With the approval of the Law 14/2013, foreigners wishing to invest in Spain will benefit in terms of visa regulation, both in terms of length and type of residency.

Law 14/2013 regulates the following residence visas for:

buyers of real estate capital investors entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial activities
highly-qualified professionals intra-company moves educational or research activities

Certain specific requirements must be met in order to apply. Applicants should be:

  • qualified to apply for a tourist visa (3 months sojourn) under: (i) treaty of Schengen; (ii) Community Regulation 810/2009; and (3) Community Regulation 265/2010.
  • willing to make a significant investment within the Spanish territory. According to Article 63, a "significant investment" is defined as:

    1. An initial investment of at least €2 million in Spanish debentures. The certificate should be issued by a financial entity or from the Banco de España, certifying the applicant is the sole investment holder and has been held for at least 5 years. The certificate must be dated 30 days prior to the submission of the application form;
    2. An initial investment of at least €1 million in Spanish enterprise stocks or bank deposits, providing the original certificate of investment is issued by the Registro de Inversiones Exteriores of the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad in case of not-listed stocks, or, in case of listed stocks, providing the certificate is issued by the financial intermediary. With regards to bank deposits, the applicant will need to provide the certificate issued by a financial entity which specifies that the applicant is the sole holder. Both cases require that the certificates must be dated 30 days prior to the submission of the application form.
    3. Purchase of real estate property (ies) in Spain with a minimum investment of €500.000 for each applicant. The property (ies) must be unencumbered and registered; the sale process and the correlated documents must be dated 90 days prior the submitted application form.
    4. Business endeavours to be developed in Spain and authorised for its public interest by Oficina Económica y Comercial. At least one of the following purposes to be achieved:

      1. Creation of job employment;
      2. Relevant socio-economic impact of the investment within the Spanish territory;
      3. Remarkable contribution in terms of scientific/technologic innovation.

The application refers to the foreigner even when the investment has been conducted by a legal entity located within a territory not listed as "tax heaven" under the Spanish Law, provided that the above-mentioned foreigner has, directly or indirectly, the majority of the voting rights and, moreover, the authority to designate or dismiss the administrative body.

Once these conditions are satisfied, the applicant will be provided with a permit of residence valid for 1 year.

Should the applicant have the necessity to reside in the Spanish territory for more than one year, he is enabled to apply in order to attain a 2-years valid permit, under the compliance of the following:

  • The applicant is already holder of a valid permit of residence for investors. In the event that the permit has expired, the applicant is in any case enabled to apply within 90 days following the expiration date;
  • The applicant will have kept the investment unchanged or increased in terms of money value;
  • The applicant must have travelled at least once within the Spanish territory, while the 1-year permit of residence was valid and ongoing;
  • The applicant must have accomplished the taxation and Social Security obligations.

Once the validity has elapsed and each condition is still accomplished, the foreigner can request the extension of the validity for two more years.

In spite of the stiffening process regarding the immigration matter achieved with the Reformation of 2013, it is clear how the Spanish government is pursuing to attract foreign capitals, and the emanation of the law in question is a tool through which investors will see their lives simplified and will be encouraged to invest in Spain.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.