About Spain’s Golden Visa
Spain passed ‘The Golden Visa’ law on 27th October 2013. It is correctly called the Investor’s Residency law and it was introduced to boost the country’s real estate market. This specific law is further supported by the Entrepreneur’s Law of 2013. The countries targeted by the scheme have primarily been Russia, China, India and the Arab nations.
Essentially, Spain’s Golden Visa offers first time residency visas in return for an minimum investment of €500,000. It also offers the added attraction of allowing those participating in the scheme, the ability to travel freely within Europe’s Schengen zone for 90 out of 180 days, which removes the need for applying for visas for every country that Golden Visa investors wish to visit once they have made their investment in Spain.
General conditions for granting a Golden Visa
There are a number of specific conditions that non-EU investors must meet, and a range of criteria for the issue of a visa that is different to a visa being granted.
The general criteria for non-EU property buyers wanting either a visa or permit are:
- The applicant must be aged 18 or over.
- They must not hold a criminal record in Spain or their country of residence in the five years prior to the application.
- They must not already be living in Spain illegally.
- They must have medical insurance.
- They must have the financial means to support themselves and any family while they are in Spain.
- They must be able to pay the application fee.
Specific requirements of Spain’s Golden Visa
Article 63 of the law details the specific requirements for obtaining a residency visa valid for one year. These set out the type of investments that qualify, of which one must be fulfilled:
- Invest a minimum of €2m in Spanish Treasury bonds
- Make a minimum investment of €1m in a Spanish registered company
- Deposit at least €1m in a Spanish bank account
- Purchase property in Spain with a minimum value of €500,000
Alternatively, they can make a significant business investment in Spain that results in:
- Meaningful job creation in Spain
- A significant socioeconomic impact on the Spanish region where the investment is made
- An investment with technological or scientific impact.
Other rules that apply to the visa include:
- Not being resident of a country that is considered a tax haven by the Bank of Spain
- Any company director making the application must be a majority shareholder.
The property purchase option is the most attractive, because it is the simplest.
The Residency Permit requirements
Spain’s Golden Visa allows residence for one year, but the residency permit is for those investors who want to stay longer. It allows an investor in Spanish property to stay for up to two years. Furthermore, the permit is renewable provided the investor continues to meet the permit’s original requirements. Residency permit holders may eventually apply for Spanish citizenship, another attractive factor for a number of buyers under this scheme.
So, what does a buyer interested in Spanish property need to do in order to obtain a residency permit? First of all, they must meet the regulations for the Golden Visa as detailed previously. The other rules are:
- Hold a valid investor’s residency visa that has not expired or is not overdue for renewal by more than 90 days.
- Have travelled to Spain at least once during the period of visa and have the documentation to prove it.
- Possess legal documentation as proof of the investment made under Article 63. These must clearly show the period of time of the investment.
- The visa holder must have complied with all Social Security and tax obligations in Spain.
Spanish property investment for non-EU buyers
Spain’s Golden visa and permit benefit buyers who prefer not to live in Spain year round, but who want to use it as a business base, or simply want a holiday home in Spain. The majority of Golden Visa buyers purchase property for cash, but if a mortgage is required for the Spanish property, it can only be given on a sum over the minimum €500,000 stipulated in the regulations.
It is also worth noting that whilst the law stipulates that each applicant must make an investment, it is permitted to include husband, wife and children under 18 on the application.
Under Spain’s laws, people typically have to be living in Spain for six months before they can apply for residency, but this is relaxed for wealthy, overseas investors. As mentioned previously, a non-EU buyer only needs to visit Spain once during the valid period of the visa and there is no need to spend the 180 days of the visa terms in Spain continuously. Visa holders can come and go.
This is an excellent time for investors to purchase in Spain and take advantage of the many opportunities the Golden Visa offers. Check out the properties at Umuzee that qualify for the terms of Spain’s Golden Visa and enjoy this gateway to Europe with its enviable climate and lifestyle attractions.