Residency by Investment in Spain
The GOLDEN VISA program
Golden Visa program is simplicity in its application process. It gives you a "Residency in Spain by Investment". For citizens from outside the European Union there is a possibility to live and work in Spain (bringing your family with you), without the need to visit the country more than once a year.
For many, the golden visa is the fastest path to getting residency in the Spanish territory. And the most comfortable option too. You just need to invest in the country, and this visa will be yours! Here we are going to talk about everything you need to know regarding the investor's visa in Spain.
What is the Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa program is a special type of residence created especially for all the citizens from outside the European Union who want to move to the Spanish territory and realizes a significant investment in Spain.
Most residency permits for non-Europeans have complicated procedures. Lots of paperwork, bureaucracy, requirements... too much effort to just get a visa. So much so, the visa for investors in Europe has been gaining popularity that does not stop growing.
Why? For the simple promise it makes: speed and simplicity.
As pointed out in the newspaper El País, Spain is consolidated as one of the paradises of the Golden Visa. If we look at the data, it never ceases to amaze us: out of approximately 6000 residence permits granted in the country during 2018, about 600 were golden visas.
However, Portugal's Golden Visa could face the Spanish one for the European leadership. The new changes introduced in the Portuguese immigration law make it much easier for investors around the world to get their residence permit in Portuguese lands.
What should be clear to us is that the number of golden visas granted in Spain does not stop growing. And, without any doubt, it is a trend that will continue over time.
Who can benefit from the Visa Gold?
As we have mentioned, and as we will deepen further in just a second, the golden visa is designed for all citizens from outside the European Union who intend to make an investment in Spain as a means to obtain their residency.
The countries in which this residence permit has gained the most popularity are China and Russia, without any doubt.
However, people from Iran, Venezuela, and Lebanon register notorious activity with this visa too.
Their main motivation? They have also found in investing in Spain a place to deposit their money; thus earning the ticket to a visa that largely avoids most of the procedures of the other permits
In this case, it is really important to mention the specific law that regulates the investor residence permit. Why? Because in this case, we are not talking about the general Spanish Immigration law, but about the 14/2003 Entrepreneur's Law.
And this difference will play an important role in your legal status, especially when it comes to the application and future renewals.
First of all, and unlike any visa under the general foreigner's law, you can apply directly from Spain.
Secondly, with the golden visa you are granted the right to live and work in Spain for 2 years initially (instead of just 1).
And, again, here comes another difference with the rest of permits under the same Entrepreneur Law. With the visa gold, the second renewal is made after 5 years. Then, you will be able to get permanent residency
What are the advantages of the golden visa in Spain?
Simply invest 500,000 € in real estate, and this residence permit will be yours
No need to worry about complicated extra requirements
2 + 5 YEARS IN SPAIN
Unlike the rest, with this Visa you will be granted the right to live and work in Spain for 2 years, and renew for +5. After this you can easily get the permanent residency.
ONLY VISIT THE COUNTRY ONCE PER YEAR
No need to become a tax resident in the country. You just need to visit Spain once per year in order to renew the permit
BRING YOUR FAMILY
You can do a joint application and include both your spouse and children, so they will also get their residency in Spain with just your investment
We have synthesized in the following points the main advantages of the investor visa in Spain:
- It allows you to work and live legally in Spain. With this, we can identify the golden residency as a means to a work permit.
- It's the only residence permit that grants you an initial authorization to live and work in the country for 2 years (the other ones offer only 1).
- In order to obtain this visa, to be considered a resident in the Spanish territory is not required. Remember that this is equivalent to living in the country for more than 183 days per year. The golden visa only demands that the applicant travels to the country once per year.
- It provides complete freedom of movement throughout the Schengen area; that is, most of the countries inside the European Union.
- You can easily bring your family to the country. The main applicant (investor), can request at the same time she formalizes her application the residency for her spouse and children. That is why the investor visa is a totally recommended option for those families who want to start living in Spain.
- To apply for the golden visa, it is not necessary for the applicant to do it physically in Spain. You can simply designate a representative to collect the relevant documentation for him or her.
How long can you live in Spain with an investor visa?
Once the investor has obtained his golden visa residency, he will have 2 years to reside legally in the Spanish territory.
Once this time period has finished, the applicant can renew this permit for 5 additional years.
In order to carry out this procedure, the expat must demonstrate that she still has ownership of the asset that was the center of investment; being the property, shares or the public debt.
In addition, you must have visited Spain at least once during the year.
Are you willing to apply for citizenship by investment? Remember that the golden visa is one of the many ways to obtain Spanish nationality. After 10 years of residing legally in Spain, the investor will be eligible for citizenship.
How can I get the Golden Visa in Spain?
To apply for the golden visa in Spain, you can choose one of the following paths:
First of all, you can get your investor visa by purchasing a property (real estate) worth more than € 500,000. But, what happens if the property has been purchased by several individuals/investors? In that case, we must bear in mind that the investment will be computed at the individual level. This means that if our personal contribution to the property does not reach € 500,000, we will not be able to apply for the visa.
Secondly, buying shares of a Spanish company, or having a bank deposit in a Spanish entity for a value greater than one million euros. That will also give you access to this residence permit.
Possession of Spanish public debt worth 2 or more million euros.
Finally, investing in a business project that will be developed in Spanish territory. Here, you will find the following main requirements: that project must generate employment, imply an impulse to the scientific/technological advance of the country, or translate into a minimum socioeconomic impact.
Taxes when buying a property to get your investor permit
You may be tempted to consider that the only cost you will be facing when applying for your golden visa is the mere cost of the property you are purchasing.
