Requirements and conditions for foreign investors to obtain the spanish residence permit

The Law to Support Entrepreneurs and Internationalization, which became effective September 26, 2013, allows foreign investors the opportunity to invest while at the same time offering the option of residence in Spain. This residence permit is very advantageous for non-European nationals because, once obtained, it permits them to move freely throughout all member countries of the Schengen Agreement. It also gives them the right to apply for this residence and free movement authorization for their spouses and minor or incapacitated children.

The Law’s requirements are not difficult to comply with, although obtaining this permit means the investment must last throughout the foreign investor’s residence in Spain.

The necessary conditions to obtain the residence permit include:

  • An initial investment of at least a value of 2 million Euros in Spanish public debt securities;
  • An initial investment of at least a value of 1 million Euros in Spanish companies’ stocks or shares or in bank deposits in Spanish financial entities;
  • The purchase of real estate in Spain with a value of at least 500,000 Euros;
  • The development of a business Project of general interest in Spain provided that the business project meets the following conditions:
  1. Creates jobs;
  2. Contains a relevant socio-economic impact for Spain; and
  3. Contributes to scientific and/or technological innovation in Spain.

Therefore, before starting the project, the foreign investor must reflect on the sustainability and viability of the investment proposal. This is because the Law expressly establishes that if the foreign investor does not maintain the investment during the foreign investor’s residence period, then the authorization/visa will lose its effectiveness.

A supervisory body, referred to in the Law as a competent bodies of the General State Administration, may conduct all of the checks necessary to determine whether the investment meets the foreign investor’s obligations under the current legislation.

To this end, the investment requirements for the Spanish residence permit are:

  • Preservation of the investment in public securities: the foreign investor must prove this through a financial entity or the Spanish Central Bank, which issues a certificate confirming that the holder maintained the investment.
  • Investment in a bank deposit: the foreign investor must prove this with a certificate from a financial entity proving the maintenance of the investment during the term of the foreign investor’s stay/residence.
  • Investment in listed shares: the foreign investor must prove this with a certificate from the corresponding financial entity proving the maintenance of an average investment of one million Euros during the term of the permit.
  • Property investment: the foreign investor must prove this with a domain certificate from the corresponding Land Registry proving ownership of the property.
  • Investment in the company’s project: the foreign investor must prove this with a favourable report from the Dirección General de Comercio e Inversiones del Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (the Spanish General Directorate for Trade and Investment, of the Department of Economy and Competitiveness) proving also that the Project is of general interest.

In any case, the foreign investor can dispose of his or her goods during the validity term of the permit and purchase them again later to renew the permit.

The provisions of the Law are ultimately very flexible and give the foreign investor great leeway through the range of optional investments to obtain and maintain the permit to reside in Spain.

Hélène Dagousset

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

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