New Spanish Residency Reform for Foreign Investors

According to the information reported by the Spanish newspaper, included in the measures included in the draft bill of the Entrepreneurs’ Law, there will be the authorization of residency permits for foreign investors who invest in Spain. We anticipate that the government will approve the bill next Friday.

After negotiations, we anticipate that the government will approve the granting of residence permits for foreigners who purchase homes valuing € 500.000,00 or more. Initially, the proposal awarded residency permits for foreigners who purchase a home worth 160.000 or more. Since the November 2012 proposal, after much negotiation and criticism from the European Union, the government has decided to restrict the opportunity to those who invest half a million Euros in homes.

We anticipate that the purchase of a residence must also be free of charge. Therefore, if someone purchases a home with a mortgage, they are not entitled to receive residency under this new law.

The new law, if approved, also grants residence permits to those who invest in Spanish companies. The requirements for investment will probably include a minimum of € 1.000.000, 00 and the creation of two jobs or € 500.000, 00 provided that that investment is maintained yearly. The business must be of public interest which means it includes the creation of jobs and involve an investment with socio-economic effects in the area. The goal is to help the Spanish economy regionally and develop more economic activity, increase employment, and increase innovation and investment capacity.

Also considered in this reform is the approval of residence permits for investors who invest in financial assets such as stocks and bonds and investment in the Spanish government. And for those foreign researchers and masters students who plan to create a new business in Spain.

For those entrepreneurs interested in creating new economic activity in Spain the reform could provide a one-year residence permit. The government will have the discretion to approve only those projects that are particularly innovative or that provide economic opportunities that interest Spain.

The law will extend these residence permits to spouses and children. It bypasses the prior 6-month residency rule. The anticipated law will not be retroactive.

Further restrictions covered in the draft include the exception where the would-be investor has a criminal record in Spain or their country of residence within the past five years. This period may be extended in up to two-year increments. For resident investors, the stay may be unlimited as long as they maintain their status as an investor annually. Furthermore, the investor and his or her family must have health insurance. Finally, to avoid giving residency to someone who would later become a charge of the state, they must show sufficient financial resources to support themselves.

No one knows all of the details yet about how this new law will play out and there are still many questions. The information that we have included is based on reports from the press. To date, there is no official text of this bill. Certainly, we will see an increase in foreign investment in Spain as foreigners take advantage of the opportunities this future law may provide.

Amanda Osorio

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

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