Employment Changes in International Mobility for Entrepreneurs in Spain

Among the modifications made with the approval of Act 14/2013, the Act examines the regulation of international mobility, which facilitates and expedites the authorisation of visas and residence permits for investors.

International Mobility

Changes in international mobility seek to enhance and facilitate the arrival of investment (capital) and talent (skilled professionals) to Spain by eliminating administrative obstacles and complications without neglecting compliance with security requirements.

Facilitating Entry and Stay

The Act governs certain cases in which, for reasons of economic interest, it is easier and more flexible to grant visas and residence permits to specific categories of foreign nationals. Neither the national status of employment nor certain sectors considered strategic by Government Ministries are important in this analysis.

  • Specifically, the Act regulates the entry and stay of foreign nationals in Spain who fall into the following categories:
  1. For stays not exceeding three months, foreign nationals must comply with the entry conditions established in the European Community (EC) Regulation 562/2006 (Schengen Borders Code). In the case of long-stay visas, foreign nationals must comply with the requirements of EC Regulation 810/2009.
  2. Applicants for residence visas under EC Regulation 265/2010 must confirm with the relevant authority their compliance with the following requirements:
  • Having sufficient economic funds for themselves and members of their family.  SANGRIA
  • Complying with security requirements: no time accrued in Spain in an unlawful immigration status; be over 18 years of age; no criminal record in Spain or in the countries where the foreign national has resided in the past five years; and the foreign national is not on an objectionable list of any country with which Spain has an agreement to this effect.
  • The Act expressly authorises expediting the procedure to a period of seven days for the Spanish Police Department to respond to inquiries from the Diplomatic and Consular Missions about the security risk that a foreign-national applicant may present to Spain. After seven days have passed, the result will be considered as favourable.
  • Having public or private health insurance with an insurer authorised to operate in Spain.
  • The Act expressly provides for family reunification for spouses and children under 18 years of age. The Act also allows for family reunification for children who are 18 years of age or older where these persons are objectively incapable, jointly and simultaneously or successively, of gaining permission to enter or, where appropriate, obtaining a visa.

General Rules of Procedure for Granting Permits

  • The Diplomatic Missions and Consular Offices will issue short-stay and residence visas for one, two, or multiple entries as long as the period of validity does not exceed five years. The Diplomatic Missions and Consular Offices will assess and notify foreign-national applicants within 10 business days.
  • The Unit for Large Companies and Strategic Groups will process the residence permits. The decision-making period is 20 working days. In the case of no decision results, administrative silence protects the authorisation.
  • A foreign national may request the renewal of a residence permit for two years.


This new figure aims at non-residents who opt to make a capital investment in Spain. Foreign-national applicants may apply for a residence permit, or, where appropriate, residence for investors.

  • These new options for investors include availability for legal persons not domiciled in a tax haven according to Spanish legislation. Other applicable cases include foreign nationals who own — either directly or indirectly — the majority of voting rights and have the power to appoint or remove most members of a board.
  • The investor’s visa is valid for one year and will constitute sufficient documentation to reside in Spain.
  • To obtain the visa, the Spanish Government requires an investment accredited with some of the following characteristics in Spain:
    • Investment of two million Euros in Spanish public debt or one million Euros of shares in Spanish companies or in bank deposits with Spanish financial institutions.
    • The acquisition of one or more properties with a combined value of at least 500,000 Euros per applicant.
    • Investment in a business project of general interest in which any of the following conditions exist: the creation of jobs; the socioeconomic impact on a foreign national’s geographical area; or a foreign national’s relevant contribution to scientific innovation or technology (accredited by a report from the Commercial Office in the Consulate).

Subject to compliance with certain requirements, foreign-national investors who wish to reside in Spain for more than a year may obtain a residence permit for investors with an initial duration of two years subject to another two-year renewal.

To seek residency based on investment, a foreign national must have a valid residency visa or one that has expired within no more than the preceding 90 days. The foreign national must also have travelled to Spain at least once during the period in which he or she had the authorisation to reside in Spain, and the foreign national must prove that he or she has retained the investment in an amount equal to or greater in value to the minimum requirement. Finally, the foreign-national investor must have fulfilled Spanish tax and social security obligations.

For more information on employment and international mobility,

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

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