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Self employed visa - Guide

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

On 31 December 2020 the transition period ended and the UK completed the EU exit process. This means that from 1 January 2021 onwards the UK is considered a third country by all EU states. In terms of residency, this means that anyone who wasn’t covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (anyone who wasn’t a resident in an EU state or started the process to become one before the end of 2020) will have to adapt to the new regulations in terms of immigration. In Spain, this means that UK nationals will be subject to the general regime of Immigration (Régimen General).

What is the General Immigration Regime? The General Immigration Regime is a set of migration rules and requirements for third country nationals that wish to live in Spain. Unlike the Community Regime (directed at EU nationals), the General Regime does not grant the right to work or move to Spain based on your nationality. Instead, there is a set of visa requirements you will need to fulfill in order to live in Spain. This, among other things, means you will need to specify in advance what is your intention for moving to Spain, declare that you have sufficient economic means to do so, or present an employment contract with a company based in Spain. Living and working in Spain as a self-employed To live and work as a self-employed in Spain, you will need to obtain what is known as “Autorización inicial de residencia temporal y trabajo por cuenta propia”. This is a temporary authorisation that will let you live and develop your own professional activity in Spain. The requirements are the following:

  • You are a third country national (outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland)

  • You are not living in Spain illegally

  • You do not have a criminal record in Spain and in the previous countries of residence

  • You are not banned from the country (not appear as objectionable in Spain, the EU or other third countries)

  • You are not subject to a non-return commitment

  • You should possess professional qualifications/training to carry out the job

  • Comply with the current legislation regarding the opening and maintenance of the planned activity

  • Accredit that the investment is enough and that you count with sufficient economic resources to sustain such activity

Initial residency and work authorisation If you meet the requirements mentioned above, you can start your application to live and work in Spain. You will be able to present your application at the Spanish consular office in your region. You can check which office you should attend here. You will need to book an appointment to your consular office. To do so, you will need to send an email to the following email address depending on where you live:

  • (London office)

  • (Edinburgh)

  • (Manchester)

In the email, write down as subject the type of visa you are looking for (working visa, cuenta ajena). On the body of the email, specify the following information:

  • Your personal details: full name, nationality, passport nº and phone number.

  • Type of visa

  • Reason of requesting the visa.

  • Desired date of the appointment you wish to book the appointment (the consular offices only are open for these processes on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 09:30 to 12:00), to be confirmed by the consular office.

The process will be individual, so each family member that wants to apply for the visa will require a separate appointment. You will have to gather the following documents prior to the application (you will have to present copies as well as originals at your appointment with the Consular Office):

  • Completed Model EX-07 (two copies) and signed.

  • Copy of your Passport (all pages), with validity for the whole stay and at least 2 blank pages.

  • Copy of the document that certifies the professional qualifications/training required to carry out your job.

  • Document that accredits the professional qualifications/training required to develop your business (legal and professional qualification)

  • Document that ensures you have enough economic means to develop your business, or the business loan to fund the project.

  • Business plan, with the planned investment, cost-effectiveness and expected job positions.

  • Tasa 790 code 052 (tick section 2.1), regarding your residency application*

  • Tasa 790 code 062 (tick section 1.5), regarding the self-employed authorisation*

*Both fees or tasas should be paid the same day of the appointment. If you wish so, you can accredit the last three points (professional qualifications/training, economic means and business plan) through one of these institutions sponsored by the Spanish authorities:

  • Federación Nacional de Asociaciones de Empresarios y Trabajadores Autónomos (ATA)

  • Unión de Profesionales y Trabajadores Autónomos (UPTA)

  • Confederación Intersectorial de Autónomos del Espato Español (CIAE)

  • Organización de Profesionales y Autónomos (OPA)

  • Unión de Asociaciones de Trabajadores Autónomos y Emprendedores (UATAE)

Documents depending on the type of business:

  • Retail business and services developed in spaces of less than 300sq/m: a declaration of responsibility and receipt of the required fee.

  • Other activities: authorisations and licences required (depending on the activity)

Note: All official documents (birth certificate/death, marriage certificate/divorce, criminal record) must be legalised through the consular representations of the issuing country or hold the Hague Apostille, except official documents issued by a Member State of the European Union. Requesting the visa Once you presented all documents, the notification period can take up to 3 months counting from the next day of the presentation. If approved, you will have 1 month after the notification to request the visa at the Consular office. For the request, you will have to book another appointment with the consular office and provide the following documents:

  • Passport with validity for the whole stay and at least 2 blank pages (copy of all pages)

  • Completed national visa form (dated and signed)

  • Recent ID photograph (white background). Check guidelines here

  • Criminal record issued by the authorities of the country you lived in for the past 5 years

  • Medical certificate (less than 3 months old)

  • Pay the visa fee at the consular office. You can consult the different visa fees through this link.

The Consulate should resolve your application within a month. You will be notified of the concession and pick it up personally within 1 month after the notification. After obtaining your visa you will have 3 months to enter Spain and register to the Spanish Social Security. Find more information about this process here. Within 1 month after registering with Social Security, you will need to apply for a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE). Obtaining your Residency Card

After registering with social security, you will have a month to request the Foreigner’s Identity Card (TIE) at the designated Immigration or Police office. To request the TIE it is necessary to make an appointment online -cita previa-, which can be done by clicking this link. Select the province where you live and the option “ Policia-Toma de Huellas (Expedición de tarjeta) y Renovación de Tarjeta de larga duración” -Trámites Cuerpo Nacional de Policía tab-, and follow the further instructions. Completing this process will arrange an appointment at an Immigration Office or your local Police Station for a specific date and time. Once the appointment is arranged, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • Completed Model EX-17 form (original and copy)

  • Passport (original and copy) with the Visa attached

  • Receipt of payment of the tax 790 code 012. You can complete and download the form here. Also, find the list of institutions associated with the payment of fees by direct debit system here

  • 3 recent Passport-size photograph 32x26 (ID photograph)

  • Alta to the Social Security.

In the case the police don't inform you about how to pick up your new TIE, you will be able to pick up your card by booking an appointment here. Select the province where you live and the option “Policia-Recogida Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero” -Trámites Cuerpo Nacional de Policía tab-. We suggest that you sign up for our newsletter using the link at the bottom of this email and follow our Facebook page where we will provide updates once we have more information about the newer processes.


Before you go!

We absolutely depend upon the vital support of people like you to ensure that our services are freely available for everyone who needs help. Since the ending of our successful UK Government funded residency project earlier this year, we no longer get any government financial support. So from July 2022, we don’t have enough money to keep our Infoline and Casework support services running full time.

Can you help us?

Your regular donation of just €10 per month will enable us to provide a weekly friendship call to an isolated older person, every week of the year.

Your one off donation of €50 will enable us to make a home visit to a vulnerable person who is struggling to access vital services.

A regular donation of €100 per month will enable us to open our phone lines for longer, so we can continue to help make a difference every day of the week.

It’s easy to make a donation by credit or debit card - here is the link to our donations page.

And remember, if you are a tax payer in Spain, you can claim up to 80% tax relief on your donations of up to 150€ in any tax year and 35% tax relief on amounts over that. So a 20€ donation could cost you only 4€ - or a donation of 100€ would cost you just 20€. We will send you a receipt so you can reclaim your tax when you submit your tax return.



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