Spanish Golden Visa: Answers to Your FAQs

The Spanish Golden Visa remains a popular option for non-EU citizens to gain entry to live in this wonderful country.

This visa is a chosen route to obtaining Spanish residency for professionals and families alike. 

Whether you are moving to Spain for an abundance of blue skies and sunshine and the warm Mediterranean climate or maybe so your children can benefit from the excellent international schools on offer whilst you enjoy the freedom to work from where you choose, the Spanish Golden Visa is a reliable choice. 

Spanish Golden Visa: A Comprehensive Guide to Investment Opportunities

The Spanish Golden Visa is an attractive opportunity for non-European Union nationals looking to invest in Spain and, in turn, gain residency rights. This programme offers you the unique advantage of living and working in Spain, while also benefiting from free movement within the Schengen zone. As an investor seeking capital growth and a secure future for your family, the Spanish Golden Visa programme is an ideal choice.

Launched in 2013, the programme has attracted a wide range of investors from all over the world, primarily focusing on those who are interested in Spanish real estate. To qualify for the Spanish Golden Visa, you need to make a significant investment, such as purchasing a property worth at least €500,000 or investing in Spanish companies, government bonds, or public debt instruments. The application process is relatively straightforward, with the help of expert advisers ensuring your investment meets the necessary criteria.

As you embark on your journey to obtain your Spanish Golden Visa, it’s essential to familiarise yourself with the eligibility requirements, application process, and the perks this visa programme can offer you. With the right investment and a well-executed plan, your dream of living in Spain and enjoying the benefits of European residency is well within reach.

Understanding Spanish Golden Visa

Definition

The Spanish Golden Visa is a residence permit granted to non-European Union (EU) nationals who invest in real estate, property, shares, or other qualifying assets in Spain. If you’re looking to acquire this visa, you’ll be required to make a significant financial investment in the country. This can be done through the purchase of property worth at least €500,000, an investment in Spanish shares or public debt of at least €1 million, or a contribution of at least €2 million to Spanish government bonds.

Origin

Introduced in 2013, the Spanish Golden Visa programme allows non-EU investors to obtain residency in Spain through their financial investments. The primary aim of this initiative is to attract foreign investment and boost the Spanish economy, particularly in the real estate sector. This programme has been successful in achieving its goals, with thousands of investors taking advantage of the opportunity to invest in Spanish property and obtain residency.

Significance

Obtaining a Spanish Golden Visa offers various benefits to investors and their families, including:

  • Residency in Spain: You and your family will be granted a renewable residence permit, allowing you to live and work in Spain.
  • Freedom of movement: The Spanish Golden Visa grants you visa-free travel within the Schengen Area, providing easier access to 26 European countries.
  • Pathway to permanent residency and citizenship: After five years of continuous residence, you can apply for permanent residency, and after ten years, you become eligible for Spanish citizenship.
  • Investment opportunities: The real estate market in Spain has proven to be an attractive investment for many foreign nationals, offering the potential for capital appreciation and rental income.

By investing in property or shares in Spain, you not only secure a solid financial investment but also gain access to the benefits that come with residency, making the Spanish Golden Visa a worthwhile consideration for non-EU investors.

Eligibility Criteria and Requirements

Financial Requirements

In order to qualify for the Spanish Golden Visa, you must invest a minimum of €500,000 in real estate in Spain. Your investment can be in one or several properties, and the funds must come from a legitimate source. Additionally, you will need to provide proof of financial stability, which means you must demonstrate the ability to support yourself and your family in Spain without relying on public funds.

Personal Requirements

To apply for the Golden Visa, you must meet the following personal requirements:

  • You must possess a valid passport and any required entry visas.
  • You must have a clean criminal record in your home country and any other countries where you have resided for the last five years.
  • You must not have any serious tie or entry ban in Spain or other Schengen countries.

Furthermore, you will need to have valid health insurance and show proof of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses for the period of your stay in Spain.

