Entrepreneurs Law increasing mobility of US employees to work in Spain

Published on 4th Jan 2017

In 2013, a new law on immigration was passed in order to create a new legal migration regime aimed at boosting the Spanish economy, by attracting investment and talent, and by promoting entrepreneurship and the internationalisation of companies. Since its inception, the newly streamlined application procedure and requirements have simplified the hiring and transfer of employees to Spain, while greatly favouring investment in Spain.

What has changed?

The regulation (known as the “Entrepreneurs’ Law”) is addressed to certain categories of foreigners who possess the professional potential or economic wealth to make a positive contribution to the Spanish economy. These categories consist of:

  • employees who are posted to Spain for employment purposes, or because of they have a professional relationship with a company or with a group of companies;
  • highly qualified professionals who have been hired by large entities or corporate groups based in Spain, or by companies which are engaged in a strategic sector or are committed to developing a project of general interest;
  • financial investors;
  • property owners or real estate investors; and
  • entrepreneurs who are willing to carry out an innovative business of particular economic interest in Spain.

All US citizens falling within any of the above categories are entitled to process their residency and work permit before arriving in Spain, through the simplified application procedure set out under the Entrepreneurs’ Law, which offers:

  • waiver of the “national employment boundary” that would otherwise apply, which requires proof that the national labour market cannot provide a suitable candidate for the role;
  • a faster response from the Immigration Authority – the response will be provided within 20 working days in the case of work authorisations, and within 10 working days in the case of visa applications; and
  • the ability for relatives of the applicants to apply together with the principal applicant (simultaneously or successively), for an authorisation to stay in Spain.

Impact of the new regime

The advantages of this new legal regime will surely keep increasing the mobility of talented workers from the USA to Spain, and the number of work permit applications being granted to other employees of multinational businesses.

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* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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