Entrepreneur Visas in Spain: How to Successfully Apply

Spain offers a specific immigration route for entrepreneurs called “Ley de Emprendedores” or Entrepreneurs’ Law. It makes it straightforward for migrant entrepreneurs to get the permission to live and work in Spain. Here is Migreat’s practical guide to the visa. If you need assistance or have questions – ask @Migreat on twitter or see below for more resources.

Who can apply under the “Ley de Emprendedores” ?
Any non-EU national that wants to start an innovative business or company that will create innovation and local jobs in Spain. Applicants do not have to meet a minimum investment capital threshold (unlike entrepreneur visas in most other countries). However, applicants are required to show a valid business plan that demonstrates the economic benefits for Spain and sufficient funds to be financially independent.

“It is all about the idea and the project” says Ana Garicano Solé, Spanish Immigration lawyer at Sagardoy. “If you are not confident your idea can prove to be innovative and creating jobs – you might want to apply to another visa: investor visa or highly skilled visa.”

How to apply?
The process is slightly different if you apply from within Spain or before arriving.

1. Applying from outside the country:
If you currently reside outside of Spain, you must apply for a Spanish Entrepreneur visa. The visa will give you a year to establish the business in Spain. To do this:

  • Get in touch with your local Spanish consulate
  • Submit your business plan to the Spanish Economic and Commercial Office (Secretaría de Estado de Comercio)
  • Wait 10 days (maximum) for the decision on your business plan. If approved, you will obtain a report on Entrepreneurial Activity of Interest – an essential document for you to apply for the visa.
  • Go to the consulate with the documents listed below as well as a visa form dully completed and pay the fee (make sure to double check with the consulate on the documents required – it can vary from a consulate to another):
    • Copy of all your passport pages or ID
    • Documents demonstrating a clean criminal record in your home country
    • Proof of health insurance
    • Proof that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself in Spain
    • Your report on Entrepreneurial Activity of Interest

When in Spain, you can apply right away to an Entrepreneur Residence permit as specified below.

2. Applying from within Spain:
If you already reside in Spain with a valid visa (it can be just a tourist visa), you must apply for a residence permit authorisation (valid for two years and renewable).

To do this you will need to:

  • Get in touch with the Directorate-General for Trade and Investment – (Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos (UGE-CE)) via this email unidadgrandesempresas@meyss.es to obtain the right contact to submit your business plan and ask for any other form you may need to supply with it
  • Submit your business plan with the correct application form if needed to the Spanish Economic and Commercial Office (Secretaría de Estado de Comercio)
  • Wait 20 days (maximum) for a decision on your business plan. If approved, you will obtain a report on Entrepreneurial Activity of Interest – an essential document, like a certificate that guarantees your business idea is entrepreneurial, for you to apply for the residence permit
  • Gather the following documents and apply for a residence permit from your local police station (make sure to double check with the police station on the documents they require – it can vary from station to station):
    • Copy of all your passport pages or ID
    • 2 photographs
    • Documents demonstrating a clean criminal criminal record in your home country and in Spain
    • Proof of health insurance
    • Proof that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself in Spain
    • Your report on Entrepreneurial Activity of Interest

Timings & Extra Information

Processing times varies but the Spanish government has been pretty good at sticking to its promise of 10 days for visa applications, 20 days for residence permits.

All documents need to be translated in Spanish by a licensed translator.

You can come with your children, spouse or civil partner on this visa or residence permit. You can file applications for each dependent at the same time you are applying for the entrepreneur visa or residence permit. Dependents are allowed to work.

If you have any questions about the process or if you need the help of an immigration expert to proceed, please contact Migreat at solicitorconnect (at) migreat (dot) com – we will connect you with the right expert who will call you and answer your general questions.

External Resources:

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