If you’re thinking of starting a business in Spain, or conducting your entrepreneurial business activities from the country, then perhaps the best visa option for you is the Visado de Emprendedor (The Entrepreneur Visa).
This is a visa that initially lasts for one year, allowing third party nationals to start a business in Spain. If you feel this might be the right option for you, here’s everything you need to know about securing an entrepreneur visa in Spain:
Am I Eligible for an Entrepreneur Visa?
To be eligible for an entrepreneurial visa, you must be undertaking what is considered to be ‘entrepreneurial activity’ in Spain. This is any business interest that is innovative in nature, and will be considered of economic interest for Spain. To be considered of economic interest, the entrepreneurial business you undertake must either: create employment opportunities for Spanish citizens in the future, present a good investment opportunity, or enhance the socio-economic development of the country by using innovative technologies.
The good news is that, unlike in other European countries, you do not have to demonstrate that you have a certain level of capital to secure an entrepreneurial visa. Instead, each application will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Once you have submitted your completed application, you will find out within ten days whether it has been accepted or not.
What Other Criteria Will I Have to Meet?
As well as being able to demonstrate that you will be undertaking valuable entrepreneurial activity, you will also need to meet the following more basic criteria list:
- You must be over 18 years of age
- You must be from a non-EU (or third party) country
- You must not have a criminal record. This includes both in Spain, and any other country you have lived in the past five years
- You must not already be living in Spain illegally
- You should be able to demonstrate that you have the resources to financially support yourself, and any family members included in your application. The current figures for this stands at €2,151.36 each month for the applicant and €537.84 for each additional family member.
- You must make your application at the Spanish consulate in your home country. You cannot apply for this visa type whilst you’re already in Spain.
Will My Visa Be Granted?
It’s not enough just to have a good idea and meet these very basic requirements. Several other factors will determine whether your visa will be granted or not. The team assessing your application will also look at:
- Whether you have the relevant qualifications or professional experience to run the type of business you are proposing in your application. If your qualifications were acquired outside of Spain then you may need to have these verified by the Spanish Ministry of Education before you make your application, depending on your field. This applies to disciplines such as medicine and law, for example. (This will lengthen your application process, however, as the waiting time for this verification currently stands at 2 years).
- Your business plan. This should outline clearly your business idea and how you intend to make this a reality. The Directorate-General for International Trade and Investments (DGCOMINVER) will assess the viability of your plan, so it’s important to ensure that it’s as comprehensive as possible.
Can I Travel With my Family?
Yes! One of the great benefits of the entrepreneurial visa is that you can apply for residency for yourself and your immediate family at the same time. This includes your spouse or partner, any children aged under 18, and your parents as long as they are financially dependent on you. As mentioned above, you will need to demonstrate that you have the financial means to support each family member included on your application.
Sounds Good! How Do I Apply?
If you’re confident that you fulfill the requirements of the entrepreneur visa and you’re ready to apply then you will need to submit the following documents to your local Spanish consulate in order to make your application:
- The relevant completed application form and fee
- Completed background checks
- Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself financially (this can be in the form of bank account details, or contracts with clients)
- Your business plan and the favourable report on it from the Spanish Economic and Commercial Office
- Proof of private health insurance for yourself and any dependents included in the same visa application.
How Long Will the Visa Last?
The initial entrepreneur visa is only valid for one year, but you are able to renew this when it expires. The renewal process is fairly simply, provided you haven’t undergone any significant changes. You simply need to meet the same requirements you met when you made your initial application, and your business still needs to be considered of benefit to the Spanish economy. Your renewed visa will be valid for two years, and you are able to renew again as needed.
Can I Switch to an Entrepreneurial Visa?
If you’re already living in Spain on a different visa, but would like to switch to an entrepreneurial visa so that you can establish your own business then it is possible to do this. To do this, the application process is similar to the one outlined above, but you will send your application to: Large Business and Strategic Groups Unit (Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos (UGE-CE).
The benefit of this process is that your residence permit will initially be valid for two years, instead of one. The small only downside is that it will take 30 working days to process, rather than 10.
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