First Chinese property investors get their “Golden Visas”


Chinese nationals investing in property in Spain are starting to get their residency visas, according to Spanish press reports.

A businesswoman from Shanghai who spent €520,000 on flats in Barcelona and Madrid has become one of the first Chinese nationals to get a Spanish residency via the new “Golden Visa” law that offers Spanish residency permits to non-EU nationals in return for real estate investments of €500,000 or more.

She invested in Spanish property via the Emigration Centre at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), which has a programme to help Chinese nationals invest in residency schemes abroad.

SISU put her in touch with a firm of solicitors in Spain for conveyancing and residency services. These lawyers expect “more than 100 operations of this kind in 2014, with a total value in excess of 50 million Euros,” according to statements to the Spanish press.

The “Golden Visa” law came into force on the 29th September last year, and could channel a lucrative seam of demand towards Spain for prime real estate, primarily property in Barcelona and Madrid. However, chinese investors tend to prefer new property to resales, and city centre to coast, which means there is little product in Barcelona to satisfy this demand.

Rich pickings for cowboys

Another problem will be the number of cowboys this business attracts. Residency investors tend to be less informed about the risks of buying in Spain than other groups, and require a sophisticated and professional service operation to take care of their needs. It will be much easier to take advantage of their credulity and rip them off with over-priced property and no follow-up service. I can safely predict that many residency investors will get shafted in the process.



8 thoughts on “First Chinese property investors get their “Golden Visas””

    1. Reinette

      Phil, I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but the US operates an annual Green Card Lottery in most countries outside of North America and Europe. It’s a lucky draw and if your name is drawn you get immediate US residence and a Green Card, regardless of what your finances, qualifications or the quality of your character are. At least Spain is attaching some sort of financial filtering system to their residency.

  1. John

    “Wouldn’t be allowed to happen in America”. USA are offering “investors Visa” to people who invest in the country. The fact is that most countries has some similar programs.
    By the way, the US Investors visa is a real GOLD VISA because the holder of a US investors visa does NOT have to declare world wide income or assets in the US, which is neccessary if you have a greencard or is a US citizen (US person per IRS definition)

    1. Phil

      Think you’re both somewhat incorrect. True the US allow ‘certain’ (not just anybody) people in by buying into businesses at a minimum cost, used to be $500k many years ago in any of 5 run down spots, I went into this myself, but they certainly don’t allow Uncle Tom Cobbley and dodgy or otherwise Chinese, Russians, East European etc etc people in if they purchase just a property as Spain is doing. Fact is John the US is not one of ‘most countries’ as you put it, you try getting in by buying a property provided you don’t have any family links there.

      They will however allow Political immigrants in with caution and strict security checks, unlike Spain.

  2. Neil D

    Mark – I agree with your comment about the risk of investors getting shafted….Many Brits got shafted famously with properties being demolished under their noses… so what hope does someone have from thousands of miles away? Buyer Beware! On this basis, I think we can call Spain a dodgy country, right Phil?

  3. Simon Sutton George

    This is open to a lot of possible corruption (Oh surprise surprise…!!!), I had a property for sale here in Tenerife and the asking price was €475.000 and the vendor told me that a Russian agent asked if his client could pay €500.000, get his visa and then after completion get change back from the higher purchase price…the idea wasn’t liked at all by the vendor, so needless to say he didn’t go with it, but they’re out there.

    1. Phil

      Hadn’t thought of that Simon but good of you to point it out, I suppose this could occur even with larger differential in actual price and 500k just to get a visa, which is crooked and my point in 1st post about allowing anyone even crooks in. They think of everything in Spain don’t they? Yes Neil Spain is a dodgy country, I think it was recently voted the most corrupt country in Eurozone.

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