Business Visa in Spain: Requirements & Application

business visa in Spain

Everything you need to know about how to obtain a business visa in Spain (including the three available types in detail) in this post. Find out if you should really apply for one, what are the requirements, and much more.

The business visa is the authorization that will allow you to enter and reside in a foreign country while you develop a specific economic or business activity, whether it is attending a trade fair, visiting clients, or completing specific training activities.

Generally, when we talk about a business visa, we are referring to a short-term Schengen visa that allows you to visit Spain (or any other Schengen country) for a short period of time of up to 90 days.

Nevertheless, as we will now see, this is not the only way to work and do business in the country.

And that is because there are other paths that can be much more appropriate if you intend to stay beyond these 3 months to develop your economic activity.

What you must take into account is that obtaining a business visa requires a series of requirements that you must fulfill (and which we will explore below).

Who must apply for a business visa in Spain?

As we mentioned in the previous section, if you are traveling to Spain for business purposes, whether to hold various meetings, visit suppliers or clients, or attend a trade fair, you will most likely have to apply for a business visa.

This is true as long as you are a national from a country outside the European Union and you will be staying in Spain for less than 90 days.

However, if you are a European citizen or your country has an agreement with Spain that does not require a visa to cross the borders, then it will not be necessary to apply for this visa.

You can find the complete list of these exempt countries here.

However, keep in mind that it is still necessary to comply with a series of entry requirements even if you do not require a visa, such as having a return ticket or confirmed accommodation.

Types of business visas in Spain and requirements

As we have mentioned, there are different types of business visas in the Spanish territory, and depending on your plans and the time you plan to stay in the country you will have to choose one option or another.

Below you can find the specific requirements of each business visa type:

Short-term Schengen business visa

The first type of business visa is the short-stay visa (the same one mentioned in the previous section).

Thus, it will be the right choice if you are going to be in Spain for less than 90 days (following the 90 – 180 days rule).

The most important thing to consider is the purpose of this visa.

To the surprise of many, it does NOT allow for any direct income-generating activity.

That is, this business visa is suitable if you want to visit a client, attend a conference or business event, visit suppliers, or complete training (activities that your company pays you through your salary).

But never perform directly remunerated activities.

Thus, it is NOT possible to work with this business visa (in case you want to do so, you will have to apply for one of the two options below).

In other words, it is a special type of tourist visa; therefore, it also requires travel medical insurance, confirmed accommodation, roundtrip flight tickets, etc.

If your intention, however, is to stay longer than 90 days and engage in economic activities that can generate income (like setting up your company), you will find below the two options available.

Work permit as a self-employed worker

The self-employed work permit is a business visa that allows you to legally live and work in Spain for 1 year (and can be renewed for 4 years at the end of this period).

It is the right option if you want to set up your business in Spain or start working as an independent professional (freelance).

As it is a residence and work authorization, the application process is much longer and more extensive than in the previous case, and it starts at the Spanish consulate located in your country of origin.

Thus, although it is a somewhat complex process, in our firm we continue to successfully process these applications, so if you prepare a good business plan (a key requirement for this process), your application can be approved.

In addition to this, you will need to submit an apostilled/legalized criminal record certificate as another key requirement.

Entrepreneur visa

On the other hand, if you want to develop a business idea in Spain that is totally innovative and involves a high degree of technological sophistication in its operations, the entrepreneur visa will be the ideal option.

Again, this business visa allows you to stay longer than the 90 days of the Schengen business visa; as it is an authorization initially for 3 years (and renewable).

In this case, however, it offers the advantage that it can be applied for directly from Spain as a tourist, and if you meet all the requirements, you would get your visa in just 20 working days.

However, the administration is much stricter with the approval of these visas, and only those projects that are truly innovative and disruptive are finally approved.

The development of a business plan is still a fundamental requirement for the process (as in the previous case), and requires the pre-approval of business institutions.

Apply for your business visa

And up till here all your different options to get your business visa in Spain.

If you have any doubts or you would like our immigration lawyers to help you get your work permit in the country, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us through the following form:

Get in touch with our lawyers and let us guide you step by step:

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business visa in Spain

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