On Friday 24 May 2013, the Spanish Government approved the new Enterprise Bill, which will regulate, among other things, the obtaining of visas and residence permits for foreign citizens investing in Spain in specific circumstances. The bill will be sent to the Spanish parliament for discussion by both houses (congress and senate) and it is expected to be passed and enacted by the end of the year.

The new drafting of the bill has not yet been published but the Government has issued an official note covering the main points:

The process for granting residence permits for economic reasons will be simpler, quicker and more flexible, with decisions being taken by a single authority in favour of citizens qualified as:

  1. Investors who make relevant financial investments or investments in industrial projects which are recognised as being of general interest (i.e. due to the impact on the creation of new jobs or the contribution to technical and scientific innovation);
  2. Investors in innovative activity with economic relevance. In these types of projects, the following aspects are likely to be considered: (i) creation of new jobs; (ii) professional profile of the applicant; (iii) business plan; or (iv) value added to the Spanish economy.
  3. Highly qualified professionals (top executives, professors or postgraduates at university and prestigious business schools, and professionals who carry out investigations activities).

From a financial standpoint (and regardless of the fact that the bill has not yet been published), the Presidency ministry has suggested that investors acquiring a property in Spain for a value of over 500,000 euro or investing an amount over 2,000,000 in public debt will acquire Spanish residency.