In 2013 a new immigration law was published in Spain that would revolutionize the way in which foreigners can obtain residency in the country. This law, known as the Entrepreneurs Law or Law 14/2013, allows the attainment of different types of visas under much more favorable and advantageous conditions.

In this article you will discover everything you need to know about the different residencies under the Entrepreneurs Law, the particularities of its application process, and much more.


What is the Entrepreneurs Law or Law 14/2013?


The Entrepreneurs Law is the regulation that governs a set of residence authorizations in the Spanish territory that were introduced in 2013 with the aim of attracting foreign talent and investment to Spain.

After coming out of the 2008 crisis, the Spanish economy was in a compromised situation and required a foreign stimulus.

That is why this new law was created, which would incorporate new residency figures to make things much easier for all those foreigners with the profiles required to support the development of the country to start their new life in Spain.

Thus, as of today, any residence authorization in Spain functions under one of the two existing regulations: the general immigration regime or the Entrepreneurs Law.

It will be essential to understand under which of the two is the residency you wish to apply for, as the requirements and application process are different in each case.

And, in addition, visas under the Entrepreneurs Law offer a series of additional advantages that are totally interesting for foreigners. Let’s take a look at them.


Main advantages of residences under the Entrepreneurs Law


As we have mentioned in the previous section, Law 14/2013 came into force with the aim of attracting foreign talent and investment to Spain.

That is why the different residencies under this regulation offer a series of extra advantages to make it easier for all foreigners who meet the requirements.

What are these advantages?


Fast-track application


Perhaps the most important advantage is speed.

Applications for Entrepreneurs Law visas are resolved in a maximum of only labor 20 days.

Compared to the more than 3 months it usually takes for resolutions under the general regime, this is undoubtedly a highly beneficial advantage.

But, in addition, positive administrative silence applies.

That is to say, if after this period of 20 working days you do not receive a response to your application, it will be understood that it has been favorably granted.


Direct application from Spain


One of the advantages associated with this express resolution is the possibility of initiating it directly from Spain.

That is to say, although it is true that you could submit all the documentation from your country of origin, you can also do it during your stay as a tourist after having already entered Spanish territory.


Possibility of including family members in your application


Another main advantage is the possibility of including your spouse and children in your application so that they can also obtain a permit to live (and even work, as long as they are over 18 years of age) in Spain.


Longer duration of the initial card


The initial residence cards under the general immigration regime are for 1 year (time that once elapsed requires renewal).

In the case of visas under the Entrepreneurs Law, this time is 3 years, which facilitates the bureaucracy that the foreigner must carry out in Spain.


Detailed requirements


In addition to the particular requirements of each permit, all visas under law 14/2013 require the following basic requirements:

  • No criminal record
  • Being over 18 years of age
  • Not having entry to Spain prohibited
  • Hiring private medical insurance with full coverage in the whole Spanish territory
  • Proof of payment of the corresponding fee
  • Have sufficient financial means for the main applicant and for family members if included in the application


Visas and residence permits under Law 14/2013


So, what are all the residency permits under this Entrepreneurs Law?

Below you can find the complete list of authorizations that are under this law and therefore must be requested with their different set of particularities.


Golden visa or investor permit


Perhaps the best-known option due to its great popularity throughout Europe, the investor visa has become the preferred option for many due to its simple requirements.

It is only required to demonstrate a minimum investment of 500,000 euros in real estate (although investments in shares, bonds, and Spanish debt are also allowed; although in higher amounts), and the residence will be granted.

In addition, it is a permit that allows the foreigner to work both as an employee and as a self-employed person.


Work permit as a highly qualified worker


The entire expat community is well aware of how difficult it can be to obtain a work permit in Spain.

However, the work permit contained under the Entrepreneurs Law makes this completely different.

The permit as highly qualified is a work permit granted to all those foreigners who have completed higher education (such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree), who are going to take a technical or managerial position in a company, and with a salary of more than 50,000€ per year.

Although it can be requested as a means of the initial path to settle in Spain, it is very common for foreign students with their visas for studies to move to this residence authorization once they complete their training in Spanish territory.


Research residency


If instead of working for a company, the foreigner will be dedicated to R&D&I tasks, the residence for research purposes will be the right authorization.

In addition, it is the appropriate option for university professors or doctoral students in which the need to carry out research tasks is included in their program of studies.

You can find here the complete list of cases of researchers who can apply for this residence permit.


Entrepreneur visa


The permit that gives its name to this law, and another of the most demanded options.

The entrepreneur visa is the substitute for the self-employment permit in those cases in which the foreigner wants to set up an innovative business with a large technological component.

One of the most critical parts of the application process is the business plan, something that must be perfectly prepared to ensure a successful application.

Here you can find a complete guide so that you can access all the keys to obtaining the entrepreneur visa effortlessly.


Residence for intra-company transfer


In the case of working for a multinational company based in Spain and receiving an offer of relocation, the process will be managed through the intra-company transfer visa.


Remote work visa


If you want to become a digital nomad who works online but is settled in Spain, then the new digital nomad visa is for you.

It is a 3-year residency that can be applied both directly from Spain or from your country of origin, and offers a fast-track application in just 20 days. 

Apart from that, it will offer the applicant the great tax advantage of just paying a flat fee rate of 24% on her income tax (instead of a progressive one that can reach up to 48%).



General application process


Applications for any of the residence authorizations we have seen so far are processed through the UGE, the Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos (Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit).

The UGE is physically located in Madrid, and has no other offices in the rest of Spain.

However, applications can be submitted online. More specifically, you have 4 different options to process your application:

  1. Through the electronic headquarters that you will find on the UGE website. You will need a digital certificate
  2. At the common electronic registry of the Ministry of Finance and Public Function. You must also use your digital certificate.
  3. Go in person to the UGE in Madrid to hand in all the documents in person
  4. If you do not have a digital certificate and do not want to go to Madrid, you can also apply through any public registry of the subdelegation of the government in your city.

Once you obtain the resolution, and in the same way that happens with residence authorizations under the general regime, you will also have to apply for a TIE or physical residence card. And you will do it at the corresponding police station in your city.


Application forms Law 14/2013


Another of the particularities of residencies under the Entrepreneurs Law is that they use different (their own) application models, which are different from those of the general regime.

Here you can find the links to the different models:

And, in addition, you can find the rest of the model and the translated models in several languages here.


If you have any doubts or would like to receive personalized advice from our team of immigration lawyers, do not hesitate to contact us!


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