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The Golden Visa is a new law designated by the Government of Spain, to attract more new inward investment from both (non-EU) property investors and business entrepreneurs. Under this new law it will now be possible for non-EU citizens who wish to invest in Spain to be issued with a Spanish Visa. This law is also aimed to stimulate foreign investment in Spanish real estate, public debt, and job creation.
According to the EU rules on Visas and the Schengen Implementing Convention Agreement, the entry and residence in Spain of other non-EU citizens will now be authorised for certain economic reasons. The spouse and their children under 18 may apply for Visa permits either at the same time or after the principal applicant. There are no restrictions on the property usage. A non-EU investor can then only use that purchased property in any legal manner, according to local planning and licence/s, permission/s, zoning law/s (etc) Purchaser/s can also invest through a separate company, unless it is based in any tax haven. Purchaser/s must have a full control over a proposed investment companies shares, assets and activities.
Other Investments that may qualify for residency include:
Substantial Bank deposits held in any of the Spanish Banks.
Two million Euros invested in Spanish Government bonds.
One million Euros in stocks or shares of Spanish Companies.
NB: The Golden Visa Program is NOT applicable to EU Citizens.
(A) Residence Visa for investor (year 1) Initially you will apply for and receive an ordinary 90 day Visa. Meaning that you could then travel to Spain and search for your property. Upon your arrival in Spain you can then sign a ‘Power of Attorney’ giving your designated lawyer/s the full legal power/s for acting on your behalf in both the purchasing of your investment property and the Visa residency process.
However, if you don’t have time to travel to Spain and you have found a suitable property that you are prepared to buy without visiting, you may organise a power of attorney from your home country. This will then give your lawyer the power/s to act on your behalf in the property conveyancing and Visa residency process too.
At this stage, your lawyer can then even buy the property on your behalf, so you may not even have to travel to Spain at all during this early stage of the process.
When you have actually bought the property that meets your investment criteria (more than €500,000 on the title deeds) you will need to apply for your one year investor visa. This allows you to spend one full year in Spain, and you can then travel freely in the Schengen area for up to 90 days out of every 180 days. Your lawyer/s in Spain will obtain this for you. Upon obtaining this initial visa, you are not obliged to spend any minimum amount of time in Spain during the first year. However, to get the residency permit at the end of the year, you will have to visit Spain at least once in the first year. So do not apply for the one year investor visa until you know at what point you will travel to Spain during these next 12 months.
This one year investor visa is authorized in Diplomatic Missions and Consular Spanish Offices and can be issued for either one, two (or) even multiple entries into Spain. These visa applications are usually processed, with notification sent within 10 working days, except in the case of applicants subject to consultation.
(B) Residence authorization for investors (years 2 – 5 or longer) As soon as your investment has been made and following the first year, investors can apply for an authorization to live in Spain for a further two years. After that time it is renewable for another two years and so on. This will be on a continual basis as long as your initial investment threshold of €500,000 is maintained. For such Visa applications you will have to demonstrate that you have traveled to Spain at least once in the previous 12 months period. And moving forward, there is no limit to the amount of times this two year residency type of Visa can be renewed under this scheme.
Properties can also be bought and sold during this period, as long as your initial investment threshold is always maintained (€500.000) There is not any obligation to spend a minimum amount of time in Spain, therefore investors can remain tax resident outside of Spain, whilst benefiting from Spanish residency and of course the freedom of their unlimited travel and extended stays in the European Union.
Processing and granting of the Visa residency will be carried out by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The investment threshold for Real Estate is €500,000 (or more) per each individual investor. Applications will be responded to within 20 working days from the submission of the Visa application. If there is no response received back during this period, the application shall be considered as accepted.
(C) Long term residency and Spanish nationality (Year 5 onwards and optional) After five years of continuous residence, investors can apply for their permanent residence in Spain. Likewise after ten years of residence, full Spanish nationality can be requested. In these types of cases, an effective form of proof showing at least six months of your actual residency (while in Spain) must also be provided.
To apply for residency, proof of the investment/s must be provided along with a Property Registry Filing Certificate. Should this certificate not yet be available, then the notarised deeds (and proof) that the deeds have been submitted to the Property Registry must be provided. Investment/s to qualify for the Visa can be comprised of one (or even several) of the following type of investment/s;
Residential, rural, touristic, commercial, office (or) industrial nature. Rustic land, rural land, building land, development land (and/or) buildings under construction. Investors must use at least €500,000 from their own funds (and) the funds must originate from transparent sources that comply with all existing EU legislation on money laundering. Above this €500,000 threshold, there is no upper limit to debt financing (e.g) subject to those investor/s arranging a bank mortgage in Spain.
Other Legal & Administrative Requirements to Qualify for a Golden Visa;
You must not be listed as an undesirable person in Spain.
Never have previously entered or stayed illegally in Spain.
Been refused entry into either Spain or any Schengen country.
You must pay the appropriate authorization or visa processing fee.
You must be aged 18 years or older with no previous criminal record.
You must have suitable public / private health insurance valid in Spain.
Sufficient financial resources to support the Visa applicant + dependants
The above is only the general information for the Spain ‘Golden Visa’, but to get a more comprehensive understanding we can recommend Visa applicant/s to a specialist firm of lawyers based in Madrid. They will cover most of the country on Real Estate transactions. (They are a reputable firm, contact details on request)
NOTE: Golden Visa is available only to NON E.U Citizens investing in Spain.