Home » Golden Visas: Spanish Government planning to scrap them, or raise the cap to €1mn

Golden Visas: Spanish Government planning to scrap them, or raise the cap to €1mn

Lawyer Raymundo Larraín gives us a heads-up on the changes brewing with Spain’s popular Golden Visas.


The Spanish Golden Visa is a success story.

Spain has become the number one Golden Visa provider in the European Union since it was introduced in 2013, attracting billions of euros which have contributed to creating countless jobs and improving the productive economy.

Out of all the visas available in Spain, it is hands down the one that offers the best perks, along with the new Digital Nomad Visa (known popularly as the tax-free visa), including one which is exclusive to it (explained below) and which strongly appeals to affluent investors.

Podemos, the pro-Russian, hard-left (read communist) junior partner of the socialist government is applying inordinate piles of pressure on the Spanish Government to scrap it.

Almost on a weekly basis, El Pais newspaper (which is basically the Government’s spokesperson) publishes articles and thoughtful editorials raising voices against Spain’s popular Golden Visa programme, aimed at HNWIs. The unhidden discontent, which oozes from them, is now gaining traction, especially given how we have entered an electorate phase, and garnering the political support of Podemos is key to ensuring the survival of this government. Attacking the evil rich always attracts votes on poll day for left wing parties, especially on attacking foreigners who are banned from voting on national elections: win-win.

This new trend follows on the back of other Union countries which have scrapped Golden Visas (Ireland, Portugal). It’s no secret the European Commission regularly nudges all EU Member states, including Spain, to eliminate Golden Visas as they are seen as a privileged gateway for affluent applicants to bypass stringent migration rules to attain a blue-ribbon free pass.

As a result of this ongoing (unjustified) hate campaign against Golden Visas, the government has now officially announced this week through Pravda El Pais that it is now studying on whether to scrap it, in line with other Union countries and with what its junior (communist) partner demands, or else to raise the bar and make it (yet) more difficult (read onerous) for applicants to access it.

The Spanish Government seems to be gravitating towards the latter, increasing the residential requirement to €1mn euros (was €500,000, a 100% increase). There are multiple ways to attain a Golden Visa in Spain, but the one that is by far the most popular (and cheapest) option is to invest €500,000 in real estate. All other Golden Visa options require investing a minimum of €1,000,000, or more, to attain it. The government is now arguing that all it is really doing with the residential option (buying real estate) is bringing it in line with the remaining options (investments, bank deposits, development, etc), which are far less popular amongst investors.

This change is clearly a wake-up call for all those investors who had been sitting on the line for a number of years expecting Golden Visa requirements to be lowered (sic). This is not going to happen; furthermore, it is all too clear now that, if anything, they will be sharply increased.

My advice to all would-be applicants is to apply for a Golden Visa now, as soon as possible, as in the best case scenario the investment requirement on residential properties is going to doubled shortly (likely ahead of the national elections this year’s fall to make a nice newspaper headline to attract yet more votes). In the worst case scenario, it is going to be scrapped in line with fellow Union countries.

Either way, investors mulling this option, should make a decision soon or risk losing the GV train.

10 reasons to apply for a Golden Visa

  • A Golden Visa does not automatically make you tax resident in Spain, unlike every other visa in Spain. This is a unique advantage exclusive only to GVs. No other visa in Spain shares this unique trait. Only for this reason, affluent investors will find it most appealing if they do not fancy paying taxes in Spain.
  • Allows you to override the 90/180-day that limits stay in Spain (and by extension in the Schengen Area/EU).
  • You can work in Spain. Unlike other visas, which ban you from working in Spain, a GV allows you, and your family, to work in Spain if you wish. Working is optional.
  • Allows you unfettered access to Spain. You can enter and leave the country as you please, even overriding Covid flight bans, as you will hold a select residency permit that few people have.
  • No minimum stay is required. Fancy staying one night only? A Golden Visa has you covered. You can spend as little as one day, or the full year round in Spain, at your choice.
  • Fast-tracked. Golden visa applications are greatly expedited by rapport to other visa applications. Golden visas are granted in under one month.
  • Streamlined. Golden Visa applications are (greatly) streamlined, removing all the unnecessary red tape which taints other visa applications.
  • The whole family is included as dependents, even ascendants (grandparents)* (*subject to criteria)
  • Leads to permanent residency (optional).
  • Leads to Spanish citizenship (optional).

Did you know that Golden Visas apply retrospectively? If you have invested in Spain €500,000 in real estate on or after the 28th of September 2013, you may already pre-qualify for one!

Interested? Come and speak to Larraín Nesbitt Abogados friendly staff who will be pleased to guide you through Spain’s Golden Visa programme. On applying for a Golden Visa, we assign you one of our immigration lawyers, who will be assisted by one of our in-house visa specialists, guiding and hand holding you through the whole procedure. A Golden Visa takes under 2 months to attain.

At Larrain Nesbitt Abogados, we have made true the dreams of hundreds of non-EU investors, and their families, assisting them to attain a Golden Visa since its inception in 2013. You can browse our clients’ visa testimonials here.

Apply for the keys to your Golden Visa through Larraín Nesbitt AbogadosGolden Visa Service.

Your family’s success is only one call away: (+34) 952 19 22 88

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers, small on fees, BIG on service.

Larraín Nesbitt Lawyers is a law firm specialized in conveyancing, residency, inheritance, taxation, and litigation. You can contact us by e-mail at info@larrainnesbitt.com, by completing our contact form, or by telephone on (+34) 952 19 22 88.

Residency services available from LNA:

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Marbella-based Larraín Nesbitt Abogados (LNA) has over 20 years’ taxation & conveyancing experience at your service. We offer a wide range of 50 legal and corporate services. Our team of native English-speaking lawyers and economists have a long track record successfully assisting expats all over Spain.

You can review here our client’s testimonials.

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