News: How to get a Golden Visa in Spain, EU residency by property investment

How to get a Golden Visa in Spain, EU residency by property investment
Written by Inmo Investments - 13 Jan 2022

Invest in real estate in Spain and get the permanent EU Residence Permit

THE GOLDEN VISA FOR SPAIN is a long-term residence visa issued to a non-EU or third-country national who intends to make a significant investment in the Spanish economy.

In the majority of cases, Golden Visas in Spain are issued to people purchasing real estate and property. However, they are also awarded to business people who make an investment in a Spanish company or the domestic economy, or establish a significant new business presence in the peninsular.

A Golden Visa is, in essence, a residency and citizenship by investment programme directed towards foreign nationals who want to acquire residency in Spain by purchasing a property or investing in the country.

Formally known as the "Residence visa for investors", the visa offers the holder and their immediate family members (a spouse and children), residency in Spain and a legally mandated path to permanent residency or citizenship of an EU country.

Golden Visas can be renewed indefinitely as long as the initial investment is maintained, and in most cases, there is no requirement to be present in the country that issued the visa.

This means that holders of Golden Visas do not need to immediately relocate to another country until they choose to, and a Golden Visa issued in Spain allows the holder and their family complete freedom of movement throughout the entire Schengen Area.

Third-country invest in Spain and get the permanent EU Residence Permit

The Spanish Golden Visa for residents of China, Russia, and the United Kingdom

A Spanish Golden Visa is particularly desirable for third-country nationals and the programme is particularly suited to residents of China, Russia, and the United Kingdom, following the country´s withdrawal from the European Union.

It accords non-EU residents with many of the same rights enjoyed by EU citizens, including the freedom to travel in the EU visa-free, and exemption from the 90-day rule that limits stays within the Schengen Area.

The "Residence visa for investors" was introduced into the Spanish statute in 2013, and aims to provide a simplified fast-track route to residency for investors and property buyers without the complications of a regular visa application.

Who can get a Golden Visa for Spain?

To be eligible for a Spanish Golden Visa, you must fulfil the following requirements:

  • You must be 18-years of age or older
  • You must not have been refused a Schengen Visa in the past
  • You must be a legal resident of a country outside the European Union
  • You must have private health insurance in Spain for the duration of your stay
  • You must have sufficient financial means to live in Spain and, if applicable, support your spouse and children
  • You must have no criminal record

You must meet ONE of the following investment criteria:

  • Purchase real estate in Spain worth at least €500,000
  • Invest in Spanish government debt of at least €2,000,000
  • Buy shares in a Spanish company or maintain a deposit in a Spanish bank of at least €1,000,000
  • Establish a new business that will offer local employment, contribute to scientific or technological innovation, and have a marked economic impact in the area

Third-country invest in Spain and get the permanent EU Residence Permit

What kind of real estate or property can I buy in Spain?

Real estate and property investments can be made in any tangible non-moveable property such as villas, apartments, commercial and retail property, or even car parking spaces and individual garages.

Crucially, a property investment must total €500,000 or more and can be made by combining the value of several smaller individual investments.

For instance, five apartments with an investment value of €100,000 each, two modest villas with a value of €250,000 each, or one large property with a value of at least €500,000. Each will meet the minimum financial criteria required for investment.

Property purchases must total €500,000 or more and must be free of liens, charges, and encumbrances. No taxation amount made be included in the minimum investment, and properties must be registered with the Land Registry in the name of the Golden Visa applicant - all costs and taxes paid.

How long is the Golden Visa for Spain valid?

The Golden Visa is valid for one year. During that time, you have to enter Spain and exchange your visa for a Spanish residence permit which will remain valid for two years.

The residence permit can then be renewed indefinitely without any minimum stay requirements, as long as you maintain your investment. You will need to travel to Spain each time you need to renew your residence permit.

If you intend to live in Spain you can apply for permanent residency after five years of continuous residence within the country. To qualify, you must spend at least six months out of the year living in Spain.

What family members can be included in a Spain Golden Visa application?

A successful application for a "Residence visa for investors" will confer rights for:

  • Your spouse
  • Children under the age of 18-years (over 18 if your children remain dependent due to a disability)
  • Dependent parents

Can you get a loan to apply for Spain´s Golden Visa?

No, you cannot apply for a Golden Visa for Spain if you acquire the money via a loan. You must make the initial investment in full with your funds, and you must be the sole owner of the property investment portfolio.

It´s also not possible to make a joint application. Each person has to make an application and meet the eligibility requirements individually.

Third-country invest in Spain and get the permanent EU Residence Permit

How to apply for a Spanish Golden Visa?

If you have made any of the investments listed, you can submit your visa application to the nearest Spanish Embassy or consulate in your country. You must be committed to investing but the investment does not need to be finalised at the time of application.

When applying for a Spanish Golden Visa, you need the following documents (translated into Spanish by a notary where appropriate):

  • Two passport-sized photos
  • A passport valid for the duration of your stay in Spain
  • The Spanish "Residence visa for investors" application form
  • A photocopy of the personal information page of your passport
  • Documentary proof of a sufficient income to support yourself and your accompanying family members
  • A criminal record certificate (CRB or DBS in the UK) showing no criminal convictions
  • Property registration certificates issued by the Land Registry no longer than three months before the application (or documentation accrediting a purchase in progress)
  • Proof of Spanish health insurance
  • Proof of payment of the visa fee

Spain´s Golden Visa programme provides a straightforward and uncomplicated way for non-EU nationals from third-countries such as the UK, China, and Russia, to gain rights to EU residency in Spain and throughout Europe.

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