Non EU Immigration To Spain

Non EU Immigration To Spain is on the increase since Spain approved the Golden Visa for Spanish Residency.

If you are from outside the European Union, the golden visa means that you can buy residency in Spain for just over €500,000. It is aimed primarily at buyers from the Middle East, Russia, and China, but the rule is equally applicable to citizens of the United States, Canada, and South America.

The investment of €500,000 minimum has to be in Spanish property. It is, however, possible to buy a single property or a portfolio of properties. The latter option is a clever way to generate income from your investments to support your day to day living (if that is your plan).

What is more good news is that people from outside the European Union who have already bought property can count that against the full amount needed to get their Golden Visa. For example, if you have already bought a property for 300,000 euros you can now buy another for 200,000 euros in order to qualify for the Golden Visa.

We recommend using a carefully selected law firm to process your visa application. The timing and accuracy of each application are paramount to a successful outcome.

Here is a brief outline of the Spanish visa application procedure for non-EU citizens:

  • A minimum investment of €500,000 in Spanish property.
  • The total investment can be the purchase of several properties (the purchase of land only is not acceptable).
  • The Spanish residency visa may be granted to immediate family members (spouse and children up to 18 years).
  • No minimum stay requirement to renew the visa (ie. living in Spain is optional).
  • No minimum stay means no necessity to be tax resident.
  • The visa will be renewable for the first five years (the visa is renewable after the first year for a new period of 2 years. After the third year is is again renewable for a new period of 2 years, and after the fifth, the residents can become permanent) If you chose not to take permanent residency, you can continue to renew the visa as before.
  • Permanent residency can be applied for after five years.
  • The initial property investment can be sold once permanent residency has been obtained. (pending confirmation!)
  • The Visa allows unlimited travel throughout EU Schengen visa zone (for a maximum period of 30 days to a different UE country than the one granting the residency visa.)
  • The application should take a maximum 20 days (excluding time required to obtain and legalise necessary documents).
  • The investment must be made before the visa application.
  • All investments will result in a positive acceptance (usually only a criminal record will prevent acceptance).
  • Citizenship in Spain can be applied for after five further years of permanent residency* (although the law says that the standard term to apply for the citizenship for residency is 10 years)
  • EU citizenship is automatic with Spanish citizenship
  • At this point (ie after 10 years) a family can live, work and study anywhere in Europe.

*Please note that “permanent residency” status is only applied to individuals residing in Spain, on a permanent basis, for five years.

Requirements for the person making the Spanish visa application:

  • The applicant has not entered or stayed illegally in any Spanish territory.
  • To be 18 years of age or over.
  • To not have been refused entry in any of the Schengen countries.
  • To have public or private health insurance recognised in Spain.
  • To have sufficient economic means to cover personal and family living expenses (this amount will be revised regularly).
  • Proof of the investment must be made through a Registry of Property certificate proving ownership.
  • Or, if the ownership title is not yet registered, via a copy of the acquisition public deed and proof of filing the deed in the Registry.

The new Spanish visa application process for non-EU nationals is a step towards acquiring Spanish citizenship. It is a lengthy process but one that will open many doors for many people.

Acquiring Spanish residency gives you the right to live in Spain and to travel freely to Spain which is within the Schengen visa area of Europe. The legislation has no minimum period of residence. Hence, an investor can buy a property in Spain, obtain residency and then travel freely to Spain at any time. Their family can live in Spain permanently, with access to schools, both state and private, selecting the type of education desired.

The new Golden Visa for Spanish Residency does not include a Spanish work permit as standard. That is one of the reasons that we suggest buying a Spanish Property Portfolio that actually produces an income if you are going to be residing in Spain.

You may apply for Spanish work permits after the first year of your residency so we also recommend keeping back an amount of money to tide you over for the first year. However, you can apply for a work permit while here if certain conditions are met. There is a good description of these conditions on the Ministry website

Bear in mind that you will be required to show that you can support yourself and that you have health insurance when you apply for residency (Which will be granted automatically if you have spent over 500,000 Euros in total on your property purchases.)

For further details, contact us.

I can help you build a portfolio in different parts of Spain, not just Malaga. Let me know what you are looking for …

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Lisa Sadleir

Founder at Family in Spain SL
Lisa is a reputable relocation consultant and personal property finder. She assist families and professionals in making the best decisions when planning their move to Spain. Experienced in NIE and residency issues, Spanish bureaucracy and property purchase procedures.

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