Back in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic took over the world, Spain was the second most visited country on the planet. More than 83 million people had managed to visit the country in just twelve months.
Spain’s enduring appeal is easy to explain. Its multifaceted characteristics ensure that anyone can find something alluring – be it the architectural masterpieces such as Sagrada Família, the inviting beaches, the rich history and culture, vibrant cuisine, or the rustic appeal of the countryside. Understandably, quite a lot of people start feeling such a strong connection to Spain that they decide to stay there permanently.
EU citizens can quickly move to Spain due to the reduced requirements granted to the EU and Schengen zones. When it comes to people from countries of origin that are not part of the EU, one of the fastest ways is through the Golden Visa in Spain.
This particular programme was established in 2013 with the goal of attracting investors to the country, and since then has proven to be quite successful. It allows investors outside the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland to obtain a Spanish residency permit.
Applying for Spanish Golden Visa
To be eligible for the Golden Visa, also known as the Spain Investor Visa, candidates must meet several strict requirements. The most essential and the one around which the Golden Visa is predicated upon is for the applicant to make an investment in the country. The minimum amounts depend on the type of investment.
In addition, the applicant must be over 18 years, must not be listed as an undesirable person in Spain, must have medical insurance in the country, and should have a clean criminal record. Another requirement is for the person to have not been refused a Schengen Visa previously. Finally, the investor must prove that they possess enough financial means to sustain themselves and all family members that they plan to bring to Spain.
Benefits of the Golden Visa
The benefits of a Golden Visa are substantial. The most important is that the recipient and their family will receive residence permits to live in Spain legally.
Furthermore, they will now be able to travel to all of the countries in the Schengen zone without needing any visas for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period. Both the investor and their family can now use Spain’s health and education systems just like the permanent citizens of the country.
After ten years of residence, Golden Visa holders can also apply for Spanish citizenship. Keep in mind that you don’t need to spend the entire ten years in Spain to meet the residency requirement. You will just need to spend six months per year in Spain and visit the country at least twice per year within less than six months.
Eligible investors with certain countries of origin, such as the former Spanish colonies, can apply for full Spanish citizenship in just a fraction of the time – the minimum stay requirement for them is just 730 days, or less than two years.
Do note that the Golden Visa itself is viable for only one year. Afterward, you can exchange it for a 2-year residency permit. You can apply for new residency permits indefinitely, as long as you maintain your Golden Visa investment.
The requirements for what is considered an eligible investment are quite flexible. They include five different options:
- Real Estate – the most popular choice, the minimum requirement is €500,000. The funds can be used for a single property or spread over several different ones.
- Bank Deposit – make a €1,000,000 deposit into a bank in Spain.
- Stock Investment – Invest €1,000,000 in shares of a company.
- Spanish Public Debt Investment – purchase government bonds worth at least €2,000,000.
- Business Investment – establish a company or another business operation in Spain that will create job positions, produce significant technical or scientific advancements, or deliver other beneficial socioeconomic effects.
Remember that proof of the investment from the corresponding institution will be necessary as part of the Golden Visa application. For example, investing in unlisted company shares will require a statement of investment from the Registrar of Foreign Investments.
However, buying listed shares can be demonstrated with a certificate of a financial intermediary registered with the National Commission of the Stock Market or the Bank of Spain. Another crucial element is that mortgages or other loans do not count towards the minimum investment amount.
Investors interested in Spain’s Golden Visa should seek counsel from a specialized firm. The experts will ensure that all strict legal requirements are addressed, all necessary documents are present and legalised, and all applicable taxes and deadlines are met.