If you’re a non-EU citizen and buying property in Spain, you may be interested in Spanish residence visa permits, also known as a Golden Visa Spain. Property investors who meet all the criteria receive qualified Spanish residency.
Spanish residence visa permits have been available since 2013. In return for investing in Spanish property (and/or other assets in Spain), you and your dependents receive permanent residency in Spain.
An additional advantage of the Golden Visa Spain is that it offers the holders visa-free travel throughout the Schengen zone. This no-borders area within Europe includes 26 countries.
Introduced to stimulate foreign investment in Spanish real estate, public debt, and job creation, Spanish residence visa permits have also increased demand for Spanish property. As the market completes its recovery and prices start to rise, the Golden Visa offers an attractive combination of residency and bargain prices for investors from outside the EU.
This article covers what you need to know about the law offering qualified Spanish residency in return for investing in Spanish real estate (the so-called ‘Golden Visa Spain’ law). It also explains how to use property investment to get Spanish residency as a non-EU national.
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Golden Visa / Spanish residence visa permits – the requirements
What’s the investment threshold for the Golden Visa?
The minimum investment in Spanish property is €500,000 per investor.
What type of property must I invest in?
To obtain Spanish residence visa permits / Golden Visa, you may buy:
- One or more properties
- Residential, commercial or industrial property; or rural or development land
- Property located anywhere in Spain
What proof of investment is required for the Golden Visa?
To apply for residency and as proof of the investment(s) you must provide a Property Registry filing (certificate). If this certificate is not yet available, then the notarised deeds and proof that the deeds have been submitted to the Property Registry must be provided.
What about financing?
To qualify for the Spanish residence visa permits, investors must pay at least €500,000 from their own funds. These must come from transparent sources that comply with international legislation on money laundering. You may finance amounts above €500,000 with any sort of debt financing, such as a mortgage in Spain.
What can I use the property investment for?
There are no restrictions on the use of property bought for Golden Visa Spain purposes. Investors may use the property in any way that is legal (e.g. letting long term or for holidays) providing that the usage meets requirements for planning permission and zoning laws etc.
Can I invest in property with a Golden Visa through a company?
Property ownership through a company is permitted as long as the company is not domiciled in a tax haven and that you control it.
What about the paperwork for a Golden Visa residence permit?
To obtain a Spanish residence visa permit, you must comply with the following:
- Not to have entered or stayed illegally in Spain, or been refused entry into any Schengen countries
- Be at least 18
- Have no criminal record
- Not be listed as undesirable in Spain
- Take out state or private health insurance valid in Spain
- Have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents, if applicable.
- Pay the authorisation or visa processing fee
Residence visa for investors (1-year permit)
If you are coming to Spain personally to search for a property, you must obtain a regular 90-day tourist visa. Once you are in the country you should sign a power of attorney (poder de representación) authorizing your lawyer to act on your behalf in the buying and residency process.
If you cannot come to Spain in person but know which property you plan to buy, you can organise a power of attorney from your home country (this option is not possible from all countries). Your lawyer may then buy the property on your behalf and you don’t even have to come to Spain at this stage.
Once you have bought a property that meets the investment criteria (more than €500,000 on the deeds), you apply for a 1-year investor visa, which allows you to spend any part of the year in Spain, and travel freely in the Schengen area. Your lawyer can get this for you.
Once you have obtained this visa, you are not obliged to spend a minimum amount of time in Spain. However, to renew the residency permit after the first year expires, you must visit Spain at least once during the 12-month period. So, don’t apply for the 1-year investor visa until you are sure that you will be coming to Spain in the next 12 months.
Residence permit for investors (2+ year permit)
Once the 1-year Golden Visa Spain permit expires, investors may apply for authorisation to live in Spain for two years. This is renewable for further two years after that (and on) as long as the investment threshold of €500,000 is maintained. For this permit you must prove that you have travelled to Spain at least once in the previous 12 months.
Requirements for this type of Spanish residence visa permits:
- There is no limit to the number of times you can renew the 2-year residency permit.
- You may buy and sell as many properties as you like as long as you maintain the investment threshold of €500,000.
- 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.
- If you spend more than 183 days in Spain in any calendar year, you are liable for Spanish income tax.
Long-term residence and Spanish nationality (5+ years)
After five years of continuous residence, investors have the option of applying for permanent residence in Spain. After ten years of residence, you can request Spanish nationality. In these cases, you must prove that you have lived in Spain for at least six months in a calendar year.
The Spanish residence visa permits scheme offers non-EU buyers a unique opportunity to invest in Spanish property and obtain residency at the same time.
Let us find the ideal property for you and then assist you throughout the entire purchase process. We can negotiate the best price, advise you on the best course of action and help you through the purchase process. We can also offer assistance in obtaining finance beyond the obligatory €500,000 minimum investment. Our after-sales services include decoration and furnishing, to renting and reselling.
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