Application for Residence Authorization in Spain

Those foreign nationals who wish to enter or reside in Spain, or those who already reside in Spain, will experience the increased ease of entrance into and residence in Spanish territory for economic-interest reasons according to the Law to Support the Entrepreneur and Internationalization (Law). The models already exist for the application for residence authorization for those foreign investors and entrepreneurs who wish to benefit from this Law.  The official website for the Spanish Ministry of Employment and Social Security contains these applications under the Ley 14/2013 (Law 14/2013) tab.

In this section, foreign investors and entrepreneurs can use three official applications according to the regulated procedures in the Law.  They include the following:

  • Application for residence authorization for the applicant;
  • Application for authorization for family members;
  • Application for the Foreign National Identity Document.

On the application for residence authorization for the foreign investor or entrepreneur, he or she must accredit previous completion of one of the following investments (which would have resulted in obtaining a visa):

  • Investment in real estate for 500,000 Euros or more
  • Investment through 1,000,000 Euros or greater in Spanish companies
  • Creation of a business project considered of general interest or to develop an innovative activity with special economic interest for Spain.

The following points include a list of requirements with which the foreign investor or entrepreneur must comply:

  • Be the holder of a valid visa for residence for investors or be the holder of a visa for residence for investors that has expired but not more than 90 days ago
  • Have travelled to Spain at least once within the authorized residence period
  • In the case of foreign investors, demonstrate that the investor has maintained the investment with a value equal to or greater than the minimum required amount.

Family members can apply for authorization together and either simultaneously or after the foreign investor.  Qualifying family members include the foreign investor’s spouse and minor children less than 18 years of age. The same is true for those children who are over 18 years of age but are not objectively capable of providing for their necessities because of health reasons. To this end, the foreign investment must accredit compliance with the previous requirements.

As observed, the applications for the visas (the prior step before obtaining the authorization for residence) are not available. This is because the foreign national who desires to request a visa to enter Spain must complete this step in his or her country of origin or residence through a Spanish Consulate in that location.

Until now, there are no official numbers available that show the repercussions of the new Law’s effect based on the number of visa applications received because, as mentioned above, this step depends on the Spanish Consulate in the appropriate location. Once the foreign national has applied for the visa to enter Spain, the Consulate will issue it.  During the visa’s validity period and inside Spanish territory, the foreign national who wishes to work or obtain Spanish nationality must request authorization for residence. This authorization does not only permit the foreign investor to reside in Spain, but it also allows him or her to work in all of Spanish territory and travel freely within the 22 Schengen Area countries plus Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.

On free movement, according to Regulation (EU) 265/2010 of March 25, 2010, which modifies Article 21.1(a) of the Schengen Convention, those foreign nationals who hold a residence permit issued by one of the Member States may, under the permit and valid travel document, freely circulate for up to three months (maximum), in any period of six months, in the territory of the rest of the Member States, as long as the conditions of entry contemplated in Article 5.1 (a), (c), and (e) of Regulation 562/2006 are met.

If the foreign national has the intention to obtain the authorization, we recommend that he or she request the authorization as quickly as possible; and if possible, as soon as he or she enters Spanish territory. If so, the foreign national will also be able to work in our territory.

We can assist in all of the administrative steps to present and complete the necessary documents to obtain the visa and authorization for residence. Additionally, our services allow the foreign investor to search for and select the optimum investment through professional guidance in all legal and fiscal aspects through a single source that will allow the client to experience a more simplified and efficient process by avoiding unnecessary delays or steps.

Maria Valencia

For additional information regarding residence authorizations in Spain,

Please note that this article is not intended to provide legal advice.

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