🌍 Embrace Borderless Opportunities with Lexidy’s New Global Mobility Department. Learn More!

What To Know To Fully Enjoy The America’s Cup Experience

sterlinglanier Lanier on Unsplash

Tips for individuals travelling to Spain to work the event, compete, or enjoy the America’s Cup experience as a luxury coastal vacation.

The America’s Cup experience is a shiny, breathtaking yacht racing competition with teams competing in glamorous destinations from all over the world. It has the distinction of being the oldest active international competition of any sport. And that juxtaposes the fact that the competition is known for its groundbreaking technology.

However, those in the know understand it to be so much more. 

The sleek-bodied technological innovation involved. The culmination of skill, talent, big budgets, and teamwork– years in the making and ever-evolving. The prestige of the win. 

If you are considering attending the America’s Cup 2024 as a competitor, an employee, or to enjoy as the main event of your luxury coastal vacation, read on for the pertinent visa information and helpful planning details.

The America’s Cup Dates and Location 

The next America’s Cup will occur in the culturally rich, metropolitan mecca of Barcelona, Spain. 

The official opening ceremony will take place August 22nd, 2024. Over the next two months is the Final Preliminary Event, followed by the Challenger Selection Series.

Finally, it culminates in the America’s Cup Match, taking place between the dates of October 12th and October 27th, 2024.

The racing area for both the Challenger Selection Series and the America’s Cup Match will take place in the south of the city along Barcelona’s beachfront. Spectators will be able to line up along the coastline to appreciate the action-packed races.

Planning your trip as far in advance as possible is recommended. It will guarantee you access to work the event or take part in the festivities.

America’s Cup Express Visa Permit

If you are going to be a participant in the America’s Cup as a “national of a third country” (citizens of countries outside the European Union and a handful of other countries), you may be able to obtain an express residence permit. This visa will allow you reside and work in Spain. 

It’s surprising how many people can qualify for this new permit. The applicable profiles are diverse, including engineers, technical profiles, sailors, communication and logistics professionals. Added to that are sports medicine professionals, nautical experts, and even the managers of large related events.

Preparations for this competition require some workers to start arriving and residing in Spain two full years prior to the actual events. The purpose of the express residence permit is to cover this longer stay. It establishes the form, requirements, and deadlines for authorising the entry and residence for third-country nationals. Of course, it covers those who will professionally participate in this event and meet the established requirements.

Professionals who can apply for the Express Visa Permit

However, the Express Permit can also be used for other professionals. To begin, those related to the construction, maintenance and repair of nautical equipment, regatta sailors, professionals in the field of communication, logistics, and event management. Those who provide support tasks in the sports, technical, logistical, or administrative and management of the competition can also get an Express Permit. No matter what, they must belong to companies tied to the 37th America’s Cup experience in Barcelona, whether in preparation or celebration.

For those that want to know more permit details, this authorization process is streamlined through an intra-company transfer authorization. This authorization is recognized within the international mobility authorizations of the September 27th version of Law 14/2013. 

The Express Permit for participants in the America’s Cup will last the duration of the contract or transfer to Spain. You have a one-year contract? Then you could get this permit for one year. This permit has a maximum duration of two years. However, it is renewable as long as the conditions remain the same up to April 30th, 2025.

One of the best parts is that once you apply, the maximum resolution period is 20 business days from the electronic submission of the application to the competent body for processing.

The legal experts at Lexidy will keep you informed of any news as we further approach the event. Just reach out and we can plan for your unique situation. 

Preparation Recommendations

Barcelona is deemed to be one of the best towns in Spain, so you may come for the regatta, and stay for the lifestyle. 

Beyond the perfect weather, Spain’s nightlife, architecture, cuisine, beaches, and culture are bar none. If it’s your first time travelling to Spain, Barcelona is a great choice because it offers a sample of the best of each category. 

Prepare to get the most out of your visit to Spain with our suggestions. 

Spain Visa and Passport Requirements

If you want to fully enjoy the America's Cup experience, or want to work the experience, it is likely you will want to apply for a special visa.
If you plan to work in Spain for the 2024 America’s Cup, you might need to apply for a special visa.

One important consideration for those travelling to Spain for the America’s Cup is the potential for delays or disruptions due to immigration issues. As officials work to balance security with the need to welcome visitors, there may be increased wait times. These delays may be most noticeable at ports of entry or delays in processing visas or permits. It is important to plan ahead and allow extra time to navigate these issues.

Despite these challenges, the America’s Cup is an opportunity to celebrate international cooperation and competition. It brings together sailors, fans, and supporters from around the world, creating a vibrant and exciting atmosphere. 
For those travelling to Spain for the America’s Cup experience, it is necessary to check your eligibility before entering. Travellers will need a valid passport and potentially a visa, depending on your country of origin and length of stay.

Worker and Competitor Visas

Those planning to work or compete in the America’s Cup 2024 must obtain the appropriate permits and visas to do so legally.

