The Golden Visa in Spain

The Golden Visa – Spain’s Residency Visa

During 2013 the Spanish government opened the so called “Spanish Golden Visa” scheme, offering investors the opportunity to gain a Spanish residency Visa for a €500,000 cash investment in Spanish property.

We have listed the basic requirements below, but please feel free to speak to our Marbella (Spain) based legal team for full details of this scheme, or alternatively our sales team can assist in suggesting particular properties that will a) gain you a Spanish Residency Visa, b) offer a very good return on investment, and c) offer you the opportunity to base your family in Marbella, the jewel in the Southern Coast of Spain’s crown.

There is a difference between Residency and Citizenship by investment in Spain. The Visa scheme gives automatic residency to anyone investing over €500,000 (cash, no mortgage) in a Spanish property. This gives you the right to reside in Spain and travel freely within the Schengen Zone, consisting of 26 European countries, but you will not be able to work or gain benefits that the Spanish state offers.

You do not have to reside in Spain (and although we guarantee you will love it here, the minimum stay is only 1 day per year!), however your immediate family can reside here and attend (private) School or University (the Residency Visa covers immediate family members and Children under the age of 18 (this will likely be increased to the age of 25 during 2015).

Citizenship grants a person the same rights as any Spanish national. So after 5 years of a successful Residency Visa term you can convert the Visa for a further 5 years of residency, after which you can apply for full citizenship (subject to certain conditions being met). If the application is successful then a Spanish Passport will also be issued.

Requirements for application

  • Minimum investment of 500,000.00 EUR per person on real estate in Spain
  • Must have Spanish private medical insurance
  • Proof of ability to support family and properties in Spain
  • Clean criminal record

The benefits

  • You have the possibility to reside in Spain
  • Minimum required stay in Spain is only 1 day per year, so there is no obligation to reside in Spain
  • Free travel within the Schengen zone
  • Possibility to convert to permanent residency after 5 years (subject to certain conditions being met)
  • If Golden Visa is granted to head of a family, family members can also have residency (subject to certain conditions being met)
  • No obligation to become FISCAL resident in Spain
  • Possibility to purchase through non-resident company (subject to certain conditions being met)

Question 1:
The same person owns three properties: one costing 250,000.00 EUR, another one costing 150,000.00 EUR, and a third costing 100,000.00 EUR – can we obtain residency?
In this case, the person IS eligible for the residency permit, as the total value invested in property is 500,000.00 EUR.

Question 2:
The owner of a property, whose purchase price is 750,000.00 EUR, obtained a mortgage loan for 250,000.00 EUR when the purchase was made. The remainder of 500,000.00 EUR was paid upon completion of the acquisition process – can we obtain residency?
Yes, this person would be eligible for residency.

Question 3:
A husband and wife buy a property with a purchase price of 700,000.00 EUR – can they obtain residency?
They are NOT eligible for the residency permit, as this only equals 350,000.00EUR investment each, each one owns 50 % (350,000.000 EUR each). However, if the head of the family can show commitment to support the rest of the family through a Sponsorship letter, residency for the others can be obtained with ease.

Question 4:
Could I get residency buying through a non-resident company?
It is possible to do so, but the applicant must be in majority control of shares and voting rights.

Question 5:
Do I have to be Company Administrator?
No, as long as the conditions above are in place.

Question 6:
What are the deadlines for applications?
For the real estate investment permit, there is no application deadline, for example you purchase a property today, you can apply for a residency visa in 12 months’ time.

Question 7:
Can I submit the application about an acquisition bought before 2012?
No. The investment needs to be acquired after the date that the Law came into force.

Question 8:
What are further benefits of this application?

  • Quicker processing of 10 days (by the normal means, it takes around one year)
  • When renewing the process is only 20 days, for approval with positive silence
  • There is no need to visit Spain for any period of time, as long as there is a visit of at least 1 day per year during the Residency Visa period
  • Flexibility to organize the fiscal residency

Question 9:
For how long is the residence valid?
In principle, one year for the first period. Then standard renewals are valid for 2 years, under the condition that the circumstances did not change, i.e. the client remains in possession of the property. After 5 years, application for a permanent visa is possible, then after a further 5 years, full Citizenship (subject to certain standard conditions being met).

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