• Fast-Track Residence Permits Expand to Cover Additional Categories
  • October 11, 2013
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • The Spanish Congress has enacted a law that creates fast-track residence permits for managers and highly skilled workers, intracompany transferees, scientific researchers, university lecturers, entrepreneurs and investors, and establishes eligibility criteria and processing times for these categories.

    Effective September 30, the law requires the government to adjudicate the fast-track residence permits in 20 calendar days and Spanish consular posts to process the corresponding visas in ten business days.

    Managers and highly skilled workers can be sponsored for the fast-track permit only by companies that can demonstrate one of the following: average staff of over 250 employees during the previous three months; annual turnover of at least 50 million Euros or total equity of at least 43 million Euros; average gross foreign investment of one million Euros during the prior three years; stock value of over three million Euros; participation in projects of general economic interest, which have yet to be identified; or ongoing operations in a strategic sector, which have yet to be defined.

    In order for an intracompany transferee to qualify, he or she must hold at minimum a bachelor’s degree or three years’ professional experience relevant to the assignment in Spain and must have worked for the sending company for at least three months.

    Other categories of foreign nationals eligible for the fast-track permit include:

    • Holders of master’s degrees from leading business schools, though these have yet to be identified;
    • Individuals who invest at least two million Euros in public debt securities or one million Euros in bank deposits or in stock in Spanish companies;
    • Purchasers of real estate free of any liens with a value of at least 500,000 Euros;
    • Investors who contribute significant funds in the areas of scientific or technological innovation, though no minimum investment levels have been confirmed;
    • Entrepreneurs who create jobs to stimulate the Spanish economy as evidenced by a government report, though the minimum number of jobs that must be created is not yet known;
    • Scientific researchers who contribute technological innovation, though how this will be measured is not yet known; and
    • Lecturers at universities and business schools in Spain.