Golden Visa – Spanish residence permit for Non-EU citizens

28 October 2014

After approval by both Houses of the Spanish Parliament and publication in the Bank of Spain’s Official Gazette the new law allowing non-EU investors to apply for Spanish residency has become law.
ESSENTIAL RULES OF SPANISH INVESTMENT VISA:

  1. The minimum investment is at least €500,000.
  2. Additionally you must allow 11 – 12%, which goes to the purchase cost, purchase tax, stamp duty, VAT, notary and lawyer.
  3. Investments may be spread over several properties with a total purchase price of at least € 500,000.
  4. Spanish residence visas may be issued to the immediate family, including spouse and children up to 18 years of age.
  5. There is no requirement for minimum stays to renew the visa. It is optional to stay in Spain.
  6. The Spanish visa does not need to be renewed for five years.
  7. It is not necessary to be tax resident.
  8. Permanent residence can be granted after five years.
  9. Your property investment can be sold after five years after achieving permanent residency.
  10. The visa allows access to unlimited travel throughout the EU Schengen visa countries.
  11. The entire application procedure for investment visa applicants will not take more than twenty days.
  12. Investments must be documented before applying for Spanish investment visa.
  13. Refusal of Spanish investment visa will usually only be due to a criminal record.
  14. Spanish citizenship will be given after an additional five years of permanent residency.
  15. The applicant must be able to prove having travelled to Spain at least once in the first two years, and once more in the three subsequent years.
  16. As a Spanish citizen you automatically get a European citizenship.
  17. After 10 years the family can live, work or study anywhere in Europe within the EU.
  18. An experienced lawyer will take care of the application for residence, the full Golden Visa program, and residence for the family etc. The total cost for this is €1,500 + 21% VAT.

THE APPLICANT MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:

  1. Not to have entered or stayed illegally on Spanish territory.
  2. Must be 18 years or over.
  3. Not to have been refused entry in any of the Schengen countries.
  4. Have public or private health insurance cover in Spain.
  5. Have sufficient economic means to cover personal and family living expenses.
  6. Proof of the investment must be made through a Registry of Property certificate attesting ownership. If the ownership title is not yet registered, by production of a copy of the acquisition public deed and proof of filing the same in the Registry.

A family or a person from a Non-EU country can, as an investor, get a Spanish residency Golden Visa through the purchase of a property in Spain.
Residency in Spain is granted under the new investor visa for investors spending a minimum of 500,000 Euros on a real estate property purchase. Residency means the right to live in Spain and travel freely to Spain which is within the Schengen visa area of Europe. It does not grant citizenship, which can be applied for at a later date. Citizenship in Spain can lead to residency in other European countries.
Residency in Spain, under the golden investor visa program, allows a real estate investor and his or her immediate family to live in Spain. The legislation has no minimum period of residence. Hence an investor can buy a property in Spain, travel freely to Spain at any point and his or her family can do the same. The family can live in Spain permanently, with access to schools both state and private following the English curriculum. Eventually citizenship can grant access to study elsewhere at universities in Europe including the UK.
RESIDENCE VISA FOR INVESTORS (YEAR 1)
First of all you receive anordinary 90-day visa to come to Spain to search for property. Once in Spain you sign a power of attorney (poder) giving your lawyer power to act on your behalf in the conveyancing and residency process.
If you don’t have time to come to Spain, and you have found a property that you are prepared to buy without visiting, you can organise a power of attorney from your home country giving your lawyer power to act on your behalf in the conveyancing and residency process. Your lawyer can then buy the property on your behalf. This facility is not available from all countries.
One you have bought a property that meets the investment criteria, you can apply for a one-year investor visa, which allows you to spend a year in Spain, and travel freely in the Schengen area for 90 days out of every 180 days. Your lawyer can apply for this for you.
With this visa there is no obligation to spend a minimum amount of time in Spain during the year. However to get the residency permit at the end of the year, you have to visit Spain at least once during the year. Therefore do not apply for the one-year investor visa until sure that you will be visiting to Spain in the following 12 months.
The one-year investor visa is authorised in Diplomatic Missions and Consular Spanish Offices and can be issued for one, two or multiple entries into Spain.
These visa applications will be processed and notification sent within 10 working days, except in case of applicants subject to prior consultation.
RESIDENCE AUTHORIZATION FOR INVESTORS (YEARS 2 TO 5 OR MORE)
Once an investment has been made, and after the first year, investors can apply for authorization to live in Spain for two years, renewable for another two years after that (and so on), as long as the investment threshold of €500,000 is maintained (see below). For this application you must be able to show that you have travelled to Spain at least once in the previous 12 months.
There is no limit to the amount of times this two-year residency can be renewed.
Properties can be bought and sold during this period, so long as the investment threshold is maintained.
There is no obligation to spend a minimum amount of time in Spain, so investors can remain tax resident outside of Spain, whilst benefiting from Spanish residency and the freedom of unlimited travel and stays in the EU.
Processing and granting the residence will be done by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Applications will be responded to within 20 working days from the submission of the application. If there is no response in this period, the application shall be considered as accepted. The formal grant of the application can take up to 6 months, but in theory the application is considered accepted if there is no answer in 20 days.
LONG-TERM RESIDENCE AND SPANISH NATIONALITY (YEAR 5 ONWARDS, OPTIONAL)
After five years of continuous residence, investors can apply for permanent residence in Spain.
Likewise, after ten years of residence, Spanish nationality can be requested. In such casesat least six months of residence must be provided, (unless due cause exists).
PROPERTY INVESTMENT – INVESTMENT THRESHOLD
The investment threshold for real estate is €500,000 or more per investor.
To apply for residency, proof of the investment(s) must be provided with a Property Registry filing (certificate). If this certificate is not yet available, then the notarized deeds and proof that the deeds have been submitted to the Property Registry must be provided.
The investment can comprise of:

  • They can be of a residential, touristic, rural, commercial or industrial nature
  • Including rural land, developed land, buildings under construction, or decrepit buildings

FINANCING
Investors must use at least €500,000 of their own funds, which must come from transparent sources that comply with existing legislation on money laundering and so on. Above that threshold there is no limit to debt financing, for instance with a mortgage in Spain.