A Guide to the Self-Employed Visa in Spain for non-EU citizens

Spain has one of the world’s largest economies with investment, domestic growth and tourism continuing to deliver a positive momentum surpassing the Eurozone and EU averages. Spain has been proactive in introducing visa routes for foreign nationals to encourage commercial expansion. The introduction of the Self-Employed work visa, regulated by article 37 of the Immigration Act (artículo 37 Ley Orgánica 4/2000), is the first step into this dynamic rising market offering a rising entrepreneur a gateway to trading in the EU marketplace.

Self-Employment Work Visa also offers the chance to launch or expand your business ventures in the European Union. The Self-Employment Work Visa is aimed at non-EU citizen entrepreneurs aged 16 years or over that meet the professional capacity and qualifications in their chosen industry sector and can fulfil the requirements of the visa application.

Andreu Marin, a Andreu Marin, Senior Associate at Giambrone & PartnersSenior Associate, commented “The self-employed visa offers the opportunity to launch a business in Spain and with the added advantage of enabling the holder to eventually target the wider EU market.” Andreu further pointed out that “the application, made from the person’s home country, with the right professional guidance and due diligence the process need not pose any problems and can be achieved within a short time”

How to Apply for a Self-Employment Visa

Documentation required by the Immigration Office

  • An application must be made at a Consulate in the applicant’s country or origin in person by appointment
  • Two application forms must be completed
  • Any licences or other types of permit that allow the chosen commercial or professional activity to be undertaken
  • Original documentation supporting the qualifications of the applicant. Any foreign documents must be apostilled or legalised and submitted together with an official Spanish translation undertaken be an official translator
  • A detailed business plan outlining how the business activity is to be promoted and carried out. As well as financial projections for the expected return and the anticipated level of investment. Documents must be translated into Spanish by an official translator
  • Documentary evidence that the applicant has sufficient financial funding to carry out the planned project. All documents must be translated by an official translator

Documentation required by the Consulate

  • A completed application form
  • A passport-size photograph
  • A criminal record check demonstrating that the application has a clean criminal record, both the original and a copy
  • Evidence of payment of the application fee
  • A valid passport each page of which must be photocopied
  • Medical certificate in accordance to International Health Regulations 2005.
  • Evidence of proof of residence 

The Procedure

The business plan – which should include

  • The professional qualifications and any other relevant documentation to support the expertise of the applicant
  • The anticipated income generated by the business
  • The potential for job creation
  • The projected inward investment
  • The required authorisations or licences related to the industry sector
  • Proof of payment of taxes as required

Once the business plan has been drafted it will need to be approved by an authorised and accredited organisation such as the National Federation of the Self-employed Workers Associations (ATA).

The Immigration Office

All relevant documentation must be presented for authorisation of residence to be approved.

The Consulate

Once the Immigration Office has reviewed and approved the documentation the applicant will be informed and authorisation for a residency permit can proceed. Approval must be received from the Consulate within one month. A residency permit is valid for one year and can be renewed for up to four years, where after the following five years, permanent residency can be applied for.

Social Security Registration – TIE Card

Once the visa is granted successful applicants must register with the Spanish Social Security authority within three months. The TIE card is evidence that a foreign national is a legal resident.

Giambrone and Partners have a highly efficient well-regarded immigration team with a track record of success in assisting foreign nationals to obtain a wide range of visas. Our lawyers provide comprehensive guidance on all the criteria required for your application and can manage any issues or complications arise during the application process, such as requests for additional information or interviews.

Bureaucracy in any country can be complex, especially when compounded by a language barrier. Our first-class immigration lawyers will act as a liaison between you and the Spanish authorities, enabling the submission to be processed free from any regulatory issues.

Andreu Marin has extensive experience in immigration matters, from obtaining visas (non-lucrative, Golden Visa, student or Schengen visas) to applications for EU family members, deportations and Spanish citizenship.

He has also successfully acted in a wide range of criminal proceedings, assisting foreign nationals with extraditions, EAW (European arrest warrant) and at hearings with defendants, amongst other matters.

Andreu is well-regarded by his clients for his comprehensive understanding of their needs and objectives which enables him to advise them and provide the best legal solution to their problems. He is able to create a strategy for his clients to achieve their objectives that can be adapted when necessary to meet other issues that may arise.

Andreu has successfully obtained non-lucrative visas for all the British clients he has assisted through the consulates in London, Manchester and Edinburgh since joining the firm in October 2022. 

If you would like to know more about applying for a visa please click here