progress;
  • Work cannot be the primary source of economic livelihood for students. Students must still have their own means of support while in the country, and the income they earn from work must be limited. This provision is included in the law to ensure that students continue to have access to their own resources and are not solely dependent on the income they earn from work.

The new immigration law also introduces a new type of visa specifically designed for students who wish to complete an internship in Spain. This new visa will allow students to work full-time during their internships, provided they meet certain requirements, such as having a valid health insurance policy.

In conclusion, with the updated immigration laws, foreign students now have greater opportunities to study and work in Spain, with the added benefit of increased weekly working hours for those participating in internships. The changes offer a clear and comprehensive framework for students to follow, ensuring they are working within the bounds of the law and can focus on their studies and work. 


Getting the Right Information

For more information about the increase in internship hours for international students in Spain, you can contact the Spanish National Immigration Office or the Spanish Ministry of Labour and Social Economy. These organizations can provide you with the most up-to-date information on the regulations and how they may affect you.

Some of the key sources of information include:

  • Organic Law 4/2000 on the Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain and their Social Integration - Updated by BOE of Royal Decree 629/2022, of 26 July.
  • Royal Decree 557/2011 on the Regulations for the recognition of professional qualifications for the purpose of pursuing a profession in Spain.
  • Spanish Labour Law, which lays out the rights and responsibilities of employees and employers.

With this new outcome, the possibilities for growth and learning are endless. Embrace the opportunity to gain diverse perspectives and build a well-rounded skill set, all while exploring the vibrant and diverse nation of Spain! 


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