Golden Visa Spain – Residency through investment

by Deborah Cater
Golden Visa Spain - residency through investment

The Golden Visa Spain was introduced in 2013 in a bid to help stimulate the Spanish economy. It is a residence visa issued to non-EU nationals making a significant investment in Spain and is now available to British nationals.

Post-Brexit, British nationals looking to purchase a property in Spain may be interested in knowing that an investment of €500,000 or more could also get them a Golden Visa.

The Golden Visa was initially intended to attract wealthy Russian, Chinese and Arab nationals, but Brexit has given the British a way to benefit from the scheme. Furthermore, now the dollar has hit an all-time high against the Euro, Spanish property has become rather cheap for US investors. 

Related post: Foreigners are buying more houses in Spain than ever

Criteria for a Golden Visa

To qualify for a Golden Visa through the real estate option, investors must pay a minimum of €500,000 for the property.

The property can be residential or commercial, or a combination of both. However, the €500,000 must be a cash payment – you cannot use a loan to reach the minimum amount.

For example: the property is valued at €750,000. You could purchase it with a cash payment of €500,000 and a loan for €250,000 to qualify for the Golden Visa Spain.

There are also some personal criteria. You must:

  • Be over 18 years of age
  • Not have a criminal record
  • Not have been refused visas or entry into the Schengen zone
  • Have health insurance which covers you in Spain
  • Not be on Spain’s list of undesirable people

Also known as a property visa

There are several investment options for the Golden Visa, but the real estate option remains the most popular. This is why it is often known as a property visa.

Whilst the Golden Visa gives you residency in Spain, and the benefits that entails, the property does not have to be your primary or permanent residence. This means, if you are looking for a second home to spend some of the year in, or simply looking for a property to rent out and earn an income, you can still get the visa. Furthermore, attaining a Golden Visa does not make you a tax resident in Spain.

Cumbre Villas

Related post: Brits are purchasing properties in Spain as they ‘work from home’

The process is relatively simple, but it is advisable to get professional advice from a lawyer in Spain. To obtain the visa, you need to prove you paid the qualifying amount. Also, you must provide a Land Registry certificate within three months of purchase.

You can even start the process before completion, through submitting a preliminary contract and letter from a Spanish financial institution proving you have the required funds.

Golden Visa benefits

Possibly the best benefit of the Golden Visa Spain is the freedom to travel visa-free around the Schengen area.

Brexit put paid to the faster channel at passport control, with British nationals now required to show appropriate paperwork. With a Golden Visa, UK nationals can travel the Schengen area on the same basis as EU nationals.

Further benefits include living and working in Spain legally without need for further visas and permits. The visa does not require permanent residency in Spain; you simply return to Spain to renew the visa. You and family members have access to public services. It is also a route to Spanish citizenship – though there are further criteria for that.

Length of visa

The Golden Visa is initially valid for a year. You must enter Spain during that year and exchange it for a residence permit. That done, the residency is valid for a period of one to two years.

As long as you maintain your investment in Spain and travel to Spain to renew your residency, it can be renewed repeatedly.

For non-EU nationals, such as the British or Americans, the Golden Visa is an attractive proposition. To see whether you qualify for the visa, recommends you speak to a lawyer with property specialisation and enjoy the benefits.

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