Remote working is becoming more common. Physical presence in an office is less and less required. And what could be better than continuing your work under the Spanish sun? Are you such a digital nomad, do you like Spain and have money to invest? Then read on and find out more about the Golden Visa.
Non-EU nationals who want to pursue a professional or personal life in Europe should consider the Spain Golden Visa Program. The Spanish government introduced the Golden Visa program in 2012. The Spain Golden Visa (or Investor Residence Visa) is a temporary residence permit for all citizens outside the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEC) and Switzerland in return for investing in Spain. A person and their family who purchases real estate in Spain with a value of €500,000 can apply for a Golden Visa.
In recent years Americans, Chinese and Russians were the citizens of non-EU countries who have requested this type of visa the most. Other citizens from countries that are in a complicated situation due to political conflicts, such as Venezuela, Iran or Lebanon, have also applied for investment visas, as the procedure is usually simpler than other visas.
Main differences between the Golden Visa in Spain and other types of visas
- It can be applied for as soon as you are in Spain
- It does not require a minimum stay in Spain of at least 6 months per year
- It allows families to enjoy all the benefits of this visa at the same time (not only for spouses and children but also for parents over 65 and children over 18)
- It includes the work permit for the applicant and his family
The main advantages of the Golden Visa
One of the main advantages of the Golden Visa in Spain is that it does not require a minimum stay or constant stay. Although, you must visit Spain at least once a year. Another convenience is you and your family will have free movement within Europe. That means that you travel freely through the Schengen countries for leisure and business trips without restrictions.
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Furthermore, unlike other visas that require waiting months or years for family reunification, you’ll have it from the start. This also applies to children over the age of 18 and your parents if they are dependent on you. Consequently, your family will be able to reside in Spain continuously even if you don’t. This type of visa allows the investor and his family to work in Spain. For your kids, there is a guarantee of public or private schooling. As a Golden Visa holder, you have no obligation to pay tax as a resident. You are not required to file a tax return in Spain as a tax resident of Spain as long as your stay does not exceed 183 days. Another advantage of the Golden Visa is that you can buy a car in Spain and exchange your driving license for a Spanish one which is valid in the whole EU.
Duration and renovation of the Spain Golden Visa
The original residence permit is two years. Before it expires, it must be renewed. The renovation is valid for another five years. For renovating the residence as an investor you need to maintain the initial investment or overrun; you must prove that you still have the financial means to continue living in Spain; you must have health insurance. After this period, you can apply for citizenship.
Requirements for the Golden Visa in Spain
There are several requirements that all applicants for residency in Spain must meet to invest in Spain:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have no criminal record (in the last 5 years)
- Not being in an irregular situation in Spain
- Having enough financial means to live in Spain, both the investor and his family members
- Have private or statutory insurance in Spain covering all medical needs of the applicant and their family
Investment Opportunities in Spain to get the Golden Visa
Instead of buying or owning a property in Spain that is worth at least €500,000, you can make a capital transfer of €1,000,000 or more; invest €1,000,000 or more in shares or participations in a Spanish company or Spanish bank deposits; or invest €2,000,000 or more in government debt. Other possibilities are business investments with no minimum amount, but which meet the following requirements: job creation, the realisation of a relevant economic investment in demographic areas, in which an activity is carried out and which contributes to scientific or technical progress.
How to apply for the Golden Visa in Spain
The Golden Visa in Spain is applied for in person at the consulates of Spain in your current country of residence or Spain. It can also be requested through a legal representative in Spain who can act on your behalf for any legal or tax action you wish to carry out.
Whichever option you choose to obtain the Spanish Golden Visa, you must submit the following documentation:
- Passport and certified translation
- NIE: Foreign Identification Number
- Documentation for buying or owning property or investments in Spain
- Visa application
- Bank statements
- Certification of your criminal record and family members over the age of 18
- Medical certificate
- Proof of possession of health insurance with an insurer operating in Spain
- A recent passport photo
- Proof of payment of the appropriate fees for obtaining the visa
It takes 20 to 90 days to receive a response on the investor visa application from the moment the documents are submitted in Spain.
Taxes when resident as an investor in Spain
If you are staying in Spain for less than 183 days, you only have to deal with property investment tax (VAT for the first transfer or Spanish property transfer tax for second or consecutive transfers):
- Value Added Tax (VAT): 10%
- Property Transfer Tax (ITP): 10%
On the other hand, if you are a resident of Spain, in addition to the taxes mentioned above, you must take into account the following taxes:
- Income tax: 19 to 45%
- Corporate tax:25%
How to apply for Spanish citizenship
Spanish citizenship can be obtained after 10 years of residence in Spain. Along with the Golden Visa, you must apply for a 5-year renewable residency permit. You must then apply for permanent resident status, which will be granted to you for another 5 years. After 10 years, you will be eligible for Spanish citizenship. To do this, you must pass a Spanish exam on the country’s history and political structure.