Given that most of the professional profiles are difficult to fit within the current immigration legislation, the Spanish Council of Ministers has approved a new entry/work/residence permit for America’s Cup professionals. 

It is comparable to other permits under the same Entrepreneurs Law (see above). It allows permit holders to reside and work in Spain from 2023 until April 30, 2025. 

This permit timeline accounts for the preparation work required prior to the competition (training, construction, training of sailboats, etc.). It also accounts for the dismantling of the facilities once the events have ended.

Extending Your Stay

Spanish expats will often tell you the same story: they came once for a magical Spanish vacation and realised how much the quality of life improved. Next thing they knew, they had purchased a property in one of the best towns in Spain. 

If this is your first time travelling to Spain, consider yourself forewarned. You might soon find yourself looking at Spain housing and purchasing beautiful coastal property. If you are coming to Barcelona on the America’s Cup permit, it may be a great moment to consider purchasing your residence

The America's Cup experience in Barcelona could be a great time to view property if you've been thinking about buying a house someday in Spain.

Barcelona Cultural Activities and Attractions

While in town for the America’s Cup, why not rent a spectator boat to get closer to the America’s Cup experience? Or, if you prefer serenity, head to Bogatell beach for clean sand and calm seas.

Within the city, September and October are ideal months to appreciate Barcelona’s many festivals. We recommend the Barcelona International Jazz Festival and the traditional La Mercè street festival. Just walking around and losing yourself in the music, costumes, and local customs provides an exciting cultural experience. 

While walking, you will discover that Barcelona’s unique architecture has turned the city itself into a work of art. In addition to the must-see destinations like La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera, and Casa Batlló, Barcelona is home to 80 art museums. That’s enough for even the ravenous lovers of art and culture.

Speaking of ravenous, Barcelona’s culinary scene is world-renowned. When roaming around the city, sample the local tapas and the city’s specialties: paella, and Cava!

Travel and Accommodations During the America’s Cup Experience

Commercial direct flights are widely available directly to Barcelona. But for a more enjoyable travel experience, consider chartering a private jet to Barcelona. Besides providing a more comfortable and personalised travel experience, you get the flexibility to customise your itinerary to suit your needs. This is a practical option, as the racing dates may vary based on the conditions. 

If you prefer to book a hotel during your stay, some of the best luxury hotels in Spain can be found in Barcelona. They all offer ample amenities and personalised service to cater to every need.

For those seeking privacy and exclusivity, renting a villa when travelling to Spain makes the most sense. Multiple companies offer a wide selection of luxury villas with private pools, personal chefs, and stunning views of the city.

For exclusive access to the city’s attractions, private transportation, and expert guides who can help you experience the city according to your interests, book a private tour provider during your stay and let them take care of the details. Travelling to Spain is popular during this season, so try to book as far in advance as possible. 

Safety Measures

Barcelona is generally a safe city, although, throughout your America’s Cup experience, safety precautions should be heightened. For Spanish immigration officials, the America’s Cup presents a challenge to enforce the right amount of security. Expect to see increased scrutiny at ports of entry or increased enforcement of visa requirements.

To protect the competitors’ safety and the flock of spectator boats, there will be a permanent exclusion zone set up. Racing will take place close enough to shore that those watching from the beach can see some of the action taking place just a few hundred metres away.

For your personal safety, pay attention to your surroundings and be cautious about sharing personal information with strangers. Avoid walking in unfamiliar or poorly lit parts of the city, and keep your valuables and large sums of cash locked in a secure location, like a hotel safe. 

If you don’t want to concern yourself with matters of safety during your stay, the easiest solution is to hire a reputable personal security detail and a private driver. 

Language Barriers

Barcelona is multicultural, as are the employees and racers in the America’s Cup. There, it is likely you will interact with many who speak a variety of languages. Nowadays, there is no need to give up on communication or understanding just because you don’t speak the same language. 

Try using translation apps like Google Translate to communicate any message. You can also search for images and use them as visual aides in conversation. For a deeper understanding, hire a local guide who speaks your language to help you tour and converse. The locally spoken languages are Catalan and Castilian Spanish. Don’t be afraid to try out a few key phrases to show locals that you care.

The America’s Cup Experience Help and Resources

Despite the challenges of applying for the right paperwork and planning, the 2024 America’s Cup will be a thrilling event for avid supporters, sailors, logistics teams, and tech experts from around the world.

It’s a unique, worthwhile opportunity for individuals to come together in a spirit of competition and cooperation.

Sidestep the potential for delays or disruptions due to potential immigration issues. Obtain the appropriate permits and visas for your travels to Spain with a little help from our expert international legal team below for more information.

How Can We help you?

Share with friends

More To Explore

Subscribe to our newsletter

Stay ahead of the changes that matter to you

Do not hesitate to contact us

Our experts will be happy to give you a hand