Remember, this is just a brief overview of the Eligibility Criteria and Requirements for the Spanish Golden Visa. It is crucial to consult with a professional and knowledgeable immigration expert to ensure a successful application and for more detailed information on the process.

Spanish Golden Visa Investment Options

Spain offers several options for those looking to obtain a Golden Visa through investment. In this section, we will discuss the three main investment alternatives: real estate, Spanish companies, and public debt.

Real Estate Investment

One of the most popular routes to obtaining a Spanish Golden Visa is by investing in real estate. To qualify for the visa, you must invest a minimum of €500,000 in Spanish property. This investment can be a single property or a combination of multiple properties. There are a few critical points to consider:

  • Your investment must be made free of any liens or encumbrances.
  • Your investment can include residential, commercial, or industrial properties.
  • You may rent out the properties to generate an income.
  • Additional taxes and fees may apply, such as property transfer tax or VAT.

Investment in Spanish Companies

Another option for obtaining the Spanish Golden Visa is by investing in Spanish companies. To qualify, you need to invest a minimum of €1 million in either:

  • Shares of Spanish companies
  • Bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions
  • Investment funds, closed-end investment funds, or venture capital funds

Investment in Spanish companies can be an excellent opportunity for those looking to enter the Spanish market and support local businesses. However, it’s essential to conduct thorough research and seek professional advice before making any investment decisions.

Investment in Spanish Public Debt

The third route to obtain a Spanish Golden Visa is through investment in Spanish public debt. This option requires you to invest at least €2 million in Spanish government bonds. The bonds must have a minimum maturity of five years. Key points to consider:

  • You must maintain the investment for the entire period of the Golden Visa residency.
  • Public debt investment can offer a lower risk compared to other investment options.
  • Changes in interest rates or the market may affect the value of your investment.
  • It is crucial to consult with a financial advisor. You must assess your risk tolerance and ensure this investment strategy aligns with your financial goals.

Remember, it is essential to carefully evaluate each investment option. You should seek professional advice to select the best route that suits your objectives. The Spanish Golden Visa can be a valuable opportunity to establish residency in Spain. However, it’s crucial to make informed decisions when investing your hard-earned money.

 

Let us outline the Spanish Golden Visa application procedure…

If you are from outside the EU the golden visa means that you can buy residency in Spain for just over €500,000. Initially aimed at buyers from the Middle East, Russia, and China, this visa is equally appealing to citizens of the United States, Canada, and the united Kingdom.

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 . An easy way 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. You can then qualify for the Golden Visa. (See the FAQs below for further details).

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.

A brief outline of the Spanish Golden 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 it is again renewable for a new period of 2 years. After the fifth, the residents can become permanent. If you choose not to take permanent residency, you can continue to renew the visa as before.
  • After five years, you can apply for Permanent residency .
  • You can sell the initial property investment once you have obtained permanent residency,
  • The Visa allows unrestricted travel throughout the EU Schengen visa zone . This is for a maximum of 90 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).
  • You must make the investment before the visa application.
  • You can apply for Citizenship in Spain for five further years of permanent residency . (Although the law says that the standard term to apply for the citizenship for residency is 10 years)
  • Requirements to apply for long term residency:  1. You must have lived legally and effectively in Spain for 5 years, and  2. Your absence periods in Spain must be less than 6 consecutive months. They must not exceed a total of 10 months during the said 5 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.
  • You must not have been refused entry in any of the Schengen countries.
  • To have public or private health insurance recognised in Spain.
  • You need to demonstrate sufficient economic means to cover personal and family living expenses (this amount will be revised regularly).
  • You must submit proof of the investment through a Registry of Property certificate proving ownership.
  • I the ownership title is not yet registered, via a copy of the acquisition public deed. Plus, 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. Also to travel freely to Spain which is within the Schengen visa area. 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 state and private schools, 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. A 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. We also recommend keeping back an amount of money to tide you over for the first year. However, if certain conditions are met, you can apply for a work permit while here. There is a good description of these conditions on the Ministry website

Bear in mind that you will need to show you can support yourself and 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.)

