T he Golden Visa provides a residency visa to non-EU citizens who invest in Spain while simplifying the requirements and bureaucracy.
In 2013, Spain introduced the Golden Visa regulation (Law 14/2013 regarding the support of entrepreneurs and their internationalization) aiming to attract foreign investors to Spain in exchange for granting them residence permits.
Other EU zone countries such as Portugal, Ireland and Germany offer similar regimes, although Spain is of greater interest to the international community due to its quality of life, level of internationalisation, climate and connections with other countries outside the EU.
Let’s see in detail what the Golden Visa is and who can benefit from it:
What is the Golden Visa and who can benefit from it?
The Golden Visa is a visa aimed at non-EU foreigners (outside the EU) who wish to obtain residency in Spain by investing in the country.
The Golden Visa ruling was passed in 2013 with the purpose of attracting investment and financial wealth to the country. Over the years has proved to be a more simplified way to obtain residency in Spain without the burden of having to go through an immigration process often lengthy and bureaucratic.
This type of visa is experiencing a new revival with Brexit given that British citizens are no longer part of the EU and therefore applicable for the Golden Visa. Further information on Brexit can be found in our article Brexit in Spain.
The investment can be of a real estate, financial or entrepreneurial nature, however, in this brief article, we will focus on the first option, real estate, as it is the main option for those who opt for the Golden Visa to obtain residency in Spain.
What are the requirements to obtain the Golden Visa?
The requirement to obtain the Golden Visa is to make an investment in Spain. This investment can be of a real estate, financial or entrepreneurial nature.
Let’s see what each one consists of:
Real estate investment
It consists of the acquisition of one or more properties in Spain for a value of no less than €500k. The most common type of investment in practice.
Investment in State public debt (€2m), investment in Spanish companies or making a bank deposit (both for a minimum value of €1m).
Investment of an entrepreneurial nature
By carrying out a business project of general interest to the country.
In addition to the investment and in order to benefit from the Golden Visa, the applicant must (i) not be irregularly present in Spanish territory; (ii) not have a criminal record in Spain, as well as in the countries in which he/she has resided during the last 5 years.
The spouse and minor children may as well obtain the Golden Visa together with the main applicant.
The Golden Visa, although it is an easy visa to apply for, often raises several questions, some of which we answer below:
Can I get a mortgage to invest in the property?
It is possible to get a mortgage of part of the purchase of the property but in any case, the minimum contribution by the applicant must be €500,000.
For example, one can apply for a mortgage of 250k€ in case of buying a property valued at 750.000.-€ but, in all cases, the minimum contribution of 500k€ has to be fulfilled by the applicant.
Can I vehicle the investment through a company?
It is possible to purchase the property through a company, in which case, in order to benefit from the Golden Visa, the applicant must have control of the company by the holding majority of the voting rights.
What if I purchased a property in Spain long ago and I want to apply for the visa now?
Those who own a property in Spain will still be eligible for the Golden Visa if the purchase was made after the year 2014 in which the Golden Visa ruling was passed.
Once the property is acquired must I live there?
There is no obligation for the Golden Visa applicant to reside in the property once the Golden Visa has been acquired, so it would be viable to rent it to a third party without affecting the Golden Visa or its renewal.
Once the permit is granted do I need to live in Spain?
The Golden Visa is an authorisation to live in the country which does not imply that the applicant must change its residency to Spain the Golden Visa is granted.
Can the applicant buy multiple properties?
Yes, as long as the total value of the properties is worth at least 500.000.-€.
For how long is the visa granted?
The Golden Visa is granted for an initial period of one year renewable for two consecutive years as long as the investment is maintained.
Can I obtain nationality after the Golden Visa?
Yes, the residency provided by the Golden Visa can open the door to the Spanish nationality.
At Legaliaspain we are expert conveyancers, do not hesitate visit our Golden Visa service page to get in touch with one of our English speaking lawyers for further information on how you can benefit from this program.