The Spanish Golden Visa
What is the Spanish Golden Visa?
The Spanish Golden Visa is a residency-by-investment program that grants non-European Union (EU) citizens the right to reside in Spain by investing in the country's real estate market (or other qualifying assets). Established in 2013, this initiative has gained popularity among non-EU nationals looking to live permanently in Spain.
The most common route is investing in Spanish real estate. The minimum investment amount is currently €500.000. This can be achieved through purchasing residential or commercial properties, or multiple properties that cumulatively meet the threshold.
This figure is exclusive of buying costs. It is the minimum price paid to a seller, so the true minimum investment is +/- €560.000 - €600.000 depending on the autonomous community in which the desired property is located. The bulk of the additional cost is tax and each community sets its own rate.
There is a provision for joint purchases, but each person involved will need to make the minimum investment of €500.000.
It is also possible to obtain the visa by investing €1 million in Spanish companies or establishing a business venture that generates job opportunities. Investing in Spanish government bonds worth a minimum of €2 million is another option. These bonds must be held for at least five years.
Benefits of the Spanish Golden Visa
Residency in Spain: It provides a pathway to obtain Spanish residency and, after ten years, permanent residence and, possibly, citizenship. Applicants must visit Spain at least once each year but do not necessarily need to live in the country.
Travel within the Schengen Area: Golden Visa holders can travel freely within the Schengen Area, comprising 26 European countries.
Family Inclusion: The program allows the inclusion of family members, including spouses, children, and financially dependent parents. Applicants will need proof via a certificate of marriage or civil partnership for a spouse, and proof of parental responsibility for children.
Ease of Application: The application process is relatively straightforward but all legal documentation must be correctly translated to Spanish and bear the Hague apostille.
Right To Work: Holders of the Golden Visa are free to work in Spain.
Requirements to Obtain the Golden Visa.
In addition to the investment itself, there are certain general requirements for the Spanish Golden Visa:
Clean Criminal Record: Applicants should not have any criminal record in Spain or in previous countries of residence within the previous five years.
Health Insurance: Proof of valid private health insurance for the applicant and their family members is necessary.
Financial Stability: Applicants must demonstrate they have sufficient financial means to support themselves and their family members.
Minimum Age: The minimum age age requirement for the main applicant is 18, and any family members must be under 18 years old or be dependent adults.
Can Applicants Apply Before The Property Purchase Is Finalised?
There is provision for this, provided that a contrato privado has been signed and all of the funds to finalise the purchase, including the buying costs, are available in Spain in an irrevocable account.
A significant advantage of the application process is that the Golden Visa may be applied for whilst legally in the country under any other type of visa such as the 90 day tourist visa.
Minimum Income Level Required
This figure will change annually as it is related to the IPREM (Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples). This is a base used to calculate various minimum economic factors.
The principal applicant, which must be an individual, not a couple, must demonstrate a multiple of 4 x the current IPREM and each additional member of the family requires a further 1 x IPREM. Thus a married couple with two children would need to demonstrate existing income of 7 x IPREM.
The IPREM for 2023 is €600 per calendar month.
An individual applicant would therefore need to demonstrate an annual income of 4 x 12 x €600 = €28.800
An applicant with the same family mentioned above would need to demonstrate an annual income of 7 x 12 x €600 = €50.400
There are alternative ways to demonstrate financial stability such as proof of sufficient personal assets to guarantee the income levels stated.
How To Apply
Your lawyer is the best person to handle the application. There are also specialist lawyers who do nothing else but obtain various types of visa for non-Spanish residents.
Validity Of The Golden Visa
The visa will be issued for a period of three years, after which it can be renewed for successive periods of five years. There is no limit to the number of times the visa may be renewed. After ten years continuous residence applicants may be able to apply for permanent residence.
If the asset underpinning the Golden Visa is disposed of during the period for which the the visa is granted, it becomes invalid, unless a further investment of the minimum amount is made. It would be possible, for example to sell one property and buy another, always provided the minimum investment remained above €500.000.
Holders of a Golden Visa are not taxed on their worldwide income. Only on that income arising within Spain. Spanish fiscal residence is not a requirement.
This information is provided in good faith and is not intended as legal advice. Cases may vary according to personal situation and the region in which you live.
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