Interest in the Spanish Golden Visa scheme has jumped since Portugal and Ireland closed down their own schemes in February, reports the Spanish press based on information provided by Golden Visa consultancy firms.
Consultancy firms offering international Golden Visa services have claimed that Spain has benefited the most from the Portuguese and Irish government decisions in February to cancel their residency-by-investment schemes, with a surge in online searches and enquiries for the so-called Golden Visa in Spain. These claims were widely reported in the Spanish press.
According to a company called Aston’s research, Google searches for terms related to the Spanish Golden Visa increased 68% between March and April, ahead of Greece (+34%) and Malta (+29%), two other popular destinations in the EU along with Cyprus and Spain that offer a visa and long-term path to residency in return for cash.
However, looking at this Google trends chart for worldwide searches related to Golden Visas in Spain, there’s always an increase in the first quarter of the year, but there’s no clear sign of a surge in interest between March and April.
According to another company called IMI Daily, also cited in local press reports, there are currently 7,500 active Golden Visa residency permits in Spain, with 2,462 issued last year, the third biggest number on record since the Spanish residency-by-investment scheme was introduced in 2013, behind only 2,656 in 2019 and 2,507 in 2021. One investor can apply for multiple residency permits for family members and dependants.
In the light of Portugal and Ireland’s decision to shut down their residency-by-investment programmes, the Spanish government has come under renewed pressure from Brussels and the Spanish left-wing parties to shut down the Spanish scheme.
The Spanish government says it plans to reconsider the scheme, perhaps to increase the investment threshold from 500,000€ to 1m€ or perhaps to terminate it, but says there is no hurry.
Government MInister José Luis Escrivá said on Tuesday that the Spanish Golden Visa was introduced in “different times for reasons that probably need to be revisited,” but also said that the matter “doesn’t have a very high position” on his to-do list.
As things stand it looks unlikely that there will be any change to the Golden Visa in Spain before the summer.