LAW 14/2013, OF 27TH SEPTEMBRE 2013, ON SUPPORT FOR ENTREPRENEURS AND THEIR INTERNATIONALISATION
NEW LEGISLATION IN SPAIN REGARDING LONG-STAY VISA AND RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTORS
The new legislation regarding long-stay visas and residence permits of third country (non-EU) investors in Spain came into force after its publication on September 28th, under the name of “Law No. 14/2013, of 27th September 2013, on support for entrepreneurs and their internationalisation”.
Stipulations of interest for third country (non-EU) investors who wish to apply for long-stay visas or residence permits due to investments in Spain are included under the aspects of internationalisation, and specifically under the chapter dedicated to “international mobility”, section 2 (articles 61 to article 70 Law No 14/2013).
Independently of complying with the rules established in the Schengen Border Code (Regulation (EC) No. 562/2006 of 15 March 2006) regarding the entry and stays in the EU for up to three month, the rulings under the Visa Code (Regulation (EC) No. 810/2009 of 13 July 2009) regarding stays for more than three month, and those contained in the Regulation (EU) No. 265/2010 of 25 March 2010 regarding long-stay visas for third country citizens, investors are entitled to apply for at first long-stay visa and after one year residence permits for investors, if they can prove a significant investment in Spain.
“Significant investment” in the sense of this law is to be defined as:
An initial investment with a value equal to or higher than 2 million Euros in Public Debt, or a value equal to or higher than 1 million Euros in stocks or shares of Spanish companies or bank deposits in Spanish banks.
Purchase of real estate in Spain with an investment equal or superior to 500.000 Euros for each applicant and free of charges. Any part of the investment that exceeds 500.000.- Euros can be subject to charges according to Spanish law.
An entrepreneurial project to be developed in Spain, which is considered “of general interest” due to job creation, investments of a relevant socio-economic impact in the geographical region or a significant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.
Investments are also considered “significant”, if they take place through foreign companies based in third countries, which are not considered tax havens according to Spanish law, and if the applicant holds, directly or indirectly, the majority of voting rights, having the power to name and displace the majority of the members of the board of directors.
Real Estate Investors shall prove that their investment has taken place, and meet all general requirements for the entry and stay in Spain: entry and stay in Spain must be regular, investors must be of legal age (over 18 years), no criminal records in Spain or their countries of residence during the previous five years for criminal offences contained in the Spanish Criminal Code; investors shall not be under alerts for the purpose of refusing entry in the territory of countries which have signed agreements with Spain in this regard, prove the possession of adequate and valid private or public health insurance with a company authorised to operate in Spain and of sufficient means of subsistence for themselves and all accompanying family members during the period of residence in Spain.
Once the investment has been made, investors and accompanying spouses and minor or economically dependent children are entitled to apply for long-stay visa with a validity of one year.
Application for long-stay visa:
Applications shall be submitted to the Spanish Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin within a period of 60 days after the investment has been made.
The application form shall be filed together with the following documents:
- Valid passport or travel document recognized as valid in Spain, with a minimum of one year in force.
- Colour photograph
- Official Medical Certificate, stating that the applicant does not suffer any illnesses or diseases considered a threat to public health, according to International Health Regulations (2005)
- Certificate of criminal record in the country of origin
- Documentation accrediting the perception of periodical and sufficient income (bank statements of the last year) or the prove of equity, which guarantees the perception of regular income, minimum 2.130,04.- €/month (25.560,48.- €) for the main investor and additional 532,51.- €/month (6.390,13.- €) for the support of the accompanying family members, during the period of residence in Spain, preferably in a Spanish bank account.
- Public or Private Health Insurance with a company authorised to operate in Spain
- NIE number
- Documentation that proves the family link between the investor and the accompanying family members
- Amount for the payment of visa fees (equivalent of 60.- € in the local currency)
Documents accrediting the investment in Spain – purchase of real estate in Spain with an investment equal or superior to 500.000 Euros – providing evidence of having acquired ownership of real estate through acertificate of ownership and charges (“Certificado de Titularidad, Cargas y Gravámenes”) issued by the Spanish Land Registry within 90 days before application, which shall include an electronic verification code to allow for online confirmation.
In case that the change of ownership has not inscribed in the Land Registry within the referred 90 days period, the application for inscription and documentary proof of tax payments related with the acquisition shall be sufficient.
Applications for long-stay visa for investors shall be resolved in a maximum time of 10 days without prejudice of possible delays caused by requests for further documentation.
Once the long-stay visa has been granted, there is no need for any additional formalities to initiate the residence in Spain, only when the long-stay visa is about to expire, the application for the residence permit for investors shall be initiated.
Foreigners holding a valid residence permit or a long-term visa may move for a maximum of three months, during any six-month period, through the territory of the other Schengen States, provided that they are in possession of a valid passport or travel document, that they justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay, as well as having sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of the intended stay in Spain, and that they accredit that they are not considered a threat to the public health, public order, national security, or international relations of Spain or of other States with which Spain has agreements in this regard. Moreover, they shall be required not to appear on the national list of alerts of the Member State in question.
Residence Permit for Investors
Those investors, who maintain their investment and wish to reside in Spain for a period that exceeds the initial period of one year shall lodge applications for residence permits for investors at the end of the period of validity of the long-stay visa or within the first 90 days after its expiry date.
The application for the residence permit for investors is to be submitted to the State Department called “Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos” and the decision will be made by the Migration Department.
When applying for the residence permit for investors, investors shall meet the following requirements:
1) Be in possession of a valid long-stay visa for investors or that the expiry date has not been passed for more than 90 days
2) Have travelled to Spain at least once during the validity period of the long-stay visa
3) Prove that the investment still remains. In case of investments in real estate of a value equal to or higher than 500.000 Euros, the applicant will have to produce a certificate of ownership and charges / encumbrances (“Certificado de Titularidad, Cargas y Gravámenes”) issued by the Spanish Land Registry within 90 days before application.
Initial residence permits for investors shall be granted within 20 days after the application has been filed. If there is no resolution within those 20 days, the authorisation has been granted due to affirmative administrative silence. Residence permits for investors are valid for two years and can be renovated for another two years, even if the stays in Spain are less than six month.
Once the investor has been residing in Spain for five years, the general applications shall apply and the continuous residence in the last five years needs to be proven in order to obtain the long term residence permit with a validity of five years and after 10 years residing in Spain, the investor can apply for the Spanish nationality.