The Golden Visa in Spain, formally known as the “residence visa for investment,” is an attractive option for non-European investors who wish to obtain residency rights in the country and, by extension, in the European Union. This initiative was introduced in 2013 through the Entrepreneurs Law, with the aim of attracting foreign investment and stimulating the real estate market and the country’s economy.
To qualify for the Golden Visa in Spain, investors must meet one or more of the following investments:
- Real estate investment: A purchase of property(ies) with a minimum value of 500,000 euros. It is important to highlight that the investment must be free of any encumbrances, meaning the minimum amount must be without mortgages or loans.
- Public debt investment: An investment of at least 2 million euros in Spanish public debt bonds.
- Investment in shares or investment funds: An investment of a minimum of 1 million euros in shares of Spanish companies or in authorized investment funds in Spain that commit to making investments with an economic impact in the country.
- Bank deposit: A bank deposit in a Spanish financial entity for a minimum amount of 1 million euros. These investment thresholds do not include taxes or other expenses associated with the purchase or investment. Additionally, the investments must be maintained for a minimum of five years for the investor to renew their residence visa.
The Golden Visa offers numerous advantages for the investor, including:
- Legal residence in Spain: The initial residence permit is for two years, renewable for five additional years as long as the investment is maintained.
- Free movement in Schengen: Allows the investor and their family to travel visa-free within the Schengen Area, comprised of 26 European countries.
- Fast acquisition process: The Golden Visa application process is relatively fast, and can be obtained in a couple of months.
- No requirement of effective residence: The investor is not obligated to live in Spain to renew the visa, unlike other residence permits that require a minimum number of days of stay in the country.
- Residence access for the family: The spouse, children under 18 years of age or dependents, and dependent parents can be included in the application and obtain residence in Spain. After five years of legal and effective residence in Spain, the investor and their family can apply for permanent residence and, after ten years, Spanish citizenship, as long as they meet all other legal requirements, including integration tests and a basic knowledge of the Spanish language.
The Spanish Golden Visa has become a popular channel for investors, especially those interested in the real estate sector, as it offers the possibility of a secure and profitable investment along with the benefits of mobility and residence in Europe.
The acquisition of real estate properties in Spain by non-European Union citizens entails the possibility of accessing the so-called “Golden Visa,” as established by Law 14/2013, of September 27, on support for entrepreneurs and their internationalization. This mechanism not only represents a gateway to the Spanish real estate market but also opens the door to residence and economic activity in the country for the investor and their family. The main advantages of this process are:
- Residence and Work in Spain: The residence visa for investors enables the holder to live and work throughout the national territory for as long as it is valid, providing complete integration into the Spanish social and economic fabric.
- Extended Renewal: After the initial two-year period, the residence authorization can be renewed for successive periods of five years, providing long-term stability for the investor and their family.
- Streamlining of Procedures: An investor who is legally in Spain can directly manage the residence authorization, without the need to previously apply for an investor residence visa from their country of origin, significantly simplifying and speeding up the process.
- Family Inclusion: The program allows the spouse or registered domestic partner, minor or dependent children, and dependent ascendants to benefit jointly from the residence in Spain, thus strengthening family unity.
- Considerations for Marriages: In case the real estate investment is made under a community property regime and does not reach at least 1,000,000 euros, it will be understood that the investment has been made by one of the spouses, who will be the holder of the investment, while the other may apply for their residence as a family member of the investor.
- Demonstration of Investment: The investment can be demonstrated by a deposit contract consigned in a public deed, granting the investor an initial residence visa of up to six months. During this period, the investor must demonstrate the availability of funds for the property purchase in a Spanish financial entity and, subsequently, complete the purchase to apply for the residence authorization.
The acquisition of real estate by foreigners is significantly incentivized by these benefits. In addition, this proactive approach by Spanish authorities simplifies, facilitates, and speeds up the process, reducing processing times and providing clarity and legal certainty to international investors. Thus, the “Golden Visa” has become a valuable bridge for those seeking not only a financial return but also residence in a country that is a gateway to Europe and offers a high level of life and socio-economic stability.