Immigration Updates – 28th of April

Contributor(s): Daniel King
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    Spain

    The Spanish government has issued new guidance on applications for visas for teleworking. The guidance confirms the following:

    • Applicants for a visa for teleworking must submit evidence that they graduated from a prestigious university or that they have three years of relevant work experience.
    • The authorities retain the right to request additional verification of education or of relevant experience during application processing.
    • Those working in government-regulated positions, such as lawyers, architects and some engineers, must have their degrees evaluated and verified.
    • Applicants for an entrepreneurial visa must submit a report, including information about their business partners, services provided, processing of the company and proprietary technology used, to the National Agency of Innovation (ENISA), providing evidence that their business activities in Spain are entrepreneurial. ENISA will provide a decision on the report within 10 business days.

    Background

    The new “Start-up Law” came into force on 28 December 2023, amending the existing Entrepreneurs Law and setting conditions for a new work visa for remote workers (teletrabajadores de caracter internacional). The latest guidance is part of the implementation of the new law.

    The remote work visa permits qualifying foreign nationals to live in Spain while employed by a company located overseas. For Independent professionals , up to 20% of their work can be for Spanish companies (this is not permitted for regular employees).

    Qualifying criteria are as follows:

    • The applicant must be a graduate of a notable university, business school, or professional training program, or have at least three years of professional experience.
    • The employer abroad must have existed as a business entity for at least one year.
    • Regular employees must prove that they have worked for the employer abroad for at least three months at the time of application.
    • The applicant must show evidence that the company allows the applicant to work remotely.
    • Independent professionals must prove a business relationship with one or more companies outside Spain for at least the three months before applying. Applicants must also provide documentation accrediting the terms and conditions under which the professional activities will be carried out.
    • Applicants must also show that they are financially self-sufficient, with proof of an income double the national minimum wage, and additional income required for accompanying family members.

    This visa will permit a one-year stay, and is renewable up to five years. Remote workers will qualify for a reduced tax rate of 15% (instead of 24%) for the first four years of their stay if their income remains below a certain threshold (EUR 600,000 per year).

    Applications can be submitted either from within Spain or via a Spanish consulate abroad; must be processed within 20 days; and will be considered automatically approved if this deadline passes.

    Changes to other categories under the Entrepreneur’s Law include:

    • Police clearance certificates are required from Spain and any country of residence in the last two years (rather than five years as previously), and a declaration of lack of criminal record in the previous five years.
    • Initial residence permits are granted for three years (or the duration of the assignment), rather than two years as previously.
    • Highly Qualified Professionals can now include graduates of recognised universities, prestigious business schools or professional training, and those with at least three years of professional experience.
    • A new definition of entrepreneurial activity regulated by the National Agency of Innovation (“ENISA”) .
    • The duration of the permit to seek employment is extended from 12 to 24 months.
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