In this article we will answer the most frequently asked questions about the Spanish Golden Visa residency by investment scheme, and explain the benefits and investment criteria potential investors need to know about.
What is a so-called Spanish Golden Visa?
The Spanish Golden Visa is one of many global investment programmes that issues residency to non-EU citizens who purchase real estate in the country. In Spain, this visa is granted through the Law of Entrepreneurs; a specific framework designed to promote further economic growth in Spain.
This has quickly become one of the most popular investment solutions for non-EU investors worldwide, promising great business prospects in tourist areas such as the Costa del Sol, as well as providing a quick and easy opportunity to acquire residency for themselves and their families in Spain.
The benefits of the Spanish Golden Visa
The main benefits of the Spanish Golden Visa include:
- Authorisation for the individual and their families to obtain legal residence and work permit across Spain, without 6 month proof of their residency in Spain prior (including renewals)
- Extensive business and commercial opportunities in owning a Spanish residence, including tourist rental and leasing
- Free movement without a visa within the “Schengen” zone of the European Union
- Ability to continue with tax regime outside of Spain
EU Residence permit by the Spanish Golden Visa
Is the Spanish Golden Visa a permanent residence permit in the EU?
There is a step by step process to be granted a permanent residence permit in the EU, however the Spanish Golden Visa has become a great starting point for this process. Your initial Spanish Golden Visa will grant you one year of Spanish residency – after this, you must renew your permit every two years. After 5 years of residency, you are able to apply for a 5-year renewal. Once you have reached a 10-year long residency in Spain, you will be eligible for an EU Residence permit.
Are family members covered by the Spanish Golden Visa?
Your spouse and any of your children under the age 18 can apply for residency under the same process combination. Any dependent family members (relevant proof needed) are also covered.
Am I eligible?: Requirements to obtain the Spanish Golden Visa
In order to qualify for the initial Spanish Golden Visa residency, you must make either of the following investments:
- Minimum €500,000 investment in Spanish real estate. This can be one or more properties of any type
- A €1 million investment in any of the following:
- Bank deposits in Spanish Financial Entities
- Shares of any Spanish company
- A €2 million investment in Spanish Public Debt
- Starting a business project of general-interest in Spain
Along with an investment, you must also meet the following requirements:
- Be over 18 years of age – legal adult age for Spain
- No criminal record under the Spanish law
- Proof of ownership of Spanish property
- Public or private health insurance with an authorised operating entity in Spain
- Payment of Golden Visa processing fees
- Sufficient finances to cover expenses during your time of residence in Spain
Procedure and deadlines for the Spanish Golden Visa:
As mentioned previously, the initial Spanish Golden Visa grants a one-year long period of residency. To apply for this outside of Spain, you must apply at your nearest Spanish consulate in your country – this is known as the investor visa. From here, you must deliver proof of your investment, and relevant documentation.This should be processed in 10 working days. Once this has been processed, you have the opportunity to immediately apply for the next 2-year residence permit.
Alternatively, within this one-year period, you can go to Spain in person to apply for a two-year residence permit. An in-person visit to Spain is mandatory for this step, and for the following renewals. A two-year permit takes around 20 days to be fully processed.
If you are already in Spain regularly, you can skip the investor visa and immediately apply for residence authorization. Here, your investment can be made and processed (by either the investor or an accredited representative), granted that you meet all of the relevant requirements within Spanish regulations.
These applications need to be submitted through the electronic Government Headquarters, along with a digital certificate recognised by the Spanish authorities. For this particular process, it is highly recommended that you request assistance from a professional who is accredited, and specialises in these procedures. Maria Soledad Sala, Tejada Solicitors own immigration specialist lawyer, will be able to assist you in this process.
Applying for a Golden Visa in Spain – Case Study:
Mr Smith has ownership of 3 holiday properties abroad in Spain, each costing around €250,000. He has read that he needs to invest in a property worth over €500,000, and believes he is not eligible for a Spanish Golden Visa.
Mr Smith is Incorrect – he is eligible for a Spanish Golden Visa
As Mr Smith’s 3 properties give him a combined total investment of €750,000. He will be able to apply for an investor visa, and the initial one-year residence permit. As long as a combined investment is equal to, or above the €500,000, you are entitled to register for a Golden Visa in Spain.
Spanish Golden Visa Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Do I need to invest €500,000 in cash or can I use financing?
You must invest the first €500,000 investment in cash. After this amount, financing can be applied to the remaining amount.
For example, if you wanted to invest in a property of €750,000:
The first €500,000 would have to be paid in cash. The remainder €250,000 can be paid through financing.
How long does it take to obtain a Golden Visa?
To apply for the initial one-year permit, the process should take around 10 working days to process.
Can I split a €500,000 investment into different assets?
Yes – as long as your combined assets value is equal to or greater than a €500,000 value, you will still be eligible for the Spanish Golden Visa.
Can I get residency in Spain if I buy a house?
The Spanish Golden Visa and Spanish residency can be considered the same term. This means that the same rules apply. Your property(s) must be an investment of €500,000 and above, in order to claim Spanish residency.
What taxes are related to the Golden Visa?
This depends on whether you are considered as a non-tax resident.
If you reside in Spain for more than 183 days a year, you are considered a tax resident. You will be taxed on your worldwide income.
If you are in Spain for less than 183 days a year, you are considered as a non-tax resident in Spain, and therefore will continue your tax regime in your home country. You will be required to pay the Non-Tax Resident tax (IRNR) annually, which is a charge of 24% on income derived in the country.