Spanish Golden Visa FAQs …

What is a Golden Visa?

A Golden Visa is a new type of residence visa, established by Law 14/2013 of the 27th September. It is aimed at non-resident foreigners who wish to enter Spanish territory to carry out a significant capital investment.

What types of Golden Visa are there?

The Law distinguishes two big groups. Capital investments (in public debt, stocks or social shares in Spanish companies, bank deposits in Spanish financial entities and acquisition of real estate). Other types of investment (creating a company of general interest, highly qualified professionals and transfers within the same company).

Does the Golden Visa authorize me to travel freely within the Schengen area?

Yes. The investor’s visa authorizes to travel freely within the “Schengen” area. (Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland).

Can I keep my fiscal residence out of Spain?

Yes. The permit holder can maintain their fiscal residence out of Spain, provided they remain in Spain for less than 183 days per year. Furthermore, you can renew the residence permit in the case there are absences of more than six months per year.

How long can I stay in Spain with my Golden Visa?

The residence visa for investors authorizes to remain in Spain during a year. Once this period has expired or when it is in force, you can request a residency authorization for two years. You can renew this for another two years provided you can prove the maintenance of the investment.

Does the Golden Visa authorize me to work?

Yes. The Golden Visa authorizes to live and work in Spain. This results from the fourth additional disposition of the Law, which states a single application proceeding for a permit which allows living and working in Spain.

Is the proceeding to obtain the residence shorter now?

Yes. The visa applications will be resolved and notified in a time period of 10 working days, whereas the maximum period to resolve the residence authorizations will be 20 days since the request is presented, with an implied grant of authorization.

Are the 500.000 Euros per applicant o per application?

Per applicant, however, the applicant can also include family members, who will be able to request jointly and simultaneously or successively, the authorization, and, in turn, the visa. In any case, the applicants will have to comply with the general requirements and prove the family relationship by means of the corresponding certificates.

Who is considered a family member with the effects of requesting the investor’s visa?

You can apply for Spouses, children under 18 years of age or children of legal age who are not able to provide for themselves due to their health condition as family members.

Golden Visa Spain

– Can I purchase more than one property?

Yes. The reference that the law states concerning real estate does not refer to one asset or to one type of asset. However, you must firstly carry out the investment and then request the visa after.

Does the investment have to be carried out free of charges and encumbrances?

Yes. In the event of the acquisition of real estate, the applicant will have to prove that he can carry out an investment of 500.000 euros free of charges and encumbrances. However, the amount of the investment that exceeds the amount required can be subject to charges and encumbrances.

At the end of the maximum period of five years, can I request a long-term residency?

You can request residency, however, it will not be granted automatically at the end of the investor’s permit. In this case, the applicant will have to prove the fulfillment of the established legal requirements.

What requirements do I have to comply to access the long-term residency?

You must have lived legally and effectively in Spain for five years in order to access long-term residency. That the residence is effective means that the absence periods in Spanish territory will be less than six consecutive months. It must not exceed a total of ten months during the said five years.

Yes. Your time living in Spain legally will be taken into account to request long-term residency as well as the nationality.

Can I have direct access to the residence authorization for two years without having to obtain first the investor’s visa?

No. It is necessary to have an investor’s visa which is valid for one year. During this year, you can request the residence authorization at any time without having to wait to complete the year.

Does the Law 14/2004, of the 27th September have retroactive character?

No. The Law is only applicable for the investments carried out from the 29th September 2013. The date when the Law entered into force, as stated on the thirteenth final disposition of the same.


 

WATCH NOW: Visas for Moving to Spain as a Non EU Citizen: Golden Visa and Non Lucrative Visa

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