But you may be wrong. Buying a property may have additional costs involved, especially when it comes to taxes.
Defining the exact amount of tax you will be liable to pay will depend on whether you are a tax resident or not. But basically you will need to pay:
- VAT (value-added tax)
- Stamp duty
- Property transfer tax in case the building is second-hand
Here you will find one of our articles in which we specify, into detail, all the taxes any expat has to pay when purchasing a property.
What are the requirements to obtain the investor visa?
In order to successfully apply for the golden residency, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Not be a citizen of a country member of the European Union. As we have said, this special residence permit is designed for citizens from countries outside this area, which have it more difficult to get a visa in Spain.
- Be of legal age (+18 in Spain).
- Lack of criminal records, both in Spain and in any other country. The deadline to take into account here will be the last 5 years.
- Having full-coverage healthcare in Spain. This can be obtained through public insurance or a private one. Travel insurance or insurance from the country of origin won't be valid here. Nevertheless, if it does not offer complete full coverage, that won't be a reason to deny the application.
- Having and demonstrating the possession of sufficient economic means for the maintenance of both the principal investor and his family (if he also applied for their residency permits).
- Realize the investment in Spanish real estate (either € 500,000, € 1M or € 2M depending on the route chosen), and provide the corresponding document that proves it.
What institution is responsible for reviewing the application?
We must bear in mind that the golden visa is not subject to the general immigration regime. It is regulated by a specific law, the Entrepreneurs law, created to attract talent and investment in Spain. Through this law, new and residence and work permits were created. Among them we find the investor visa; but there are also others such as the entrepreneurial procedure itself, intra-corporate transfers and work permits as the highly qualified. As a consequence, it will not be the immigration office located where the applicant will be living the institution in charge of evaluating the application. There is a specialized department in Madrid, the Large Business Unit, responsible for evaluating and approving the files.
What are the required documents needed to get the visa gold?
In the last section, we have seen how one of the fundamental requirements to obtain the residency through real estate investment is to demonstrate, through the corresponding document, that the investment has been made.
The question now is: what documents exactly justify that investment? Let's answer that question according to the path we have chosen to follow:
If we want to obtain the golden visa through the investment in real estate, we must provide as proof of the purchase of the property the certification of domains and charges from the Property Registry.
In the case of investing in Spanish shares: a statement of the investment from the Investment Register of the Ministry of Economy in the case of shareholdings; and a certificate of the financial intermediary registered in the Securities Market National Commission for the purchase of shares.
If what we have done is to invest in Spanish public debt, we will need the certificate from the Bank of Spain or from the financial institution with which we have managed the investment. In that paper, we need to clearly identify how we are the protagonists of that purchase.
Finally, for investments in bank deposits, we will need the certificate issued by the financial institution with which we have contracted the deal. Important is the fact that in that paper we indicate that we are the sole owners of the deposit.
*As for the certificate of domains and charges, we are talking about a document that indicates who is the owner of the property, in what percentage she has the ownership, and the selling price. It will be through this certificate that the competent authority will assess whether the investment reaches the minimum to obtain this visa and whether or not you have requested a mortgage to pay.
How long does it take to get the golden visa?
When delivering all documentation to the competent authority, it may take 20 days before we receive the resolution.
It can be favorable or we can get a denial.
After having received the resolution with a favorable result, we have a period of 1 month to apply for our visa in the Spanish consulate located in the country of the investor. It will be at that time that we must travel to Spain because we must submit the application for the Golden Visa with the received approval.
The next step will be to obtain the TIE (Identity Card of the Foreigner), as well as taking the fingerprints in any police station in Spain. We can not wait too much in this process, we only have 1 month to do it.
And that would be it!
If you do not feel like dedicating the time it takes to perform all these boring procedures ... let us do it for you! Contact us and get your Golden Visa FAST. We will guide you from start to finish, you will just need to sign!
Do I need to invest 500.000€ in cash or can I use financing?
This is a question many of our clients ask.
Can I use financing in order to purchase the property, like getting a mortgage?
No. You need, at least, to invest 500.000€ from your pocket. Without financing.
Nevertheless, for the exceeding part, you can use financing.
Let's say, for example, that the property you intend to buy costs 1.000.000€. Then, you will need to invest 500.000€ first to get the golden visa. But, for the remaining 500.000€, you can get a mortgage.
Can I buy several properties valued under 500.000€?
100% In fact, that is what many people do
The main issue to consider is that the total investment, including all the assets you purchase, sums a total of 500.000€ (minimum). So, for example, you can purchase a property valued at 450.000€ and complement it with a parking slot or another establishment that costs 50.000€. You would still be eligible to get the investor visa in that situation.
Can I bring my family to Spain with me with this Visa?
Yes. You can bring your spouse and children by applying for this Visa as the main investor.
But keep in mind that in order to bring your children, it is essential that they are under 21, that they are studying and depend economically on you.
Can I apply for the Golden Visa if I bought the property in any year before the year I apply for this residence permit?
Many people have this doubt. What happens if I bought the property some time ago, and want to apply for the investor permit later on?
There would be no problem. You can do it. The only requirement is that the property must have been bought after 2014, the year in which the law regulating the golden visa came into force.
If, for example, you bought a property in 2017 but want to apply for an investor visa two years later; you can get the residence without trouble. But if you had bought it in 2013, then it would not be possible.
Obtain the Spanish Residency by investing in Spain now
Ask our lawyers
And, up to this point, the answer to most of the doubts and frequently asked questions regarding the golden Spanish visa.
If something has not been clear to you or if you have any specific questions on your particular case... do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help you out!