The Golden Visa for Spain
As part of a raft of new laws that came into place in September 2015, the Golden Visa in Spain allows investors favorable terms on their visas in exchange for a significant investment in the Spanish economy.
The Golden Visa in Spain programme is a way to attract foreign investors and boost growth in the housing market.
The key benefits for holders of the Golden Visa are:
- European residency and freedom to travel to any country within the Schengen zone.
- Entry to 158 countries worldwide
- No requirement to be a tax resident in Spain
- Application for Spanish citizenship after 5 years
The programme is for non-EU citizens making a real-estate investment with a threshold of 500,000 € to qualify for the golden visa, this gives them access to live and work in Europe and travel across the continent to EU countries that are part of the Schengen freedom of movement area.
After five years of receiving the Golden Visa in Spain, you will then have permission to apply for permanent Spanish residence.
Buying a property in Spain.
For nationals outside the EU, you will need to get a 90-day visitor’s visa to come to Spain and look for housing. From here, find your property and contract a local attorney to take power of attorney and take care of the purchase process.
If you don’t want to visit Spain and wish to invest from abroad, you can give power of attorney to a local attorney to handle the buying process. Make sure that this is possible from your country, and your attorney will then be able to even buy the property on your behalf.
If the property fits the criteria for the Golden Visa, the first visa issued will be a one-year visa, and the trustee must visit Spain at least once during this time. After the first year ends, the visa is then renewed once every two years, there is no limit to how many times this can be done. Trips across Schengen area borders can be made, though as this programme is in place for non-EU residents, travel to non-Schengen countries (currently this applies only to the UK), then separate visas will be required.
After five years of holding the Golden Visa in Spain, you can then apply for permanent residency, and after ten, you may then apply for full Spanish nationality.
The benefits of the golden visa are attractive for foreign investors. They offer a huge amount of liberty to do business in Europe and travel freely across EU countries, so there are various requirements for investors applying for the Golden Visa:
- To be 18 years old or over.
- To prove solvency and and employment to cover all living expenses for both yourself and your family
- To not have previously entered or lived in Spain illegally.
- If you have been refused entry to any other country in the Schengen zone, you may not apply in Spain.
- To have a health insurance plan with a company that covers Spain.
For Golden Visa holders who spend less than 183 days a year in Spain, you are not liable to pay income tax, or declare your assets held in other countries. This is a reason many people are taking full advantage of the Golden Visa and has caused some opposition to the regulation.
As the Golden Visa was first introduced in 2015, it is recommendable to hire a local skilled attorney both in the purchase process of the real-estate and the visa application itself. Alongside this, an attorney will be better positioned to advise on property, location, and other considerations to be made when moving to Europe or indeed to Spain.
If you do not fulfill the requirements for a Golden Visa, there are other ways to move to Spain either as a tourist or to live permanently. In most cases, non-EU foreigners make real estate investments in Spain and are usually granted a multiple tourist visa for multiple entries. And if you would like to start-up a business you can apply for an entrepreneurs residence.
If you would like to speak to a licensed English speaking attorney, qualified in local real-estate law, contact us here and we’ll answer questions you have.