Spain’s Golden Visa residence permit: What you need to know in 2021

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    F.A.Q. about Spain’s Golden Visa

    As a quality real estate agency, we try to assist our clients every way we can. Since the ‘golden visa’ law for Spain was passed, we have been receiving a lot of questions and queries. To help you understand how it works, here’s an overview of the most frequently asked questions about the Spanish Residence Permit and their answers.

    What is it?

    The Spanish residence permit programme or ‘golden visa’ is Spain’s law which aims to stimulate foreign investors to invest in the country. It means that any foreign investor who meets the requirements and invests at least € 500.000 in real estate, is offered a quick and easy way to obtain a Spanish residence permit.

    Is it permanent?

    Yes, eventually. Permanent residency is a step by step process, although it has been massively simplified with the coming of the new law. If you plan on investing, the first step is to get a residence visa which is valid for a maximum of one year. After you have obtained this, the second step is to apply for a 2 years residence permit. It is this permit which can be renewed every two years, provided your investment is still in place. If you have spent at least 6 months in Spain every year,  after 5 years you can apply for a permanent residence of 5 years  and after 10 years you can even go on to apply for the Spanish nationality.

    When do I need it?

    The ‘golden visa’ for Spain is mainly aimed at non-EU investors. If you live outside of the EU, a Spanish residence permit is a very easy way to get free travel rights within the EU and subsequently the Schengen zone, without having to spend too many days actually residing in the country.

    What are the main benefits?

    Getting a Spanish residence permit offers various benefits. Generally speaking, a lot of red tape is cleared away. Some of the important benefits for real estate owners are:

     Entry into Spain and the other 26 countries of the EU (Schengen zone)

    • You only have to visit Spain once a year in order to maintain the permit, and even then staying for extended periods is not necessary.
    • The permit can easily be renewed every two years.
    • You obtain the right to work as an entrepreneur or employee once you’ve been granted the 2 years permit..
    • Your spouse and children under 18 can apply for residency as well.

    What about taxes?

    When you buy real estate and obtain the Spanish residence permit, you will of course be liable to some tax. Which ones and how much depends on how much time you spend in Spain during the year. If you stay in Spain for over 6 months, you’re counted as a Spanish resident and your worldwide assets and income will be taxed in Spain. If you’re in the country for a less amount of time, you only pay taxes on the initial purchase of your real estate and thereafter on the value of your assets in Spain.

    What are the requirements to obtain a Spanish residence permit?

    As mentioned at the start, if you want to obtain the golden visa for Spain you first have to apply for a one-year Visa residence by making any of the following investments:

    • A 500.000 Euro investment in Spanish real estate. This can be one or more properties of any type.
    • A one million Euro investment in bank deposits in Spanish Financial Entities.
    • A one million Euro investment in shares of Spanish companies.
    • A two million Euro investment in Spanish Public Debts.
    • Starting a business project in Spain of general interest, which creates employment, contributes to technological and/or scientific innovation or has a socio-economic impact on the local area.

    After obtaining the visa residence for 1 year, you can apply for a 2 years residence permit. For this, there are the following requirements:

    • The investment you made in order to obtain the residence visa must still be in place.
    • You must have travelled at least once to Spain in the year before the application.

    Where do I apply?

    You can apply for the initial visa residence at the nearest Spanish Consulate in your country. You can do this yourself, but if you cannot attend personally it is sometimes possible to take care of the matter through a representative, depending on the consulate.

    What documents are required for a Real Estate Investors Visa?

    To proof that you have invested €500,000 or more and to complete the application for the Spanish residence permit some documents are required. Make sure you have:

    • A Property Registry filing (certificate) OR notarised deeds and proof that the deeds have been submitted to the Property Registry
    • A passport valid for at least one more year
    • Two photographs of yourself
    • Proof of financial solvency
    • If your spouse applies: a marriage certificate
    • If your children apply: birth certificates
    • Proof of valid medical insurance in Spain
    • Proof you have no criminal records

    How long does it take?

    The Spanish investors residence permit has been designed to clear the way for non-EU investors. Therefore, obtaining a golden visa in Spain is taken care of relatively quickly. The visa residence will be solved in 10 working days, after which you can either immediately apply for the 2 years Spanish residence permit or wait until the 1 year visa is expired in order to apply for it.

    The 2 years residence permit application has to be presented in an Immigration Office in Madrid and the process takes 20 days.

    Other visas and residence permits

    If you do not fulfil the requirements for a golden visa you should know that there are other ways to access to Spain either as a tourist or to live in Spain. Most non EU foreigners that make real estate investments in Spain are usually granted a multiple-entry tourist visa or if they want to live in Spain a non lucrative residence. Finally, for those that would like to start-up a business you can apply for an entrepreneurs residence.

    This is a quick overview of the most frequently asked questions about the Spanish residence permit or Golden Visa in Spain. You can read further information about the procedure on our page about the residency permits for non-eu citizens. You can also contact us for further questions by phone, e-mail or through a comment below. If you want to purchase a property seen on this site we can assist you from beginning to end, including obtaining finance, through the legal process, decoration and furnishing, to renting and reselling.

    Cover image via Sean MacEntee