Visas in Spain. How to obtain a visa in Spain. Entrepreneurship Law.

Residence Visa in Spain for Foreign Entrepreneurs

The Entrepreneurship Act is aimed at investors, entrepreneurs, highly qualified professionals, researchers and employees engaged in intra-corporate and in-company activities, as well as spouses and children under the age of 18.

The law provides for simplified, expedited and generally proportionate processing within a 10-day resolution period for all visas under the Entrepreneurship Act.

A residence visa for entrepreneurs issued under this law constitutes the full right to stay in Spain for one year without the need for a foreigner’s card. Even in the case of a residence visa and the authorisation of a foreign investor or a foreign worker of a company carrying out activities abroad to establish a base of operations in Spain, the residence can be renewed even if the one-year absence from work exceeds six months.

The processing and granting of the entrepreneurial visa can be extended to the family group, spouse, children under 18 years of age, or adults with disabilities who cannot look after themselves due to their state of health, so the interested party may apply, jointly and simultaneously or successively, for a family residence visa, proving that he/she meets the established requirements.

Main requirements for obtaining an entrepreneurial visa

  • Not to be irregularly present in Spain.
  • Be of legal age (over 18 years old).
  • Not having a criminal record in Spain and in the last 5 countries of residence, for offences under Spanish law.
  • Not to appear as rejectable in the territorial space of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement to this effect.
  • Have public insurance or private health or illness insurance contracted with an insurance company authorised to insure in Spain.
  • Demonstrate that they have sufficient financial resources for themselves and their family members during their period of residence in Spain (€2,130 per month for the person concerned and €532 per month for each dependent family member).
  • Payment of the visa processing fee.

The residence visas referred to in this Act are as follows:

CAPITAL INVESTOR RESIDENCE VISA (RIC).

Significant capital investment means Spanish public debt securities with a value equal to or greater than EUR 2 million or an initial investment with a value equal to or greater than EUR 1 million in shares of Spanish companies or equity participation, or in bank deposits of Spanish financial institutions.

In addition to the general requirements, the applicant must prove that the investment has reached the minimum amount required, and the deadline does not exceed 60 days before submitting the application, as follows:

  • If the investment is in unlisted or equity shares, a copy of the investment declaration made in the Foreign Investment Register of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness must be provided.
  • If the investment is in listed shares, a certificate from the financial institution or intermediary, duly registered with the National Securities Market Commission or the Bank of Spain, stating that the interested party has made the investment, must be presented.
  • If the investment is in public debt, a certificate from the financial institution or the Bank of Spain must be submitted stating that the applicant is the sole holder of the investment for a period of 5 years or more.
  • If the investment is in bank deposits, a certificate from the financial institution shall be submitted stating that the applicant is the sole holder of the deposit.

RESIDENCE VISA FOR THE ACQUISITION OF REAL ESTATE (RIV).

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Foreigners can apply for this visa if they certify that the investment value of a property purchased in Spain is equal to or greater than 500,000 euros.

In addition to the general requirements, applicants must also prove that they have acquired ownership of the property by providing proof of continued ownership and encumbrance information from the Land Registry corresponding to the property. The above certificate must be issued within 90 days prior to submitting the application for a residence visa. If the acquisition of a property is being registered in the land registry at the time of applying for a visa, it is only necessary to present a valid proof of income used to register the acquisition document, and to attach a document proving the payment of the corresponding tax.  

Applicants must prove that they have invested EUR 500,000 in real estate free of charge or encumbrance. The part of the investment in excess of the prescribed amount may be charged or levied.

RESIDENCE VISA FOR ENTREPRENEURS AND BUSINESS ACTIVITIES (REM).

Under this assumption, it is proposed that investors who are going to develop business projects in Spain that are considered and recognised as being of general interest and investors who plan to enter and stay in Spain for one year have space for the sole purpose of carrying out the preliminary procedures to be able to develop an entrepreneurial activity.

In the first case, the interested party must submit a favourable report from the commercial office of the geographical area of the border where the investor submits the visa application to verify that the commercial project submitted is in the general interest.

It should be considered that if the investment is made by a legal entity, resides in a territory that is not considered a tax haven under Spanish law, and the foreigner directly or indirectly owns the majority of the capital investment, the investment is acceptable. The right to vote and the right to appoint or remove the majority of the members of its governing body.

In the case of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial activities shall be understood to be those activities of an innovative nature and of special interest for Spain, and to this end, the commercial office where the investor submits the visa application shall issue a favourable report.

A RESIDENCE VISA (TAC) FOR HIGHLY SKILLED PROFESSIONALS.

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The application for this visa requires the company to pre-process the residence permit for highly qualified professionals in Spain, and the processing will be carried out in the departments of large companies and strategic groups. It will be granted by the Dirección General de Extranjería (Directorate General for Foreigners).

RESIDENCE VISA FOR TRAINING OR RESEARCH (RIN).

According to this visa, cases can be considered related to foreigners who wish to carry out training, research, development and innovation activities in public or private entities. Such situations are:

  • Researchers referred to in Article 13 and the complementary provisions of Law No 14/2011 of 1 June 2011 on Science, Technology and Innovation.
  • Scientific and technical personnel dedicated to scientific research, development and technological innovation in commercial entities or R&D centres established in Spain.
  • Under the conditions established by law, researchers received by public or private research organisations within the framework of the agreement.
  • Lecturers employed by Spanish universities, institutions or centres of higher education and research or business schools in accordance with the standards established by the regulations.

BUSINESS TRANSFER RESIDENCE VISA (TTI).

It can be managed by companies established in Spain or in other countries within the framework of labour or professional relations or by foreigners travelling to Spain for professional training purposes.

The application for this visa obliges the company to carry out the pre-processing of the internal transfer of the residence permit in Spain, and the processing will be carried out in the departments of large companies and strategic groups. It will be granted by the Dirección General de Extranjería (Directorate General for Foreigners).

RESIDENCE VISA FOR FAMILY MEMBERS (RFI).

The new law provides that the spouse and children under 18 years of age, or of legal age who are objectively incapable of providing for their own needs due to their state of health, who join or accompany him/her may apply for a residence visa.

In addition to the general requirements, they must prove their family relationship.

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