Guide to business in Spain Guía de negocios en España


12. Visas and work and residence permits


EU nationals and their family members may live and work (as employees or self-employed workers) in Spain without needing to obtain a work permit. However, in general they must obtain the relevant EU citizen registration certificate or EU citizen family member residence card.

Non-EU nationals must obtain prior administrative authorization to be able to live and work in Spain.

With the approval of Law 14/2013, of September 27, 2013, to support entrepreneurs and their internationalization, new situations of visas and residence and work permits have been introduced, including the following noteworthy examples:

  • Visa and residence permit for investors:
  • Non-resident foreigners seeking to enter Spain may apply for the relevant visa, provided they make a significant capital investment in the country. The following cases will be deemed to constitute a significant investment of capital:

    • An initial investment for an amount equal to or greater than €2 million in Spanish public debt instruments, or for an amount equal to or greater than one million euros in shares in Spanish companies or deposits in bank accounts at Spanish financial institutions.
    • The acquisition of real estate in Spain with an investment of an amount equal to or greater than €500,000 per applicant.
    • A business project to be developed in Spain and deemed and evidenced to be of general interest, having regard to compliance with at least one of the following conditions:
      • Creation of jobs.
      • Making of an investment with a relevant socioeconomic impact in the geographic region in which the activity is to be pursued.
      • Relevant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.
  • Visa and residence permit for entrepreneurs
  • Provision is made for an entry and residence visa, as well as a residence permit, for any entrepreneurs pursuing an activity of an innovative nature in Spain with special economic interest for the country, obtaining a favorable report from the central government authorities.

Guide to business in Spain

Labor and Social Security regulations


ICEX - Gobierno de España - Ministerio de Economía y competitividad
Elaborado por Garrigues - Abogados y Asesores Tributarios
INVEST IN SPAIN. Paseo de la Castellana, 278. 28046 Madrid
T: (+34) 91 503 58 00 |